Discovery Channel Top 10 Combat Rifles...no Mosin...do you think it's fair??


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saturno_v
November 22, 2009, 08:50 PM
While I agree with most of the inclusions and the rankings in the list, I find the absence of the Mosin Nagant rather serious...

Link to the videos on here:

http://military.discovery.com/videos/top-10-rifles/

IMHO the Mosin deserved to be included more than the M-14 (very short service life) or the Steyr AUG or even the Sturmgewehr 44.

Impressive length of service, the 7.62x54R is the longest service military cartridge in the world in active combat duty with major armed forces.

The quantity built, the number of armed conflicts has been used and the fact it emerged on the winning side of one of the major military confrontations in the world.

Let's not forget that it was the weapon of some of the most successful military snipers.

Like someone said before: "The Mosin Nagant has fought against itself and won every time. ..." :D

What is your opinion??

Please feel free to mention some other rifles that you would have included in the list (but not exceeding 10 in total) and the reasons why.

Let's roll!!!

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Balrog
November 22, 2009, 09:21 PM
Service life is not necessarily important.

The Roman gladius, for example, was the standard service weapon of the Roman empire for perhaps 600 years, yet it is far inferior to an M14.

Mags
November 22, 2009, 09:25 PM
It would help if you posted the list, I'm more on The History Channel than Discovery.

taliv
November 22, 2009, 09:32 PM
and if the roman gladius was a rifle, it might have made the list :rolleyes:

the top four are a tossup (AR, AK, Garand, FAL, in alphabetical order). the next 6 are so far behind them it hardly matters. but yeah, i would have included the mosin in that list.

cleetus03
November 22, 2009, 10:43 PM
I think the op meant the Military Channel which is part of discovery network.
Here's the list via http://military.discovery.com/technology/weapons/rifles-intro.html

Top Ten Combat Rifles

1.) AK47
Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Caliber: 7.62 x 39 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 30 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: 2,329 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 600 rounds per minute

2.) M16
Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: United States
Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 20-30 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 3,281 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 700-950 rounds per minute

3.) Lee Enfield SMLE
Type: Bolt-Action Rifle
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Caliber: 7.7 x 56 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 10 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: approximately 2,438 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 15-20 rounds per minute

4.) M1 Garand
Type: Semiautomatic
Rifle Country of Origin: United States
Caliber: 7.62 x 63 mm (.30-06 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 8 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,838 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 30 rounds per minute

5.) FN FAL
Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Rifle
Country of Origin: Belgium
Caliber: 7.62 x 51 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 20 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,700 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 650-700 rounds per minute

6.) Mauser 98K Carbine
Type: Bolt-Action Rifle
Country of Origin: Germany
Caliber: 7.92 x 57 mm (.30 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 5 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: approximately 2,822 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 10-15 rounds per minute

7.) Steyr AUG
Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Bull-Pup Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: Austria
Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm (.22 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 30 and 42 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 3,084 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 650 rounds per minute

8.) Springfield 1903
Type: Bolt-Action Rifle
Country of Origin: United States
Caliber: 7.62 x 63 mm (.30-06 inch)
Cartridge Capacity: 5 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,700 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 10 rounds per minute


9.) STURMGEWEHR 44
Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Assault Rifle
Country of Origin: Germany
Caliber: 7.92 x 33 mm
Cartridge Capacity: 30 rounds
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,133 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 500 rounds per minute

10.) M14
Type: Semi or Fully Automatic Rifle
Caliber: 7.62 x 51 mm (.30 inch)
Muzzle Velocity: Approximately 2,799 feet per second
Rate of Fire: 700-750 rounds per minute

wishin
November 22, 2009, 10:49 PM
I would have included the BAR, if only because that sucker put out some firepower!

Mags
November 22, 2009, 11:03 PM
Yep the AUG should be replaced by the Mosin all the other selections make sense except for the M14 I think the Thompson should take its place on the list.

saturno_v
November 22, 2009, 11:03 PM
Thanks Cleetus for posting the list, I should have done it myself.

saturno_v
November 22, 2009, 11:06 PM
Service life is not necessarily important.

The Roman gladius, for example, was the standard service weapon of the Roman empire for perhaps 600 years, yet it is far inferior to an M14.

