As calls for a ban on “assault rifles” ring out, a little knowledge about the most popular “assault rifle” is in order.
The AR-15 replaced the heavier M1 Garand rifle that fired a powerful 30.06 (pronounced thirty ought six) cartridge, in Missouri, the 30.06 is a favorite among deer hunters. The weapon that ultimately became the main battle rifle of US forces fired a much lighter, higher velocity 5.56 mm cartridge.
There is a long spring in the back of the AR-15 that is compressed by a metal cylinder when the gun is fired. This spring and buffer soak up recoil from the fired round. This in turn keeps most of the “kick” of the rifle off the shooter’s shoulder. This innovation makes the AR-15 a relatively painless rifle to use. Being easier to shoot makes it easier to master shooting accurately. A combination of synthetic parts and sturdy, aluminum made the AR-15 rifle much lighter than equivalent firearms.