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Sporting Rifles

Josh Sugarmann is all butthurt because rifles that were once called sporting rifles are now being called that again. Seems he’s upset that his made-up term Assault Weapons isn’t the moniker that gun companies use, so he now calls them assault rifles (which they’re not):

What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of “modern sporting rifles”? Well, actually you have–except you probably know them as assault rifles. “Modern sporting rifle” is just the gun industry’s latest rebranding effort by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) for lethal, high-capacity, military-bred firearms like the AR-15 and AK-47. A prior industry-wide effort to rechristen assault weapons “black guns” never took hold. So they’re now “modern sporting rifles.”

They’ve been called sporting rifles for a long time. After all, the rifles sold to civilians are not the same as those used by the military because the military uses machine guns. Companies would sell a gun that looked like the military versions except they were semi-automatic. And those companies would refer to them as sporters or sporting rifles. Such as this Colt Sporter.

8 Responses to “Sporting Rifles”

  1. JKB Says:

    …lethal, high-capacity, military-bred firearms…

    lethal – I like that in a gun.
    high-capacity – and that matters how?
    military-bred – gives a whole new meaning to son of a gun.

    It’s true that sporting rifle is newish. I’ve always known them as hunting rifles. I would argue that unless it has a short barrel, it is useful as a hunting rifle, even select fire.

  2. Thirdpower Says:

    I have a Colt SP-1. “Sp”. Sporter. Started manufacture in 1964.

  3. Sam Says:

    here’s a pic of a colt sporter ad from the early 70s

  4. Sailorcurt Says:

    What’s more, back in the day, ACTUAL military rifles were reconfigured to better suit the aesthetic tastes and desires of the hunting community…resulting in a rifle that was said to have been “sporterized”.

    Of course, I’d bet that most of the people who did that to beautiful Mausers and 1903’s probably regret it now.

    As you said, civilianized versions of military rifles have been referred to as sporting rifles for quite some time…way before the anti-gunners made up their pet scare term “assault weapons”.

  5. Kristopher Says:

    Ah, poor Josh … show us on this doll where the big bad gun industry touched you.

  6. Lyle Says:

    Most if not all popular firearms are “military bred”. Probably because militaries use firearms and they care about performance and reliability (but I could be mistaken).

    Your 1898 Mauser, your old lever action rifle, and your Colt Peacemaker (Single Action Army) are all “military bred” as is your great, great, great, great granddaddy’s flintlock Longrifle. So?

    And for you antis (who are as a rule ignorant of firearms history and American history) there was a time when Congress went out of their way to promote the sale of surplus military arms to civilians as a way of improving national security. It’s called the Civilian Marksmanship Program and it was designed to promote training by offering military arms at a low price to people who could demonstrate that they’d been in organized shooting events.

    Millions of people who’d acquired these CMP arms wanted to mount scopes on them, remove bayonet lugs, shorten the stock forends, etc, and these were the “sporter” versions.

  7. JD Says:

    I love how almost all the comments on Sugermann’s article are pro-gun and prove his stupidity incorrect.

  8. Ron W Says:

    “Assault” is a military tactic for which full-auto weapons are used or it is a criminal act. Sometimes both terms are true of one act.

    Semi-auto rifles are useful in defending against either–which probably explains why they want to mislabel them as “assault” rifles to make them illegal to CITIZENS.

    Semi-auto rifles should be called anti-assault rifles.