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The Americans developed the M1 Bazooka—a long but light long reloadable tube with a rocket in it that so greatly resembled [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazooka_(instrument) a particular type of musical instrument]] that it stole the name. Recoil was reduced by the simple principle of letting all the exhaust escape out the back of the weapon, creating a huge cloud of hot gas behind the firer, which both gave away his position and severely hurt anybody stupid enough to stand right behind him, but gave the weapon an impressive effective range. Theoretically the rocket was supposed to finish burning by the time it left the tube. [[RunningGag Many American veterans without eyebrows will tell you that this was not always the case]]. The bazooka was issued in improved versions until the 1970s.

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The Americans developed the M1 Bazooka—a long but light long reloadable tube with a rocket in it that so greatly resembled [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazooka_(instrument) a particular type of musical instrument]] that it stole the name. Recoil was reduced by the simple principle of letting all the exhaust escape out the back of the weapon, creating a huge cloud of hot gas behind the firer, which both gave away his position and severely hurt anybody stupid enough to stand right behind him, but gave the weapon an impressive effective range. Theoretically the rocket was supposed to finish burning by the time it left the tube. [[RunningGag Many American veterans without eyebrows will tell you that this was not always the case]].case. The bazooka was issued in improved versions until the 1970s.


* The AKM (or, officially, the ''modernizírovanny Avtomát Kaláshnikova'', "modernised Kalashnikov automatic rifle") and all its descendants. [[MemeticBadass Memetically tough and nigh-indestructible]], this weapon family entered mass production around 1948 and is widespread around the world and has more licensed copies / unlicensed knock-offs than can be easily recounted, including some in use by Western-aligned nations (designs based on it but not outright copies have been manufactured in Israel, Finland, and South Africa, among other countries). According to some estimates, more than thirty million [=AKM=] and [=AK74=] pattern rifles have been manufactured worldwide since 1960. Often crudely made--the definitive mass-produced variations in Soviet service, the AKM (in 7.62x39mm caliber, appearing in 1960) and [=AK74=] (in 5.45x39mm caliber, appearing in 1974) have a receiver made from stamped sheet metal riveted together and most often a buttstock and handguard cut roughly from plywood, even the military issue ammunition in these calibers is usually loaded in lacquered steel cases instead of more expensive brass (though the bores, chambers, and gas cylinders are usually chrome-lined to reduce wear and protect them from corrosive primer residue).

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* The AKM AK-47 (or, officially, the ''modernizírovanny Avtomát Kaláshnikova'', "modernised Kalashnikov automatic rifle") ''Avtomat Kalashnikova'' or "Kalashnikov automatic") and all its descendants. [[MemeticBadass Memetically tough and nigh-indestructible]], this weapon family entered mass production around 1948 and is widespread around the world and has more licensed copies / unlicensed knock-offs than can be easily recounted, including some in use by Western-aligned nations (designs based on it but not outright copies have been manufactured in Israel, Finland, and South Africa, among other countries). According to some estimates, more than thirty million [=AKM=] and [=AK74=] pattern rifles have been manufactured worldwide since 1960. Often crudely made--the definitive mass-produced variations in Soviet service, the AKM (in 7.62x39mm caliber, appearing in 1960) and [=AK74=] (in 5.45x39mm caliber, appearing in 1974) have a receiver made from stamped sheet metal riveted together and most often a buttstock and handguard cut roughly from plywood, even the military issue ammunition in these calibers is usually loaded in lacquered steel cases instead of more expensive brass (though the bores, chambers, and gas cylinders are usually chrome-lined to reduce wear and protect them from corrosive primer residue).


* The AK-47 (or, officially, the ''Avtomat Kalashnikova'' or "Kalashnikov automatic") and all its descendants. [[MemeticBadass Memetically tough and nigh-indestructible]], this weapon family entered mass production around 1948 and is widespread around the world and has more licensed copies / unlicensed knock-offs than can be easily recounted, including some in use by Western-aligned nations (designs based on it but not outright copies have been manufactured in Israel, Finland, and South Africa, among other countries). According to some estimates, more than thirty million [=AKM=] and [=AK74=] pattern rifles have been manufactured worldwide since 1960. Often crudely made--the definitive mass-produced variations in Soviet service, the AKM (in 7.62x39mm caliber, appearing in 1960) and [=AK74=] (in 5.45x39mm caliber, appearing in 1974) have a receiver made from stamped sheet metal riveted together and most often a buttstock and handguard cut roughly from plywood, even the military issue ammunition in these calibers is usually loaded in lacquered steel cases instead of more expensive brass (though the bores, chambers, and gas cylinders are usually chrome-lined to reduce wear and protect them from corrosive primer residue).

to:

* The AK-47 AKM (or, officially, the ''Avtomat Kalashnikova'' or "Kalashnikov automatic") ''modernizírovanny Avtomát Kaláshnikova'', "modernised Kalashnikov automatic rifle") and all its descendants. [[MemeticBadass Memetically tough and nigh-indestructible]], this weapon family entered mass production around 1948 and is widespread around the world and has more licensed copies / unlicensed knock-offs than can be easily recounted, including some in use by Western-aligned nations (designs based on it but not outright copies have been manufactured in Israel, Finland, and South Africa, among other countries). According to some estimates, more than thirty million [=AKM=] and [=AK74=] pattern rifles have been manufactured worldwide since 1960. Often crudely made--the definitive mass-produced variations in Soviet service, the AKM (in 7.62x39mm caliber, appearing in 1960) and [=AK74=] (in 5.45x39mm caliber, appearing in 1974) have a receiver made from stamped sheet metal riveted together and most often a buttstock and handguard cut roughly from plywood, even the military issue ammunition in these calibers is usually loaded in lacquered steel cases instead of more expensive brass (though the bores, chambers, and gas cylinders are usually chrome-lined to reduce wear and protect them from corrosive primer residue).


* The Webley family of revolvers. A series of top-break self-extracting revolvers, these became symbols of the British Empire throughout the late 19th century and were used throughout both World Wars. The most famous chambering was the .455 Webley round, a very powerful cartridge frequently compared to the American .45 ACP round.

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* The Webley family of revolvers. A series of top-break self-extracting revolvers, these became symbols of the British Empire throughout the late 19th century and were used throughout both World Wars. The most famous chambering was the .455 Webley round, a very powerful cartridge frequently compared to the American .45 ACP round.ACP.


* The Smith & Wesson K-frame, essentially S&W's designation for a medium-sized frame. The most famous is the Model 10, first introduced in 1899 and still in production today. The K-frame revolver may very well be the longest-serving military revolver in history. Carried by Allied forces throughout both World Wars (with the "Victory Model" WWII variant being one of the most well-known), the K-frame continued to serve well into the 20th century. American pilots in the Vietnam War often carried a Model 10 (or a Model 15, a version with adjustable sights instead of fixed) as an EmergencyWeapon to use in the event of a shoot-down. U.S. Air Force Security Forces up until the [=90s=] were issued Model [=10s=] for guard duty at ballistic missile silos stateside. The K-frame was perhaps the final revolver still seeing military service in the 21st century, due to the U.S. Air Force using the Model 15 to train military working dogs by accustoming them to the sound of gunfire. [[https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/04/04/us-air-force-to-retire-remaining-service-revolvers/ In 2019]], the Model 15 was finally retired in favor of the semi-automatic SIG Sauer M18 pistol.

