Originally Posted by Aries Walker
Okay, I'll bite.
1. The pistol grip changes the way a rifleman holds the weapon. Without it, the stock rests on the palm, appealing more to the sportsman or hunter who will line the sights up to his eyes. With it, the weapon is more easily held at the waist, a stance used more often by soldiers. Hence its status as an identifier of assault weapons.
2. Yes, let's face it - they're scarier looking. I'm sure there are many gun control advocates that would ban all of Grandpop's hunting rifles with the maple wood stock, if given the chance, but they can only get the largely apathetic general public to get excited about the sleek black ones.
No soldier in our modern military is being taught to shoot from the hip, you have no real accuracy that way. The only person I have ever seen use that possition is the Gunny and it was only for full auto.
The pistol grip is a matter of preference, some like it and some don't. I personally like it because it puts my wrist in less of a twist and I get a better feel for the trigger, since accuracy is all about sight picture and trigger pull.
But you're missing the point, a pistol grip doesn't change how a semi-automatic rifle functions.