The Best Assault Rifles World Wide!
Which is the best assault rifle in the world? Which is the best modern assault rifle and why? Our Top 10 analysis is based on the combined score of accuracy, reliability, range, penetration, production numbers, number of users, and some other features.
This list includes only modern assault rifles, that are currently in service.
Currently top 10 assault rifles in the world are these:
Nr.1 M16 (USA)
The AR-15 was designed by Armalite to meet the US Army requirement for a new assault rifle, chambered for a new intermediate cartridge. It was adopted by the US Army as the M16 and became a standard issue infantry weapon.
This weapon was designed in the late 1950s. At the time it was a very progressive design. The US Army demanded for a super light weapon. So the M16 has a number of lightweight materials in order to save weight. It uses aluminum in place of steel, fiberglass construction in place of wood. Also it has an ergonomic design. It incorporated many features, never seen before. At the time of its introduction it was called the "Space Rifle".
The barrel is in one line with the buttstock. This feature significantly reduces the recoil. It operates smoothly during fully automatic fire and is very easy to control. Consequently it is much more accurate during automatic fire than many other assault rifles. Its superior accuracy gives it a decisive advantage.
This superior weapon works great in battle, although it does have some faults. Newer models have a Picatinny-type rail and support various optics and detacheable accessories. It can be also fitted with underbarrel grenade launcher.
Since its introduction this assault rifle was constantly improved. This influential weapon was built in hundreds of variants. Approximately 8 million of these assault rifles were manufactures. The M16 and its derivatives are used by more than 70 countries around the world.
A lot of people like to compare the M16 vs AK-47.
The M16 has 3 main advantages over AK-47, including range, accuracy and weight.
Nr.2 AK-103 (Russia)
The AK-100 series assault rifles evolved from the AK-74M that is widely used by the Russian Army and many other countries around the world. Technically these assault rifles are similar to the legendary AK-47, but have improved production technologies and are made of new materials.
One of them is the AK-103. It is chambered for 7.62x39 mm ammunition. It is the original ammunition that is used by the legendary AK-47 assault riffle. It has superior penetration and stopping power comparing with the AK-74M, that is chambered for 5.45x39 mm ammo. Also there is an AK-101, chambered for the standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition.
The AK-103, as well as other rifles of the AK-100 series use the same operation mechanism, developed by Kalashnikov. These weapons made their name for unsurpassed reliability. This assault rifle can withstand any misuse and abuse that soldier can throw at it. It is not very accurate, but will operate in worst conditions possible.
This weapon has a remarkable advantage of simplicity. It is simple in design, is made of common materials and uses readily available machining technology. The parts can be manufactured with less precision. From an engineering standpoint it is a low-tech weapon. Production of these rifles can be established at any factory, that makes steel products. No wonder the Kalashnikov assault rifles are being produced all over the world. Also it is simple to maintain.
Comparing with the M16 it has simplicity and fantastic reliability. However it looses in terms of range and accuracy.
The AK-100 series assault rifles are used by Russian armed forces. These assault rifles have been exported to more than 10 countries. Also some countries produce these weapons locally under license. The original AK-47 and its derivatives are in service with more than 100 countries around the world.
Nr.3 Heckler & Koch G36 (Germany)
The G36 assault rifle has been designed by Heckler & Koch to replace the G3 assault rifle in service with the Bundeswehr. Since 1995 the G36 is a standard issue infantry rifle with the German armed forces. This weapon became an export success. It has been exported to more than 40 countries around the world.
The Heckler & Koch G36 is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. It is a conventional gas operated, selective fire weapon. It uses some proven elements of the previous G3 rifle design. Internally it also bears a lot of similarity with the US Armalite AR-18 automatic rifle. Sophistication was eschewed in favor of reliability. Weapon has a simple layout. During trials a prototype of the HK G36 was rated higher than the Austrian Steyr AUG.
This assault rifle is manufactured using the most modern technologies.
This assault rifle is fed form 30-round box-shaped magazines, made form translucent plastic. Two or three magazines can be clipped together for rapid reloading. This weapon is also compatible with a 100-round dual drum magazines. After some adjustments this rifle can accept any standard NATO 5.56x45 mm magazine.
Sights are built into the carrying handle. A standard German Army rifle has a dual sight system. It consists of one 3.5x magnification scope, for long-range accurate shooting and one 1x magnification red dot sight above it, for close ranges.
This rifle is compatible with the HK AG36 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It can also launch barrel-mounted riffle grenades.
Overall the G36 lacks fancy bells and whistles, but is modern, light, accurate, rugged and reliable weapon. It is not as reliable as the AK-100 series weapons, but definitely makes up for it by its astounding precision. Also the G36 is simple in operation and maintenance.
