An automatic rifle is the kind of gun that immediately springs to mind when you think of power and versatility; indeed, they’re popular for this very reason, and can be purchased by both civilian and military personnel. But what rifles are currently at the top of the game?
Well, seeing as many automatic rifles are currently in use worldwide, and they’re often the most popular choice for gun owners and multiple military units, it can be hard to make a decision on what could be the best automatic rifle. However, thanks to their extended use and long history, it makes sense that everyone has a different opinion.
But in general, a few automatic rifles have edged over the competition compared to others; today, we’re going to list our top 5 picks for the best automatic rifles currently available on the market, based on performance, specifications, and widespread use. Here are our picks below:
When it comes to automatic rifles, the AK-47 immediately stands out. Possibly one of the most famous gun names in the world, it was first designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union in 1947, which is where its name originates. Known to be a standard infantry weapon in over 100 countries, and was made to be a lightweight gun model that was capable of providing constant, heavy fire.
One of the cheapest guns on this list, many countries around the world have easy access to the purchasing of an AK-47. Capable of being fully automatic, albeit a regularly illegal modification, this gun can fire about 600 bullets within 60 seconds. Not a great weapon for those who value precision, however, thanks to its short range and spray design.
Another very strong, popular player in the automatic rifles market, the M16 is most often compared to the AK-47 model listed above. First developed in the 1950s, it’s a similarly lightweight gun, but has far better precision and accuracy than the AK-47. The general design of the M15 was based on the previous AR-15 model, and is capable of being fully automatic.
Incredibly portable, the M16 was first known to be a poor performance weapon. However, in the modern era, it’s known to be a very good all rounder weapon. It can be used in close quarter combat zones, as well as at some distance (about 800m for an area target).
A German built gun, manufactured by the famous brand Heckler & Koch, this is another type of automatic rifle that regularly reaches the top spot on best rifle lists. It’s an updated and improved version of the original M4 carbine, reliant on a gas operating system, and was first released in 2005.
A standard infantry rifle in 2 countries, the HK416 is a suitable gun for versatile use, thanks to its ability to fire without jamming in extreme conditions. Often used in sandy or windy combat zones, the HK416 is known to be able to fire 15,000 shots without needing to be cleaned. It’s also an ergonomically designed weapon, making it far easier to use than its predecessors.
An Israeli made weapon, the TAR-21 automatic rifle comes in two main different specs: the TAR-21 and the CTAR-21. Once again it is a gas operated rifle, and can be used alongside a grenade launcher attachment at regular intervals. Made to be a bullpup rifle, it’s easy to carry and store, making it popular in countries that require a lot of movement, such as India.
The TAR-21 also has the unique design of being a short handled gun with a long barrel. Similarly, it has a firing range of 550m, despite the general compact size. With these factors combined, it can be used without needing any adjustment.
- Bushmaster ACR
Now most often known as the Remington ACR, thanks to the split in military and civilian manufacturing, the Bushmaster has long since been a popular automatic rifle variant, but has seen less success in recent years. Becoming more and more expensive for civilian owners to purchase, the Bushmaster has been pushed out of the limelight.
With a firing range of 500m for point targets and 600m for area, it has one of the smallest ranges on this list. However, it has an incredibly fast rate of fire, up to 700rpm, and is incredibly customisable thanks to its ACR design. Good for budget owners back in the 90s, the Bushmaster now seems to be trailing behind the market a little, but is still popular in its own right.