Top 10 Best Assault Rifles

Assault rifles are fascinating pieces of military technology, balancing portability with enough firepower to be truly effective on a modern battlefield. But let's get down to basics - what even makes a rifle an "assault rifle"?

Selective Fire: An assault rifle lets you choose between semi-automatic (one shot per trigger pull) and automatic or burst fire (multiple shots per trigger pull).

Intermediate Cartridge: It fires a round that's less powerful than a full-size rifle, but packs more punch than a pistol. Think ammo like 5.56 NATO or 7.62x39mm.

Detachable Magazine: Forget about reloading one round at a time - assault rifles feed from magazines holding multiple rounds.

Picking the "best" anything is subjective. Do you favor reliability above all else? Raw power? How about cutting-edge features? That's why we need your help. You've likely seen guns like the AK-47, M16, Tavor, and others in movies or video games. But which ones deserve top billing in the real world?
The Top Ten
1 AK-47 The AK-47, designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union, is one of the most widely recognized and used assault rifles in the world. It fires the 7.62x39mm cartridge and is known for its durability and reliability under harsh conditions.

By far, the AK-47 is the best assault weapon. I would take the AK-47 any place in the world with a backpack full of loaded magazines and feel safe. The AK-47 is built to withstand the worst possible conditions. Unlike our foolish M16s, the AK-47 is not prone to stovepipe jams that cost our troops lives, from the Vietnam conflict to the present day. If you are firing a lot of rounds, the AK-47 just says, Feed me more.

I tried to kill one of my cheap Romanian variants, and after 900 fast-fire rounds, the front handgrip just caught on fire, and I ran out of bullets. If I had a potholder and some more bullets, I would bet anything it would keep firing until the barrel melted off. It has a large trigger guard to allow winter gloves. The AK-47 has an easy-to-use selector switch for full, semi, and safe. The AK-47 has quick and easy sights that almost beg to be put on target when you sight down the rifle.

Due to how simple the design is, it comes apart easily, and anyone with basic life skills can figure out how to use one within minutes of picking one up. I stand behind my vote that the AK-47 is the best assault weapon because it has killed more people than any other firearm. I love you, AK-47. Thanks to Russia for having good vodka and the best damn gun for killing.

2 FN SCAR The FN SCAR, produced by the Belgian manufacturer FN Herstal, is a family of gas-operated (short-stroke gas piston) assault rifles. Available in two main versions, the SCAR-L for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H for the heavier 7.62×51mm NATO, it provides versatility for various military requirements.

The SCAR is excellent. Dependability and accuracy, in my opinion, are the deciding factors. If it jams on you, then the rifle is useless. Similarly, if you can't hit your target, the rifle is useless. The SCAR is accurate - much more so than the AK-47, in my opinion - and is extremely reliable.

I have owned a SCAR 17S for about a year and have shot over 1,500 rounds, mostly my hand reloads. This rifle has never jammed or misfired. I can't say enough good things about this rifle. Once you own one, you'll soon be trying to figure out how to get another one, no kidding. I'm sure the AK is an excellent rifle, but I'm also sure that once you try a SCAR, you'll like it better than the AK.

3 HK416 The HK416, developed by Heckler & Koch, replaces the traditional gas system of the M4 with a proprietary gas piston system derived from the HK G36. This change reduces malfunction rates and increases the rifle's lifespan, making it a preferred choice for elite military units worldwide.

The HK416 has proved to be far better than the AK-47. The AK has great reliability but is outmatched by the HK416. When you dip your AK into thick mud, you'll need to at least clear the round in the chamber, or it will malfunction. With the HK416, just take it and fire. It's lighter, much more accurate, and has less recoil.

You'll never want to carry an AK-47, not only because the HK416 is better, but there is also a new model, the AK-104. That, I will say, ties with the HK416. The M4 is unreliable and has too many stoppages, even though it doesn't affect performance much. What the internet says are all lies. If you clean it well, it won't malfunction except for jamming. Its accuracy isn't that great either. You need to take estimations, and the gas system is greatly affected when soaked in water. You won't want to shoot it when it's buried in sand or dipped in mud. The G36 is great, but the area you see is tremendously narrow. Also, it will not be accurate anymore after it overheats. The polymer changes, making it worse.

4 Tavor TAR-21 Developed by Israel's IWI, the Tavor TAR-21 is a bullpup assault rifle that chambers the 5.56×45mm NATO round. Its compact design makes it ideal for close quarters combat, offering soldiers increased maneuverability without sacrificing barrel length or accuracy.