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* The Smith & Wesson K-frame, essentially S&W's designation for a medium-sized frame. The most famous is the Model 10, first introduced in 1899 and still in production today. The K-frame revolver may very well be the longest-serving military revolver in history. Carried by Allied forces throughout both World Wars (with the "Victory Model" WWII variant being one of the most well-known), the K-frame continued to serve well into the 20th century.century, with the U.S. Air Force being one of the heaviest users. American pilots in the Vietnam War often carried a Model 10 (or a Model 15, a version with adjustable sights instead of fixed) as an EmergencyWeapon to use in the event of a shoot-down. U.S. Air Force Security Forces up until the [=90s=] were issued Model [=10s=] for guard duty at ballistic airbases and stateside missile silos stateside. silos. The K-frame was perhaps the final revolver still seeing military service in the 21st century, due to the U.S. Air Force USAF using the blank-firing Model 15 [=15s=] to train military working dogs by accustoming them to the sound of gunfire. [[https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/04/04/us-air-force-to-retire-remaining-service-revolvers/ thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26810/the-usaf-is-finally-ditching-the-last-of-its-cold-war-revolvers-for-new-semi-auto-pistols In 2019]], the Model 15 15's role in this was finally retired in favor of the semi-automatic SIG Sauer M18 pistol.
pistol, which has a dedicated 9mm blank-firing adapter kit.


The most common "sidearm" in modern military service is some model of semi-automatic pistol with a detachable magazine. Fulfilling functions from purely ceremonial to close-range self-defense to "fighting your way back to your rifle", pistols offer fair firepower at short range and are among the lightest, most portable firearms.

Note that there are, for historical reasons, some rather different attitudes in different militaries about these. In many European militaries prior to World War II, the pistol was symbolic of a commissioned officer's authority; it meant that if he drew it in battle, its purpose was to shoot one of his own soldiers for failing to obey orders, and the idea of actually using it to shoot at the enemy seemed in these military establishments rather strange. In some other militaries--the UK and US militaries come immediately to mind--due to 19th Century colonial warfare and warfare against the Plains Indians, the pistol was regarded as a vitally important instrument of close quarters combat. Which is why so many European armies prior to NATO issued tiny little .32 caliber pocket pistols to their officers, whereas the US and UK militaries favored big revolvers and/or big semiauto pistols in calibers beginning with a ".4" The Germans, having observed this, and suspecting (correctly) that close quarters battle was going to be commonplace in the next big war, created the perennially popular 9x19mm pistol cartridge, which is still in use by NATO and many governments around the world.

Military revolvers were common up until after World War II (and in both World Wars, the US military purchased revolvers from Colt and also Smith & Wesson due to insufficient production of the M1911 semiauto design), but since then, they have all but disappeared from service. Common examples include:

to:

The most common "sidearm" in modern military service is some model of semi-automatic pistol with a detachable magazine. Fulfilling functions from purely ceremonial to close-range self-defense to "fighting your way back to your rifle", rifle," pistols offer fair firepower at short range and are among the lightest, most portable firearms.

Note that there are, for historical reasons, some rather different attitudes in different militaries about these. In many European militaries prior to World War II, the pistol was symbolic of a commissioned officer's authority; it meant that if he drew it in battle, its purpose was to shoot one of his own soldiers for failing to obey orders, and the idea of actually using it to shoot at the enemy seemed in these military establishments rather strange. In some other militaries--the UK and US militaries come immediately to mind--due to 19th Century colonial warfare and warfare against the Plains Indians, the pistol was regarded as a vitally important instrument of close quarters combat. Which is why so many European armies prior to NATO issued tiny little .32 caliber pocket pistols to their officers, whereas the US and UK militaries favored big revolvers and/or big semiauto semi-auto pistols in calibers beginning with a ".4" The Germans, having observed this, and suspecting (correctly) that close quarters battle was going to be commonplace in the next big war, created the perennially popular 9x19mm pistol cartridge, which is still in use by NATO and many governments around the world.

Military revolvers were common from the mid-19th century up until after World War II (and in both World Wars, the US military purchased revolvers from Colt and also Smith & Wesson due to insufficient production of the M1911 semiauto semi-auto design), but since then, they have all but disappeared from service. Common examples include:
include:

* The M1917 revolver, produced by both Colt and Smith & Wesson and sharing a designation. Based off of both companies' large-frame models that were previously chambered in .45 Colt, the M1917 was rechambered for the .45 ACP round to share ammo commonality with the M1911 pistol. Due to the nature of the rimless cartridge (because they load from a box magazine, semi-auto cartridges need to be rimless so they can stack properly), it is difficult to eject the empty casings from a revolver, as the ejector star depends on a rim to catch on. An engineer at S&W came up with a solution in the form of moon clips that hold multiple cartridges together and serve as a contact point for the ejector to catch, making reloads much faster.
* The M1895 Nagant revolver. A cultural icon in Russia, this revolver uses a unique action that causes the cylinder to seal the gap against the barrel. Originally meant to provide a velocity boost to its rather weak proprietary [=7.62x38mmR=] cartridge, this function also gave this gun two unique features: an incredibly heavy double-action trigger pull, and the ability to be silenced (this is the only production revolver capable of mounting a silencer).
* The Webley family of revolvers. A series of top-break self-extracting revolvers, these became symbols of the British Empire throughout the late 19th century and were used throughout both World Wars. The most famous chambering was the .455 Webley round, a very powerful cartridge frequently compared to the American .45 ACP round.
* The Smith & Wesson K-frame, essentially S&W's designation for a medium-sized frame. The most famous is the Model 10, first introduced in 1899 and still in production today. The K-frame revolver may very well be the longest-serving military revolver in history. Carried by Allied forces throughout both World Wars (with the "Victory Model" WWII variant being one of the most well-known), the K-frame continued to serve well into the 20th century. American pilots in the Vietnam War often carried a Model 10 (or a Model 15, a version with adjustable sights instead of fixed) as an EmergencyWeapon to use in the event of a shoot-down. U.S. Air Force Security Forces up until the [=90s=] were issued Model [=10s=] for guard duty at ballistic missile silos stateside. The K-frame was perhaps the final revolver still seeing military service in the 21st century, due to the U.S. Air Force using the Model 15 to train military working dogs by accustoming them to the sound of gunfire. [[https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/04/04/us-air-force-to-retire-remaining-service-revolvers/ In 2019]], the Model 15 was finally retired in favor of the semi-automatic SIG Sauer M18 pistol.


