1. I don't think you can prove that most hunting rifles don't look like assault rifles; varmint hunting has a considerably lengthier season than big game.
2. AR-15 isn't a copy of an M16. M16, however, does derive from the AR-15.
Some are certainly semi-automatic.
They wouldn't be classified as assault rifles even without the increasingly inconsequential select fire simply because they chamber cartridges lethal outside of the typical engagement range of modern infantry. In the old days, you'd call them battle rifles.
A point. For most of their history, civilian small firearms have been military type. Your stereotypical lever action breech loader is an evolved Henry rifle. Your standard bolt action finds its heritage in the Remington-Lee 1885 and the Krag-Jorgenson.
It's not, it has a five round magazine. You don't find much in the way of single-shots outside of the sporting and enthusiast community.
Most rifles throughout history have lacked such a handle, regardless of whether or not they were used by civilians.
Same as above.
Wood used to be cheaper than metal or plastic.
No, but they do affect reliability (and in the case of the flash guard, improve visibility after firing).