In the age of satellite warfare, guns and assault rifles are still the main chorus of the war fighting despite the advent of new technologies that can decimate the targets within minutes to pulverize the battlefield hurdles for faster movement of ground formations.
Everything is going modular. Even though there is a sea change in the development of new technologies, standardized ammunition calibers and new plastic materials, over the years the assault rifle has evolved beyond expectations.
When one considers the shift from conventional wars to low-intensity urban conflicts, the radical changes in how rifles are built and designed seems inevitable.
This explains why the rifles that emerged in the past decade are not only recognized as daring ideas made real–universal weapon systems with interchangeable parts–but as feats of ingenuity borne from the protracted US campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are exceptions to this prevailing mindset, however.
Yet, recent experience has blurred the lines between rifles and carbines. The Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) is proof of this. A product of multiple companies, the ACR is the culmination of modular features in a common design.
This trend explains why the current generations of rifles from different countries are almost indistinguishable from each other.
Whether it is the extensive Picatinny rails to accommodate tactical gear or polymer receivers, the ACR series has taken the concept of a modern gun to an exciting new direction.
Like most of its peers, the ACR is outfitted to be altered according to its user’s needs. For example, the barrel assembly can usually be changed to accommodate 7.62mm rounds.
Depending on how they’re reconfigured, ACRs perform multiple roles be it as a precision sniper rifle or a squad automatic weapon.
The Automatkarbin-5 manufactured by Saab Defense is the popular 5.56mm FN FNC tailored to fit the Swedish military’s requirements.
Extensive mudding has resulted in a weapon that can be adjusted for the operator’s needs, whether it is by adding ergonomic tactical accessories, precision optics, or shortening the barrel assembly to convert the rifle into a carbine.
But no one can beat the great AK47 and its unique shape makes it very easy to recognize wherever in the entire world. The main feature that actually made this rifle so popular is durability. This gun will withstand years of use and abuse and still work under any conditions and combat scenario.
According to actual users you can drop this rifle in a well pit, hold it under water, drag it through mud and then drive it over with a tank and it will still work.
The story may seem a little bit stretched here, given the fact that this model was built 60 years ago and technology evolved a lot since then.
If we think about it, no modern weapon can withstand the same abuse and still be fine with it. Well, the AK47 is special and its creator a genius. Back then, they actually needed a gun that would not fall apart under bad terrain conditions and the AK47 was the end result.
When it comes to accuracy, the rifle is not the first one would think at but it compensates with a 30 round magazine. The idea is that out of 30 shots, at least one is bound to reach its target.
If one has never seen an AK47 in real life one may be a bit disappointed by the simple, minimalistic design.
One has to keep in mind that the gun was not made to look cool but to function under the most difficult conditions, job that it does successfully. Actually, it is because of the simple design the AK47 works so well under difficult conditions. It does not have intricate parts that need intensive maintenance like the AR-15.
The ammunition is very common and given the fact that these rifles are used all over the world it would not be hard to find it in case of a survival situation.
It is hard to imagine the AK47 ever becoming obsolete. The AK-100 series is proof that Russia’s greatest export will always endure.
Originally manufactured by Izhmash, the entire AK family is now centralized and overseen by the Kalashnikov Concern.
The critical difference that separates the original Cold War-era AK’s and the 100-series are the latter’s black polymer folding stock, an improved fore grip, the universal muzzle brake, and varied calibers. This was done for the AK-product line to have greater exposure in global arms sales.
While the Russian military has embraced the AK-74M–an all black finish AK-74–in traditional 5.45mm, succeeding variants are chambered for NATO 5.56x45mm, 5.45x39mm, and 7.62x39mm.
Although not designed for mounting Picatinny rails, the newfangled AK’s do support their own tactical accessories.
The AK-12 was unveiled in Russia recently and cited as a basis for a new family of weapons. The AK-12 is essentially the AK-74 with a retractable and foldable butt stock, an improved upper receiver, an ergonomic fire selector switch, and a pistol grip.
