… firearms or the history of firearms.
I saw this on X (TSMPFKAT)—
This tweet is false. Whether through ignorance or purposeful lying, it’s false.
There’s no such thing as an AR-15 chambered for the .308 Winchester (or 7.62x51mm NATO) cartridge shown above. Neither the rifle’s chamber nor the magazine well are long enough to accept the cartridge.
In the mid ’50s, Eugene Stoner designed a rifle chambered for the 7.62 NATO round while he was working for a company called Armalite. The AR-10 (Armalite Rifle 10) was adopted by a few countries, but it was not as well received as the FN FAL and H+K G3 rifles.
One of the problems with the 7.62 NATO cartridge is that it is too powerful for use in full automatic fire from an infantry rifle. Real world experience showed that automatic rifles using medium power cartridges, such as the StG 44 and AK-47, were more practical infantry weapons. This led Stoner to design a second rifle chambered in the less powerful .223 Remington. That rifle was the AR-15 which the U.S. military adopted as the M16.
One of the problems with .223 Remington is that it’s on the low end of the medium-power cartridge scale, so it is often not considered powerful enough for humane one-shot kills of game as large as deer. Thus, many of us who served with M16s and are familiar with the AR platform have chosen AR-10 family rifles chambered in .308 Winchester or related cartridges for hunting. I haven’t. My go-to deer guns are a bolt action rifle in .270 Winchester or an AR-15 chambered for the round used in the AK-47. That’s 762X39mm not 7.62X51mm.
Assault rifle is a military term of art with a specific definition.
An assault rifle is a select fire rifle that uses an intermediate-rifle cartridge and a detachable box magazine.
Select fire means being capable of full automatic fire, i.e., being used as a machine gun.
The Lewiston shooter apparently used a semiautomatic Ruger rifle derived from the AR-10 that is legal for deer hunting in Maine. The rifle he used wasn’t a machine gun. It wasn’t an assault rifle.