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HistoryA rifle is a firearm that has a rifled barrel. It it featured in many, many video games, from Half-Life to Time Splitters.
There are many different kinds of rifles; rifles may be bolt-action, semi-automatic, or fully automatic . Despite the centuries that the rifle has been used by armed forces, it remains a potent weapon. Unlike it's predesessor, the smoothbore musket, the rifle has a grooves cut into the inner part of the barrel. This gives the fired round a spin, similar to a thrown footbal, which gives it greater accuracy, range, and firepower. While rifiling was found at around the 17th century, it would not be until the Industrial Revolution that the Rifle became a standard issue weapon. Before machining, gun makers would spent hours making the grooves for each barrel. Machines however, do not tire and they cannot make defects.
It would not be until the 20th century that rifles left their bolt-action and muzzle loading past and advanced by leaps and bounds. Rifles like the famous M1 Garand and the SVT-40 became standard issue in many armies and they soon began replacing their old rifles. The Germans however, were the first nation to create fully automatic assault rifles. Not constrained by the slow rate of fire of rifle or the poor accuracy and power of a sub-machine gun, the MP-44 revolutionized weapons were made. The Soviets followed quickly after with their instantly famous AK-47 which has spawned hundreds of variants in countless countries. Similarly, assault rifles like the M-16 and FN-FAL became benchmarks for weapons making in the Western World. Today, most first and second world nations have armed forces equipped almost exclusively with rifled weapons.
In Video Games
Almost all video games from Shooters to Real Time Strategy games set within the 20th century and beyond have rifled firearms. The most common of these is the assault and semi-automatic rifles. Unlike other more exotic weapons, rifles are generally "standard" or "beginning game" weapons which often leads to the player discarding them for a better, more powerful weapon.