Assault rifles are primary offensive weapons of modern troops. Today’s assault rifles usually have calibers ranging from 5.45mm to 7.62mm, magazine capacity of 20-30 or more rounds, selective full auto and single shot modes of fire, plus, in some models, 2 or 3 round burst mode. Effective range of fire is some 600 meters or so; effective rate of fire – up to 400-500 rounds per minute in full auto mode.
Almost all assault rifles may be equipped with bayonet, optical or Night Vision scope/sight and, some of them, with underbarrel grenade launcher or rifle grenade launcher (rifle grenades usually are put on the barrel and fired with a blank cartridge). Todays trends in assault rifle design are wide usage of hardened plastics and lightweight alloys and built-in holographic (collimator) or optical scopes with magnitfication of 1X to 4-6X.
Most of the worlds’ recent assault rifles are designed in bull-pup configuration. This means that buttplate is attached directly to the receiver and handle with the trigger placed ahead of the magazine veil. The only major countries that still stick to conventional assault rifle design are Germany (their latest G36 looks a little bit more ‘conservative’, comparing to Austrian AUG or latest Israeli Tavor), and Russia, where latest ARs are developed in both ‘classic’ (AN-94, AK-10x) and ‘bull-pup’ (Groza OC-14) styles.