The rifle is an iconic weapon with a long and illustrious history. Rifles have come to dominate the battlefield since their introduction, despite their obscure origins. Assault rifles are a subset of these firearms.
What is an Assault Rifle?
An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses intermediate cartridges and has a removable magazine. During WWII, assault weapons saw widespread use and production expansion. Assault rifles didn’t really take off until the introduction of the German StG 44, a refinement of the Mkb 42. NATO nations used battle rifles after WWII, but the development of the M16 rifle during the Vietnam War drove widespread adoption of assault rifles across the alliance. By the end of the twentieth century, assault rifles had supplanted full-powered rifles and sub-machine guns as the primary weapon of choice for armies all over the world. The AK-47 and the M16 family of weapons are without a doubt the two most popular assault rifles in the world.
So, which are the world’s best assault rifles?
5. AK-47 (Russia)
The AK-47, also known as the Kalashnikov, is a gas-operated, 7.62 mm assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union around WWII. It is the first weapon in the Kalashnikov rifle (or “AK “) series. It was finished in 1947, as indicated by the number 47.
The 7.62 mm round fired by the AK has a muzzle velocity of 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s). The 7.62 mm M43 projectile has an unusual proclivity to remain intact even after making contact with bone, and it does not typically fragment when striking an opponent. The 7.62 mm cartridge causes significant injury when the bullet tumbles (yaws) in tissue, but it causes relatively minor wounding when it escapes before starting to yaw. In the absence of yaw, the M43 round may pencil through tissue with little harm.
4. Heckler & Koch G3 (Germany)
Heckler & Koch developed the G3 assault rifle in the late 1950s. The Bundeswehr adopted it in 1959 and used it until the mid-1990s when it was replaced by the G36 assault rifle. Some G3 variants are still in use by German border guards and police forces. This weapon was widely disseminated. At one point, 75 countries used it as their standard-issue assault rifle. It is still used by more than 60 countries. Variants of this weapon are still manufactured under license in some countries. The Heckler & Koch G3 is designed to fire NATO 7.62×51 mm ammunition. It runs on a roller-delayed blowback system.
Despite its age, the G3 proved to be a precise, tough, and dependable weapon. It is also simple to maintain. The German G3 is as well-known as the Russian AK-47 and the American M16. However, its popularity is dwindling as modern designs take their place.
3. Heckler & Koch G36 (Germany)
Heckler & Koch designed the G36 assault rifle to replace the G3 assault rifle in service with the Bundeswehr. The G36 has been a standard-issue infantry rifle with the German armed forces since 1995. This weapon was a huge export success. It has been exported to over 40 countries worldwide. This assault rifle is built with cutting-edge technology. This assault rifle is fed by translucent plastic 30-round box-shaped magazines. For quick reloading, two or three magazines can be clipped together. This weapon can also be used with 100-round dual drum magazines. This rifle can accept any standard NATO 5.56×45 mm magazine after some adjustments.
Overall, the G36 is a modern, light, accurate, rugged, and reliable weapon that lacks fancy bells and whistles. It is not as dependable as the AK-100 series weapons, but it more than makes up for it with its incredible precision. The G36 is also simple to operate and maintain.
2. AK-103 (Russia)
The assault rifles in the AK-100 series evolved from the AK-74M, which is widely used by the Russian Army and many other countries around the world. These assault rifles are technically similar to the legendary AK-47, but they have improved manufacturing technologies and are made of new materials.
The AK-103 is one of them. It can fire 7.62×39 mm ammunition. It is the original ammunition used by the infamous AK-47 assault rifle. It outperforms the AK-74M, which is chambered for 5.45×39 mm ammo, in terms of penetration and stopping power. There is also an AK-101 chambered for NATO 5.56×45 mm ammunition. This weapon has a significant advantage in terms of simplicity. It has a straightforward design, is made of common materials, and employs readily available machining technology. Parts can be produced with less precision. It is a low-tech weapon in terms of engineering. These rifles can be manufactured in any factory that produces steel products. It’s no surprise that Kalashnikov assault rifles are manufactured all over the world. It is also simple to maintain.
1. M16 (USA)
In the late 1950s, this weapon was designed. It was a very progressive design at the time. The US Army requested a superlight weapon. To save weight, the M16 uses a variety of lightweight materials. It replaces steel with aluminum and wood with fiberglass construction. It is also ergonomically designed. It included many never-before-seen features. It was known as the “Space Rifle” when it was first introduced.
This superior weapon performs admirably in battle, despite a few flaws. Newer models have a Picatinny-style rail and can accommodate a variety of optics and detachable accessories. It can also be equipped with an under-barrel grenade launcher. This assault rifle has been constantly improved since its introduction. Hundreds of variants of this influential weapon were created. There were approximately 8 million of these assault rifles manufactured. The M16 and its derivatives are used in over 70 countries worldwide. The US Army still uses it today in the form of an improved M16A3.
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