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Assault rifles replace combat rifles in Borderlands 2. Their large magazines and fair accuracy make them most suited to sustained medium-range combat. They tend to have slower rates of fire compared to SMGs but greater damage; overall, most rifles tend to be on the losing end of this comparison. Among common weapons, they are perhaps the most varied of the weapon types in behavior due to their selection of manufacturers and special barrels, particularly the Torgue barrel, which gives a unique explosive effect depending on the body manufacturer, the Vladof Spinigun barrel, which spins up to a great rate of fire, and the Jakobs barrel, which has heightened accuracy. It is primarily with these barrels that common Assault Rifles can find a niche where they can fill a role apart from the SMG.
Borderlands 2 weapons are titled according to body and barrel manufacturer.
Jakobs, Torgue, and Vladof Spinigun barrels are only available on weapons of at least Green rarity.
Bandit assault rifles often boast three-digit magazine sizes. Their effect on the target is generally underwhelming, however, due to their poor accuracy, damage and long reload times.
Dahl assault rifles deal much more damage than their SMGs, making them excellent burst weapons. Normal fire, however, leaves something to be desired. The Carbine sports a five-round burst, as opposed to three for the Bandit, Jakobs, and standard Vladof barrels, while the Spinigun-barreled Minigun fires a triple-triple shot burst for a total of nine bullets per trigger pull.
Jakobs assault rifles occupy an uncomfortable space between a sniping and a frontline weapon. They don't have the damage or accuracy to compete with true sniper rifles in that role and their heavy recoil penalizes rapid-fire. On the other hand, their small magazine size makes them unimpressive in direct combat. Only with the Torgue or Spinigun barrels do they become competitive, the former (Cannons) being excellent against enemies with physical shields such as BUL and PWR Loaders, and the latter (Gatling Guns) delivering three bullets at a time with good accuracy.
Torgue assault rifles deal massive bonus explosive damage, making them the winners in raw damage. This is especially true with the Spinigun barrel (Spitters). It can be hard to hit fast enemies with their slower projectiles, however.
Vladof assault rifles are a step up from Bandit rifles, but with higher accuracy. Vladof rifles are solid and useful in almost all situations. However, they have horrific levels of ammo consumption compared to other manufacturers.