Service life was actually an important part of the evaluation if you watch the videos here:

http://military.discovery.com/videos/top-10-rifles/

Mosin inferior to an M14 in what sense?? The two rifles are not even comparable, there are like 60 years of difference between the two.....
Among its contemporary rivals, the Mosin fares pretty well....

saturno_v
November 22, 2009, 11:12 PM
the top four are a tossup (AR, AK, Garand, FAL, in alphabetical order). the next 6 are so far behind them it hardly matters. but yeah, i would have included the mosin in that list.

Taliv

I totally agree...immediately after the top 4 you mentioned, I would have included the Mosin, just behind the Mauser 98k, well ahead of the M-14 or the 1903 Springfield IMHO.

Pony Express
November 22, 2009, 11:42 PM
I think that show is a load of crap...Seems more like most popular rifles than "best".

But yes, I think the Mosin should be somewhere in the top 10, by their standards at least.

taliv
November 22, 2009, 11:48 PM
eh, ok... toss the mauser in there and make it a top 5 tossup.

car15bill
November 23, 2009, 01:00 AM
oh come on, no love for the m1/m2 carbine? the first shorter range, high capacity rifle? or the henry or spencer, the first REPEATING combat rifles?

ChronoCube
November 23, 2009, 01:02 AM
Also, over 30 million Mosins were produced -- far more than the Enfield or K98k. Given the amount of action that took place on the Eastern Front, it deserves the title of "the rifle that won WW2."

ozarkhillbilly
November 23, 2009, 01:55 AM
Yes the Mosin was produced in large numbers but it is an inferior rifle to the 1903, K98 and the Enfield. I doubt that the M14 would have been included had it not come out of retirement for the latest Middle East excursions.

saturno_v
November 23, 2009, 02:02 AM
....but it is an inferior rifle to .....

Depends on what you mean by "inferior"...not smooth as a Mauser or Enfield action?? ...Yes, but more powerful than the 303 British, probably more reliable even than a Mauser and it can be as accurate if not more...

It balances exceptionally well, better than the Enfield or the Mauser IMHO.

Dambugg
November 23, 2009, 02:06 AM
The 30 carbine should be on that list. It helped pave the way for the m16 and ak 47, being a lighter weapon that was less physically taxing on the shooter.

The mosin should also be on that list. I can't see how it's inferior to the k98 as the mosin was more dependable in cold weather.

cleetus03
November 23, 2009, 02:27 AM
Mosin Nagant="the rifle that won WW2."

No Way!......please throw that Nostalgia image out your head, cuz once the PPSH-41 burp gun started cranking out the factories in 1941 it became the best thing since sliced bread to those ole Ruskies.

The Soviet brass loved the "Pa Pa Shaw" so much, they equipped ENTIRE divisions with it during the the latter period of the war. Hell often times the Soviet factories would make 2 ppsh barrel's by cutting up 1 mosin nagant's.


The Soviet forces officially used the Mosin-Nagant 1930G as their standard issue rifle, but in practice the Soviet forces issued the PPSh-1941G submachine gun to a much larger extent than the Mosin-Nagants, eventually effectively replacing the rifle as the standard weapon for Soviet forces. http://www.littlefoxy.org/html/body_wwii.html



P.S. Oh yeah and Besides the point, American Military logistics & ALL who served won WW2 not a damn rifle;)

Omaha-BeenGlockin
November 23, 2009, 03:30 AM
I'd dump the Steyr AUG and put in the SKS

owlhoot
November 23, 2009, 03:35 AM
The Steyr AUG has no business on the list. I owned one for several years (semiauto) and found nothing to love about it. Moreover, it has no combat record to speak of. It has not influenced history, and it was not the first bullpup design.

As much as I like the Springfield 03, it does not belong on the list. It copied the Mauser design in most aspects and had a very limited combat run. It was chambered in the .30-06 round but that is not reason enough to include the 03 on the list. But it is a sweet rifle.

I've owned many combat rifles and the M14 is my favorite, but it does not belong on the list. It broke no new ground and was essential an extension of the Garand. It has no significant combat record, and while it introduced the .308 cartridge, that is not sufficient reason to include it on the list.