Easily the best one out there, the Tavor not only outperforms other bullpup competitors like the Steyr AUG and F2000 in all aspects, but it is also the most versatile assault rifle available. It can adapt its usage for everything from close-range urban operations and confined spaces (like inside tanks) to recon missions and long-range sniping.

Additionally, the Tavor serves as physical proof that the saying "size doesn't matter" holds true. Its smaller 5.56 mm caliber accomplishes more than any other caliber in any other assault rifle, thanks to the Tavor's unparalleled and consistent precision. There is a reason why the most highly trained army in the world (Go IDF!) chooses to use this weapon.

5 M4A1 SOPMOD The M4A1 SOPMOD is an enhanced version of the standard M4A1 carbine, equipped with the Special Operations Peculiar MODification kit. This kit includes various optics, suppressors, and grenade launchers, allowing special operations forces to tailor the weapon to mission-specific needs.

Well, it is an improvement on the rugged, reliable M4, which is itself an improvement on the M16, one of the first assault rifles to be made up primarily of high-tech polycarbonates. This feature is not the only reason why most assault rifles are used in battle, but it is a major factor.

The M4 family also uses the lighter 5.56 round, which does take away some stopping power but allows the soldier or user to carry more rounds. This is invaluable on the battlefield. I am not going to argue that the AK is the best assault rifle to be manufactured. All I am saying is that the M4 should be ranked in the top 3. It is a rugged, battle-proven rifle that has origins going back to the '50s.

6 ACR The Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR), designed by Magpul Industries, is noted for its modularity and adaptability to various battlefield conditions. It allows for quick caliber changes and has an adjustable gas system to accommodate different operating environments and ammunition types.

The Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) lives up to its name. This rifle can be customized to excel in any mission. Whether it's the AK-47's 7.62 round or the M4/M16's 5.56, the ACR can fire it all. Building, cleaning, or just maintaining the rifle is made simple with the ACR.

Engaging in close-quarters combat? No problem. The ACR's barrel can be replaced with a shorter one in a snap, and vice versa for longer barrels. Need different or more attachments? Again, no problem. The ACR's full-length, universal rail system is there for you. With its adjustable stock, lefty-friendly, ambidextrous controls, lightweight design, low recoil, and incredible accuracy, taking down targets has never been easier.

Although the ACR is relatively new for an assault rifle and is not the most commonly used firearm today, its unparalleled design may soon replace several rifles around the world.

7 Steyr AUG Originating from Austria, the Steyr AUG is a bullpup assault rifle that fires the 5.56×45mm NATO round. Its futuristic design includes a built-in optic and the ability to quickly change barrels, offering versatility and compact size without compromising on barrel length or accuracy.

The weapon is a bullpup. Automatically, it should be first. The weapon is short yet has a decent-length barrel and is also lightweight. It fires the extremely accurate 5.56 mm round, which is small, easy to carry, and hardly kicks.

I know this because I myself have fired it, not just played a video game featuring it. If you have ever fired the AK-47, it kicks too much. You cannot fire it full-auto for 30 rounds without the muzzle lifting off the target. The AK-47 is also very heavy and not very accurate. The only reason a lot of undeveloped countries have used it is because of its reliability.

8 M16 Rifle The M16 Rifle, introduced in the 1960s and serving as the standard issue rifle for the United States military, operates with a direct impingement gas system. Chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, it has seen various modifications over the years to improve its performance and reliability.

The M16 is the best rifle, no doubt. The AK-47 is nowhere near the top spot, and I can prove it. The M16 is lighter than the AK-47, so you can carry more ammunition. The M16 has a higher rate of fire (950 rpm) than the AK-47 (600 rpm), allowing you to send more lead downrange and increasing your chances of hitting the enemy.

The M16 also has a much higher range. You can hit a point or bullseye target at 1,804 feet (550 m), while an AK-47 cannot hit an area target at 330 feet (100 m). This was proven in the YouTube video called "AK-47 vs. M16 Part 1." Additionally, the M16 has very low recoil, while the AK-47 kicks like a mule.

The only advantages the AK-47 has are fewer jams and greater power. However, the M16 comes close in these two categories. It is hard to jam and has a faster bullet, indicating greater power, making it reliable in both situations. There is no possible way an AK-47 is better than this.

9 Heckler & Koch G36 The Heckler & Koch G36, adopted by the German military in the 1990s, is a 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle famous for its use of a short-stroke piston system. It features a distinctive modular design, with parts made extensively from reinforced polymers for weight reduction.

