Top 10 Best Military Rifles Around the World

Cotton flag with machine gun over it series | Top 10 Best Military Rifles Around the World | featured

September 13, 2021 / Comments (0)

Guns & Ammo Rifles

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!

RELATED: Semi-Automatic vs. Automatic Firearms | What’s the Difference?

The Top 10 Best Military Rifles Used in Wars Across the Globe

1. M16

Assault rifle, gun, knife with sheath, compass | best military sniper rifles

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 The M16 superseded the M14, although the latter remains in service in many military branches.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.

2. Galil

mid length rifle in the rain | best military surplus rifles

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.

3. AK-103

Weapons and military equipment for army | best military bolt action 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

Man shooting black rifle on desert range wide shot | best military assault rifles

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

Weapons and military equipment for army | best military rifles to own

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.

RELATED: Best Sniper Rifle | Top 5 Best Sniper Rifles

6. Heckler & Koch HK416

assult rifle right side on the rifle case | military rifles

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

ranger in gloves holding assault automatic rifle | best military sniper rifles

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

Man shooting assault style rifle | best military surplus rifles

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.


Assault rifle on pine needles with ivy and trees around | best military bolt action rifles

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.

Their efforts did not go in vain. The FN SCAR currently stands among the most widely known rifles globally and exports to 20+ different countries.

10. Bushmaster ACR 3

Tactical Vest with Rifle | best military rifles to own

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.

Check out this educational video by The Infographics Show where they feature the 10 best military rifles across the globe:

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.

If you were given a chance, which among these assault rifles would you add to your rifle collection?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What piece do you think deserves a spot on this list? Share your best military rifles in the comments section!

Up Next:

Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest!

Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.