Battle Rifles are full-powered, full-length rifles that use either an integral or detachable magazine. Battle Rifles are available to the Assault, Support and Recon classes.
A battle rifle has two main definitions that exist, given the term has existed prior to World War 2 with different contexts. The term originated from the United States.
The post-WW2 definition of a battle rifle - the one used in present day and most commonly used - is: a full-length rifle that fires a full-powered rifle cartridge (e.g. 7.62x51mm NATO), is capable of select-fire and is magazine fed. The term was used to differentiate rifles that fired intermediate rifle cartridges such as the German Sturmgewehr 44 from weapons that fired full-powered rifle rounds. Examples of such battle rifles are the Belgian FN FAL. However, the term can also be applied to weapons made before 1945, such as the German FG 42, Soviet AVS-36 and American M1918 BAR.
Prior to 1945, the term was mainly used to describe weapons such as the American M1 Garand, German Gewehr 43 and Soviet SVT-40, with the definition roughly being: an automatic full-length rifle that fires a full-powered cartridge. This definition is still used today, mostly by those in the United States. The term "battle rifle" was also used often as a synonym to a service or infantry-rifle before the 20th century.
"Battle rifle" as a term is not commonly used throughout the world. European nations tend to classify weapons that would fall under the ‘battle rifle’ moniker as assault rifles, such as Norway or Austria. The term is mainly used in western, English-speaking nations. Most nations do not use the term officially in their military, although due to popular culture, the term has become more well-known in other countries in both their armed forces and members of the public. The U.S still remains the predominant user of the term.
During the late 1960s and onwards, the concept of the assault rifle became far more appealing to armed forces; double the ammunition for the same weight, higher velocity and less recoil were such factors. Battle rifles such as the M14 and FAL gradually were withdrawn from service during the late 20th century in favor of rifles such as the M16, Steyr AUG and L85. However, battle rifles remained in service in limited capacities or remained the standard-issue rifle, such as the German G3 that remained in service with the West German Bundeswher up until the early 1990s. Battle rifles are still in large usage today, however. The Belgian FN SCAR-H made by FN Herstal - a modern successor to the older FAL, the American Mk 14 - a modernized M14 or the German HK417 see front-line service as either an alternative to the usual assault rifle, offering more stopping power, or as Designated Marksman Rifles.
Much like Light Machine Guns, the traits and attributes of a battle rifle have them perform best in mid-range combat. Like LMGs, Battle Rifles deal high damage, have a much more slow and controllable Rate of Fire (RoF) and posses an extremely high recoil compared to other weapons. Unlike LMGs, Battle Rifles possess a very low amount of ammunition, but mostly have a quicker reload time and lighter weight, making them much more capable on standing on their own compared to the LMG, which acts more as a support weapon.
Usage & Tactics
While the large ammunition pool of the LMG allows for continuous firing and mistakes, Battle Rifles have a much lower amount of ammunition, making accuracy and trigger control extremely important when using these weapons. Also, since the low ammunition pool will force anyone using these weapons to reload often, it is much more preferable to fight on one-on-one engagements with Battle Rifles, rather than engaging with multiple enemies than is expected from LMGs. Still, due to a low RoF but high damage, it is best to use this weapon in mid to long range engagements, though it is still recommended to be careful and not fire automatically unless if in Close Quarters Combat (CQC) or in closer mid-range combat.
With the exception of the FAL 50.00, Battle Rifles do not possess any alternative aiming mode, making visual and gun recoil much more challenging to work with. As a side note, the lack of a more open aiming mode further disallows Battle Rifles to perform favorably in CQC. Still, as recoil can be negated to an extent with specific attachments, and skilled trigger control will be used more in longer engagements when using these weapons, one can easily work around Battle Rifle recoil.
While a lot like Light Machine Guns, Battle Rifles possess special characteristics that differentiate themselves from LMGs and give them a completely different usage. Battle Rifles, with their high damage and controllable RoF, these weapons outperform in mid to long range combat than most other weapons. While possessing a low ammunition pool and rather lengthy reload, Battle Rifles can still hold better by themselves than LMGs, mostly due to a quicker reload time; it is still recommended to engage in one-on-one engagements due to make up for the lack of ammunition thereof. Just be careful not to try engage in CQC.