Top 10 Battle Rifles


Molon Labe
November 20, 2006, 10:28 PM
Military Channel's Top 10 Battle Rifles (

10 - M14
9 - Sturmgewehr 44
8 - 1903 Springfield
7 - Steyr AUG
6 - Mauser K98k Carbine
5 - FN FAL
4 - M1 Garand
3 - Lee Enfield SMLE
2 - M16
1 - AK47

Would you agree with this ranking?

Personally, I would put the M14, FAL, and M1 higher in the list.

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November 20, 2006, 10:35 PM
based on what? numbers issued?

November 20, 2006, 10:41 PM
Their criteria was flawed in my opinion.

1) They used "Service Length" as a strange measure of how good a rifle was
2) They did some bizarre rankings of "Combat Effectiveness" (how is an 03 Springfield "low", a 98K "average"? How is a FAL "average" but an M14 "excellent"?)

The Tuesday Nov 14 blog entry of Chris Byrne on Anarchangel does a pretty good job of summing up my thoughts

November 20, 2006, 10:41 PM
Well you had to watch the show to really understand their reasoning. A lot of the score has to do with time in service, numbers issued, importance to military doctrine. Rifles like the M1 and M14 lose a lot due to the relatively short time they were an issue weapon. The M16 for example is 40 now, and the AK was standard issue in some countries for almost 50 years.Even though it may not be as accurate, or as finely built as others the AK is probably the most recognized firearm in the world, heck, it's even on some national flags.

November 20, 2006, 10:49 PM
Seems they pretty much got the order right based on their criteria....change the criteria, and the results would change.

November 20, 2006, 10:56 PM
Drop the M14 and add the Mosin-Nagant.

November 20, 2006, 11:05 PM
I am surprised that the M1 carbine isn't in their...

November 20, 2006, 11:05 PM
I think the -14, (Of which I am no fan,) has more of a claim to the list than the AUG. If you are gonna kick an auto-loader off the list in favor of a bolt, lose the AUG.

But the Nagant certainly deserves consideration.

November 20, 2006, 11:07 PM
10 - M14
9 - Sturmgewehr 44
8 - 1903 Springfield
7 - Steyr AUG
6 - Mauser K98k Carbine
5 - FN FAL
4 - M1 Garand
3 - Lee Enfield SMLE
2 - M16
1 - AK47

No. I disagee this is a poor list. For me I would rate a rifle on different criteria. Sturmgewer and the aug dont make the list for me.

1. Combat effectiveness (according to troops)
2. Reliability in combat

If these were the criteria. My list would be

1. AK and its varients
2. Springfield 1903
3. Gewehr k98
4. Mosin Nagant
5. Enfield Mk3
6. M1 Garand
7. m16 and all its flavors
8. m14 / M1a
9. Springfield .58caliber musket
10. FN FAL

November 20, 2006, 11:10 PM
I'm sorry, but any list that doesn't have the M-1 Garand as number one has to be flawed. Something about some guy calling it "the greatest battle implement ever invented"? Something tells me Patton knew what he was saying...

November 20, 2006, 11:21 PM
To assess the greatest battle rifle you've got to assess it's use in combat real situations.

The most major war in living memory is World War 2.

The first significant defeat suffered by German land forces was inflicted by soldiers using the No1 Mk 3 SMLE. It was at a place called Tobruk.

The first significant defeat suffered by Japanese land forces was inflicted by soldiers using the No1 Mk 3 SMLE. It was a place called Imita Ridge.

In both case the rifles used were made at Lithgow.

.303 - for when you absolutely have to put the son of a bitch down!

November 20, 2006, 11:39 PM
Mountain Bear- What was Pattons view on the M16 or even the AK-47. Sorry new models do occasionally appear.

November 20, 2006, 11:42 PM
I personaly don't see even why the Springfield 1903 is on the list. Before you all call hertic on me let me explain. Yes it was an American rifle that served for a long time but in the end it was just a standard military bolt action of the time.

So it was accurate and powerfull, so were Mausers and Mosin Nagents and most other military bolt rifles of the time.

It was based off the Mauser for crying out loud. The Mauser parent company acutally sued for patient infringments in US courts and won.

Mauser bolt action rifle yes, most copied military bolt action on the face of the earth I would say. Springfield, no.

November 20, 2006, 11:53 PM
Yes, they do, but I would argue this. The M-16 has had a long run, but I'm sorry. I've talked to soldiers. I will not debate the caliber, as that is a cna of worms I care not to open, however the complaint I have always heard is that it is not tough. Most, if not all, of the soldiers that I have talked to have used the example of the M-14 or M-1 being used as a step being held by two soldiers to help someone over a wall. They claimed that (and I would tend to agree) if you tried this with an M-16 (or clone, M-4, etc), it would at the least bend the buffer tube, at most break the plastic stock. The use of a rifle being used as a step is not a test of battle effectiveness, it does demonstrate toughness.
As for the AK-47. It would be a close second to the M-1. It has the numbers edge. No one debates its toughness. I would argue that it is more of a spray and pray firepower weapon. Less accurate, more make the enemy keep his head down.
I would argue the accuracy, the toughness, and the historical significance of the M-1 and its conflict (WWII, Korea) places it at the top of the list.
I would hate to live on the difference if the AK had been in service in WWII.

