19 Sep 98, Saturday, 7:59AM

Military vs commercial rifles:

As you know, I recommend students bring military rifles to our Rifle Classes. We typically see the AR-15, M1-A, FN/FAL, Garand, Galil, SKS, Kalashnikov, Mini-14, H&K, and AUG to name the most popular. However, we also see lever actions and commercial (non-military) autoloaders and pump-action rifles.

While any of the above may be suitable for most defensive situations, rifles designed for military use have one substantial advantage over commercial rifles, an advantage which needs to be taken into consideration by all professional gunmen: RIFLES CONCEIVED AND MANUFACTURED FOR MILITARY USE ARE DESIGNED TO FUNCTION HOT. That is, when these rifles heat up during high-volume exercises, they keep right on operating normally. By contrast, commercial rifles tend to bind up and subsequently stop functioning during the same kind of exercise. Commercial rifles were never designed for high-volume fire, and they thus typically do not tolerate heat build-up well. We have seen many lever guns and pumps go down when they got hot.

The foregoing does not apply to shotguns, since they do not get nearly as hot as rifles. In high-volume exercises, most commercial shotguns do pretty well.

When buying a rifle for defensive purposes, it’s something to consider.