The Strumgewehr 44 makes the list only because it was the first "assault" rifle. It entered the war too late in too small numbers to have an impact on the war. But the Russians were quick to see its value. It was the daddy of the AK47. For that reason it belongs as most influential if not best.

The British SMLE was a fine rifle and state of the art in WWI but we can't have three bolt actions claiming to be the best. Nevertheless, the Brits had a far flung empire in those days and the SMLE helped hold the empire together. Plus it was faster than a Mauser to operate and extremely rugged and reliable. So I'll leave it.

Most "top ten" lists suck. This one sucks more that most.

A battle rifle has to be judged against its contemporaries. It should contribute to firearms design which is to say, it should advance the genre. It should do its job better than its competition. It should help make history. None of the three mentioned rifles did those things.

I wouldn't put the Mosin on the best list. It broke no new ground. It didn't play much of a part in WWI. Russia dropped out of that one early without making much of an impact. But the rifle was used in the revolution by both the Reds and the Whites.

In WWII Russia very early learned that the submachine gun was the way to go when the Finns kicked their collective ass. Russia then made an effort to equip as many soldiers as possible with a sub gun. They had a much higher percentage of troops so equiped than did any other army in the war. They had, however, more cannon fodder than they had submachine guns so the Mosin was widely issued - and it gave a good account of itself. But in WWII the Mauser and Enfield and Mosin were behind the curve. They were WWI guns and were far outclassed by the Garand. The Garand was the pre-emminent battle rifle of that war.

Evidently this was a best battle rifle of the 20th century list.

saturno_v
November 23, 2009, 04:50 AM
but we can't have three bolt actions claiming to be the best.

I do not see much logic there...in the list there are several fully automatic rifles (AK, AR, FAL, M14, etc...)....too many??

The Mosin (contemporary to the Mauser) introduced the first successful smokeless service cartridge (the 8 mm Lebel was an imperfect design which didn't lasted long)

The cartridge interrupter was another innovation to prevent rim lock in rimmed cartridges

Sub-machine guns or not, the Russians did credit the Mosin (easy to produce in massive numbers, significant psycological effects on the enemy troops by the snipers equipped with it) as one of the important factors that helped them win the war.

This is an end of the war Soviet propaganda video, "The Rifle of Great Victories"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdxbMopm1lI

The Mosin did make history indeed

It did help the Finns in kicking Russia's behind too.

I do not see the Garand as a rifle that many other design were inspired from....for example, nobody used an internal clip for an auto/semiauto rifle, weight issues, etc..

The Sturmgewehr 44 was much more innovative in that regard and it was truly a trendsetter for future design...the world real first automatic assault rifle.

peyton
November 23, 2009, 05:43 AM
I agree with owlhoot, the AUG has not seen combat use.

Sav .250
November 23, 2009, 08:12 AM
One man`s list is another man`s .........hey, you left on off. :)

Tim the student
November 23, 2009, 09:36 AM
As the great Tom Brands would say, "the only way you deserve it is if you earn it."

Which the Mosin has done, IMO.

nathan
November 23, 2009, 10:53 AM
AUG should be relegated to police and SWAT work.

Robert
November 23, 2009, 11:21 AM
I think it is more than fair. The Mosin does not compare in anyway to the 1903, K98 or No1 Mk III* or the No4 Mk1. The Mosin is not nearly as accurate as any of those, not nearly as ergonomic nor as fast shooting. For something that was designed to be used by hordes of illiterate conscripts and then purchased 50 years later for less than $100 at Big 5 it has done fine. And the Mosin did a great deal in the hands of Russian soldiers to defeat the Nazis, and in turn force communism on Eastern Europe. But the Mosin is out classed in every way by the bolt action rifles that did make the list.

saturno_v
November 23, 2009, 12:17 PM
The Mosin is not nearly as accurate as any of those

Are you sure about that???

What great innovation the 1903 did bring to the table??

ChronoCube
November 23, 2009, 12:21 PM
The Mosin is not nearly as accurate as any of those
The Finns demonstrated otherwise.

offthepaper
November 23, 2009, 12:32 PM
The Finns demonstrated otherwise.

