Tactical Rifle Essentials

Marines M16A4

“MY RIFLE”  — The creed of a United States Marine

– Maj. Gen. W. H. Rupertus, USMC –


This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My rifle, without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.

I must fire my rifle true.

I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me.

I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will.

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire,

the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make.

We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life.  Thus, I will learn it as a brother.

I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel.

I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage.

I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.

We will become part of each other.  We will.

Before God I swear this creed.

My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country.

We are the masters of our enemy.

We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but Peace!



Tactical Rifle Essentials:


General Thoughts:

The rifles on these pages are by no means the only rifles that can be purchased in the United States, but many are no longer manufactured or imported. This can make finding spare parts and accessories problematic. Barring anymore threats of AWB, the rifles on this page, and their spare parts and magazines will remain readily available. As of this posting (07/13) all ammunition is in short supply, but all of these rifles use popular 5.56×45 NATO, 7.62×39 Soviet, or 7.62×51 NATO. Again, barring anymore government threats on our 2nd Amendment rights, this ammunition will once again be plentiful again in a year or so. As stated in other sections, I have nothing against other calibers, but the weapons on this page all use easy-to-access ammunition, which is an important factor when it comes to prepping, stockpiling, and creating a caliber commonality between group members.

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Rifle Parts:

Action: The group of moving parts that load, fire, and unload the rifle. Loading involves opening the action, placing a cartridge in the chamber, and then closing the action with the cartridge in place. In most rifles, opening and closing the action cocks the firing pin, making the rifle ready to be fired. Some rifles must be cocked separately. Firing takes place when the trigger is pulled to the rear. This action allows the firing pin to strike the cartridge and fir the gun. When the action is opening after firing, the used cartridge is ejected so that a new one can be loaded.

Barrel: The metal tube through which the projectile passes when the rifle is fired.

Bore: The hole in the barrel through which the projectile passes. The diameter is measured in fractions of an inch (caliber) or millimeters.

Breech: The rear of the barrel.

Butt: The rear portion of the stock.

Chamber: Located at the breech end of the barrel and is the portion into which one round of ammunition is placed for firing.

Clip: A device to hold cartridges for charging the magazine of some rifles.

Lands: The flat, raised ridges of metal standing between the rifled grooves inside the barrel. When a projectile passes through the barrel, the lands cut into the bullet to make it spin. This spinning action makes the projectile more stable and accurate in flight toward the target, similar to a well-thrown football.

Magazine: A container with a spring into which several cartridges can be placed. The two most common types are non-detachable box types located inside the bottom portion of the action, a tube type located under the barrel or in the stock, or detachable types that can be loaded and then slipped into place into the gun. The magazine uses a spring to push the unfired cartridges into the path of the bolt for loading.

Muzzle: The opening through which the projectile.

Rifling: The grooves and lands inside the barrel.

Safety: Mechanical device designed to prevent a gun from being fired accidentally. When the safety is “on” it should block the operation of the trigger, thus preventing the firearm from firing. Always remember that the safety is only a mechanical device. Never depend on it as a substitute for following the safety rules. You are the ultimate safety.

Stock: The handle by which the rifle is held and which holds the other groups together.

Trigger guard: A protective shield around the trigger that keeps the trigger from being pulled accidentally.

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