Other changes include Picatinny-like rail amounts on its polymer fore grip, a relocated sight, and a lengthened muzzle brake.
The AK-12, rather than the AN-94 Abakan or the AK-100 series, is being favored as the latest next-generation assault rifle for Russia’s sprawling military.
According to state-owned news organ RIA Novosti, the AK-12 enters service in 2014.
The gun has no recoil, great accuracy, excellent range and superb power, the perfect combination for the best gun in the game.
This gun is just the total package there is nothing bad about the even the reload is one of the fastest if not the fastest in the game. Although it takes a while to unlock but once you get it, Call of Duty becomes a walk in a park.
Best weapon without a doubt. The gun has almost no recoil, amazing iron sights, pretty good fire rate for an assault rifle, amazing reload time.
MP7 is the most beast of them all just put silencer and kick on. This gun is the best gun in the game.
The iron sights are very good and there is barely any recoil as well.
This is a very deadly gun up close and mid range and is also great long range. It can be used for rapid fire but silencer is also great.
The MP7 is an amazing weapon. Mp7 because it does not need attachments in survival
The M4A1 is the best gun in MW3 because it is unlocked as soon as you have the ability to create a class.
The ROF is very good and its damage is tolerable. One can use it with a silencer and a heartbeat sensor or a red dot sight and extended magazines to recap, the M4A1 is the best weapon system in Modern Warfare.
Everything about it is great and it is unlocked early. Low recoil and high damage make this a real threat.
It almost has no recoil and one of the highest fire rates in the AR section. The ACR is overpowered and not as good as the SCAR-L.
The SCAR-L is unlocked early which means you can start fire everywhere early.
This gun is simply the best, beach use of the main reason of it vein available from the start, and it has a long range of fire, along with a fast rate of fire.
By far it is the best gun in the game. Lots of ammo, making it easy to get a MOAB and is beast with suppressor with rapid fire or extended magazines.
An ideal gun for the beginning rounds, but after around level 20 or so it gets useless.
This gun is amazing because its accuracy is reasonable and has a huge clip for an SMG. This gun does amazing in close and mid range, and average at long range.
Hands down as it is the best assault rifle in the game. Not as accurate as the FAMAS from MW2 was down range, and it also does not have the stopping power the FAMAS had but if you use Impact the Type 95 will put people down with one shot on a good connection.
This gun easily kills faster than the other AR’s due to the fact it shoots 3 bullets at one time and it only takes 2 of them placed properly to kill.
There are too many pro’s about this weapon. The only con would be its on the fly hip fire accuracy.
Better than M16 it has good damage for a 3 burst one burst it will kill and good ammo it is similar to the Famas but this one the Type 95 is best.
This gun is just amazing! It is very similar from the legendary FAMAS from MW2 and that is why It is most effective close range ensuring a 1 round burst but mid-long range will be 2 round burst.
The AK-47 is the best gun because of its sights and its ammo capacity. It is amazing and is something that should not be taken lightly the only reason it should be super among the best guns because of its low accuracy.
The AK-47 is definitely the most devastating AR. There is plenty of ammo per magazine to continuously fire at a group of enemies, it has a fast reload time, and the damage is one of the highest in its class.
Although the kick tends to scare some away, one will find that it does not affect the accuracy when one uses it.
The G36c is honestly one of the best guns in the whole Call of Duty franchise, it is quite good weapon on pretty much any map.
It is good in almost every area the only downside being that a 30 round magazine is a little small but other than that it gets those kill streaks really easy.
Silencer and kick make it one of the best strategic weapons in the whole game. Good rate of fire and nice damage output. Plus, it sounds awesome.
The iron sights on this gun are not the best in the world but there is not a lot of recoil and superb power that make up for that.
What is so underrated as this gun has to be in the top 3 best guns in the game with red dot or silencer this should be the best.
Eight years ago the venerable US gunmaker Barret rolled out a new carbine based on the lower receiver of the M16.
