Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Top Ten Combat Rifles?

Filed under: Quizzes / Surveys, Self-Defense, Technology, Viewing — Tags: , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:12 PM (20:12)

Here’s the list as run by the Military Channel [1], with my comments interleaved  —

10. M-14

I once had a Polytech clone of the M-14 made by Norinco. I’d like to get another M-14 type rifle in the future. My preference is for something like the G2 that had been offered in the early 1990’s.

9. Sturmgewehr 44

This is the rifle that Hitler didn’t want the Wehrmacht to bother with, that is, until he heard about the results of field trials conducted against his orders. After hearing about those trials, he whoteheartedly endorsed it,and named it the “Sturmgewehr” for “assault rifle.” (“Sturmgewehr” is German for “storm rifle.”) The latest issue of Small Arms Review reports that Sport Systeme Dittrich is considering a civilian-legal semi-auto version for the American market.

8. M1903 Springfield

I’m not really into bolt guns, nor am I into top-loaders (hence, I won’t be getting another K98k, either).

7. Steyr AUG

There’s now an American firm making clones of the AUG — Microtech Small Arms Research. They even put a MIL-STD-1913 “Picatinny” rail on the side, so users can attach lights, lasers andother goodies.

6. Mauser K98k

I had one once, but I sold the first one I had to get cash for my first Wintel desktop (July 1998).


The “FN” stands for “Fabrique National,” the Belgium-based manufacturer. The “FAL” stands for “Fusil Automatique Léger,” or “Light Automatic Rifle.” Can’t argue with its place on the list here — some call it the “arm of the free world,” given its usage around the world.

4. M1 Garand

I’m not much of a Garand fan — the deal-killer for me is the top-loading aspect with the clip that is forcefully ejected to the side when empty. Top-loading can also make it harder to mount various kinds of optics on the rifle.

3. Short Magazine Lee-Enfield

As stated before, I’m not much into the bolt-action stuff, so while I might get one as a rainy-decade, butterknife brigade weapon, I’m not looking at one as a primary weapon.

2. M-16

Various versions of the M-16 have been in service since 1963 in the United States and around the world. It’s a superior rifle in terms of ergonomics. It main drawback are the direct impingement gas system — “it shits where it eats” — and the hollow tube that runs the length of the buttstock. in that it uses gas from the previous round to cycle the action for the next shot. This hot gas coming back into the action evaporates any lubricants you’ve applied and tends to gum up the action after a while.

1. AK-47

The design of the AK family of rifles has been copied all over the world, and for good reason — it’s reliable as all-get-out, simple to operate (and train others to operate), and durable. Had a Bulgarian import once, and am looking to get another AK-type rifle.

One rifle that was missing from the list, in my opinion, is the Heckler & Koch G-3. The G-3 and its variants have been copied and built under license around the world — not as much as the FAL, but enough to warrant inclusion on the list. It’s just as durable as the AK-47, if not more so, and fires the more powerful 7.62×51-mm NATO round. I’ve got a Hellenic Arms copy imported by Springfield Armory under the handle “SAR-8” that I bought back in 1995, and it’s a keeper.


[1] The show’s official site


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