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
This list includes
only modern assault rifles, that are currently in service.
top 10 assault rifles in the world are these:
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
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
vs AK-47. The M16 has 3 main advantages over
including range, accuracy and weight.
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
but have improved production technologies and are made of new
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
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
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.
& Koch G36 (Germany)
assault rifle has been designed by Heckler & Koch to replace the
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.
& 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
rifle is manufactured using the most modern technologies.
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.
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.
is compatible with the HK AG36 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher.
It can also launch barrel-mounted riffle grenades.
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.
Koch G3 (Germany)
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
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
& 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.
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.
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
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.
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
M16. However its numbers are reducing in favor to modern
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
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
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
Lithgow F88. Also it is the most commercially
successful bullpup design to date.
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
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
This assault has been exported to a number of countries.
Today it is still used in more than 30 countries.
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.
5.56x45 mm version of this weapon is fed from 35-round magazines. It
is also compatible with 50-round box magazines, of the
light machine gun. The 7.62x51 mm version uses 25-round magazines.
rifle is fitted with a side-folding aluminum stock. It is a clone of
FAL Paratrooper stock.
rifle became a base for a whole family of infantry weapons.
Tavor TAR-21 (Israel)
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.
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.
TAR-21 is fed from standard NATO (M16-type) magazines, holding 30
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
However it looses in terms of accuracy to the
to a shorter barrel.
rifle is compatible with the US
M203 40 mm
underbarrel grenade launcher.
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.
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
It one of the finest 5.56 mm assault rifle ever made.
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
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.
proved to be accurate and reliable as a Swiss watch. The SG 550 is
particularly good at long ranges. This weapon combines accuracy of
and reliability of the AK-47. It handles well and is very
controllable during full-auto fire.
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
& Koch HK416 (Germany)
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
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
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
& 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
with different barrel lengths are available, including full-size
assault rifle, compact assault rifle, carbine and sub-compact
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
be used on the HK416, including a 40 mm underbarrel grenade
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.
can use the standard
magazines. The SCAR-H uses 20-round magazines. The SCAR-H also
accepts the standard
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.