November 21, 2006, 12:00 AM
If I was sent to hell...or another planet....and given ONE choice as to assault rife to carry, it would be the ONE...the ONLY AK-47!! :evil:

November 21, 2006, 12:01 AM
Objectively, I don't agree with the AUG being included. If it were me, I think a much more deserving rifle would be the Swedish Mauser, or even going back further in time, the Krag.

Personally, I hate the FAL. I know, I know, it is a good rifle that everyone but me loves, but I have just never liked them, and I probably never will. Again, this is only my personal opinion, but I think I would have not included the FAL in favor of something like the BAR, or even the K31 or SKS. Heck, I personally would place the AUG ahead of the FAL. Like I have said though, that is my personal opinion, not my objective one.

Also, I don't disagree with the AK being #1, but I do disagree with the Garand not being higher. The AK is probably not the over-all finest battle weapon around, but it is the most ubiquitous of the group, and it does have a fine reputation for reliable service in pretty much all climates. Certainly, the Garand was more accurate, and in it's glory days, it was "the" battle rifle of choice. However, the Garand had nothing near the longetivity or the widespread dispersal of the AK, and for those reasons, I think the AK is probably good at #1. The Garand is a better weapon than the M-16, and I will go to my grave defending that statement. I am not an M-16 hater by any stretch of the imagination, and it probably does deserve to be on the list, but I just think the Garand is a better rifle. Specifically, I would probably just flip the Garand's and the M-16's positions, because the SMLE is one hell of a rifle.

November 21, 2006, 12:08 AM
The Steyr AUG? What the?

If I made a top 25, that wouldn't even cross my mind.

November 21, 2006, 12:43 AM
If length of service was a criteria the brown bess musket should have been included.

November 21, 2006, 12:50 AM
The Steyr AUG? What the?

If I made a top 25, that wouldn't even cross my mind.

It would if the list was the top 25 fugly rifles ever made. :D

It was based off the Mauser for crying out loud. The Mauser parent company acutally sued for patient infringments in US courts and won.

Nope not true. Springfield knew before they build the first rifle that some of the 1903 designs infringed on several Mausers patents, so they sent the plans to Mauser who of course agreed that they did infringe on their rifle patents. They worked out an amicable deal where Springfield had to pay royalties for several years. It was DWM the inventer of the sptizer bullet that took the US military to court for design infringments for the 30.06 rifle bullet. DWM won in court after WWI, and the US Government had to pay hefty fines to basicaly buy the design off DWM.

November 21, 2006, 04:38 AM
" Accuracy is average, but the Kalashnikov compensates for this with its ability to unleash a lethal wall of lead."

Sounds like spray and pray to me. Funny, I thought shot placement was important.:D

I think there should be seperate lists for battle rifles, assult rifles, and sniper rifles.

November 21, 2006, 04:50 AM
What's a "battle rifle"? I usually include semi-automatic and select fire high powered combat rifles, from the Garand and SAFN to M-14 and FN-FAL. I don't usually think of bolt action war rifles as "battle rifles" per se.

November 21, 2006, 05:36 AM
As I see it you would look for weapons that changed the way people think. For instance the M1 was not in service that long but did show the huge advantage of semi auto over bolt. As I understand it after the Mauser came out almost everyone copied basics of the design and made their own version with a similar cartridge. The AK is the ultimate pesant weapon that can be fired by anyone. The M16 all I will say is the theory of the high velocity light round made the commies make the AK-74. Just some thoughts.

Tom C.
November 21, 2006, 07:22 AM
The M-1 and AK-47 are 1 and 2. You can argue the order all day.
The Springfield with the ladder sight was a terrible battle rifle. The 1917 Enfield was much better and used by about 2/3 of American troops in WWI. After the war, it was retired early because the Springfield had windage adjustable sights and was a better range rifle.
I donít see why the AUG was included at all. What wars have been fought with this plastic fantastic?
The M-16 is junk. Junk sufficiently engineered to work most of the time, with a substandard cartridge suitable for woodchucks and dogs.

November 21, 2006, 07:29 AM
The Steyr Aug was probably put in because of how innovative it was. Sure it wasn't the first ever bullpup, but probably was the first decent bullpup.

November 21, 2006, 07:38 AM
what about the sks? the russians may have dismissed it from service pretty quickly, but how does a weapon known as 'the rifle of revolution' to the rest of the third world not make it in? not to mention that it's easily one of the most proliferated firearms in history.

