Thu12182014

LAST_UPDATEThu, 18 Dec 2014 10pm

The Top 10 Assault Rifles

Askar MelayuThe combat rifle is the soldier's closest companion. Despite the revolution in battlefield tactics over the past 100 years, it is still the mainstay of every modern army in the world. Now meet the best of the best, these are the top ten combat rifles of all time.

 

 

 


 

M14


Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Rifle
Caliber: 7.62 x 51 mm (.30 inch)
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,799 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 700-750 rounds per minute


By the end of World War II, with an American infantry platoon carrying as many as four different weapons -- and four types of ammo -- the U.S. Army decided to develop a single weapon that could fulfill multiple roles. The result was the M14. First fielded in 1957, the rugged, accurate new rifle had plenty of stopping power with the standard NATO 7.62 mm round. It first saw major action in Vietnam, where soldiers liked its performance but struggled with the weight of both gun and ammunition. Before long it was phased out in favor of the lighter M16, but a few frontline units still use the classic weapon, primarily as a sniper rifle.

A U.S. Marine looks over his shoulder at the blazing thatched houses of Duc An, 60 miles south of Da Nang, after a raid on the village on Aug. 6, 1965.A U.S. Marine looks over his shoulder at the blazing thatched houses of Duc An, 60 miles south of Da Nang, after a raid on the village on Aug. 6, 1965.


 

 Sturmgewehr 44


Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: Germany
Caliber: 7.92 x 33 mm
Cartridge Capacity: 30 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,133 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 500 rounds per minute


The Wehrmacht hadn't been at war with the Soviet Union for long when it became clear that German infantry with their bolt-action Mausers were often at a disadvantage in firefights with Russian automatic weapons. In response, German armament developers came up with a revolutionary new weapon: the first "assault rifle" (the literal translation of the German Sturmgewehr). The key to its success was a shorter 7.92 mm round that allowed for effective automatic fire and permitted soldiers to carry sufficient ammunition. The Sturmgewehr came too late to play a significant role in World War II, but it wins high marks for innovation.

German panzergrenadiers engage advancing Soviet troops in Poland, January 1945.German panzergrenadiers engage advancing Soviet troops in Poland, January 1945.


 

1903 Springfield

Type: Bolt-Action Rifle
Country of Origin: United States
Caliber: 7.62 x 63 mm (.30-06 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 5 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,700 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 10 rounds per minute


The relatively poor performance of the Norwegian Krag-Jorgensen rifle used by U.S. troops in the Spanish-American War led American planners to look elsewhere for a standard infantry weapon. They "borrowed" the more effective action found on the German 7mm Mauser, added a few modifications, and produced a magazine-fed rifle that boasted phenomenal accuracy. The 1903 quickly gained a reputation as an outstandingly accurate and powerful firearm -- at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, U.S. Marines armed with Springfields cut down enemy counterattacks from 700 to 800 yards away. The rifle continued in service through World War II and Korea and even saw combat as a sniper rifle in Vietnam.

1903 Springfield1903 Springfield


 

Steyr Aug


Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Bull-Pup Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: Austria
Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm (.22 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 30 and 42 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 3,084 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 650 rounds per minute


Looking more like a weapon from a science-fiction movie, the Steyr's only serious "flaw" is the advanced design that seemed to scare away potential customers after its introduction in 1977. In this radically new "bull-pup" configuration most of the barrel, receiver and action, instead of being in front of the operator's firing hand, is all moved back in the stock, resulting in a remarkably compact weapon that is light and easy to handle. The Steyr also features an interchangeable barrel system, a transparent magazine, and optional left or right shell ejection capability.

 

Steyr AugSteyr Aug


 

Mauser K98k Carbine


Type: Bolt-Action Rifle
Country of Origin: Germany
Caliber: 7.92 x 57 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 5 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: approximately 2,822 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 10-15 rounds per minute


First produced at the end of the 19th century, the Mauser 98 was the perfect synthesis of the many innovations that rifles had undergone during the late 19th century: smokeless powder, clips that could be fed into magazines and, most of all, its superb bolt action that is still the basis for most modern hunting rifles. The original model 98 was used during World War I to great effect, but when Germany started rearming in the 1930s the rifle received upgrades that made it lighter and easier to sight and shoot. Inevitably outgunned by automatic weapons, the Mauser nevertheless stands as one of the legendary rifles of the modern age.