Military revolvers, though not unknown up until after World War II (and in both World Wars, the US military purchased revolvers from Colt and also Smith & Wesson due to insufficient production of the M1911 semiauto design), have all but disappeared from service, though even in the 1980s they were sometimes seen in use by the US Air Force and US Navy. Common examples include:

to:

Military revolvers, though not unknown revolvers were common up until after World War II (and in both World Wars, the US military purchased revolvers from Colt and also Smith & Wesson due to insufficient production of the M1911 semiauto design), but since then, they have all but disappeared from service, though even in the 1980s they were sometimes seen in use by the US Air Force and US Navy.service. Common examples include:



Appearing in the late stages of World War I, submachine guns, [=SMG=]s saw wide use during the Second World War; shortly thereafter, it was supplanted by selective-fire assault rifles. Although they were first considered to be the equivalent of giving every soldier his own machine gun, experience showed that the pistol calibers and detachable magazines used meant [=SMG=]s could not attain the range or sustained fire capability of proper machine guns, and the invention of intermediate caliber automatic weapons (the assault rifle, as famously coined by Adolf Hitler himself) pushed them away from their primary weapon role. Today, [=SMG=]s are seeing a sort of resurgence in two fields: first, as a special-operations weapon, as sound suppressors can make pistol-caliber weapons surprisingly quiet. Today, they have been almost completely overtaken by assault rifles in military use.

A further evolution of the submachine gun is the '''Personal Defense Weapon''', or PDW. [=PDWs=] are intended for use by rear-echelon and support troops, such as combat engineers and truck drivers, and is intended to be shorter, lighter, and handier than an automatic rifle, yet still capable of penetrating the soft body armor that is becoming increasingly common on the modern battlefield. In practice, the concept has not been particularly successful, due to the popularity of compact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45mm ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, don't need much retraining, and are a lot more affordable. Because of this, [=PDWs=] mainly see use not in their originally intended role as a defensive weapon for rear-line troops, but as the weapons of VIP bodyguards, special forces units, and police SWAT teams.

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Appearing in the late stages of World War I, submachine guns, [=SMG=]s or [=SMG=]s, saw wide use during the Second World War; shortly thereafter, it was [[SoLastSeason they were supplanted by selective-fire select-fire assault rifles.rifles]]. Although they were first considered to be the equivalent of giving every soldier his own machine gun, experience showed that the pistol calibers and detachable magazines used meant [=SMG=]s could not attain the range or sustained fire capability of proper machine guns, and the invention of intermediate caliber automatic weapons (the assault rifle, as famously coined by Adolf Hitler himself) pushed them away from their primary weapon role. Today, While they have been almost completely overtaken by assault rifles today, [=SMG=]s are seeing a sort of resurgence still see limited military use in two fields: first, as a special-operations weapon, as sound suppressors can make pistol-caliber weapons surprisingly quiet. Today, they have been almost completely overtaken by And secondly, for bodyguard and close protection details of dignitaries and high-ranking officers, as their more compact sizes make them easier to conceal; even compact assault rifles in military use.

are still bulkier, as the larger size of rifle cartridges inherently makes rifle magazines significantly larger than ones sized for pistol calibers.

A further evolution of the submachine gun is the '''Personal Defense Weapon''', or PDW. PDW, which came to fruition in the [=1990s=]. [=PDWs=] are intended for use by rear-echelon and support troops, such as combat engineers and truck drivers, and is are intended to be shorter, lighter, and handier than an automatic rifle, rifles, yet still capable of penetrating the soft body armor that is becoming increasingly common on the modern battlefield. In practice, the concept has not been particularly successful, due to the popularity of compact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45mm ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, don't need much retraining, and are a lot more affordable. Because of this, just like [=SMGs=], [=PDWs=] mainly see use not in their originally intended role as a defensive weapon for rear-line troops, but as the weapons of VIP bodyguards, special forces units, and police SWAT teams.


These appeared in World War I and were in widespread use until the 1970s. They were extremely heavy and unwieldy, using tanks of compressed gas to propel a stream of burning napalm at a target up to 40 or 50 meters away. The US Marine Corps made very heavy use of them in jungle fighting in the South Pacific during the Second World War, but flamethrowers have become much less common since then, for various reasons--like, their limited range, the extreme weight, and advances in technology providing more efficient methods of dealing with stubborn bunkers and machine-gun nests, like laser-guided artillery shells, infantry rocket launchers with thermobaric/fuel-air-explosive warheads, and so on. Flamethrowers are still manufactured in some countries but the US military has not issued them since the 1970s, and by the 21st Century their extreme weight, and also the high level of training necessary so that the user won't be more of a danger to himself and the friendly troops around him than to the enemy, have made them an uncommon sight in the present day.

to:

These appeared in World War I and were in widespread use until the 1970s. They were extremely heavy and unwieldy, using tanks of compressed gas to propel a stream of burning napalm at a target up to 40 or 50 meters away. The US Marine Corps made very heavy use of them in jungle fighting in the South Pacific during the Second World War, but flamethrowers have become much less common since then, for various reasons--like, their limited range, the extreme weight, and advances in technology providing more efficient methods of dealing with stubborn bunkers and machine-gun nests, like laser-guided artillery shells, infantry rocket launchers with thermobaric/fuel-air-explosive warheads, and so on. Flamethrowers are still manufactured in some countries but the US military has not issued them since the 1970s, and by the 21st Century their extreme weight, and also the high level of training necessary so that the user won't be more of a danger to himself and the friendly troops around him than to the enemy, have made them an uncommon sight in the present day.
day. One major exception is the [[UsefulNotes/ChineseWithChopperSupport People's Liberation Army]] which [[https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/07/02/type-74-flamethrower-still-in-active-use-chinese-pla-police-scorch-some-o2/ still continues to field flamethrowers]] for combat use, most recently in [[https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-34903826 November 2015]] while hunting Islamic terrorists in the UsefulNotes/{{Xinjiang}} region.


Carbines may also be purpose-built weapons with shorter barrels. They were intended for cavalry, engineers, etc., who weren't expected to advance in lines at enemy position, but still needed something for self-defense, essentially an ancient PDW. Examples of these older carbines include: Today they are something of a historical anomaly, having been replaced by more advanced weapons. Examples include:

to:

Carbines may also be purpose-built weapons with shorter barrels. They were intended for cavalry, engineers, etc., who weren't expected to advance in lines at enemy position, but still needed something for self-defense, essentially an ancient PDW. Examples of these older carbines include: Today they are something of a historical anomaly, having been replaced by more advanced weapons. Examples include:


Added DiffLines:

Today these older carbines are something of a historical anomaly, having been replaced by more advanced weapons.


* The M16, the primary rifle of the United States military, and many of its allies. It suffered from a troubled development history, plagued by mismanagement and deliberate sabotage. Fortunately, the M16 survived those horrible first years and has eventually become a widely adopted and copied weapon itself. The now steadily more popular M4 variant is described under Carbines. The weapon's design also proved to be extremely modular; the M16's design is relatively easy to customize, allowing it to accept a large number of accessories.

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* The M16, the primary rifle of the United States military, and many of its allies. It suffered from a troubled development history, plagued by mismanagement and deliberate sabotage. Fortunately, the M16 survived those horrible first years and has eventually become a widely adopted and copied weapon itself. The now steadily more popular M4 variant is described under Carbines. The weapon's design also proved to be extremely modular; the M16's design is relatively easy to customize, allowing it to accept a large number of accessories.


