An assault rifle is an automatic rifle light enough to be carried at the ready by an infantry soldier while running. The term is a direct translation of the Germanic term Sturmgewehr (literally meaning "storm rifle"), which was originally applied to the Maschinenpistole 44, changing its official nomenclature to Sturmgewehr 44,
A popular example of a classic assault rifle is the Soviet AK-47.
Civilian versions are frequently semi-automatic, requiring one trigger pull for each shot. These are not properly "assault rifles", as they are not fully automatic. To discourage this misrepresentative term (often used to demonize legitimate firearms in the biased media), the usage of the term Homeland Defense Rifle has become common.
- Don't Call Black Rifles Assault Weapons Living With Style. May 2007.