I hadn’t thought much about it or researched it, but I stumbled on this Inquisitr article where the weapon used in the Dallas shootings was an SKS, not an AR-15. The New York Times also mentioned this. Dean Weingarten writing for Ammoland spent a good deal of time on this.
The rifle used by the Dallas sniper was an antique East Block rifle designed in the 1940’s, an SKS.
The SKS was considered obsolete by the Soviet military in 1956, 60 years ago.
It is a simple semi-automatic design that does not use detachable magazines and holds 10 rounds of ammunition. It uses the intermediate powered 7.62 x 39 cartridge, about as powerful as the .30-30, a common deer cartridge in the United States for a hundred and twenty years. From nbcnews.com:
Dallas police said Friday that detectives found bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and “a personal journal of combat tactics” in Johnson’s home.
Johnson used a SKS rifle and a handgun in the attack, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News.
The rifle has a wood stock, no pistol grip, is not black, does not have a muzzle brake, or a threaded barrel. None of those things change the basic effectiveness of the rifle very much.
It is not the rifle, but the man that makes the greatest difference. Any hunting rifle could have been used to about the same effect by the Dallas sniper. Designs from the 1880’s would have been as effective for the tactics employed.
The boogeyman of bad things, that awful “black gun,” didn’t play a role in this event at all. That’s why Evan Osnos writing at The New Yorker has written this.
After the slaughter in Orlando, in an effort to defuse attempts to impose stricter regulations on AR-15s, the military-style rifle used in San Bernardino and many other attacks, gun-rights advocates fixated on the fact that the Orlando killer did not use an AR-15. (He used a similar military-style rifle, produced by Sig Sauer.) It was, in retrospect, an especially shortsighted strategy: by drawing attention to the broader range of weapons that are widely available to civilians and capable of inflicting mass harm, gun-rights advocates inadvertently aided their opponents by making it newly evident that banning AR-15s alone would not solve the problem.
What to the gun rights advocate seems obvious, i.e., that banning certain guns with certain features won’t solve a much deeper problem, is to the collectivist evidence that everything needs to be banned. We’ve seen it before at Daily Kos when the writer waxed honest and forthright, even if unintentionally.
The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.
Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it. The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.
Leaving aside the discussion over the effectiveness of certain kinds of weapons for certain kinds of things, and leaving aside the point for a moment that they can’t have our AR-15s (we won’t let them be taken), the point is that conversations with collectivists over increments here and compromises there exactly follows their overall strategy – death by a thousand cuts. They don’t just want our AR-15s, while leaving those Fudds who have over-under shotguns for fowl hunting alone to hunt a few times a year, or those backwoods boys to use their scoped bolt action rifles for deer hunting. They want everything, and just occasionally they admit it.
UPDATE: See the comments where it appears this information might be incorrect, it might be an AK-74. Also, there is an interesting discussion in the comments at Say Uncle.