Sleeping Dog
November 21, 2006, 07:42 AM
M14 is very nice, but I don't think it has the numbers or battle history to rank it among the M1, smle, AK, etc.

To me, the best battle rifles are on wheels or treads or floating turrets, big suckers fired at long distance. Artillery makes a huge impact that's not often portrayed.


November 21, 2006, 09:07 AM
Number one in all regards is the AK. As another poster said and I shall agree "If I were going to Hell or another planet and could take only one it would be the AK". Accuracy ha where do people get the idea that an AK cant hit the broad side of a barn? I have shot many AK variants and have no trouble keeping bullets in man sized targets at 200 yards and greater. Reliable, tough as nails, effective round, simple to use, acceptable combat accuracy, yup the AK has all that going for it.

Number two was close but the M-14 gets the slot. Reliable enough, tough, and .308 :evil: when it has to freakin die. Accuracy is a big plus for this rifle as well. It missed the number one spot due to limited mag capacity (20 rounds compared to 30 in most other modernish rifles), size, and weight (both the rifle, and ammo).

Number three who cares? I wouldnt consider what does not make it to the top two when my life is on the line. The M-16 piece of junk IMO (and I carried one before you flame). I have an AR tis a fun range gun but I would not bank my life on it unless I had no other choice. The FAL never did do it for me. It has nothing over the M-14. The AUG :rolleyes: are you kidding? The Garand is a good weapon but I want more than 8 rounds, and detachable mags. Bolt guns :confused: not in modern combat. Now if the list were for historical significance that list may be close.

November 21, 2006, 09:16 AM
Has an AUG ever even actually BEEN in a battle?

1) M1 Garand
3) M14

I am afraid I have to stop there.

I can't count any of the "assault" whatevers as Battle Rifles. 7.62x39 and 5.56 are not Battle Rifle cartridges IMHO.

M14 is very nice, but I don't think it has the numbers or battle history to rank it among the M1, smle, AK, etc.

You do know that the Korean War lasted almost as long as WWII right?

Just because they don't make lots of movies about it doesn't mean it didn't have an impact. The M14 service history is long and outstanding.

I notice they are still using them in Iraq, I didn't see any Garands coming out of mothballs.......

Keith Wheeler
November 21, 2006, 09:27 AM
The M-16 has had a long run, but I'm sorry. I've talked to soldiers. I will not debate the caliber, as that is a cna of worms I care not to open, however the complaint I have always heard is that it is not tough.

And we all know soldiers never complain about something unless it is a real serious problem. There's this big trade-off: heavy or fragile. Pick one. Of course whichever one logistics picks, the soldiers will complain about it.

You do know that the Korean War lasted almost as long as WWII right?

In that case the Carbine, Caliber .30, M1. Served in both those conflicts, as well as Vietnam. Underpowered? Sure, but a light-weight sweet shooting rifle that anybody can make use of.

November 21, 2006, 11:43 AM
I AGREE. Battle rifles are not "assault rifles"
heres my list based on a totaly subjective evalutation of numbers built, quality of design FOR ITS PURPOSE, chambering, over all effect on history, and inverse % made of plastic . :neener: im only gunna do top 3. cause no ones interested in what i have to say :cool: and also those are the only ones i think are notable

1.Mauser rifles
The basis for so many designs wich have fought against each other. built by probibly a hundred countrys in probibly a thousand variants, military and civilian. easy manufacturing provided the right equipment. Chambered in many good cartridges. More historical impact than any other modern rifle i can think of.

2. Mosin Nagant
Obsolete before the first one was ever built, doesnt stop the Russian Empire/USSR/ ComBloc from building millions and millions of them. Mosin nagants have fought against itself and won. have a good chambering despite the rimmed cartrage being obsolete ( though still used by armys all around the world for various machine guns an SVD/PSL's) Simple design and vary in quality from "built by the gods" to "built by drunken romanian women with nothing more than a electric drill and a 3lb hammer". still in some arsenals, and as iv said before, probibly still being built in some 3rd world country basement. Historical impact: allies couldnt have won WW2 with out this rifle and the 2 men to 1 rifle ratio of the soviet union.

3. M1 Garand
All the fun of the semi auto rifle, with the knock down power of a full battle caliber. Excellent quality, with a design only an excentric canadian could have imagined. GREAT historical impact. The russians couldnt have held on with out the second front. ( or with out our, less than legal support during the early years)

November 21, 2006, 12:15 PM
A lot of us will be on the road this holiday week/ weekend.

For those who will be travelling I-75 thru North Georgia, I cannot emphasize enough, the great opportunity you have to view one of the finest exhibits anywhere in the world of Great Battle Rifles (and a few shotguns also), the Fuller Collection of American Military Longarms that is housed in the Museum at Chickamauga Battlefield, near Ft. Ogelthorpe, GA. Take the Battlefield Parkway exit off I-75, and head towards the mountain, follow the signs.