This gun is as robust as the AK-47. It can fire straight out of water or mud. It won't quit on you.

It's more accurate than the M-16/AR-15 series. It's lighter than most of the other guns on the list. It's ambidextrous and can be field-stripped in under two minutes with no tools.

It has several different sights built into it for different ranges.

The AK-47 is old and outdated and is definitely one of the worst weapons on this list. For those who don't know, the AK-47's 30-round magazine is actually weaker than the NATO 5.56 mm. Although it's bigger, the 5.56 mm flies faster and transfers more energy to the target when it hits. So much so that it actually shatters into dozens of pieces inside the target. Therefore, it's actually more powerful than the AK-47.

Sorry, guys, but this is the best one. It has even been tested in comparisons with the M-16 and AK-47 and came out on top in every different test.

The SCAR and F2000 are in the running for second and third. All of the other ones are outdated, though, and can't compete with these more modern weapons.

10 FN FAL The FN FAL, created by Belgian arms manufacturer FN Herstal, was one of the most widely used battle rifles of the 20th century. Chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO round, it earned the nickname "The Right Arm of the Free World" due to its extensive use by NATO and allied forces during the Cold War.

Excellent weapon. Very well made, but it will not tolerate dirt, dust, or the like. I carried the weapon in combat in Africa, so I know firsthand that this is true.

With automatic fire, the first round may be on target, but all subsequent rounds were progressively shooting at the moon. The only time I used auto was when on point, and that didn't include firefights. The 7.62 is an excellent round, but one can only carry half as many as the 5.56, which in itself will do incredible damage. Someone mentioned it was the #1 choice in 90 countries. The key word is "was."

The Contenders
11 M16A4 The M16A4, the fourth generation of the M16 series, features a removable carrying handle and a Picatinny rail for mounting optics and other accessories. Chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO round, it provides the U.S. Marine Corps and other units with a versatile and effective combat weapon.

As the standard assault rifle for the US military today, it beats the AK by a lot in accuracy. Its nifty three-round burst is quite effective.

Umm, wow. The AK-74 is a better gun than the AK-47. The M4 is not better than the M16. This is ridiculous. This gun beats the AK-47 in every way.

12 FAMAS Introduced by the French military in the 1970s, the FAMAS is a bullpup style assault rifle known for its high rate of fire. Chambering the 5.56×45mm NATO round, its distinctive shape and design have made it an iconic weapon in modern military history.

Pretty high accuracy and a good three-round burst. Low damage, but it does the job fast. It is a great gun for less recoil than the AK-47.

Best assault rifle ever made! Try it!

Short with an extremely long barrel, it is the perfect rifle for urban scenarios.

13 M14 The M14, serving as the U.S. military's standard issue rifle in the 1960s, fires the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. It was eventually replaced by the M16 due to its weight and size, but it remains in limited service for its accuracy and range.

The M14 is a fairly heavy rifle, but not too heavy for any reasonably strong male. I carried one in '67/'68 in Vietnam and am thankful I was issued the best semi-automatic rifle available. It is extremely accurate and was used as a sniper rifle in Iraq. It is at least as durable as any other assault rifle, and the 7.62 round is a long-range killer round. There are no "fragile" parts on the M14.

It is the improved "son" of the M1, the rifle that George Patton called "the finest battle implement ever devised." The FN FAL is also very good, as is the HK G36, but if one needs a rifle able to perform well in all weather and terrain - jungle or open fields and mountains - I would still choose the M14! The civilian version (the standard M1A) is essentially the same as an M14, except it can only fire on semi-auto. Springfield also makes a National Match and Super Match M1A. I own an M1A Super Match, and I would never part with this rifle!

14 Galil The Galil, developed by Israel Military Industries, is based on the mechanism of the AK-47 and modified to meet the rigorous conditions of the Israeli Armed Forces. It fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, offering a reliable option that combines the durability of the AK-47 with modifications for increased accuracy and ergonomics.

I used it as a standard weapon for 7 years as an airborne paratrooper in Portugal. It never jammed, and it's really easy to use and clean. You can even use some parts from the AK-47 if needed for battle emergency repairs.

I was a sniper specialist and had a sniper version of it. I made shots over 1000 meters (approximately 1050 yards or 0.65 miles), and it was really precise. I believe it should be better qualified in the ranking.

The Indumil Galil ACE is the best assault rifle because it is heavily based on the AK series. It has three calibers: 5.56x45mm, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x51mm. It can be fitted with a grenade launcher and a silencer. It also has tactical rails in five places for optic mounts, and the body is made from the material used for making U.S. rifles, unlike the wooden butt and handguard of the AK series.

