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Battle rifle (as per definition stated earlier), toss up to me between M-1 Garand and it's offspring the M-14.

Assualt rifle the M-16A2

now if i had to chose one of the three above to carry into combat as a standard infantry troop, I'd pick the M-16A2. three things: it's lighter, it's More ergonomic for use Eg. the safety, mag release, ect. are placed so as to ease and speed their use under stress., and lastly you can haul a considerably larger store of ammo for the same weight consideration.
Say what you will of the gun. it's Designer was a genius. all the M-16's problems came to be AFTER it's development left Eugene stoner's hands, (the deletion of the chome barrel liner, Colt's decision to market the rifle to the army as self-cleaning, and the decision of the army to use the old slower burning Ball powder) even with as many nay-sayers as it's had since it's origins, it is STILL in service and is the longest serving US issue longarm.
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