Growing up in that area, I spent many wonderful hours during my early years gawking, drooling, admiring, lusting at this awesome collection of great military Battle Rifles, extending from the 1500's thru WW I.

I spent this past Veteran's Day afternoon there. I didn't have a decent camera with me, but did use my cellphone camera snap a few fast shots. Sorry about the low quality, but here's a few examples of what it there:

Those who are interested in this sort of history would probably enjoy spending several days in the area exploring not only the Battlefield, but also Chattanooga's historically related sights including, but not limited to Craven's House and Point Park on Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge.

November 21, 2006, 12:56 PM

thanks for reminding me!
anyone whos gunna be in Western MA, CT, VT area for the holiday. should check out the Springfield Armory Museum. like any day, you can go in for free and look around. see all kinds of various arms, many serial number "1" rifles and the equipment used to arm this nation from 1777 till 1968 and then some. ( dont forget this is also the site of a young Americas first civilian armed revolt, Shays' Rebellion in 1787) AND this saturday the 25th you have the option for a 12$ 1 hour and 1/2 tour of the second floor and get to see 66% of the collection NOT ON EXHIBIT! i mean thats just a measly 5600 extra items over the already large exhibit. ;)

November 21, 2006, 01:56 PM

Straight from their website. And during the show, they did say that the Mosin-Nagant fell short of the top ten, but it was considered. I forget what else was considered.

November 21, 2006, 02:02 PM
I think the Military Channel's special was covering the infantry rifles of the 20th Century and not getting bogged down in whether they were turn bolts and semi-autos in full throated .30 caliber rounds, or selective fire rifles featuring an intermediate round.

Going forward from the smokeless powder age, here is my personal list:

1. AK-47. It is ubiquitous. It is respected by both friend and foe as an effective weapon, even if the 7.62x39 chambering is relatively obsolete these days. One could make one in their garage if need be and for some of its users, that very need arose.

2. M-16 series. America's "accidental" issue rifle. Developed by a guy in the aircraft industry, first loved by the Air Force, hated by the Springfield Armory for not being invented there, the M-16 has overcome alot to become the longest serving rifle in American history. Yes, it had teething problems and yes, if indifferently cared for it will betray you, but in skilled hands it has become quite lethal inside of 300m. Doctrinally different than that used by the AK series, the M-16 kicked enough butt that the Soviets adopted the 5.45x39 in response to it.

3. The M-1 Garand. Not the longest serving, but did serve in two of the hottest conflicts in American history, performing admirably in World War 2 and Korea. The M-1 was the first widely successful semi-auto battle rifle in the world having served in wintry conditions, mud, sand, the tropics, etcetera while building a formidable reputation for reliability and relative firepower.

4. The SMLE. Not the first turnbolt rifle ever adopted, but inarguably the fastest. Capable of the "Mad Minute" or thirty rounds of aimed fire inside of a minute. Had a ten round capacity and 60 degree bolt throw where most other bolt rifles had six or five rounds on tap and a 90 degree throw. Also features an ugly stock that has the benefit of NOT being one size fits all in length of pull. By customizing the length of the butt, the SMLE could best utilize the talents of the trooper rather than make him adapt to the weapon.

5. The Kar 98k. The ultimate expression of the Mauser combat rifle. It and its predecessors were the most copied weapon of its era. The Mauser's weakness was its limited capacity. Yes, doctrinally, the Germans relied on the LMG to provide firepower, but the use of the PPSh-41 by the Soviets and the higher rate of fire of the Garand, Thompson and M-1 Carbine, easily proved why the Mauser was obsolete before WW2 despite being made handier. Unfortunately for the Germans, all of Mauser's interwar attempts to make the rifle higher capacity were unsatisfactory.

6. FN-FAL "The Right Arm of the West" This rifle gets mention for having served more countries than any other I can think of. Not the best ergonomically, but it arguably could have beaten the M-14 in trials given a level playing field.

7. The Mosin-Nagant. For an arguably obsolete rifle from inception, the M-N certainly held its own across two World Wars. Finn variants show the pinnacle of what this rifle was capable of as Russian examples often look like the product of drunken blind men.

8. The Swiss K-31. Not ever in a battle, but it was the ultimate expression of the straight-pull concept and conceivably one of the reasons that the Germans shelved plans to occupy Switzerland in World War 2, The Germans well knew that General Guisan would spend the war directing sniper fire and insurgency from Alpine strongholds using these precision rifles and their fantastic GP-11 cartridges.

9. The M-14. Conceptually this rifle has been slammed as too heavy, too powerful, and too little too late to fill an unfillable role of taking over as MBR, SAW, and whatnot. A product improved Garand actioned bottom feeder, the M-14 bears mention because it still makes it to the front lines in American hands.

10. The M1903A3. Gets mention here because I am running out of worthy entrants. Basically a Mauser actioned bolt rifle, this weapon gets marks for its sighting system improvements over its breeding stock and the fact that it served with the Marines right up to early 1943.