Nr.4 Heckler & Koch G3 (Germany)
The G3 assault rifle has been designed by the Heckler & Koch in the late 1950s. It was adopted by the Bundeswehr in 1959 and was used until the mid 1990s, when it was replaced by the G36 assault rifle. Some variants of the G3 are still used by the German border guards and police forces. This weapon was widely exported. At some point it was used by 75 countries as their standard issue assault rifle. It is still in service with more than 60 countries. In some countries variants of this weapon are still produced under license.
The Heckler & Koch G3 is chambered for a standard NATO 7.62x51 mm ammunition. It employs a roller-delayed blowback operating system. This weapon is cheap to produce, as it uses a number of stamped steel parts.
This assault rifle is fed form 20-round box-shaped magazines. The magazines are made of aluminum or steel. This weapon is also compatible with 50-round dual drum magazines.
Early production versions of the G3 have simple iron sights. Later these were replaced by diopter-type sights. The rear sight post has a rotating drum with range settings for 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters. Furthermore this assault rifle can be fitted with scopes or night sights.
This rifle is compatible with the HK79 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It can also launch barrel-mounted riffle grenades. Furthermore this weapon can mount other accessories, such as a silencer, or bipod.
Even though the G3 is an old design, it proved to be an accurate, rugged and reliable weapon. Also it is simple to maintain. The German G3 is as popular as the Russian AK-47 or American M16. However its numbers are reducing in favor to modern designs.
Nr.5 Steyr AUG (Austria)
The Steyr AUG (universal army rifle) was designed in Austria. It has been adopted by Austrian Army back in 1977. When it first appeared it was considered to be revolutionary in many respects. Immediately after its introduction the AUG became popular.
Weapon is chambered for the standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. It is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. However it had unusual layout. Also this assault rifle has a modular design. So it can be quickly adapted for a variety of roles by simply changing the barrel. There are four basic barrels, including standard, compact, carbine and light machine gun barrel. This feature is useful, as the same weapon can be tailored to suit mission requirements.
The Steyr AUG is made of synthetic materials and advanced alloys. It is lightweight, robust robust and reliable. Its has got compact dimensions due to its bullpup layout.
The AUG has got no separate fire mode selector. The progressive trigger itself is used to control the mode of fire. Pulling it half the way, will result in a single shot, while the full pull will result in full-auto fire.
The AUG is fully ambidextrous. There are two symmetrical ejection ports, one of which is always covered.
The original model has integral 1.5x magnification sight. It is designed for up to 300 m range. Also there are back-up iron sights for emergency use. Newer models lack integral sights, byt have Picatinny-type rail and can be fitted with any sights.
Rifles equipped with standard and carbine barrels can launch riffle grenades. A modified AUG is compatible with the US M203 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher.
This assault rifle made its name for reliability, good ergonomics and decent accuracy. Currently the AUG is in service with nearly 40 countries around the world. It is license-produced in Australia as Lithgow F88. Also it is the most commercially successful bullpup design to date.
Nr.6 Galil (Israel)
The Galil assault rifle was developed in the late 1960s. It is named after one of its designers - Yisrael Galil. This weapon is based on the Finnish M62 assault rifle, which in turn is a clone of the Soviet AK-47. However the Galil is chambered for a different cartridge and has a number of other differences. It was adopted by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 1972 and was a standard-issue infantry weapon until the early 1990s. The Galil is still used in Israel, even though it was replaced by newer designs, such as the TAR-21 and X95. This assault has been exported to a number of countries. Today it is still used in more than 30 countries.
The Galil employs the same action as Kalashnikov assault rifle, but uses a modified gas system of the Finnish M62, which reduces the recoil. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. This version was adopted by the IDF. There is also a version chambered for a standard NATO 7.62x51 mm ammunition.
The standard 5.56x45 mm version of this weapon is fed from 35-round magazines. It is also compatible with 50-round box magazines, of the Galil ARM light machine gun. The 7.62x51 mm version uses 25-round magazines.
This assault rifle is fitted with a side-folding aluminum stock. It is a clone of the FN FAL Paratrooper stock.
This assault rifle became a base for a whole family of infantry weapons.
Nr.7 Tavor TAR-21 (Israel)
The Tavor TAR-21 assault rifle was developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI) back in the early 1990s. This weapon is simple, tough and versatile. It was adopted by Israel in 2006 and became a standard issue infantry rifle. This assault rifle has been exported to more than 20 countries.
It is a gas operated, selective fire assault rifle with a bullpup design. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. Weapon has modular design with easily replaceable barrel. It can be quickly adapted for a variety of roles by simply changing the barrel. The TAR-21 proved to be reliable.
