Experts explain mechanics of AR-type rifles used in recent mass - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Experts explain mechanics of AR-type rifles used in recent mass shootings

Following the Baton Rouge shooting, the term "assault rifle" is once again making headlines, as an AR-styled rifle was used in the slayings. The same style gun was used in other recent massacres like the Orlando mass shooting.

However, many local gun owners and experts say the term assault rifle is often used incorrectly.

"The theory is the same, magazine in, cycle one time, fire a shot, release the trigger, fire another shot. The mechanism of the firearm itself ejects the case, chambers another," said Columbus gun expert and Shooters of Columbus owner Jon McMullen.

Local gun experts say an AR-type rifle is like a handgun in theory, just with other appendages.

As we hear about AR-type of rifles being used in more and more tragedies, it's important to note that AR doesn't stand for assault rifle, it stands for ArmaLite Rifle; and according to Google's definition of an assault rifle the AR-15 would not fall into that category.

Google describes an assault rifle as a rapid-fire, magazine fed, automatic rifle. An AR-15 is semi-automatic and auto-loading, "and auto-loading is not the same as automatic, again one pull of the trigger, one bullet fired," said McMullen, unlike an automatic that can spray multiple bullets as the trigger is held.

"So if you pull the trigger, the one shot would fire, the action would cycle on it's own. I'd have to release and pull the trigger again," said McMullen.

Another difference comes in the amount of rounds fired. According to Assault Weapons Info, an automatic gun commonly called a machine gun can fire thousands of rounds per minute, whereas the AR can average about 60.

Many activists say the 60 rounds a minute capability of the AR type of rifles is still too much, despite categorization, calling for stricter access to the weapon type that was used in recent shootings.

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