Note that there are, for historical reasons, some rather different attitudes in different militaries about these. In many European militaries prior to World War II, the pistol was symbolic of a commissioned officer's authority; it meant that if he drew it in battle, its purpose was to shoot one of his own soldiers for failing to obey orders, and the idea of actually using it to shoot at the enemy seemed in these military establishments rather strange. In some other militaries--the UK and US militaries come immediately to mind--due to 19th Century colonial warfare and warfare against the Plains Indians, the pistol was regarded as a vitally important instrument of close quarters combat. Which is why so many European armies prior to NATO issued tiny little .32 caliber pocket pistols to their officers, whereas the US and UK militaries favored big revolvers and/or big semiauto pistols in calibers beginning with a ".4" The Germans, having observed this, and suspecting (correctly) that close quarters battle was going to be commonplace in the next big war, created the perennially popular 9x19mm pistol cartridge, which is still in use by NATO and many governments around the world, and the [[RareGuns Luger pistol]] to use it, which isn't.

to:

Note that there are, for historical reasons, some rather different attitudes in different militaries about these. In many European militaries prior to World War II, the pistol was symbolic of a commissioned officer's authority; it meant that if he drew it in battle, its purpose was to shoot one of his own soldiers for failing to obey orders, and the idea of actually using it to shoot at the enemy seemed in these military establishments rather strange. In some other militaries--the UK and US militaries come immediately to mind--due to 19th Century colonial warfare and warfare against the Plains Indians, the pistol was regarded as a vitally important instrument of close quarters combat. Which is why so many European armies prior to NATO issued tiny little .32 caliber pocket pistols to their officers, whereas the US and UK militaries favored big revolvers and/or big semiauto pistols in calibers beginning with a ".4" The Germans, having observed this, and suspecting (correctly) that close quarters battle was going to be commonplace in the next big war, created the perennially popular 9x19mm pistol cartridge, which is still in use by NATO and many governments around the world, and the [[RareGuns Luger pistol]] to use it, which isn't.
world.


* ''Light machine guns''are light enough to be carried by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant. They are designed primarily for supporting infantry on the move. They are typically chambered in full-power cartridges. Older light machine guns were fed by box magazines, while newer ones are likely to be belt-fed. Examples include the [=WWII=]-era British Bren and the American Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR.
** ''Squad automatic weapons (SAW)'' are a subtype of light machine gun, usually issued at the squad level (hence the name) for fire support. . They are typically chambered in intermediate-power rounds like the 5.56x45mm, typically the same round as the squad's rifle. In fact, their design may even be based on the squad's standard rifle (adapted for sustained fire). Examples include the FN Minimi/[=M249=] and the Russian RPD and RPK.

to:

* ''Light '''Light machine guns''are guns''' are light enough to be carried by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant. They are designed primarily for supporting infantry on the move. They are typically chambered in full-power cartridges. Older light machine guns were fed by box magazines, while newer ones are likely to be belt-fed. Examples include the [=WWII=]-era British Bren and the American Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR.
** ''Squad '''Squad automatic weapons (SAW)'' (SAW)''' are a subtype of light machine gun, usually issued at the squad level (hence the name) for fire support. . They are typically chambered in intermediate-power rounds like the 5.56x45mm, typically the same round as the squad's rifle. In fact, their design may even be based on the squad's standard rifle (adapted for sustained fire). Examples include the FN Minimi/[=M249=] and the Russian RPD and RPK.



The ultimate weapon whenever you need to reach out and touch someone a few paces away. And "a few paces" [[{{Dissimile}} really means]] half a mile, if not further--if the rifleman has the skill to use it effectively at such distance (the record is over 2 kilometres). And "touch" means ''[[YourHeadAsplode decapitate]]''. Normally fitted with a telescopic sight of some kind rather than iron sights. Often but not always using a bolt-action mechanism of some kind. Some of the more common ones are:

to:

The ultimate weapon whenever you need to reach out and touch someone a few paces away. And "a few paces" [[{{Dissimile}} really means]] half a mile, if not further--if the rifleman has the skill to use it effectively at such distance (the record is over 2 kilometres). And "touch" means ''[[YourHeadAsplode decapitate]]''. Normally fitted with a telescopic sight of some kind rather than iron sights. Often but not always using a They are typically bolt-action mechanism of for accuracy, though some kind.are semi-automatic. Some of the more common ones are:



* The M21 EMR[[note]]Enhanced Marksman Rifle[[/note]], a less-standard 7.62 NATO semi-auto sniper rifle built off of the previously mentioned M14. Also fielded by the United States Military. There's also a variant called the M21 EBR[[note]]Enhanced Battle Rifle[[/note]], which serves as more of a designated marksman rifle.
* The Dragunov SVD, the Soviet Union's take on a semi-auto sniper rifle, though it's really more of a "designated marksman"s rifle, as it was USSR who introduced the concept. Designed along the same lines as the AK series of assault rifle (rugged reliability, big bullets) and having its controls arranged the same way (so that any infantryman found to be a particularly good shot could be trained in its use very quickly), the Dragunov has a shorter effective range than most dedicated sniper rifles, but has a high degree of precision within that effective range.
* The VSS Vintorez, while not nearly as long-ranged as the other examples (it's intended mainly for combat inside cities, where shooting a target more than 300 meters away is a rare event even for a sniper), is better known for being integrally silenced and very, very lethal. Upon discovering the armor-piercing qualities of the gun's special 9x39mm bullets, Western military intelligence [[HolyShitQuotient personnel shat bricks.]]
* The [=L115A1=] Long Range Rifle (or Arctic Warfare Magnum as the manufacturer calls it), the British sniper rifle of choice. Currently has the longest confirmed sniper rifle kill at 2,475m (1.538 miles).
* The M82 Barrett, your characteristic BFG, this is a .50 caliber rifle most often used for unexploded ordnance disposal and interdiction of ''light armored vehicles'' and has been used at distances of two kilometers and beyond. This weapon stands on the border between "anti-personnel" sniper rifles and...

to:

* The M21 EMR[[note]]Enhanced Marksman Rifle[[/note]], a less-standard 7.62 NATO semi-auto Accuracy International Arctic Warfare series of rifles, the British sniper rifle built off of choice.

Related to
the previously mentioned M14. Also fielded by sniper rifle is the United States Military. There's also a variant called the M21 EBR[[note]]Enhanced Battle Rifle[[/note]], which serves as more of a designated ''designated marksman rifle.
* The Dragunov SVD, the Soviet Union's take on a semi-auto
rifle'', or DMR. Compared to sniper rifle, though it's really more of a "designated marksman"s rifle, as it was USSR who introduced the concept. Designed along the same lines as the AK series of assault rifle (rugged reliability, big bullets) and having its controls arranged the same way (so that any infantryman found rifles, [=DMRs=] are meant to be a particularly good shot could be trained in its use very quickly), the Dragunov has a shorter effective range engage at much closer ranges than most dedicated sniper rifles, but has a high degree further out than most infantry rifles. They are typically repeating designs, with larger magazine capacities, with designated marksmen functioning as part of precision within that effective range.
* The VSS Vintorez, while not nearly as long-ranged as
the other examples (it's squad rather than independently as most snipers work. [=DMRs=] may be based on an existing assault or battle rifle (like the Mk 14, based on the M14, and the FN SCAR-H), or be a purpose-built weapon (like the Dragunov SVD, ''the'' original Soviet rifle intended mainly for combat inside cities, where shooting a target more than 300 meters away is a rare event even for a sniper), is better known for being integrally silenced and very, very lethal. Upon discovering the armor-piercing qualities of the gun's special 9x39mm bullets, Western military intelligence [[HolyShitQuotient personnel shat bricks.]]
* The [=L115A1=] Long Range Rifle (or Arctic Warfare Magnum
as the manufacturer calls it), the British sniper rifle of choice. Currently has the longest confirmed sniper rifle kill at 2,475m (1.538 miles).
* The M82 Barrett, your characteristic BFG, this is a .50 caliber rifle most often used for unexploded ordnance disposal and interdiction of ''light armored vehicles'' and has been used at distances of two kilometers and beyond. This weapon stands on the border between "anti-personnel" sniper rifles and...
a DMR).



