Despite modern technological advances, assault rifles remain the gold standard in warfare. The military has won countless wars thanks to these pieces.
Keep reading to see how the best military rifles worldwide perform!
The Top 10 Best Military Rifles Used in Wars Across the Globe
For most Americans, the first thing that comes to mind regarding assault rifles is the M16. They serve as the U.S. military's standard-issue infantry rifle.
The M16 superseded the M14, although the latter remains in service in many military branches.
It was introduced in the 1950s as the “space rifle.” Manufacturers initially made the M16 since the military asked for lighter, more compact pieces to bring to war.
The M14 had limited maneuverability.
With an effective firing range of 840+ yards, armor-piercing firepower, and sniper rifle-grade accuracy, the M16 outperforms any other assault rifle. We would choose this over the AK47 any day.
Galil is one of the best military assault rifles in the Middle East. The Israelis developed the Galil to combat the Arab nations that amassed AK-47 assault rifles in the 60s.
This piece combines several features from the best military rifles on the market. It has a cartridge chambered for NATO 5.56×45 mm ammunition, the automatic shooting action of Kalashnikov assault rifles, and the modified gas systems of M62 rifles.
While newer models like the X95 and TAR-21 have already replaced the Galil, this piece remains in service in 30+ countries. However, most territories worldwide restrict the use of Galil rifles.
With global forces relying on high-powered assault rifles like the AK-47, the Russian government had to counterattack. Instead of securing the same AK-47 pieces, however, they developed their rifles themselves.
Their production efforts led to the development of the AK-100 line in the early 90s, which eventually evolved into the AK-103.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-103, modeled the piece after the AK-47. He strived to recreate the exact high-power shooting mechanism while replacing obsolete, expensive gun parts.
Russian military troops claim that the newly developed AK-103 is far more reliable than any existing AK-47.
Despite the success of the AK-103, Russian manufacturers chose to keep this piece exclusive. Only 10 countries carry the AK-103, and just a portion of them have the license to manufacture these rifles locally.
4. Heckler & Koch G3
If Americans have the M16, then Germans have the Heckler & Koch G3. The G3 has served as the standard-issue infantry rifle in the German military since the 1950s.
Its shootablity and functionality are up to par with the best military rifles worldwide.
Unlike the Russians, however, Germans chose to share the G3 design with overseas forces. This piece currently exports to 40+ countries globally and remains in service in many military branches.
5. SIG SG 550
The SIG SG 550 is the standard-issue rifle of the Swiss army. It was developed in the late 80s, but Switzerland only began producing these by bulk in the 90s.
Despite how it looks, the SIG SG 550 was actually modeled after the legendary AK-47. Its selective-firing, gas-powered mechanism makes it appear different, but it utilizes the same operating system.
The SIG SG 550 was a manufacturing success for the Swiss. They have successfully exported 600,000+ pieces to more than 20 countries since its conceptualization.
6. Heckler & Koch HK416
The Heckler & Koch HK416 is another masterpiece from the German manufacturers of the original G3. It enforces the exact mechanism and operating system, but a modified M4 carbine now powers each shot.
Several U.S. and German military branches use the HK416.
The HK416 also addresses the design limitations on the previous G3. While having uniformity is crucial for military forces, forcing personnel to use the same pieces hampers efficiency and functionality.
Luckily, the HK416 now has a full-size, compact, sub-compact, and carbine variant.
7. Steyr AUG
The M16 and AK-47 were legendary, but the Steyr AUG is a masterpiece in its own right. This Austrian assault rifle drastically shifted the rifle industry in the late 70s.
Military forces worldwide were baffled at how such a compact, lightweight piece could pack so much firepower. Each round can pierce through military-grade armor.
Furthermore, the Steyr AUG is customizable. You can even attach M203 grenade launchers and magnification sights onto modern AUG models.
8. Tavor TAR-21
The Tavor TAR-21 is another world-class assault rifle from the Israelis. This selective-firing, gas-powered firearm serves as an Israeli standard-issue rifle and currently exports to 20+ countries worldwide.
Unlike preceding models, the TAR-21 focuses on dexterity. It has a compact, maneuverable frame that military personnel can utilize in tight spaces. Of course, the design changes did not compromise firepower.
9. FN SCAR
In the early 2000s, the US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) requested a new multi-caliber combat rifle, and the Belgian Fabrique Nationale responded with FN SCAR.
Unlike most of the best military rifles worldwide, the FN SCAR uses a unique design. It did not take inspiration from existing assault rifles like the AK-47, M16, or HK416. Belgium wanted to develop a one-of-a-kind rifle.
10. Bushmaster ACR 3
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The Bushmaster ACR 3 is another champion assault rifle hailing from the U.S. Unlike other pieces like the M16, however, this does not use synthetic, commercially available parts.
Its mechanism consists of the most high-end, exclusive components. While functional, this decision ultimately spiked production costs, thus making it inaccessible to many countries worldwide.
You might end up disappointed if you're in the market for the best military rifles to own since the government regulates high-powered firearms. Most states have banned assault rifles completely.
However, gun manufacturers still produce civilian equivalents of their most widely known rifles, such as the AK-47, M16, and HK416.
No, counterparts do not pack the same firepower. However, their shooting mechanism is exceptionally close to the real deal and perfectly legal in civilian applications. Many shooters even carry civilian equivalents like the AR-15 and MR556 as truck guns.
What piece do you think deserves a spot on this list? Share your best military rifles in the comments section!
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