Normally I wouldn't bother, but as you seemed reasonable in your responses to some silly questions I thought that I'd let you have this one: neither the M1 Garand or M1 carbine are Assault rifles as the definition is now understood to mean. They are considered by the military as Main Battle Rifles (MBRs) as they do not employ an external magazine and use full-power cartridges. So the German FG42 was NOT an assault rifle by this definition as it used the full-size 7.92 round while the STG44 was, using as it did the 7.92 Kurz round. The German Gew43, likewise, was an MBR owing to its full-size round even though it used an external mag. As such I can't think of anything that saw production that predates the Stg44 as the original assault rifle. It is interesting to note that no one in the know ever referred to the FN FAL or G3 as "Assault rifles" either.