Ahh, you beat me to it.
The Finn M39 Mosins are smooth and accurate. They were a Russian grunt's wish-weapon (as in, I wish I had one of THOSE).

Robert
November 23, 2009, 12:32 PM
The Finns demonstrated otherwise.
You are correct. The Finn should not be lumped in with Russian Mosin rifles. If I were to own a Mosin it would be a Finn.

And yes I am sure. Show me one long range target rifle used in a Service Rifle type competition that is built on a Mosin action.

xmenm05
November 23, 2009, 12:58 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62_Tkiv_85
I show you ... never mess with mosin-addicted people ... :)

Robert
November 23, 2009, 01:30 PM
Cool looking Finn sniper rifle. Thanks for the link. But those are not stock Service Rifle compatible rifles. I was talking more along the lines of shooting Service Rifle matches here in the US. Shoot a stock 1903 vs a stock Mosin and lets see what happens. I am not trying to deride the Mosin I respect what it is. But to say that a Mosin, except a Finn, is the same or better than those rifles that made the list is a bit of a stretch.

Cosmoline
November 23, 2009, 01:45 PM
But the Mosin is out classed in every way by the bolt action rifles that did make the list.

I'll grant you that the SMLE is the best overall combat bolt action rifle ever made, but the Mosin-Nagant is at least equal to the Mauser 98 or the Springfield knockoffs of the Mauser 98. The action is slightly faster and equally strong. The wartime Soviet production tended to get pretty ratty, but so did the Mauser production. I've had some wartime 98's that were very rough. To compare you'd need to put the cruddy ones against the cruddy ones and the best against the best. On the cruddy end of the Mauser spectrum you'd need to compare the ratty Turks with the ratty wartime Soviets, and I've fired a lot of both. I'd much prefer using the ratty Soviet 91/30's to the Turks. No offense to Turkey. On the high end, very few military Mausers could outshoot a Finn 28-30.

But those are not stock Service Rifle compatible rifles

The M27, M28, M28-30, M39, M30, M91 etc. are all stock rifles and range from 2MOA to sub MOA when matched with the proper Finnish ammo or equivalent.

But to say that a Mosin, except a Finn, is the same or better than those rifles that made the list is a bit of a stretch.

I've had some Soviet 91/30s that are on par with a service unmodified Springfield or military Mauser 98. Besides, if accuracy was the sole requirement the Garand would be replaced by the K31 Schmidt-Rubin. The Mosin-Nagant fought through two world wars and innumerable lesser conflicts and proved itself to be very reliable and sufficiently accurate. The troops who used that rifle had no less love for it than our guys did for their Garands and Springfields. And its record in pitched close combat is at least equal to the Mauser. It great limitation was the fact that by the end of WWII it lacked the firepower found in more modern combat weapons, but that would also apply to all bolt action rifles. Furthermore, the Mosin ultimately survived for many years in the field when the other bolt action war rifles had been consigned to scrapheaps and museums. And that's not just inside the pact nations. The Finns were still issuing M39's in the early 1970's and as shown above even developed a modern sniper rifle based on the Mosin's action.

The *TACTICAL* limitations of the Russian and Soviet military mind should not be confused with the *TECHNICAL* merits of the rifle the frontoviks carried.

Col. Plink
November 23, 2009, 02:47 PM
How do the Nazi contract Czech VZ-24's rate in all this? I have heard they are among the best Mausers; do they rate a cut above the ubiquitous K98?

saturno_v
November 23, 2009, 03:22 PM
Gus

Here you go, some commercial long range target rifles based on Russian Mosin actions.

It is an old 1965 Italian gun catalog, the rifles were imported from the Soviet Union by a company called Raznoexports and the brand name was Vostok.

One of the reasons (the main reason I suspect) why there are not many commercial rifles based on the Mosin is because of the cold war.