This class of weapon was commonplace from between the World Wars until it became obvious that a man-portable rifle, even if it was as big and heavy as one man could carry, even using armor-piercing bullets, could not do much against modern tanks, which was around 1942. Various European armies had them in calibers up to 20mm. Most were single-shot or bolt-action. The Russians had a semiauto 14.5mm antitank rifle called the PTRS, but it was less reliable and harder to produce than its bolt-action cousin, the PTRD, causing the latter to be used and manufactured much more.

Such weapons still can do little against the composite laminate armor of a 21st Century main battle tank, however their utility against other types of targets, such as light armored vehicles, trucks, Scud missiles being fueled up with dangerously unstable rocket fuel, jet fighters parked in the open in front of the hangar, radar/antenna installations etc., have caused the concept to make something of a comeback since 1990 or so. Currently weapons in this class are generally called [=AMR=]s (Anti-Materiel Rifles) and there is a certain degree of overlap in design, function, and application with the largest-caliber (.50 caliber and up) sniper rifles.

Both the ATR and AMR generations of this kind of weapon tend to weight enough to make firing them without steady support all but impossible, and absolutely require a crew of two for portability of rifle itself and necessary ammunition just because one man can not be expected to carry it for any prolonged period of time and retain physical fitness to accomplish a shot[[note]]unless he's built like a TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} SpaceMarine - such people ''did exist''[[/note]]. Most are easily disassembled into major components (usually barrel/reciever/peripherals) on the field for that very reason. In short, an AMR is to an ordinary sniper rifle roughly what an HMG is to a LMG/SAW.

to:

This class of weapon was commonplace from between With the arrival of tanks in World Wars until it became obvious that a man-portable rifle, even if it was as big and heavy as one man could carry, even using armor-piercing bullets, could not do much against modern tanks, which was around 1942.War I, came the development of large-caliber rifles intended to defeat them. Various European armies had them in calibers up to 20mm. Most were single-shot or bolt-action. The Russians had a semiauto 14.5mm antitank rifle called the PTRS, but They were commonplace until early in World War II, when it was less reliable became obvious that a man-portable rifle, even a big and harder to produce than its bolt-action cousin, the PTRD, causing the latter to be used and manufactured heavy one using armor-piercing bullets, could not do much more.

Such weapons still can do little
against the composite laminate armor of a 21st Century main battle tank, however newer tanks.

Although no longer effective against tanks,
their utility against other types of targets, such as light armored vehicles, trucks, Scud missiles being fueled up with dangerously unstable rocket fuel, jet fighters parked in the open in front of the hangar, radar/antenna installations aircraft, equipment, etc., have caused the concept to make something of a comeback since 1990 or so. Currently weapons in this class are generally called [=AMR=]s (Anti-Materiel Rifles) and there is a certain degree of overlap in design, function, and application with the largest-caliber (.50 caliber and up) sniper rifles.

Both the ATR and AMR generations of this kind of weapon tend to weight enough to make firing them without steady support all but impossible, and absolutely require a crew of two for portability of rifle itself and necessary ammunition just because one man can not be expected to carry it for any prolonged period of time and retain physical fitness to accomplish a shot[[note]]unless he's built like a TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} SpaceMarine - such people ''did exist''[[/note]].shot. Most are easily disassembled into major components (usually barrel/reciever/peripherals) on the field for that very reason. In short, an AMR is to an ordinary sniper rifle roughly what an HMG is to a LMG/SAW.
LMG/SAW.

Examples:

* The Russians had a semiauto 14.5mm antitank rifle called the PTRS, but it was less reliable and harder to produce than its bolt-action cousin, the PTRD, causing the latter to be used and manufactured much more.
* The M82 Barrett, your characteristic BFG, this is a .50 caliber rifle most often used for unexploded ordnance disposal and interdiction of ''light armored vehicles'' and has been used at distances of two kilometers and beyond. This weapon stands on the border between "anti-personnel" sniper rifles and...



Tank armour improved rapidly during World War II, as both sides introduced larger and heavier tanks. Infantry anti-tank rifles became ineffective as the high velocities needed to penetrate tank armour required impractically large rifles, such as the 150lb Japanese ‘type 97’.

to:

Tank armour improved rapidly during World War II, as both sides introduced larger and heavier tanks. Infantry anti-tank rifles became ineffective as the high velocities needed to penetrate tank armour required impractically large rifles, such as the 150lb Japanese ‘type 97’.rifles.



Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US each invented different ways of getting the warhead to its target. These uses of and principles behind these weapons are often misunderstood by laymen (particularly reporters), so an explanation is called for.

to:

Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US Different countries each invented different ways of getting the warhead to its target. These uses of and principles behind these weapons are often misunderstood by laymen (particularly reporters), so an explanation is called for.



For once, the Germans went with an elegantly simple design—the panzerfaust (tank fist) was simply a disposable steel tube from which a black-powder charge threw a bomb with fins to a similar range as the PIAT. Short-ranged, but very cheap and powerful, improved versions of this weapon were built right up to the end of war, long after anti-tank gun production virtually ceased. They worked so well their Red Army enemies employed captured panzerfausts quite frequently toward the war's later years.

The Germans also adapted the American bazooka to make the panzerschreck (tank terror)—with a larger diameter,[[note]]from 57mm to 88mm[[/note]] which gave it a longer range and greater armor penetration than it's American counterpart. It was quite effective against most of its targets and inspired the Americas to upgrade their design to the M20 Super Bazooka. It suffered from low production numbers like many other Wehrmacht weapons, so there were far too few to change the course of the war (about 280,000 panzerschrecks were made compared to over 6 million panzerfausts)

The Japanese, lacking in both wartime production capacity and sense of self-preservation, invented an interesting expedient—the “lunge mine,” or "anti-tank spear." This was a primitive HEAT warhead on the end of a pole, with an effective range of less than 12 feet. This was obviously disposable. If the many Japanese veterans in unmarked graves could talk, they'd tell you that the user was, too.

