I've mentioned this previously...
There are basically two definitions of an assault weapon, i.e. a political and a military definition.
The political definition is basically just anything which, on a scale of one to ten for being scary looking to demokkkrats, goes much over a six.
The real military definition is more complex. Most assume a weapon has to be at least semi-automatic and preferably automatic to quality but, in real life, that's not really necessary. In fact in real life, most people attempting to fire any military weapon in full auto mode will never hit anything with it.
What you really want and need for an assault weapon are things which work well in assault situations:
- Big enough to injure a human adversary badly enough to take him out of the battle.
- Otherwise fairly small, easy to load up with lots of ammo and carry lots of ammo around. That says small caliber; the tradeoff is that you assume you're not shooting anything past about 300 meters which is normal for most military situations. This eliminates the idea of taking 600 meter shots with an assault rifle. One guy in the squad carries something which CAN do that.
- Quick (aimed) follow on shots.
- Light, easy to carry and manipulate.
Add to that list the ideas that it would be good if the thing never jammed and were easy to clean. Add all of that up, and what I come up with is a lot different from the pictures you usually see:
These are the two rifles I'd ask you to look at:
The Israeli heavy barreled FAL rifle is basically a conversation piece for older people, way too heavy and clunky to meet the military definition of an "assault rifle"; in the Israeli army it served the dual purpose of sniper rifle and squad level light machinegun.
The little 22-magnum caliber Henry Rifle, assuming it was using the newest Hornady ammo with 45-grain bullets meets the military definition other than for lacking a detachable magazine which would be a slight modification and in fact it would surprise me if the military hasn't looked into it.
The Henry is a $330 item on Gunbroker or at BassPro or Gander Mountain.