If I remember correctly, the Russian won a world target competition in the early 80's in Caracas using Mosin actions.

http://public.blu.livefilestore.com/y1pcJLURhNJyDSg-A1BephawGkUs5SPBBpqmWEQiVKT7jh6V9Pa4IsnNNidjxI8J38mX-TqNJV0f9LXu-8edGzHtQ/Commercial%20Mosin%202.jpg

http://public.blu.livefilestore.com/y1prbdw2Gvlz7TtbnbjnC5kmtTNdYjMaQ6K_wD3bkvD5fO0bekMTr71c06eZilAG00SyhKD3gbOqLcgW_dBczi4pw/Commercial%20Mosin%201.jpg

-v-
November 23, 2009, 03:28 PM
Agreed, the Mosin should be on there. The 03 Springfield is basically a different flavor of the K98k. The short service life of the M14 also makes its inclusion on this list dubious. Steyer AUG? Neat rifle, not a "Top 10" by any means. I think the MP40 should be on the list (first? mass produced and issued weapon made of stampings), Mosin-Nagant, and probably the MP44 for the simple reason that it set the patter for all military shoulder-fired arms for the rest of the century, and beyond.

Robert
November 23, 2009, 03:36 PM
Fellas, I have learned a lot in this thread, and thank you for it. The AUG, yeah why that one is on there is anyone's guess. So I will say this, drop the AUG and add the Mosin. I think we can all agree that we love our rifles and that this list could be made 10 different ways by 10 different people.

saturno_v
November 23, 2009, 03:41 PM
There was also a competition model from the Vostok brand in 6.5 cal, which was a 7,62x54R round necked down to 6.5

They sold quite a few in UK.

saturno_v
November 23, 2009, 03:48 PM
For something that was designed to be used by hordes of illiterate conscripts and then purchased 50 years later for less than $100 at Big 5 it has done fine.
Gus, I forgot


The main reasons why you can buy a Mosin for less than $100 at Big 5 are two:

1) The sheer quantity of Mosin produced, in the 37 mil range.

2) These rifles were not destroyed, as happened with many old western guns, they were either handed out to friendly countries by the boatload or kept in cosmoline for decades.

If we had less supply, the prices would be up there with the Enfield, the Mausers and the Springfields ....some specific models of the MN already command steep prices.

ChronoCube
November 23, 2009, 04:15 PM
The *TACTICAL* limitations of the Russian and Soviet military mind should not be confused with the *TECHNICAL* merits of the rifle the frontoviks carried.

Exactly. The Finns built their rifles on Russian receivers and actions, only replacing the stocks and barrels. Finnish Mosins are just accurized Russian Mosins, rather than a different class of rifle altogether. Finnish and Russian Mosins are fundamentally still the same design, and the Finns showed that the design is not inherently less accurate than other rifle designs.

Here's a source regarding what receivers were used in Finn Mosins:
http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinRareFinnLate.htm
"All Finnish rifles are built on receivers from Russian rifles"

Sheepdog1968
November 23, 2009, 04:32 PM
Beauty of these lists is it sparks debate.

axeman_g
November 23, 2009, 05:06 PM
Let's leave the submachine guns (MP40, UZI, PPSH) out of this list.

M14 and Aug leave please... thank you for your time.
1903... also thank you for your time.
SMLE.... please take 4 steps back in the line.
Mr. Nagant please take the 9 postion.
Brown Bess please join the fray.


Brown Bess or the British Army's Land Pattern Musket and its derivatives were used in the era of the expansion of the British Empire. The Land Pattern musket and its derivatives, all .75 caliber flintlock muskets, were the standard long guns of the British Empire's land forces from 1722 until 1838 when they were superseded by a percussion cap smoothbore musket.

ChronoCube
November 23, 2009, 05:24 PM
Should Brown Bess count if it does not have a rifled barrel?

cleetus03
November 23, 2009, 05:42 PM
The Show Rated each rifle on;

1. Accuracy
2. Combat effectiveness
3. Innovation
4. Handling
5. Service length

Here's the show's results and explanation for why;

10. M14:
Accuracy: Excellent
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: Average
Handling: Average
Service length: Very Low

By the end of World War II, with an American infantry platoon carrying as many as four different weapons -- and four types of ammo -- the U.S. Army decided to develop a single weapon that could fulfill multiple roles. The result was the M14. First fielded in 1957, the rugged, accurate new rifle had plenty of stopping power with the standard NATO 7.62 mm round. It first saw major action in Vietnam, where soldiers liked its performance but struggled with the weight of both gun and ammunition. Before long it was phased out in favor of the lighter M16, but a few frontline units still use the classic weapon, primarily as a sniper rifle.