The 5.56mm REC7, sometimes called the RC7, adhered to the newfangled principle of stripping down a firearm to its fundamental working components. The result was indistinguishable from similar efforts by Colt, Adcor Defence, FN Herstal, and Heckler & Koch.
The REC7 is basically a reinforced aluminum receiver-note the round trigger guard-attached to a barrel assembly and a retractable polymer stock.
Its flip sights along its upper Picatinny mounts are the same as those found on later generation modular assault rifles. Tactical accessories and optics are optional.
The REC7’s most distinguishable feature is a robust steel firing mechanism that Barret insists is tougher than most AR-based firearms.
Italy’s Beretta is no slouches when it comes to providing new guns for emerging markets.
Not to be outdone by FN or Heckler & Koch, the 5.56mm ARX-160 is the most exciting assault rifle and carbine hybrid from the European Union in the past several years.
The semiautomatic delayed blowback ARX-160 dates to 2008 and remains a closely watched model that has done the rounds in trade shows. As of this year, the ARX-160 is already in its A3 variant with slight improvements to its foregrip/heat shield ventilation and pistol grip.
Like most rifles of its generation the ARX-160 is easily broken down into a handful of working parts and can fit different barrels. It features a side folding butt stock, Picatinny mounts and ergonomic fire selection switch.
The ARX-160 is living up to the Beretta mystique. Aside from the Italian army, ARX-160 orders from Albania, Kazakhstan, Egypt, and Mexico have increased its profile as a much sought-after firearm. In what could become Beretta’s crowning moment, the ARX-160 is under consideration as a replacement for the Indian Army’s current INSAS assault rifle.
Definitely one of the most underrated guns. The recoil is not as bad as some people think. This gun also has very good iron sights.
CM901 is by far the most underrated gun in the game. The CM901 is solid across all stats on the board, has a great iron sight, and not much recoil.
Possibly the most underrated primary weapon in the game. It has great power and good iron sights.
Amazing weapon, looks sexy with iron sights, gold and silencer.
The F2000 was introduced 14 years ago as FN Herstal’s first and only bull pup assault rifle. Since then it has gained wide acceptance for its simplicity and cutting edge engineering.
The F2000 represents an out-of-the-box approach to assault rifle design. Aside from its cousin the P90 sub-machinegun, it counts itself among the very few small arms in existence designed from an ergonomic point of view.
For example, consider the curved ambidextrous pistol grip that also serves as the magazine well; the polymer contours housing its barrel assembly as well as the optical sight; and the sturdiness of its bulky stock, a rare feature for an assault rifle.
The F2000, though futuristic in appearance, is chambered for the 5.56mm NATO round and accepts M16 type clips, with an optimal range of 400 meters. Being easy to disassemble and upgrade with tactical gear, it also supports a 40mm under barrel GL1 grenade launcher.
FN Herstal, which is state-owned, offers the F2000 as a customizable firearm that works with a variety of modifications.
Since its debut at the turn of the century, eager customers from a dozen countries have embraced the F2000.
The US subsidiary of Belgian gun maker Fabrique Nationale is responsible for the current modular small arms trend.
All the way back in 2003, when US special forces were expanding their missions around the globe, a need arose for a tough new assault rifle.
The winner among multiple entries was FN USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) that used a polymer-based lower receiver together with milled aluminum parts.
Among the SCAR’s impressive features were its M16/M4 series direct impingement gas block, which allowed the user to endure less recoil on a weapon that operated like the M16/M4 they trained with.
But the SCAR was very different from any of its peers. Extensive Picatinny rails meant it could support a lot of tactical gear and mount an underbarrel grenade launcher.
The SCAR was approved for production in 2007 and reached Army and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) personnel by 2009. A new variant, the Mark 17, is being favored by the US special forces community although it’s uncertain if the FN SCAR will remain in their arsenal for long.
Thanks to its brand, extensive product placement in video games and Hollywood movies, and top-notch engineering, the FN SCAR is enjoying brisk sales among law enforcement and counter-terrorist units worldwide.
