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The So-Called Assault Weapons on My Rifle Range

This young shooter is firing a Marlin 795, a .22LR semi-automatic rifle growing in popularity at Appleseed, from a standing position. According to the language in gun bills in Illinois, New York, and Washington, D.C., this is an "assault weapon."

Despite breathless claims that "semi-automatics are only used for killing," I'd estimate that 90%-95% of the rifles brought to Appleseed's marksmanship training are semi-automatic rifles equipped with detachable magazines of ten rounds or more. Yes, the fastest growing marksmanship training program in the nation uses firearms that politicians are calling "assault weapons."

Let that sink in for a moment.

Could it be that politicians are lying about what constitutes an assault weapon, and what they are used for?

Ruger 10/22s are the most dominant .22LR rifle on the firing line, used with either 10-round or 25-round Ruger factory magazines. Marlin 795s (like the one pictured above) are growing in popularity due to their accuracy and relatively low cost. Mossberg 702s, another semi-automatic with a detachable magazine, are also very popular.

Of course, not all Appleseed shooters use rimfire rifles, and among centerfire rifle shooters, there are clear favorites.