9. Stg44:
Accuracy: Poor
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: Very High
Handling: Average
Service length: Very Low

The Wehrmacht hadn't been at war with the Soviet Union for long when it became clear that German infantry with their bolt-action Mausers were often at a disadvantage in firefights with Russian automatic weapons. In response, German armament developers came up with a revolutionary new weapon: the first "assault rifle" (the literal translation of the German Sturmgewehr). The key to its success was a shorter 7.92 mm round that allowed for effective automatic fire and permitted soldiers to carry sufficient ammunition. The Sturmgewehr came too late to play a significant role in World War II, but it wins high marks for innovation.

8. 1903 Springfield:
Accuracy: Excellent
Combat effectiveness: Low
Innovation: Low
Handling: Low
Service length: Very high

The relatively poor performance of the Norwegian Krag-Jorgensen rifle used by U.S. troops in the Spanish-American War led American planners to look elsewhere for a standard infantry weapon. They "borrowed" the more effective action found on the German 7mm Mauser, added a few modifications, and produced a magazine-fed rifle that boasted phenomenal accuracy. The 1903 quickly gained a reputation as an outstandingly accurate and powerful firearm -- at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, U.S. Marines armed with Springfields cut down enemy counterattacks from 700 to 800 yards away. The rifle continued in service through World War II and Korea and even saw combat as a sniper rifle in Vietnam.

7. Steyr AUG:
Accuracy: Average
Combat effectiveness: Very good
Innovation: Very High
Handling: Excellent
Service length: Low

Looking more like a weapon from a science-fiction movie, the Steyr's only serious "flaw" is the advanced design that seemed to scare away potential customers after its introduction in 1977. In this radically new "bull-pup" configuration most of the barrel, receiver and action, instead of being in front of the operator's firing hand, is all moved back in the stock, resulting in a remarkably compact weapon that is light and easy to handle. The Steyr also features an interchangeable barrel system, a transparent magazine, and optional left or right shell ejection capability.

6. Mauser 98K:
Accuracy: Excellent
Combat effectiveness: Average
Innovation: Very High
Handling: Average
Service length: Very High

First produced at the end of the 19th century, the Mauser 98 was the perfect synthesis of the many innovations that rifles had undergone during the late 19th century: smokeless powder, clips that could be fed into magazines and, most of all, its superb bolt action that is still the basis for most modern hunting rifles. The original model 98 was used during World War I to great effect, but when Germany started rearming in the 1930s the rifle received upgrades that made it lighter and easier to sight and shoot. Inevitably outgunned by automatic weapons, the Mauser nevertheless stands as one of the legendary rifles of the modern age.

5. FN FAL:
Accuracy: Average
Combat effectiveness: Average
Innovation: High
Handling: Average
Service length: Very High

Inspired by the Sturmgewehr 44, the Belgian manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN) originally developed the FAL around the same intermediate round used by the German gun, but when NATO issued the requirement for the longer 7.62 mm, FN altered the design and created a heavy hitter that packs a punch -- and a potent kick. The FAL soon became one of the classic weapons of the Cold War, used by over 50 countries, even if it proved tough to handle in full auto mode. The rifle gave good service to the Australian army in the jungles of Vietnam, to Israeli troops during the Six-Day War and was used by both sides in the fight for the Falkland Islands.

4. M1 Garand:
Accuracy: Good
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: High
Handling: Good
Service length: Average

Adopted by the U.S. Army in 1936, the M1 Garand proved to be a tough, heavy battle rifle when it entered combat five years later. General Patton remarked at the end of World War II that the M1 may have been the greatest battle implement ever devised. A bit of a stretch perhaps, but there's no doubt that the M1 was the first successful semiautomatic rifle issued in any quantity that had the ruggedness and accuracy to dominate the battlefield. Over 6.25 million Garands had been manufactured by the time it was taken out of service in the early 1960s.