Heckler & Koch G36
The G36 is hands down the best designed assault rifle of the late 20th century. Meant to replace the German Bundeswehr’s dated 7.62mm G3 assault rifles, the G36 entered service in 1996 and set the bar for all infantry small arms, from performance to ruggedness.
The G36 was originally chambered for standard 5.56mm rounds and eschewed sophistication in favor of reliability. This explains its simple layout, a conveniently placed fire selector switch over an ambidextrous pistol grip, and a plastic see-through magazine ideal for mass production.
During its R&D process in the first half of the 1990s it was engineered to support polymer housing that was lightweight-hence the right folding stock-and easy to field strip for cleaning.
The resulting G36 succeeded in both counts despite a built in optical and laser dot sight on its carrying handle. Even without the fancy bells and whistles, the G36 is every bit as tough as an AK-47 or an FAL.
The basic rotating bolt G36 has evolved into multiple variants, from a heavier squad automatic weapon configuration, to a special forces carbine with Picatinny rails.
Owing to its reputation and aggressive marketing via product placement, the G36 is an export success. Used by at least 40 countries, with Mexico even manufacturing their own variant, the G36 will remain in the hands of soldiers and policemen for decades to come.
M27 Automatic rifle
The M27 came into existence during the US Marine Corp’s 2010 trials for a new squad automatic weapon.
This one-off from the prolific gun maker features an M16-type receiver, a polymer sliding stock, ergonomic pistol grip, extensive Picatinny rails along the barrel assembly, and a gas operated short stroke piston firing mechanism.
Some writers have taken note of the M27’s resemblance to the H&K 416, its carbinized sibling.
The original belt-fed M249 SAW, a licensed copy of the Belgian Minimi, entered service in 1984.
A quarter century of wars later and the USMC realized it needed a lighter and more accurate option at the squad level.
The result was a stripped down rifle that can mount optics, a bipod, and is ideal for focused and precise shooting during small-scale battles.
The M27 is the only automatic rifle-it can fire single shots-in recent memory to replace a belt-fed machinegun. It’s now in limited use by the USMC.
In the final years of the previous century two experimental weapon systems were combined to maximize the US infantryman’s firepower.
It was called the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) and it was too cumbersome to be feasible. The available technology was spun off into the XM-29 25mm grenade launcher and the equally short-lived H&K XM-8.
The concept was revived years later by South Korea’s Daewoo (who are known to reverse engineer US prototype weapons), who put the resulting K11 in limited production.
Simply put, the K11 is the first of its kind, integrating a 5.56mm carbine with a single-shot bolt action 20mm grenade launcher that fires air burst rounds. The K11 uses a computerized fire control system that allows the infantryman to accurately target downrange, a feature now becoming popular in small arms engineering.
The KH-2002 is the first bull pup rifle to emerge from Iran, whose government controlled arms industry thrives on reverse engineering a broad range of existing weapons.
The KH-2002 is chambered for indigenous 5.56mm rounds and bears similarities to the US M16 as well as the French FAMAS, with other variants carrying a foldable bipod. The KH-2002’s pistol grip is supported by a hand guard and an extended ergonomic fore grip underneath the barrel assembly.
It is unclear if all KH-2002 models are fed with 20-round box magazines or if a 30-round version is now available. Though spotted in public military events within Iran, according to one military analyst, the Khaybar was shelved by its manufacturer in 2012 after it found no international customers.
The Zastava M21 was first introduced in 2004 when the resurgent Serbian arms industry began diversifying.
The M21 is a 5.56mmx45mm assault rifle based on the AK-47, which Serbia has manufactured indigenously for several decades now.
As a derivative of the AK-47, the M21 takes after the Israeli Galil and the Finnish Valmet with external improvements that enhance the weapon’s performance.
Designed as a family of small arms that includes a CQB carbine, the M21’s most distinctive features are a lengthened barrel assembly with a muzzle brake.
