Rifles misrepresented

Posted Friday, Feb. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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I write in hope of correcting the repeated misrepresentation of AR-style rifles as being both "high-powered" and "assault rifles."

The Remington .223 cartridge (virtually identical to the military 5.65mm NATO) has about 1,280 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. This is barely powerful enough to legally hunt deer in Texas. Granddad's old .30-30 has approximately 1,900 foot-pounds of energy, and the .30-06, used in our military rifles in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, has approximately 2,800 foot-pounds of energy, more than twice as much as the AR-style rifles in .223 Remington. Hence, referring to AR-style rifles as "high-powered" is an error.

The term "assault rifle" was coined in 1989 by the anti-gun folks. It has virtually no meaning (other than to sound menacing). I suppose the Thompson submachine gun of World War II (in .45 Colt Automatic pistol cartridge), which was full-automatic capable, could be considered an assault weapon, and the M-4 carbine used by our current military (in 5.65 mm NATO and also full-automatic capable) could be considered an "assault weapon," but the military doesn't name them as such. I don't think the media should either.

-- David White, Fort Worth

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