EDIT: Several readers have responded remarking specifically about the AR-15 genre of rifles. I don't know if they didn't read the whole OP, but this post/thread is about semi-automatic rifles in general, and the AR-15 is but one form of them, albeit, apparently, the most popular one. I've not in the main post below singled out the AR-15 genre of semi-automatic rifles.Edit end. I'm not a hunter or target shooter, though I have on occasion fired a rifle at a stationary target. That said, it seems to me that the only legitimate civilian uses of rifles are for sport -- hunting and target shooting. Perhaps, however, that's an errant predicate, but barring a handful of exceptional circumstances, it doesn't seem to me seem so; thus I'm baffled at the existential fascination gun enthusiasts have with semi-automatic rifles. Over the past few days and in an effort to challenge my own perception that there is no sound/cogent basis for demanding a semi-automatic rifle for target shooting or game hunting, I've plumbed the Internet seeking input on whether there be any hunting or target shooting sports for which an automatic rifle is necessary or even militated for. So far, I have yet to find one. What have I found? Well, this: Gun recommendations for hunters from multiple sources --> Of them only four recommended a semi-automatic rifle of any sort, and on each list that included a semi-automatic (semi), only one of the rifles recommended is a semi. Among the semis recommended only one was an AR-15-style semi. (I note this only because of what appears to be the AR-15's overwhelming popularity compared to it's incidence of being recommended. For the purpose of this thread, however, that matters not; for the purpose of this discussion, a semi is a semi.) Outdoor Life -- This one recommended an AR-15-style semi. Game and Fish Field and Stream Sub $1000 options American Whitetail -- This one recommended a BAR carbine semi (circa 1967 and, presumably, later) Grand View Outdoors I Like Big Guns and I Cannot Lie: Best Big Bore Rifles - Pew Pew Tactical You Can Hunt Any Animal in the World with Just These 4 Guns The Best Big Game Rifles of All Time - Petersen's Hunting -- This reviewer recommended the Remington Model 74/7400/750. The 20 Best Elk Hunting Rifles Ever Made -- This revier recommended the Browning BAR MK. II Safari Grade .338 (BAR Mark II Safari with BOSS) In light of the Olympics, I checked to see what sort of guns biathletes (the biathlon apparently is the #1 televised winer sport in Europe) use. They use guns that roughly look something like an AR-15, but that are yet not semis. That informed me that a rifle can look "cool" (if that be what describes how gun enthusiasts describe the visage of AR-15-style rifles) and not be a semi. It also informed me that, inasmuch as winning at the biathlon is a function of time, firing accurately matters because receives a time deduction for a missed target. That, absent the competitive elements and factors, strikes me as about what matters for hunting game. This part of my inquiry also made me think that it may be that a bolt action rifle, rather than a semi, is used in biathlon because in part perhaps they're more accurate (? -- I don't know...it seems as though there really shouldn't be any difference in that regard, but maybe there is....). Given the above described question about accuracy, I sought an answer to it. Turns out that there is an ongoing debate about exactly that. As the Moirae would have it, there is a multiplicity of factors that affect accuracy. From my high level reading about it, seems to me that which is more accurate depends heavily on situational factors and factors intrinsic to the rifle itself, but in the main a bolt action rifle is considered more accurate. 6 Reasons Why AR Guys Need a Bolt-Action - Shooting Times Long Range Shooting with a Semi Auto - AccuracyTech -- This writer's analysis focues on a genre of rifles referred to as "AR10s." Best Sniper & Precision Rifle for Beginners  - Pew Pew Tactical How to Hit a 1,000-Yard Target with a $500 Rifle 12 Next-Gen Precision Rifles For Long-Range Shooting -- Finally, I came by this editorial. It lists multiple sems and multiple bolt action rifles. Best .308 Rifle Reviews - Best Target Rifle Guide - Reviewster -- This revier lists quite a few rifles and expounds on three, two of which are semis. So what did the inquiry above lead me to think?  