A battle rifle is a military service rifle that fires a full-power rifle cartridge, such as 7.62×51mm NATO, 7.62×54mmR, 7.92x57mm Mauser, .303 British, or .30-06 Springfield. When compared with assault rifles and their intermediate cartridges, the higher-caliber rounds provide greater power and range, though they have greater weight and produce stronger recoil, making them less than ideal for fully automatic fire.
The designation of battle rifle is usually given to post-World War II select fire rifles such as the FN FAL, the M14, BM59, H&K G3, SIG 510, AR-10, or CETME rifle. This term may also describe older military full-powered semi-automatic rifles such as the M1 Garand, the MAS-49 and the FN-49.
The term "battle rifle" was created largely out of a need to better differentiate the somewhat lower-power assault rifles (e.g. StG-44, AK-47 and M16) from full-powered automatic rifles (e.g. FN FAL, M14 rifle and H&K G3) as both classes of firearms look similar and share many of the same features such as pistol grips and having separate upper and lower receivers. Before the 1990s, the term was not well defined and was used as a general description for all types of military rifles.
- Charles Karwan (December 1999), "Military Guns Of The Century", Guns Magazine, archived from the original on 2012-07-12
- Tilstra, Russell C. (21 March 2014). The Battle Rifle: Development and Use Since World War II. McFarland. pp. 2–6. ISBN 978-1-4766-1564-6.
- Taylor, Chuck (1996). Fighting Rifle. Boulder, Colorado: Paladin Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-87364-297-2.
- Zabecki, David T. (28 October 2014). Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History [4 volumes]: 400 Years of Military History. ABC-CLIO. p. 644. ISBN 978-1-59884-981-3.
Since World War II, Battle Rifle is the term given to standard infantry weapons that fire full-sized rifle cartridges in either semiautomatic or automatic mode.
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