3. SMLE:
Accuracy: High
Combat effectiveness: High
Innovation: Average
Handling: High
Service length: Very Long

The standard infantry weapon of British troops from World War I to the 1956 Suez crisis, the Lee-Enfield SMLE (pronounced "smelly") built its reputation on reliability, accuracy and a phenomenal rate of fire. Its magazine carried 10 bullets, the largest capacity of any rifle on the battlefield during the first half of the 20th century. Its short bolt action cocked on closing, and its muzzle cap prevented dirt from clogging the weapon. In the hands of a well-trained infantryman, the Lee-Enfield could perform what was called the "mad minute," i.e., thirty rounds hitting a target 200 meters distant in one minute, a volume of fire that rivals modern semiautomatic weapons.

2. M16:
Accuracy: High
Combat effectiveness: High
Innovation: High
Handling: High
Service length: Long

Although it took a little time to work out the gun's jamming problems during its combat trials in the early 1960s, the M16 has proven to be an outstanding performer with superb accuracy, handling, service length and combat effectiveness. The rifle fulfilled the U.S. military's desire to develop a lightweight modern assault rifle that could replace the semiautomatic M1 and its selective-fire counterpart, the M14. Its innovative features include lighter metal alloy and plastic construction, a simple gas reload system and the use of 5.56 mm ammunition, allowing soldiers to carry twice the amount of ammunition for the same weight of 7.62 mm rounds.

1. AK-47:
Accuracy: Average
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: Excellent
Handling: Excellent
Service length: Very Long

With over 75 million built worldwide, the AK-47 (a.k.a., "Kalashnikov") is a firearms legend that has probably inflicted more lethal results than any other single weapon system ever produced. Built on the same basic design as the German Sturmgewehr, it chambered an intermediate round and was built from stamped parts. The AK-47 was not only easy to produce and relatively cheap, is also proved remarkably easy to maintain and virtually immune to conditions that could easily take out other guns. Accuracy is average, but the Kalashnikov compensates for this with its ability to unleash a lethal wall of lead.


Cited from;
http://military.discovery.com/technology/weapons/rifles-intro.html
http://anarchangel.blogspot.com/2006/11/top-ten-battle-rifles-huh.html

RX-178
November 23, 2009, 05:56 PM
Little nitpick, Axeman. Brown Bess isn't a rifle, so it seems out of place on a list of combat /rifles/.


I'd drop the 1903 and the M14 from the list as well. The 1903 has much more history as a sniper rifle, and the M14 is more like a footnote of the Garand.

AUG gets to stay because it's the first successful bullpup design, and just because we might not personally care for bullpup layout ergonomics doesn't mean it's not a significant step in history. It does get bumped back behind the StG-44 though.

SMLE gets moved behind the Garand, but its performance in WW1 keeps it high on my list.

Mauser gets moved up above the FN FAL. The Mauser action was just too groundbreaking to stay behind there.

So that leaves my list:

1: AK-47
2: AR-15/M-16
3: M1 Garand
4: Lee Enfield
5: Mauser
6: FN FAL
7: Steyr AUG
8: StG-44

9 on my list goes to the M1 Carbine. It's just really hard to argue with its service history, which is still ongoing.

Finally, the Mosin gets number 10. The design just didn't bring any new capabilities to rifle design like the Mauser and the Lee Enfield did. In fact, some gun writers speculate the only reason the Mosin was designed was to avoid paying royalties to use an already existing bolt action design. BUT it does have a long history of use, and even though most of its popularity is recent (hard to dislike an $80 rifle), I can't think of anything else to go into the #10 spot.

Oro
November 23, 2009, 05:57 PM
Given the amount of action that took place on the Eastern Front, it deserves the title of "the rifle that won WW2."

Like Cleetus03 pointed out, that's a bit of a stretch. In that measure, it just happened to be the run-of-the-mill late-19th century design that was hanging around when WWII came. Even the British planned to replace the Enfield by that time; the Great Depression and reduced spending interfered.

Artillery, air power, automatic weapons and sheer weight of numbersprovided the firepower and edge that defeated the Germans on the battlefield - the individual weapons were secondary. Likewise, the Garand and 1911 didn't "make" the US win, either. Two guys with an Sg44 in a foxhole were no match for 20 guys with Mosins supported by Yaks and rocket-equipped mobile artillery. But which gun would you rather have?

I think the M14 has a deserved place as a robust and cutting-edge automatic rifle and don't begrudge that. Though I agree with others that the SKS has a deserved place ahead of the Mosin and possibly the M14. The one gun on there I think the Mosin might edge is the Springfield '03.