The Russians didn’t get into the game until after the war (they were making do with the Germans' own panzerfausts beforehand anyway), when they developed the RPG-2—essentially a reloadable version of the panzerfaust. It was later replaced by the now-iconic RPG-7, which added a rocket motor set to ignite after traveling 10 meters, increasing the range. This system gives the weapon a very strange trajectory and counter-intuitive behavior in wind (it steers into the direction of a crosswind), making it very hard to aim. Nevertheless, the weapon is a favorite of insurgents all over the world, who use it either at close range, or as a long-range area-bombardment weapon. It should also be able to be fired safely from within buildings. Many Iraqi veterans with singed beards will tell you that this is not always the case.

to:

For once, the Germans went with an elegantly simple design—the panzerfaust Panzerfaust (tank fist) was simply a disposable steel tube from which a black-powder charge threw a bomb with fins to a similar range as the PIAT. Short-ranged, but very cheap and powerful, improved versions of this weapon were built right up to the end of war, long after anti-tank gun production virtually ceased. They worked so well their Red Army enemies employed captured panzerfausts Panzerfausts quite frequently toward the war's later years.

The Germans also adapted copied the American bazooka to make the panzerschreck Panzerschreck (tank terror)—with a larger diameter,[[note]]from 57mm to 88mm[[/note]] which gave it a longer range and greater armor penetration than it's American counterpart. It was quite effective against most of its targets and inspired the Americas to upgrade their design to the M20 Super Bazooka. It suffered from low production numbers like many other Wehrmacht weapons, so there were far too few to change the course of the war (about 280,000 panzerschrecks were made compared to over 6 million panzerfausts)

The Japanese, lacking in both wartime production capacity and sense of self-preservation, invented an interesting expedient—the “lunge mine,” or "anti-tank spear." This was a primitive HEAT warhead on the end of a pole, with an effective range of less than 12 feet. This was obviously disposable. If the many Japanese veterans in unmarked graves could talk, they'd tell you that the user was, too.

Panzerfausts)

The Russians didn’t get into the game until after the war (they were making do with the Germans' own panzerfausts beforehand anyway), when they developed the RPG-2—essentially a reloadable version of the panzerfaust. It was later replaced by the now-iconic RPG-7, which added a rocket motor set to ignite after traveling 10 meters, increasing the range. This system gives the weapon a very strange trajectory and counter-intuitive behavior in wind (it steers into the direction of a crosswind), making it very hard to aim. Nevertheless, the weapon is a favorite of insurgents all over the world, who use it either at close range, or as a long-range area-bombardment weapon.world for its simple design and use. It should also be able to be fired safely from within buildings. Many Iraqi veterans with singed beards will tell you that this is not always the case.



The US also from around 1967 until around 1990 universally issued the little M72 66mm "LAAWS" ("Light Anti-Armor Weapon System") single-shot disposable antitank rocket launcher, which fired from a disposable launch tube made first from waxed cardboard, then later--in response to complaints that the cardboard deteriorated from moisture in the field--from waterproof fiberglass and plastic. In the late 1980s it was felt that the 66mm round was not big enough to damage the newest generation of Soviet tanks, so it was scaled up and redesigned for an 84mm round of Swedish design, which entered service in 1990. The "AT-4" rockets are still US military issue today.

to:

The US also from around 1967 until around 1990 universally issued the little M72 66mm "LAAWS" ("Light Anti-Armor Weapon System") single-shot disposable antitank rocket launcher, which fired from a disposable launch tube made first from waxed cardboard, then later--in response to complaints that the cardboard deteriorated from moisture in the field--from waterproof fiberglass and plastic.tube. In the late 1980s it was felt that the 66mm round was not big enough to damage the newest generation of Soviet tanks, so it was scaled up and redesigned for an 84mm round of Swedish design, which entered service in 1990. The "AT-4" rockets are still US military issue today.






* The better-known classic NATO example, the FIM-92 Stinger, which entered service in 1981, many examples of which were provided to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where they got a reputation for extreme lethality, at least when employed against Russian helicopter gunships and ground attack aircraft.

to:

* The better-known classic NATO example, the FIM-92 Stinger, which entered service in 1981, many examples of which were provided to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where they got a reputation 1980s for extreme lethality, at least when employed use against Russian helicopter gunships and ground attack Soviet aircraft.



* The Soviets started with the Strela/SA-7 "Grail," which was... inspired by Redeye missiles acquired in Vietnam. Appeared in 1967 and was immediately exported to the North Vietnamese, among others.
* The modern Russian version is the Igla/SA-18 "Grouse".

to:

* The Soviets started with the Strela/SA-7 "Grail," "Grail", which was... inspired by Redeye missiles acquired in Vietnam. Appeared first appeared in 1967 and was immediately exported to the North Vietnamese, among others.
*
others. The modern Russian version is the Igla/SA-18 "Grouse".



* All of these weapons create a significant backblast upon firing.

to:

* All of these weapons create a significant backblast upon firing.



These devices likewise create significant backblast upon firing.



The most common of the 1960s types was probably the wire-guided Russian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K11_Malyutka 9K11]], which NATO calls the AT-3 "Sagger."

It cannot be emphasized how ''difficult'' these systems are to use in practice, although modern weapons are reletivly more user friendly.With the exception of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, before the October 1973 War, ATGM's had not been very impressive in actual combat. It was estimated for the ''Sagger'' and its Western counterpart, the ''COBRA'', that it took a minimum of 100 firings for an operator to become proficient. This meant that you needed great investment in training, which most Armies in the mid Cold War did not have time to do, (The Indians and Pakistani, having long service professional Armies, something which was uncommon during the Cold War, were the exception). Specially trained Egyptian and Syrian troops used these in the War of 1973 to maul Israeli armored units. However, especially in the Sinai, it was poor Israeli tactics which were to blame, as much as the effectivnes of the missile [[note]] The Israeli Tank attack charged entrenched Egyptian positions without any infantry and artillery support, with expected results [[/note]]. Even then, the actual kill rate for Sagger was about 10% (falling to as low as 2% in some sectors). Indeed one analysis estimates that most of the kills were through Egyptian Tanks.

As an aside, even obsolete ATGMS in the hand of trained soldiers are very effective against field fortifications.
A likely candidate for second most popular is probably the wire-guided Franco-German [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MILAN MILAN]] which entered service in the early 1970s, which has likewise been very widely exported around the world for decades.

to:

The most common of the 1960s types was probably of the wire-guided missiles are the Russian [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K11_Malyutka 9K11]], which NATO calls the AT-3 "Sagger."

"Sagger", the American BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided), and the European MILAN.

It cannot be emphasized how ''difficult'' these systems are to use in practice, although modern weapons are reletivly relativly more user friendly.With the exception of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, before the October 1973 War, ATGM's had friendly. For a while, [=ATGMs=] were not been very impressive in actual combat. It was estimated for the ''Sagger'' and its Western counterpart, the ''COBRA'', that it took a minimum of 100 firings for an operator to become proficient. This meant that you needed great investment in training, which most Armies in the mid Cold War did not have time to do, (The Indians and Pakistani, having long service professional Armies, something which was uncommon during the Cold War, were the exception). Specially trained Egyptian and Syrian troops used these in the War of 1973 to maul Israeli armored units. However, especially in the Sinai, it was poor Israeli tactics which were to blame, as much as the effectivnes of the missile [[note]] The Israeli Tank attack charged entrenched Egyptian positions without any infantry and artillery support, with expected results [[/note]]. Even then, the actual kill rate for Sagger was about 10% (falling to as low as 2% in some sectors). Indeed one analysis estimates that most of the kills were through Egyptian Tanks.

do. As an aside, however, even obsolete ATGMS in the hand of trained soldiers are very effective against field fortifications.
A likely candidate for second most popular is probably the wire-guided Franco-German [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MILAN MILAN]] which entered service in the early 1970s, which has likewise been very widely exported around the world for decades.