Design of this weapon is based on ergonomics and composite materials. The Tavor TAR-21 assault rifle is fully ambidextrous. There are spent case ejection ports on each side. Right or felt side ejection can be selected. A charging handle can be installed on either side of the weapon. Its bullpup layout gives an edge at close-quarters and when employed inside vehicles. However it is also well suited for precision firing at long range.
The Tavor TAR-21 is fed from standard NATO (M16-type) magazines, holding 30 rounds.
This weapon has a standard Picatinny-type rail and is compatible with various scopes or night vision systems. It comes with red-dot sight as standard. It has been report that the TAR-21 is much more accurate and reliable than the M4 carbine. However it looses in terms of accuracy to the M16 due to a shorter barrel.
This assault rifle is compatible with the US M203 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher.
Nr.8 SIG SG 550 (Switzerland)
The SIG SG 550 is produced since 1986. It has been adopted by the Swiss Army in 1990 as a standard issue military rifle. It has been exported to more than 20 countries. It is usually used by elite and special forces units. Over 600 000 of these assault rifles were produced.
This weapon has traditional design. It is a gas operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. It may not seem obvious, but its operation system is actually based on the AK-47. It one of the finest 5.56 mm assault rifle ever made.
Swiss army SG 550 assault rifles are usually fed from 20-round translucent magazines. However 5-, 10-, and 30-round capacity magazines are also available. Standard magazines can be clamped together for quicker reloading.
Sighting equipment consists of a flip-up front sight and adjustable rear diopter. It has a sighting range of 400 m. Every rifle can be fitted with a detachable scope mount. Swiss army rifles are often used with 4x magnification scope. Current production models are available with a Picatinny-type rail and can mount various scopes, red dot, or night vision sights.
This weapon proved to be accurate and reliable as a Swiss watch. The SG 550 is particularly good at long ranges. This weapon combines accuracy of the M16 and reliability of the AK-47. It handles well and is very controllable during full-auto fire.
There are carbine versions of this weapon for close-quarter battles and even designated marksman rifle.
This weapon proved to be accurate and reliable as a Swiss watch.
Nr.9 Heckler & Koch HK416 (Germany)
The HK416 assault rifle was developed by Heckler & Koch company in the 1990s to meet US Army's Delta Force requirement. It is and improved version of the M4 carbine, that is widely used by the US military. However the HK416 is independently made and modified. Currently the HK416 it is used by more than 20 countries, mainly by special forces and law enforcement agencies.
In terms of appearance the HK416 resembles the M4. Due to similarity it has a familiar feel for soldiers, reducing the time needed for retraining. It uses a patented gas piston system, derived from the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. This new operating system significantly reduced malfunctions and increased life of parts, comparing with the original Colt M4 carbine. The new weapon is much more reliable.
Four models with different barrel lengths are available, including full-size assault rifle, compact assault rifle, carbine and sub-compact assault rifle.
The HK416 has a Picatinny-type scope rail and can be used with various scopes. Furthermore there is accessory rail on all four sides of the forearm. Most current accessories for the M4 and M16 can be used on the HK416, including a 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher.
Nr.10 FN SCAR (Belgium)
The FN SCAR modular assault rifle was developed by the famous Belgian Fabrique Nationale to meet the requirement, issued by the US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM). The US Special Forces requested a new combat rifle, available in different calibers. The FN SCAR has been adopted by the US SOCOM. Deliveries commenced in 2009. Currently it is also used by 20 countries around the world. Often this weapon is found with special forces and elite law enforcement units.
The FN SCAR modular assault rifle platform was designed from the scratch. It is not based on any previous designs. It is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. There are two baseline models - the SCAR-L (light), chambered for 5.56x45 mm round and the SCAR-H (heavy) chambered for a more powerful 7.62x51 mm ammunition. Other chambering include a Soviet 7.62x39 mm round.
The key idea of the SCAR modular system, that it will provide the US Special Forces with a wide variety of configurations within the matter of minutes in field conditions. All these configurations have the same layout, controls and maintenance procedures. The SCAR-L and SCAR-H have 90% parts commonality. These weapons are available in three quick-detachable barrel versions - standard (S), close quarters combat (CQC) and long barrel (LB). Different length barrels can be quickly replaced. So this weapon is highly customizable.
The SCAR-L can use the standard M16-type magazines. The SCAR-H uses 20-round magazines. The SCAR-H also accepts the standard AK-47 / AKM magazines with the Soviet 7.62x39 mm ammunition. It allows to fire the enemy ammunition with the alternate barrel, what is very important for operations behind the enemy lines.