November 21, 2006, 04:03 PM
1. Ak-47 and variants
2. M-16 and variants
3. M1 Garand
4. 98K Mauser
5. SMLE Enfield

Everything after that is up for grabs really.

November 21, 2006, 04:26 PM
You do know that the Korean War lasted almost as long as WWII right?

Just because they don't make lots of movies about it doesn't mean it didn't have an impact. The M14 service history is long and outstanding.

So, how many M14s were issued during the Korean war? :D :neener:

November 21, 2006, 04:27 PM
I'm still trying to figure out how the STG-44 and the AUG made it on the list while the SKS, the CETME, and the P14/M1917 "Enfield" didn't even show up? :scrutiny:

I liked the show, but their criteria is always questionable.... :rolleyes:

November 21, 2006, 04:32 PM
stoky's handy dandy TVBS descrambler:
Subtract the four carbines, leaving the six rifles. Invert the remaining order.

November 21, 2006, 04:38 PM
Several months ago, after viewing the History Channel show, a friend asked me for my own choices. My thoughts:

10. Heckler & Koch G91. Excellent and reliable design. Lack of last-round bolt hold open a major flaw.

9. The M1 Carbine. Issued to rear echelon troops and officers, this rifle ably proved to be far superior to handguns as an issue sidearm for those troops to which it was issued. The effectiveness of the select-fire M2 carbine was not lost upon Nazi SS troops, who actively sought to capture examples of the M2 to carry for their own use.
Cons: the pistol powered cartridge was often ineffective. Early examples had push button safties and magazine releases. In the heat of battle, it was embarrasing and dangerous to inadvertently drop the rifle's magazine. Later rifles sported a rotating lever safety.

8. SMLE, the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield. Britain and the Commonwealth fought two World Wars with this excellent rifle. Its 10rd. magazine held twice the capacity of similar bolt action rifles fielded by other combatants. Rugged and reliable, the .303 cartridge was powerful and effective. This rifle soldiered on through the middle Fifties, and is commonly encountered today.

7. The MP44 Sturmgewehr. Leave it to the Germans to recognize the need for a battle rifle capable of automatic fire with an intermediate cartridge! Modern rifle battles are rarely fought at long range. Ordnance from mortars to artillery to airstrikes are called upon beyond the range of the intermediate rifle cartridge. But when actions are fought with rifles, intense automatic fire is required to win those battles. The Nazis designed the 8mm "Kurtz" (short) cartridge for just such a recognition. Rather than burden soldiers with needlessly powerful rifle ammunition, they instead sent their Wehrmacht into battle with the rifle and ammunition that would set the stage for generations to come, indeed until even today. The Russians learned much from their enormous number of casualties, and Mikhail Kalashnikov copied and improved upon the MP44. See my number one choice.

6. The K98 Mauser. The classic bolt action rifle of all time. Germany fought two World Wars with this amazing 19th century creation. The majority of bolt action rifles since 1898 have been variations on the design of the K98. America learned valuable, hard fought lessons in the Spanish-American War, encountering Spanish troops armed with 1898 Mauser rifles firing smokeless powder loaded 7 X 57 cartridges. The US 1903 Springfield is a case in point, and the US government paid the Mauser brothers a patents infringement settlement for the blatant copying of the Mauser design. Power and reliability personified.

5. The M1 Garand. Far and away the finest battle rifle fielded by any combatant of WWII. This rifle's reliability was proven across the many far flung conditions it fought during the Big One. From the volcanic sand-strewn beaches of Pacific islands, to the frigid conditions of the Aleutians and Bastogne. No less an authority then General George Patton proclaimed this rifle "the finest battle implement ever designed by man." Tell you what: you choose any more modern rifle you desire, and leave me with a Garand. I'll hold my own with you within 500 yards. Beyond that, I'll own you.

4. The M14. While there's more to it than simply an M1 Garand updated to accept detachable magazines, then again perhaps one need say no more than that. The M14 served the shortest service life as the US military's issue rifle. Yet it soldiers on even today. It's 7.62 X 51 (.308Win) cartridge has proven extremely valuable in the long range shooting common in Afghanistan, when the M16s have long since become ineffective. The M14 has long proven to be reliable and effective.

3. The M16. While this rifle encountered painful birthing problems in the jungles of Viet Nam, those have been long since solved. This rifle has served the US military since 1964, and will for another generation. Probably the most accurate rifle of this list. If your M16/AR15 shoots less than 2 MOA, get another. That one will. The myriad variations upon the M16 system are staggering. The short, compact M4 is seeing daily combat in urban, close-in conditions in Falluja and Baghdad. The full sized M2 is still light and well balanced. The 5.56/.223Rem ammunition is light and compact, allowing soldiers to carry far more rounds than any .30 caliber 7.62 ammo. The recoil buffering system makes shooting the M16 a pleasant experience.
Cons: The lightweight ammunition is .22 caliber. In many conditions, it lacks the shock power of larger calibers. The M16 needs daily cleaning, if not hourly. The same close tolerances that produce its amazing accuracy contribute to its succeptibility to mechanical malfunctions. The aluminum magazines are somewhat fragile.