MAUSER K98k CARBINEMAUSER K98k CARBINE


 

FN FAL


Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Rifle
Country of Origin: Belgium
Caliber: 7.62 x 51 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 20 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,700 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 650-700 rounds per minute


Inspired by the Sturmgewehr 44, the Belgian manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN) originally developed the FAL around the same intermediate round used by the German gun, but when NATO issued the requirement for the longer 7.62 mm, FN altered the design and created a heavy hitter that packs a punch -- and a potent kick. The FAL soon became one of the classic weapons of the Cold War, used by over 50 countries, even if it proved tough to handle in full auto mode. The rifle gave good service to the Australian army in the jungles of Vietnam, to Israeli troops during the Six-Day War and was used by both sides in the fight for the Falkland Islands.

FN FALFN FAL


 

M1 Garand


Type: Semiautomatic
Rifle Country of Origin: United States
Caliber: 7.62 x 63 mm (.30-06 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 8 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,838 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 30 rounds per minute


Adopted by the U.S. Army in 1936, the M1 Garand proved to be a tough, heavy battle rifle when it entered combat five years later. General Patton remarked at the end of World War II that the M1 may have been the greatest battle implement ever devised. A bit of a stretch perhaps, but there's no doubt that the M1 was the first successful semiautomatic rifle issued in any quantity that had the ruggedness and accuracy to dominate the battlefield. Over 6.25 million Garands had been manufactured by the time it was taken out of service in the early 1960s.

M1 GARANDM1 GARAND


 

Lee-enfield SMLE


Type: Bolt-Action Rifle
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Caliber: 7.7 x 56 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 10 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: approximately 2,438 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 15-20 rounds per minute


The standard infantry weapon of British troops from World War I to the 1956 Suez crisis, the Lee-Enfield SMLE (pronounced "smelly") built its reputation on reliability, accuracy and a phenomenal rate of fire. Its magazine carried 10 bullets, the largest capacity of any rifle on the battlefield during the first half of the 20th century. Its short bolt action cocked on closing, and its muzzle cap prevented dirt from clogging the weapon. In the hands of a well-trained infantryman, the Lee-Enfield could perform what was called the "mad minute," i.e., thirty rounds hitting a target 200 meters distant in one minute, a volume of fire that rivals modern semiautomatic weapons.

Lee-enfield SMLELee-enfield SMLE


 

M16

Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: United States
Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 20-30 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 3,281 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 700-950 rounds per minute


Although it took a little time to work out the gun's jamming problems during its combat trials in the early 1960s, the M16 has proven to be an outstanding performer with superb accuracy, handling, service length and combat effectiveness. The rifle fulfilled the U.S. military's desire to develop a lightweight modern assault rifle that could replace the semiautomatic M1 and its selective-fire counterpart, the M14. Its innovative features include lighter metal alloy and plastic construction, a simple gas reload system and the use of 5.56 mm ammunition, allowing soldiers to carry twice the amount of ammunition for the same weight of 7.62 mm rounds.

M-16M-16


 

1: AK-47


Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Caliber: 7.62 x 39 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 30 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: 2,329 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 600 rounds per minute


With over 75 million built worldwide, the AK-47 (a.k.a., "Kalashnikov") is a firearms legend that has probably inflicted more lethal results than any other single weapon system ever produced. Built on the same basic design as the German Sturmgewehr, it chambered an intermediate round and was built from stamped parts. The AK-47 was not only easy to produce and relatively cheap, is also proved remarkably easy to maintain and virtually immune to conditions that could easily take out other guns. Accuracy is average, but the Kalashnikov compensates for this with its ability to unleash a lethal wall of lead.

AK-47AK-47

 

-Discovery.com