It has all the qualities of the AK series and U.S. series of rifles. It must be at the top.

15 SG 552 Commando The SG 552 Commando, a compact version of the SIG SG 550 series, is designed for close quarter combat scenarios. Manufactured by Swiss Arms AG, it chambers the 5.56×45mm NATO round, offering exceptional accuracy and reliability in a more maneuverable package.

The "Rolex of AKs" is not so much the 552, but its replacement, the 553, along with the 550 and 551. Many HK enthusiasts even refer to Swiss Arms rifles as being divinely crafted. Even the flash hider is milled into the barrel on the 551! With its Ilaflon-coated steel, the gun is almost indestructible.

Unfortunately, in a world where everyone owns an M4 or AK, these are often overlooked. Swiss Arms guns are built to last a lifetime, with barrel life exceeding 60,000 rounds. Think "steel bristle" cleaning kit! They also come with built-in tritium sights. Moreover, since it is derived from an AK, you can expect near AK-level reliability. It's very easy to clean and requires no tools.

The downside is that there are not many records of combat usage, and it's also very heavy for an assault rifle.

16 XM8 The XM8 was a U.S. military project to develop a new family of weapons. While the project was eventually cancelled, the prototype assault rifle was noted for its lightweight design and modular system, intended to replace the M16 and M4 with a more adaptable and reliable platform.

I personally think that the only reason the AK is at the top is because it's an "original" and "tough." I know nothing about firearms, nor do I get my facts from first-person shooters, but the XM8 is an extreme hybrid. It could be fired as an SMG or used as an assault rifle. Heck, you could probably use the darn thing as a sniper rifle.

This was supposed to be the ultimate weapon, capable of adapting to terrain and highly mobile. Truly, it's something of the future.

Supposed to take over from the M4, it's as reliable as an AK, more accurate than the HK416, and as light as a submachine gun. I mean, you seriously can't get any better than that. Come on, this should be number one. What do you guys know about guns? You guys are way better than that! This is the best rifle on the frigging market.

17 AN-94 The AN-94, designed and manufactured in Russia, offers a unique two-round burst feature that can fire two shots with minimal recoil, thanks to its intricate mechanism. This 5.45×39mm rifle is known for its accuracy and was developed to replace the AK-74 in Russian service.

Recoil compensation and a two-round burst at 1800 rpm make for an appealing mode of fire. Though it's based on the AK, it's different. Unlike the AK series, it's accurate and precise. But, also unlike the AK series, it's finicky and expensive. It lacks the base advantages of the AK, which is why it's not at the top.

Although it's a more complex weapon, this rifle simply outperforms anything in its category. The two-round burst is by far the fastest and most accurate method to defeat body armor.

Russian assault rifles have an extremely accurate two-round burst function. It's so precise with next-gen technology that Russia does not export it to any other country.

18 Sig SWAT 556 The Sig SWAT 556, developed by Sig Sauer, is a semi-automatic rifle designed for law enforcement and civilian markets. Based on the SIG SG 550, it chambers the 5.56×45mm NATO round and is praised for its accuracy, reliability, and modular design, accommodating a variety of tactical scenarios.

The Sig 556 is the most reliable 5.56/223 rifle ever made. It can fire reliably for up to 10,000 rounds before requiring cleaning. The all-metal receiver, fire control, and piston make this the most durable next-generation assault rifle available, and it has no plastic receiver parts!

It can be whatever you want it to be: a long-range weapon, mid-range, or even close-range. It combines the best of the AK and the M4. It should be higher on the list!

Should definitely be higher on the list! This is the best rifle I have ever owned, and I will never part with mine.

19 L85A1 (SA80) The SA80, a series of British bullpup assault rifles, is the standard issue weapon for the British Armed Forces. Known for its distinctive design, it chambers the 5.56×45mm NATO round and has undergone several upgrades to improve its reliability and performance.

The reliability of the A1 gave this rifle a bad name. However, those who have shot it will be astounded at its sheer accuracy. That pretty much leaves every other assault weapon standing as a fact. However, I would not like to pay for my own one. Ha-ha! But it makes a lot of other weapons feel cheap in comparison. Even the LSW is more accurate than most on this page.

Certainly, it's the most accurate weapon in the world. It's also much more practical for close urban and house-to-house warfare. The A2 is far more reliable than its predecessor and is also one of the most expensive rifles to produce. This is one of my favorite weapons that I have ever fired, with my favorite being the Lee Enfield.

