Originally Posted by greghirst
I understand your logic but who is the authority as to what is "correct"? Ian Hogg?
No, it certainly isn't Ian Hogg. I think Jack might think so. He obviously thought Ian Hogg was an authority when he was name-dropping. Too funny.
Picking the highest authority on something is very difficult. After all, any authority, no matter the extent of his knowledge and experience, is not going to know it all. All authorities are also human, so they are subject to human mistakes.
I don't know who the highest firearms authority is, but two I really like are Jeff Cooper and Peter Kokalis. I really like Cooper as a general shooting authority and Kokalis for things about military weapons and their history and design. Edward Ezell is another good writer on military weapons. All three have made errors. Lots of them. But they are very high in my book.
Agreed. It's not cut and dried. I was saying to Jack that weapons classification is a full of exceptions and inconsistencies, which is why I think his approach to rifle power (minimum bore size and velocity) is basically a joke.
It's pretty much impossible to define exactly what a rifle is or a carbine is. For almost every rule or system of classification, no matter how intricately crafted, there are exceptions. Trying to come up with a perfect definition of a rifle, or trying to come with a minimum bore diameter and velocity for a "rifle cartridge" are basically a joke. Just thinking this is possible is a joke.
That's why judgment is required. People like black-and-white rules because then they don't have to exercise their judgment. That, or they don't have any judgment. But I think the better approach is to examine a weapon carefully and exercise judgment as to where that weapon should be classified. Some weapons like the .30-30 lever action or M16 or M1 carbine will fit easily into the classic defnition of a carbine. Other weapons will not and judgment will be required to classify them.
I read that guy's definitions and they're not horribly bad or anything, but they're not even close to authoritative. For example, let's take a look at his definition of an "infantry rifle":
"Infantry rifle: Long gun, medium to high-power cartridge, either bolt-action or semi-automatic, multiple-shot, Fed by either internal magazines loaded by stripper clips, or inserted exterior magazines. Primarily used by infantry troops."
This definition is workable. It's not horrible. But look how he omits the part about a rifled bore. This is a glaring oversight and shows this guy to be a total rookie. A sine qua non
of a rifle is a rifled bore. To show how much importance this omission has, let's use the HK CAWS shotgun here as an example and show how it fits every element of this guy's definition of an infantry rifle.
Long gun: The CAWS is a long gun. It is fired from the shoulder using two hands.
Medium- to high-power cartridge: The CAWS fires a 12-gauge. I think the 12-gauge classifies as a high-power cartridge and it's undoubtedly a medium-power cartridge. Note that this definition is not limited to weapons projecting a single missile with each discharge and concerns only the power level of the chambered cartridge. Also, his omission of a rifled bore requirement makes firing shot through the bore perfectly reasonable and not anomalous.
Bolt-action or semi-automatic: The CAWS is a self-loader. There are both self-loading and select-fire versions of the CAWS in existence. But let's look at the self-loading version here. This version is semi-auto only and not capable of full-auto fire.
Multiple-shot: The CAWS is a repeater.
Fed by internal magazine loaded with clips or by detachable magazine: The CAWS is fed via detachable magazines.
Primarily used by infantry troops: The CAWS is designed for military use and used primarily by infantry troops.
Every one of this guy's elements for what constitutes a battle rifle is satisfied here, but what we have is clearly not a rifle. It's clearly a shotgun. The CAWS has a smooth bore. It fires multiple missiles with every discharge. It's clearly a shotgun and not a rifle.
Why is it that the CAWS fits into his definition of a battle rifle? Because this guy left out the essential element of a rifled bore. Again, a rifled bore is the sine qua non
of a rifle. It's what separates the rifle from the musket, not the full-length forend as Jack believes.
Another thing wrong with his definition is that he limits the action types to "either bolt-action or semi-automatic". LOL. Note that he doesn't say "generally bolt-action or semi-automatic". He uses "either", meaning one or the other. I have never believed a rifle had to be a bolt-action or semi-automatic to a battle rifle. For example, check out this Russian-contract 1895 Winchester:
This guy could be talking about post-WW2 weapons. That's cool if he wants to do that. But then he includes the Springfield and Enfield in his definition of a battle rifle. If he wants to include the Springfield and Enfield, that's great. But then by definition he leaves out the Russian-contract 1895 because his definition is limited either to bolts or semi-autos. Is there any practical difference among the Springfield, Enfield, Mauser G98, and Russian 1895 in rifle performance or utility or rate of fire or whatever? No.
Also left out of his definition of a battle rifle is the G3, since the G3 is a select-fire weapon while his definition is limited only to bolts and semi-autos. All select-fire battle rifles like the G3, StG57, FG42, and AR10 are thereby eliminated from his definition of a battle rifle. Surely, these phase III battle rifles do not fit into this guy's definition of "assault rifle" because they are all full-power weapons and do not fire what he terms "medium-power" cartridges. And they don't fit into his definition of an "infantry rifle" either because they are select fire. Where do they go then into his system of classification? They don't go anywhere.
So I think it's odd that he even mentions action type when the action type does not make or break the definition of a battle rifle, and then he omits the rifled bore, when the rifled bore is an essential characteristic of any
rifle, let alone a battle rifle.
I also crack up his classifying the SKS as a rifle but the AK47 as an assault rifle. Is there any practical difference between these two weapons? Sure, the AK47 is fed via a detachable magazine. But that's about it. The two weapons are identical in power, have the same range, and fit the same tactical niche. I can't help but think he's ignorant of this, and he classifies the SKS as a battle rifle because it happens to "look" like a rifle. Note that every example he lists has a traditional rifle buttstock configuration instead of a pistol grip and a stock composed of wood instead of a synthetic. I don't think this is a coincidence. If I were to ask him to fit the G3 into his system of classification, I can't help but think he would pull a Jack and put the G3 into the "assault rifle" category even though it doesn't fit his own definition of an "assault rifle".
He also includes the M1 carbine into his definition of a battle rifle, right beside the Garand and the M14, which is basically a joke. The glaring difference in power and range make classifying these three weapons together in a single category ridiculous. Note that he classifies the M2 carbine as a submachinegun, which is equally hilarious.
I can't help but think he was fooled by the similar appearances of the M1 carbine, Garand, and M14, so he classified all three as "infantry rifles". Or, he may have put the M1 carbine into the "rifle" category because it didn't his "assault rifle" category, because the M1 carbine is not generally a select-fire weapon. Who knows with this guy. Anything is possible with him.
I agree that weapons classification is a difficult thing, but this guy isn't even close.