2. The Belgian FAL. It nearly pains me to rate this rifle short of number one. I love this rifle. The ultimate achievement in battle rifles. The gas regulating system allows the rifle to selectively function with only the proper amount of "oomph" to cycle the action, saving wear on the action and recoil on the shooter's shoulder. The takedown, for maintenance and cleaning, is the best ever produced. It's a full power 7.62 X 51 battle rifle cartridge, .308Win to us civillian shooters. The pistol gripped stock helps mollify the significant recoil. Has seen service with more than 90 armies around the world. "The Free World's right arm."

1. The AK-47. Ubiquitous around the globe. As an old friend of mine was fond of saying, "You can't throw a dead cat without hitting one of those!" Rugged and reliable to say the least. Unparalleled reliability. An extremely effective caliber, the 7.62 X 39 has the energy to reach beyond 300 yards. In Viet Nam, it proved a much better cartridge in the jungle conditions than the M16's 5.56. The AK's steel magazine is much more robust than the aluminum M16 magazine. This rifle has been used by generations of users ignorant of its proper maintenance, yet the rifle simply doesn't fail. My own prized Caca Hits The Fan bugout weapon is a Bulgarian rifle with a milled steel receiver, rather than the stamped receivers of most AKs. Do NOT take me on within 350 yards!
Cons: The lack of a bolt hold-open on an empty magazine is a major flaw. The magazine release and magazine insertion are much more awkward than the M16, FAL, or M14.

November 21, 2006, 05:00 PM
The Garand was probably the best semi-auto rifle of World War Two. Although there were some 1903's floating around during the early part of the conflict and on the home front during the war, it was revolutionary in that it was the main rifle of the US Army. Nobody used more semi-auto rifles than the US. The Germans and Russians had some, but they never outnumbered the bolt-actions and sun-guns in those armies.

On the other hand, the Garand was an odd rifle in a lot of ways. That eight-round en-bloc clip and that terrible weight were certainly negatives. Like American shooters themselves, it was in many ways a very conservative design, shooting a big .30 cartiridge. Apart from the concept of a virtually all semi-auto rifle Army, the design itself was not too revolutionary.

November 21, 2006, 06:37 PM
The first significant defeat suffered by German land forces was inflicted by soldiers using the No1 Mk 3 SMLE. It was at a place called Tobruk.

You really think Tobruk beats out Stalingrad? Hmmmm . . .

edit -- somehow read "first" for "most." Disregard all after "Tobruk" . . .

November 21, 2006, 06:51 PM
I don't think the Mosin won Stalingrad, the Ppsh-41 and a lot of blood did.

November 21, 2006, 07:04 PM
no gun won stalingrad. people won stalingrad. millions of conscripts, and civilians won stalingrad

November 21, 2006, 07:27 PM
I dont know what to think about the bolt rifles. They were very effective in their day in BATTLE but now a days, Id rather have some kel-tec su-16 or other modern semi-auto that isnt a "battle rifle". I dont know if its a battle rifle or not, but Id rather have a ar-180 (or 180b) over alot of those.

November 21, 2006, 07:40 PM
The only thing on there that even deserves to challenge the Garand is the AK, and that loses simply because it has never been use by a victorious nation during a World War.

On a side not, who uses the AUG in large numbers? That seems like it has a very select audience.

November 21, 2006, 07:50 PM
The effectiveness of the select-fire M2 carbine was not lost upon Nazi SS troops, who actively sought to capture examples of the M2 to carry for their own use.

Sounds good, but it's pure bunk. The M2 was developed too late in WW2 to have been used against SS troops. Where do these wild tales come from?


November 21, 2006, 08:08 PM
Has an AUG ever even actually BEEN in a battle?

Yah, I was wondering the same thing. Do the Austrailians use it? Was it used in Afganistan. I am pretty sure that Austria hasn't been involved in a sustained conflict since 1945 or so.

November 21, 2006, 08:16 PM
I dont know what to think about the bolt rifles. They were very effective in their day in BATTLE but now a days, Id rather have some kel-tec su-16 or other modern semi-auto that isnt a "battle rifle". I dont know if its a battle rifle or not, but Id rather have a ar-180 (or 180b) over alot of those.

I'd rather have a bolt gun (and do, several civilian and milsurps) over any mil-pattern assault rifle.

I ain't in a squad.
I won't be part of a fire team.
Firefights aren't won by one or two shooters with ARs, AKs, or FALs.
Playing point defense in a fortified position bolts long range and shotguns short range are still a very viable combo against anyone not from a mech infantry company.