The sight has been moved above the gas chamber, which is encased in a plastic heat shield/
foregrip that replaces the usual wooden furniture. Recent variants of the M21 now carry underbarrel and upper receiver Picatinny-like rails to support optics, a grenade launcher, plus other tactical accessories.
The M21 also uses a different polymer magazine shape and comes with an ergonomic pistol grip and a side folding stock.
The Zastava M21 is the star of its maker’s extensive product line that includes 12.7mm machineguns, automatic grenade launchers, and civilian sporting arms.
It remains unclear when the QBZ-95 was first issued to the Chinese military. Even less is known about its development at a time when China’s economy opened up to the world in the 1980s and 90s.
What became apparent upon its first public display in Hong Kong during the 1997 handover to China is it represented a radical departure from the PLA’s prevailing infantry rifles.
The QBZ-95 is a bullpup design reliant on extensive polymer housing. It fires a unique 5.8x42mm round, a caliber allegedly superior to those used by either NATO or the Soviet Union.
The QBZ-95’s adoption eventually overshadowed the Type 81, a derivative and an improvement over the ubiquitous AK-47, which China’s manufacturers have knocked off in the millions.
The QBZ-95 features a unique trigger guard doubling as a foregrip. Its stock flips open and houses a cleaning kit.
A carrying handle also serves as a mount for optics and protects the bolt that’s configured the same way as the French FAMAS. The QBZ-95 supports rifle grenades and underbarrel grenade launchers, be they imitations of Russian, US, and European models.
The QBZ-03, also identified as the Type 03, is a conventional assault rifle with a gas operated, rotating bolt firing mechanism.
Like all modern Chinese infantry small arms the QBZ-03 is chambered for the 5.8mm round. Judging by its appearance, the QBZ-03 is derivative of the Type 81 assault rifle featuring a polymer folding stock and a lengthened heat shield with air vents encasing the barrel assembly. Other improvements are obvious, like a simplified fire selector switch above the pistol grip and a side folding butt stock.
The engineers behind the earlier Type 81, a mainstay of the PLA during the 1990s, used the AK-47’s shortcomings as the basis for their new rifle’s appearance, which included a robust rear sight, a gas piston above the lengthened muzzle brake, and a Bakelite folding stock.The Type 81 is a hybrid as well, combining aspects of the SKS.
The QBZ-03’s two-part lower receiver is designed to accept M16-type magazines-the export version is chambered for NATO 5.56mm rounds-and its muzzle brake is different from its peer, the bullpup QBZ-95.
Very little is known about the XK-8, or DAR-21, which was unveiled by South Korea’s Daewoo in a 2003 arms show.
Judging by its appearance, the XK-8 is a selective fire bullpup chambered for 5.56mm. Not patterned after earlier bullpups like the Steyr AUG and FAMAS, the XK-8’s features suggest a focus on simplicity.
It had an ambidextrous pistol grip protected by a hand guard and an exposed barrel assembly. Limited Picatinny rail mounts on its receiver supported a removable scope.
According to available information it’s being offered in the export market but isn’t used by South Korea’s armed forces. Considering its age, it’s probable the XK-8 is not in production either.
SIG Sauer 716
Owing to the almost universal popularity of the AR platform and its myriad offshoots, the celebrated Swiss gunmaker rolled out their own variant for export.
Rather than use its proven SIG 556 as the basis for another carbine, SIG Sauer remain faithful to the AR-15/M4 and offer five different models of this particular 716 variant chambered for 7.62mm rounds.
None of its features are remarkable when compared to current (and very similar) small arms. Its lighter NATO-friendly sibling the SIG Sauer 516 has five versions too and it looks exactly the same.
The 716 uses a sturdy nitride treated barrel attached to short stroke pushrod firing mechanism encased in an aircraft-grade aluminum receiver. Front and back flip sights are mandatory.
A quad mount for the barrel assembly and a Picatinny rail attached to the receiver ensure ample space for optics, foregrips, and tactical accessories.