A further evolution of the submachine gun is the Personal Defense Weapon, or PDW. PDWs are intended for use by rear-echelon and support troops, such as combat engineers and truck drivers, and is intended to be shorter, lighter, and handier than an automatic rifle, yet still capable of penetrating the soft body armor that is becoming increasingly common on the modern battlefield. In practice, the concept has not been particularly successful, due to the popularity of compact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45mm ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, don't need much retraining, and are a lot more affordable. Because of this, [=PDWs=] mainly see use not in their originally intended role as a defensive weapon for rear-line troops, but as the weapons of VIP bodyguards, special forces units, and police SWAT teams.

to:

A further evolution of the submachine gun is the Personal '''Personal Defense Weapon, Weapon''', or PDW. PDWs [=PDWs=] are intended for use by rear-echelon and support troops, such as combat engineers and truck drivers, and is intended to be shorter, lighter, and handier than an automatic rifle, yet still capable of penetrating the soft body armor that is becoming increasingly common on the modern battlefield. In practice, the concept has not been particularly successful, due to the popularity of compact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45mm ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, don't need much retraining, and are a lot more affordable. Because of this, [=PDWs=] mainly see use not in their originally intended role as a defensive weapon for rear-line troops, but as the weapons of VIP bodyguards, special forces units, and police SWAT teams.






!!Light Machine Guns, Squad Automatic Weapons, and Heavy Machine Guns

Here we begin to see the real "teeth" of infantry formations, so to speak. In World War II a German rifle squad might have had eight men with a mix of bolt-action [=K98=] rifles or [=MP40=] submachine guns, plus a two-man team with an [=MG42=] light machine gun. Statistics showed that in most engagements, for the squad 90%+ of ammunition expended in firefights went through the [=MG42=].

Perhaps some exposition is in order. In modern (by which we mean the tactics developed during the Second World War) fire-and-movement small-unit infantry tactics, the rifle is a secondary weapon.

On the defensive, the purpose of the riflemen is to keep the SAW and LMG teams from being outflanked or overrun. In meeting engagements or on the offensive, the SAW and LMG teams set up a base of fire and suppress enemy units and enemy positions (perhaps with mortars laying down a smokescreen to isolate the objective and prevent enemy units nearby from being able to support the defenders), while the riflemen and SMG gunners form a maneuver element to approach the enemy position under cover of fire and then assault it at close quarters, often with grenades.

The idea of every squad having a portable automatic weapon of some kind is another custom originating in the Second World War. Vast numbers of designs have been issued. Currently the most common are probably the FN "Minimi" 5.56mm belt-fed LMG, which the US issues as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, or the Russian RPK series of magazine-fed [=LMG=]s, which have been manufactured in several calibers and look like very large AK-47s. Historically the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (yet another creation of John Moses Browning), or BAR, was a magazine-fed design very common in US service between 1918 and 1965, and it was also very widely exported. The Russians used and widely exported the RPK, as well as the older RPD (very similar to the RPK but belt-fed, declared obsolete due to higher manufacturing costs). The UK used the magazine-fed "Bren" LMG from the 1930s until around 1980, in reserve units. All weapons in this class have been exported very widely and can be found anywhere in the world.

The LMG/SAW is distinct from the HMG, the Heavy Machine Gun, not only due to weight, but also in that the latter is normally either a stationary weapon perhaps mounted on a tripod and served by a crew, perhaps in a bunker or pillbox, or carried by a vehicle. The HMG tends to be of larger caliber, and/or designed for higher sustained volumes of fire (such as the many watercooled World War I designs with the cooling jackets full of water surrounding their barrels). There are also a number of belt-fed automatic grenade launchers that have entered service since the mid-1980s; their weight, their high rate of ammo consumption, their long effective ranges, and their normal use as stationary crew-served weapons means that tactically they belong to the same class as the HMG and will be used in the same manner.

There are machine guns that are called General purpose machine guns. They are better when mounted on vehicles, but can be used by infantry. They are air-cooled machine guns firing rifle cartridges such as the 7.62×51mm NATO or 7.62×54mmR Russian. The bad thing is the weapons heavy weight (FN MAG, also known as M240 is 22.3 pounds or 10.1 kg as the new light version made in 2010) making them hard to carry for long distances, the good thing is that weapon iron sights on some models are up to 1.6 km or 1 mile and some models like the MG-3 have a AA rear sight.

to:

!!Light Machine Guns, Squad Automatic Weapons, and Heavy Machine !!Machine Guns

Here we begin to see the real "teeth" of infantry formations, so to speak. In World War II a German rifle squad might have had eight men with a mix of bolt-action [=K98=] rifles or [=MP40=] Machine guns are designed to provide sustained automatic fire, compared to smaller automatic weapons like submachine guns, plus a two-man team with an [=MG42=] light machine gun. Statistics showed that in most engagements, guns and assault rifles, which can fire on full-auto, but are not intended to do so for long periods. To accommodate for the squad 90%+ heat generated by sustained fire, many of them are built heavier than common rifles, with thick barrels and/or barrels that can be easily swapped, and are commonly fed by ammunition expended in firefights went through belts. They also have various methods of keeping the [=MG42=].

Perhaps some exposition is in order. In modern (by which we mean
gun cool, such as with water (early machine guns like the tactics developed during the Second World War) fire-and-movement small-unit infantry tactics, the rifle is a secondary weapon.

Vickers and Maxim), or forced-air cooling (most machine guns today). Due to their heavy weight, they may be designed to be fired from mountings (like bipods, tripods or vehicle mounts) for easier aiming and handling.

On the defensive, the purpose of the riflemen is to keep the SAW and LMG teams from being outflanked or overrun. In meeting engagements or on the offensive, the SAW and LMG teams set up a base of fire and suppress enemy units and enemy positions (perhaps with mortars laying down a smokescreen to isolate the objective and prevent enemy units nearby from being able to support the defenders), positions, while the riflemen and SMG gunners form a maneuver element to approach the enemy position under cover of fire and then assault it at close quarters, often with grenades.

The idea of every squad having a portable automatic weapon of some kind is another custom originating in
quarters.

Since
the Second World War. Vast numbers beginning of designs the 20th century, machine guns have been issued. Currently a ubiquitous weapon, and come in several classifications.