20 AK-12 The AK-12 is the latest model in the AK series, developed by the Russian firm Kalashnikov Concern. It offers improvements over its predecessors in accuracy, ergonomics, and modularity, firing the 5.45×39mm cartridge and designed to meet the needs of the 21st-century warfare.

The AK-12 solved the problems that older AKs had. Its improved accuracy and muzzle control allow shooters better target acquisition ability, which is extremely critical under ANY combat or defense applications. It provides better ergonomics, such as rail systems for add-on accessories like sights, night vision, or infrared devices.

It has the ability to change calibers under different requirements, ranging from 5.45x39, 5.56, 7.62x39, 6.5 Grendel (which Wolf has recently produced at $362.5 per 1000 rounds available from Aimsurplus) to 7.62x51 or .308. It has ambidextrous control features allowing both right- and left-handed shooters accessibility. Some weight had also been reduced with high-strength polymer parts.

The one problem is: the huge conflict between the US and Russia probably prevents these awesome rifles from making it into the US, at least for a long time. This will likely disappoint those who were saving their money to purchase one.

21 VHS by HS Produkt The VHS assault rifle, produced by Croatian company HS Produkt, stands out for its bullpup design and was developed in the early 21st century. Chambering the 5.56×45mm NATO round, it combines modern ergonomics with a reliable gas-operated system, reflecting the latest in small arms technology.

Superior to the FAMAS, especially with the VHS-2. It's a very high-quality AR, but unlike the majority of Western ARs, it's very reliable. Its sturdy design is very light and has been tested in the most extreme weather conditions. All ergonomic issues with the VHS-1 were fully resolved with the VHS-2.

The VHS is one of the most advanced rifles in the world, and the newest one is on its way to becoming a standard NATO issue.

This is one of the assault rifles that offers many advantages over the Tavor or the French one.

22 FN F2000 The FN F2000, produced by FN Herstal in Belgium, is a futuristic bullpup assault rifle that fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. Its innovative design includes a built-in optic and the ability to be easily used by right or left-handed shooters, showcasing a focus on ergonomics and versatility.

I've never handled the F2000, but I have handled the FS2000. It handles beautifully, with a bit of a creepy trigger. Aside from that, it has surprisingly good ergonomics and performs very well. The only gripe I have is that the sights are not as impressive as they look. It just has a bulky cover.

That is one nice rifle. Fully ambidextrous, pointable, compact, high RPM.

23 AK-74 Introduced as an improvement over the AK-47, the AK-74 fires the smaller 5.45×39mm cartridge, offering better accuracy and reduced recoil. Its widespread use by the Soviet and then Russian military underscores its effectiveness as a modern combat rifle.

It's better than the 47 (7.62x39). The 5.45 round ballistics destroy tissue irreparably, whereas the 47's rounds just go through people. Yes, the 47 will bust through brick, and with a few more shots, the 74 will too. If you're still alive after getting shot with a 74, there's a good chance you're really going to be messed up.

The AK-74 has less recoil than an AK-47 and is more accurate. The only difference is that it doesn't have as much penetrating power through a concrete brick, unlike the 47's 7.62x39 round compared to the 74's 5.45x39 round.

In my opinion, the AK-74 is a stealthier weapon and is just as good as, if not better than, the AK-47. I would choose the AK-74 over the AK-47 in combat. It does just as much damage to human flesh as the AK-47 does.

24 PVAR The PVAR (Piston-Valve Actuated Rifle) is an innovative weapon system that employs a gas piston design to reduce recoil and improve reliability. It is designed to offer a more stable shooting platform for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, enhancing performance for military and civilian shooters alike.

The only rifle that is not gas-operated. It's undiscovered, but someday all guns will use a pneumatic valve and rod system. It's the best discovery by Filipinos.

25 CAR-15 The CAR-15 is a compact version of the M16 rifle, designed for situations requiring a smaller and lighter weapon. It has been widely used by special forces and was developed in the mid-1960s.

I used to be an assault rifle tester for the military, and the best assault rifle that I've ever tested is the CAR-15. It is so much better than the AK-47 or any of the FN-type guns. The only gun that even comes close to this is the M4, but the CAR-15 is amazing. Its accuracy is phenomenal, and it has an outstanding rate of fire. I can't believe this is ranked number 17!

The CAR-15 is an amazing gun. I used to own one before I sold it to my buddy. Anyway, it has an amazing firing rate and accuracy. I don't know why all special ops teams don't use this gun. Props to whoever posted this.

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