Dec 16 Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza used a
weapon in the Bushmaster AR-15 family to shoot all of his
victims at a school in a rampage that killed 20 young children
and six staff members on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, police
said. He then used a handgun to kill himself.
Some facts about Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapons:
* An automatic version of the weapon is used by U.S.
soldiers in Afghanistan and some police forces in the United
States. The M-16 is the rifle version of the military weapon,
and the M-4 is the carbine, a weapon with a shorter barrel.
* A similar civilian model was used in 2002 by the
Washington-area snipers John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo,
who shot randomly at victims during a three-week spree that
killed 10 people.
* The weapon is highly modular, meaning a user can change
the barrel, the stock, the magazine and other features, easily
changing a weapon's characteristics such as weight, capacity,
range and accuracy.
* The AR in "AR-15" rifle stands for ArmaLite, the company
that developed it in the 1950s, and not for "assault rifle" or
"automatic rifle, according to the National Shooting Sports
* Capacity: 30 rounds in a standard military magazine.
* Suggested retail price of the Bushmaster .223 caliber M4
carbine: $1,197 to $1,391.
* National retailers selling assault weapons include:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, where it is for sale in a small
percentage of stores; Dick's Sporting Goods Inc, and
* Civilian uses: A semi-automatic version of the weapon is
popular in competitions and firing ranges. Can also be used for
* Connecticut law: The state requires rifles and shotguns to
be registered but requires no permit to purchase them, according
to the National Rifle Association's Institute of Legislative
Automatic vs semi-automatic:
Automatic means all multiple rounds can be discharged by
keeping a finger on the trigger. Semi-automatic means one bullet
per trigger pull.
Carbine vs rifle:
A carbine is a shorter-barreled rifle, making it lighter and
easier to handle in tight spaces. That also makes a carbine less
accurate for long-range shooting. Both have a grooved barrel
that affects the spin that makes it more precise.
When the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004,
Bushmaster resumed offering previously illegal features on
products for the consumer market such as interchangeable flash
suppressors, bayonet lugs, collapsing telescopic stocks and
The Bushmaster company:
Founded in 1973, bought by private equity group Cerberus
Capital Management in April 2006. Now part of Cerberus' Freedom
Group, which also owns Remington.
Bushmaster firearms are used by the military of more than 50
countries, according to its website.
Bushmaster products are typically less expensive than those
of Remington and Colt. Bushmaster is the market leaderhas the
biggest market share
Headquarters: Madison, North Carolina.
Manufacturing facility: Ilion, New York.