With a bolt gun you gain the advantage of distance over most intermediate round weapons. No ballistic armor I am aware of will hold up against .30-06AP.

A bolt gun will usually be capable of mounting better glass and be more useful from prone, making one of today's hunter a serviceable TEOTWAWKI sniper tomorrow if he puts in the accuracy and stalking work now.

I tend to think box hangers for civilians are way overrated on the internet. Though many would be able to implement them effectively, most owners can't.

Besides, after all of the bullets from all of the guns have been fired at the end of the world, a Garand is a way better club/spear than any AR ever made.

If a "military" rifle doesn't have a steel buttplate, I am not much interested in it as an individual as opposed to a member of an organized force.

November 21, 2006, 08:58 PM
I suppose your right about that one. A mosin is one hell of a spear and can kick ass quite a ways away. I guess I dont live in open enough of an area. I still suppose Id rather have even some obscure rifle like an M-17s, su-16, etc. Not for the rest of my life maybe. But for a katrina like situation. Or a HD thing. I know its also sort of obscure but a rifle (which Im actually about to make a separate thread about haha) may of been overlooked. Its extremely reliable and accurate. The Daewoo line of battle rifles.

November 21, 2006, 09:00 PM
Steyr Aug b4 M14?????:barf: :mad: :cuss: :(

November 21, 2006, 09:49 PM
Has an AUG ever even actually BEEN in a battle?

Yah, I was wondering the same thing. Do the Austrailians use it? Was it used in Afganistan. I am pretty sure that Austria hasn't been involved in a sustained conflict since 1945 or so.
It's carried by Aussie forces in Iraq - whether they've had to use them in anger, I don't know.

November 21, 2006, 10:34 PM
Bosnia and Croatia, Afghanistan, Iraq.

November 22, 2006, 12:47 AM
I think Diggers have used the AUG on the two way firing range in east timor, and Afghanistan. Although it might have been used in Iraq I think they've got issued M16s for commonality with US forces.

November 22, 2006, 12:59 AM
The Australians have found a lot of problems with AUGs. Thye found if they got wet they didn't work. Many bad mouth the M16 in a dirty environment, an AUG is worst. Other AUG problems:

1. Tap a magazine in with the palm of your hand the top 2-3 rounds pop out of the mag. You need to clear a jam when reloading without getting a shot off.

2. The manual says you can open up the gas port if the gun jams. They didn't design this in unless they knew it would jam when dirty.

3. Gunscrubber and similar solvents will turn the magazines to gooey resin.

4. Nice idea to be able to set up the rifle for right or left hand but once you have it's not usable for people who use the opposite hand. Brass deflector on M16 works all the time.

5. The squeeze semi, jerk auto trigger is difficult to use in combat. You are going to jerk the trigger in combat and spray the area with your ammo. They came up with a fix in the safety, half way left semi all the way auto. If you're carrying the weapon on safe and something happens you are going to slam that safety to the auto position.

The Australians are glad they didn't get rid of their M16s.

November 22, 2006, 01:25 AM
I also have heard poor things about the AUG... and I wouldn't have placed it in the top 10, either. A curious inclusion, definitely.

I really agree with the list Boats compiled.

November 22, 2006, 03:00 PM
1. Ak-47 and variants
2. M-16 and variants
3. M1 Garand
4. 98K Mauser
5. SMLE Enfield

I'll go along with that. Though I might change the order on the last two.

full metal
January 16, 2007, 12:48 AM
what about the HK-G3 or G1? and also sks they seen a lot of combat.

January 16, 2007, 01:06 AM
Aren't AKs and M16s assault rifles?

I always thought battle rifles were those that used full power rifle cartridges and the M16 and AK and AUG all use intermediate cartridges and would be better classified as assault rifles.

January 16, 2007, 09:01 AM
I would have to agree with mattw on that, although the days of the full power cartridge have passed, at least for front line use.

I don't know how they could leave the G3 family out, it and the FAL are the two most widely used, behind the AR and AK.

And I group the M1 and M14 together; more like a next generation thing.

M1 carbine was never considered a MBR, more like a long barreled pistol for rear echelon groups.

January 16, 2007, 09:29 AM
No doubt that the Garand should be better represented.

January 16, 2007, 02:23 PM
"Has an AUG ever even actually BEEN in a battle?

Yes. The Aussies use it -- East Timor, Afghanistan, etc. Their SF uses the M4.

M14 is very nice, but I don't think it has the numbers or battle history to rank it among the M1, smle, AK, etc.

You do know that the Korean War lasted almost as long as WWII right?"

Korean War: 1950-1953. M14 issue date: 1957.

The rifles the U.S. used in Korea include the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine. The M14's war as a general issue grunt rifle includes the first part of Vietnam. No warts on it for not having been in a larger conflict, and then getting replaced by the plastic fantastic, but that's the history.

January 16, 2007, 03:31 PM
In my opinion, this is how it should have looked.

