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An assault rifle is a rifle that has a magazine that can be removed, can be fired automatically, and fires bullets that do not have as much power as other rifles like hunting rifles or battle rifles, but have more power and penetration than pistol bullets fired by submachine guns.
The first assault rifles were used by Russia in World War I in small numbers, but the Germans were the first to use assault rifles in large numbers.
Examples of an 'assault rifle' are the Russian AK-47, the American M16 rifle and the British L85.