Well, pretty much what I thought before I undertook it: what the hell is the fascination with semis? It seems very clear to me that for hunting and target shooting a semi isn't at all necessary, though it's also clear that semis facilitate follow-up shots if such is needed. All the same, assuming one is is a fair marksman and has in one's sights a single target, a "manual" rifle of some sort will get the job done very effectively for any medium to large game. Why was I interested in trying to make some sense of just what gives rise to the fascination with semis? Quite simply, it's because in my recollection, all the unlawful rifle users of recent times have used a semi.  That suggests to me that if there is to be ban, it needs to be a ban of semis, not so-called assault rifles. It also seems to me that if the tactical styling of "next gen" rifles is what drives sales to some consumers, fine. I'm sure that look can be implemented without semi-automatic functionality. At the end of the day several things strike me as legitimate concerns: People do have a right to own guns. While the gun doesn't leap off a shelf or rack and go out shooting people, it's clear that people who use rifles to shoot others -- be they shooting single targets as the D.C. Sniper did or shooting indiscriminately at people -- preponderantly choose to do so using semis. For most of those rifle gunmen, it's very clear that the rate of fire has had a material impact on the quantity of people whom the shooters killed and/or injured. Hunting is a legitimate sporting pursuit and nobody should be denied the ability to enjoy it. Target shooting is a legitimate sporting pursuit and nobody should be denied the ability to enjoy it. Given the body of available germane information about all sorts of things -- soundly performed psychological research findings, soundly performed sociological research findings, extant limitations on future findings in either discipline, consumer behavior, guns themselves and their various capabilities, fitness for a purpose, extant laws, the nature and extent of law enforcement, the nature and extent of policy solution actions that can be taken, etc. -- it seems to me that rifle enthusiasts are going to have to make or face some sort of concessions on the nature of rifle availability. Access to semis may be among them, too it may not. Given the body of available germane information about all sorts of things -- [same list as above] -- it seems to me that gun control advocates are going to have to make or face some sort of concessions on the nature of rifle restrictions. Simply banning all rifles is not an option. Mass shooters don't much seem to use handguns. (This discussion does not include handguns and it does not construe "semis" as handguns.) In light of those concerns, it seems to me that declaring semis to have the same status as fully automatic rifles may be one of the viable means and modes of established a basis by which we can reduce deaths an injuries caused by unlawful users of rifles. Note to Members who are in the "no, no, no" camp as go access and/or gun reporting: You need not post in this thread because I am well aware of your stance and I know you exist. We all are and do. This thread is not about how many responses it may generate and I'm not canvassing to see what views are most popular here. Note: Though I did encounter some coverage given to shotguns, I didn't see much. I inferred from that that either bird hunting isn't especially popular in the U.S. or just about shotgun, roughly speaking, will do as goes bird hunting, the key being the size of the shot one uses more so than the shotgun. I don't really know or care, right now, which of those, if either, be so. It was just a ancillary thought that crossed my mind. I'm thinking back as far as the D.C. sniper days. I have not checked to see if shooters prior to that used semis or didn't use them. I also have relied only on my memory as goes what weapons rifle-murderers used/fired to kill folks. This is flat-out bizarre. -- Based on FBI Uniform Crime Report data, in any given year between 2006 to 2011 (inclusive), rifles and shotguns outstrip handguns in terms of having been used to commit murder; however, over the period as a whole, handguns overwhelming outstrip rifles. I'm sure there must be an explanation for that strange happenstance, but I don't at this juncture know what it is. It could be that the site that compiled and graphically reported the data goofed somewhere. A "goof" certainly seems plausible given that the FBI's data about victims of rifle and handgun shootings from 2010 to 2014 presents a very different picture. Be that as it may, it's all too damn many people being unlawfully shot and killed, regardless of the weapon, as far as I'm concerned. That said, this post/thread is about rifles.