10. M-1 Carbine and variants: Most notable for its role in Korea. Though underpowered as a main battle rifle, it was more than adequet for its intended role as defensive arm for support personnel.

9. SKS-45: While not having a particularly long front-line issue life, it has played a major role as the primary small arm used in the fierce conflicts in asia that characterized the middle part of the cold war. More recently it has seen action in the various yugoslavian civil wars of the 1990s.

8. Mosin-Nagant 1893: Backbone of the Russian and Soviet armies during WW1, the Russian Revolution, and WW2. Even after its replacement by the SKS-45 continued to serve with distinction through Korea, Vietnam, and still seen in Somalia and numerous other conflict zones today.

7. SMLE: Served as the issue rifle in several variations for the British Empire and then the British Commonwealth. Saw two world wars and numerous smaller conflicts until it was replaced by the L1A1 after WW2.

6. Mauser 96 and variants: Reliable, accurate, and effective they were the backbone of most world armies until the advent of automatic rifles after the end of WW2.

5. Stg-44: First weapon of its kind to see actual service.

4. M-16 and variants: 40 years have served to correct it's initial failings and it has matured into a reliable and deadly accurate weapon. I won't get into any debates about 5.56x45mm's issues though.

3. FN FAL/L1A1: It's not called the "Right Arm of the Free World" for nothing. Durable and the backbone of most non-communist nations' infantry for most of the cold war and in many cases beyond.

2. AK-47 and Variants: The magnificent bastards of combat rifles. What they lack in looks or accuracy they make up for with almost indestructable ruggedness and low cost.

1. M-1 Garand and varients including the M-14: Sorry, but everything to one degree or another has copied features from it. The AK got its locking system and trigger-hammer arrangement from it and the M-16 still uses a Garand based trigger.

January 19, 2007, 12:08 AM
The Garand served from 1936 until early Vietnam for the active ground forces, but was still used by the USANG and the Navy well into the 70's.
Many foreign militaries used them for years and then sold them back to our citizens or sent them back via the DCM.

There is no arguing with M-1 people. They are utterly convinced that the Garand has no peer. They will suffer the M-14 and M1a, but then gruble about 'that thing that sticks out the bottom'. They can't even imagine when the M-1's will cease to be useful. In 30 years the oldest will be 100 years old. Garand people will have no qualms about shouldering them well past that point on a REGULAR basis. They will just be re-parkd, re-stocked, re-barreled and re-gassed. They will survive when the SHTF and be used to butt stroke space aliens when they invade.

And they can (for now) be legally owned in the WHOLE of North America.
You can cross into Canada with the thing in your trunk.
No AK's and AR's in many places, but the Garand just gets a pass everywhere. Not that it would matter, but when it is your number one choice it makes life easier.

January 19, 2007, 12:29 AM
I am also baffled as to the inclusion of the AUG. Obviously, the StG44 was included for being that famous "first assault rifle" - but the AUG... it was, what, the world's first decent bullpup? So what? There's the AUG and the L85/SA80 - I wouldn't say that bullpups are exactly an influential design in battle rifles.

It kind of irks me that some on this thread are fanboying for certain rifles simply because they're personal favorites, so I'll try to rationalize my opinion that they should have included the Mosin: it served Russia through I don't know how many wars and revolutions (including WWII), and even today the Finns are still using it as a sniper platform. The 7.62x54R is the longest-serving military cartridge in the world, and the Mosin has had one hell of a service life. I don't doubt that there are a couple hundred thousand of the things at least floating around in Iraq and Afghanistan along with a similar number of Enfields.

I'll close with another "what the hell?" for the AUG.

Don't Tread On Me
January 19, 2007, 02:19 AM
My list.

10 - G3
9 - SKS
8 - Sturmgewehr 44
7 - Mosin Nagant
6 - SMLE
5 - FN FAL
4 - Mauser K98k Carbine
3 - M1 Garand
2 - AK Series
1 - M16 Series

January 19, 2007, 03:05 AM
Another thing about Canada. Here, Garands can have 8-round clips, whereas the law restricts almost all other semi-auto rifles to 5 round magazines, including the M1A. Imagine how that would affect the M1 vs M14 debate were it the law in the U.S.

January 19, 2007, 08:19 AM
I've read about that situation in Canada with the clips (the Enfield was exempted, too). I believe the Garand is also not on the 'restricted' list in Canada too. Now I won't say anything more.

The ammo the thing eats is also leagally non- AP even if it *IS* AP BATFE rules here in the states. Not a big deal, but a perk.

Although the 10 rd BS here in the states will come and go, many weapons are banned in large cities and states by type. In Cook Co. (Chicago) IL even
the M-1 Carbine and AR-10 are now completely banned. So is the Aug, AK, m-14 and most of the BR list. No one will ever be charged under the law, but I digress.

I'd love to know what the AR-10 could have done in a number of situations.

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