9 on my list goes to the M1 Carbine. It's just really hard to argue with its service history, which is still ongoing.

But since the category is "battle/combat rifles," and it's not one, doesn't that kind of rule it out. The M1 may be an acceptable secondary/support weapon, but it's not a main battle rifle.

axeman_g
November 23, 2009, 08:51 PM
ok the Brown Bess leaves... but it was fun to throw it in there.

MetalHead
November 24, 2009, 02:22 AM
In no particular order:
AKM
M-16
Mauser 98 and its copies
Dryse needle gun
Henry lever gun
Lee-Enfields
Garands; M1, M14, BM59
STURMGEWEHR 44
FN FAL

and the last spot is tough, the Mosin Nagant is in the running but I can think of some other that might lay claim if only they had taken part in higher profile conflicts.
For those who bemoan the M1 carbine not listed, the catagory is combat rifles, in my mind if the carbine qualifies then I must include the PPSH as well.

Cosmoline
November 24, 2009, 02:49 AM
Dryse needle gun

I think there's a big difference between the top ten overall combat rifles and the top ten MOST INFLUENTIAL. The needle gun was an important step forward in design, but I would never want to have to fire one without a face mask. Likewise, for INFLUENCE the hated old Lebel would have to have the No. 1 spot or something near it since it introduced Poudre B to the world and literally revolutionized small arms technology. The Lebel also fired an experimental copper-jacketed round that made full use of the new high pressure powder. That combination--smokeless powder and copper jackets--is at the core of every major development since and still provides the basis for all modern small arms. But you would not find the Lebel on anyone's list of BEST combat rifles.

DannySeesUSMC
November 24, 2009, 04:03 AM
RX - 178, what units or nations still use the M1 Carbine?

For people mentioning the AUG, it has been used by a few nations for a while now, just never mainstream in large numbers like the others. It is mostly used by national police anti-terrorism/SWAT type teams in Europe. Not that it should be on the list though, it isn't a basic infantry type of weapon....nor a true rifle at all.

NWCP
November 24, 2009, 04:20 AM
The Mosin Nagant was successful primarily due to the sheer number of soldiers carrying it. Stalin was able to throw millions of troops into battle and accepted losses without batting an eye. The list reflects the personal preferences of the site members as much as the success of the battle rifles. I'm surprised the Garrand didn't place higher than it did.

GRIZ22
November 24, 2009, 05:25 AM
There is nothing innovative or unique about the Mosin Nagant other than it was used a long time by a lot of people.

I don't agree with a few of those picks they did on this show or some of their criteria but agree the Garand, AK, M16, and FAL belong at the top. Order depends on personal preference.

RX-178
November 24, 2009, 08:31 AM
RX - 178, what units or nations still use the M1 Carbine?

As I recall, Israeli police still issue it to non-combat units. They tried to replace it, then went back to it, and are supposed to be converting them with a bullpup stock. Still the M1 Carbine though.

It's used by just about every police, security agency, paramilitary and militia force in the Philippines. I don't get that one, really. Some of these guys get great toys like G36 rifles and P90s, but the guy next to him is using an M1 Carbine.

Snakum
November 24, 2009, 09:29 AM
Hey, the Steyer is on the list so you know it's bogus. :D

SlamFire1
November 24, 2009, 10:31 AM
I saw the show and am of the opinion that it had a bias towards American weapons. I do not agree that the M1903 was one of the best battle rifles ever. More M1917ís were used in WWI, and I consider the M1917 a better battle rifle. The primary reason the 03 was kept in front line status after WWI was the need to protect the Generalís billet at Springfield Arsenal.

If the 03 is on the list, then also should be the Nagant, Arisaka, Mannlicher 1895 (3 million made), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steyr-Mannlicher_M1895, and a host of other odd ball rifles.

I do think the M14 is the best 308 semiautomatic military weapon I have used, but its limited service life is a problem.

One rifle I think should be on the list is the G3. The G3 is still a front line service rifle, the Pakistaniís are still making the thing apparently. The list of nations who adopted it is impressive, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_G3, right up there with the FAL.

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