*'''Heavy machine guns''' may be classified as such due to their weight (like the [=WWI=]-era Vickers gun, or the [=WWII=]-era Type 92), or due to firing a large-caliber round (the .50 BMG Browning M2 and the 12.7x99mm [=DShK=]), the latter
the most common definition today. Modern heavy machine guns are probably intended primarily for use against vehicles, aircraft, and structures, thanks to their high power, range, and penetration. Their heavy weight limits their mobility, so they usually must be fired from mounts like bipods and tripods.
*'''General-purpose machine guns''' and '''medium machine guns''' are the everyman of the machine gun classification. They typically fire full-power cartridges, like the 7.62x51mm NATO or 7.62x54mmR and are usually adaptable for multiple purposes. Medium machine guns are more oriented toward fire support and static defense, fired from a mounting. While lighter than heavy machine guns, they are still somewhat heavy and cumbersome to move and use. General-purpose machine guns are more adaptable, able to be fired from both bipods and tripods, and much easier to move with and be carried by infantry. Examples of general-purpose machines guns include
the FN "Minimi" 5.56mm belt-fed LMG, which MAG/[=M240=], the US issues as German [=MG42=] and later [=MG3=], the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, or American M60, and the Russian RPK series of magazine-fed [=LMG=]s, which have been manufactured PK.
* ''Light machine guns''are light enough to be carried by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant. They are designed primarily for supporting infantry on the move. They are typically chambered
in several calibers full-power cartridges. Older light machine guns were fed by box magazines, while newer ones are likely to be belt-fed. Examples include the [=WWII=]-era British Bren and look like very large AK-47s. Historically the M1918 American Browning Automatic Rifle (yet another creation of John Moses Browning), Rifle, or BAR, was a magazine-fed design very common in US service between 1918 and 1965, and it was also very widely exported. The Russians used and widely exported the RPK, as well as the older RPD (very similar to the RPK but belt-fed, declared obsolete due to higher manufacturing costs). The UK used the magazine-fed "Bren" LMG from the 1930s until around 1980, in reserve units. All BAR.
** ''Squad automatic
weapons in this class have been exported very widely and can be found anywhere in (SAW)'' are a subtype of light machine gun, usually issued at the world.

The LMG/SAW is distinct from
squad level (hence the HMG, name) for fire support. . They are typically chambered in intermediate-power rounds like the Heavy Machine Gun, not only due to weight, but also in that 5.56x45mm, typically the latter is normally either a stationary weapon perhaps mounted same round as the squad's rifle. In fact, their design may even be based on a tripod and served by a crew, perhaps in a bunker or pillbox, or carried by a vehicle. The HMG tends to be of larger caliber, and/or designed the squad's standard rifle (adapted for higher sustained volumes of fire (such as fire). Examples include the many watercooled World War I designs with FN Minimi/[=M249=] and the cooling jackets full of water surrounding their barrels). There are also a number of belt-fed automatic grenade launchers that have entered service since the mid-1980s; their weight, their high rate of ammo consumption, their long effective ranges, Russian RPD and their normal use as stationary crew-served weapons means that tactically they belong to the same class as the HMG and will be used in the same manner.

There are machine guns that are called General purpose machine guns. They are better when mounted on vehicles, but can be used by infantry. They are air-cooled machine guns firing rifle cartridges such as the 7.62×51mm NATO or 7.62×54mmR Russian. The bad thing is the weapons heavy weight (FN MAG, also known as M240 is 22.3 pounds or 10.1 kg as the new light version made in 2010) making them hard to carry for long distances, the good thing is that weapon iron sights on some models are up to 1.6 km or 1 mile and some models like the MG-3 have a AA rear sight.
RPK.


Common examples include:

to:

Common examples include:
The first such weapon to appear was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StG_44 German StG44]], and it was for it that the term "assault rifle" was coined. It was a short and handy--well, compared to a K98, anyway--selective-fire automatic carbine using detachable 30 round box magazines and a distinctive-looking stubby little 7.92x33mm cartridge. The Germans manufactured several tens of thousands of them during the Second World War, and they were well liked by troops in the field, there weren't enough of them produced to make any real difference in the outcome of the war. The weapon's concept, however, appealed to various militaries and arms designers, and after the war, many new assault rifles were designed and adopted.

The two most common examples:



* The M16, living proof that if you PolishTheTurd enough, and are willing to lower your standards and put up with a degree of subpar performance, and your competitors come up with even worse offerings, that something can eventually be considered good. Plagued by mismanagement, deliberate sabotage, as well as [[http://s606.photobucket.com/user/mortablunt/library/AR15%20Rant?sort=3&page=1 Eugene Stoner (and Armalite in general being clueless about weapons design]], in its early years and a general dislike of the fact its stock and handguard are plastic; as well as the small caliber (5.56mm NATO) it is chambered in, compared to the earlier 7.62x51 chambering of the M14. Changing ammunition specs without telling the weapons designer and cheaping out on the weapon itself? Bad. Giving it to troops fighting in the jungles of Vietnam and claiming that it didn't need to be cleaned? Very bad. Fortunately, the M16 survived those horrible first years and has eventually become a widely adopted and copied weapon itself, though much like the Beretta 92 pistol, it still has a vocal {{Hatedom}}. The now steadily more popular M4 variant is described under Carbines. More expensive to manufacture than most competing designs, it uses a hinged two-part receiver made from lightweight aircraft aluminum alloy.
* The Heckler & Koch G36. CoolGun of the beginning 21st Century, it was not particularly innovative (indeed, mechanically the internals are a pretty close copy of Eugene Stoner's old [=AR18=], designed circa 1965 and never successful to being a pretty unreliable design). Made mostly of lightweight plastic, and with two integral optics (but no irons for some reason). The military forces that bought the G3 also looked at this, but most procurement was delayed well into the glut of new rifle designs spawned from the WarOnTerror. Anyone thinking about a Heckler & Koch now has probably turned to the 416, a hybrid between the inner workings of the G36 and the outer appearance of the M16 family. The G36 is [[http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/20140626.aspx currently on hold]], because H und K have finally confirmed [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/06/23/alleged-hk-g36-accuracy-problems troops' complaints about it being unreliable to the point of melting in combat.]] [[note]]For the full story, scroll down to Fegelein's comment.[[/note]] The Bundeswehr and HK have [[SarcasmMode responded]] [[BlatantLies admirably]] in the face of this [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/04/26/hk-g36-useless-at-200m-when-hot/ long]] [[http://www.military-today.com/firearms/hk_g36.htm ongoing]] [[http://www.guns.com/2013/05/29/hk-g36-rifle-acquisition-at-center-of-german-goverment-investigation/ scandal]] by doing the old American M16 dodge and [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/06/30/hk-g36-rifle-faulty-bad-ammunition-caused-poor-accuracy/ blaming not only the ammo (which was not even invented when the allegations began) for burning exothermically,]] but also [[http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?262342-Article-on-the-G36-in-Afghanistan blaming the troops]] for using the rifle as intended and instructed. No fixes are forthcoming, and HK is doing its best to hush it up. [[http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages?msg=5886.1 In the Bundeswehr, they did an assessment, and now the have been changed to make it impossible for the problems to emerge in "acceptable use.]]
* The L85, also known as the [=SA80=], the standard assault rifle of the British military and pretty good demonstration that anything the Yanks can fuck up, the Brits can fuck up over nine thousand times [[strike:better]] [[strike:worse]] UpToEleven. A bullpup design (this means the operating mechanism and magazine are located in its buttstock instead of in front of the user's right hand, this to make the weapon more compact), it suffered from staggeringly bad quality control and reliability problems, especially in sandy conditions. It uses the AR18 operating system [[SarcasmMode (big surprise there.)]] Despite its limited international presence, it turned up in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' and one scene in ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''. It was absolutely Wretched in Desert Storm, and HK's fixes to it seem to have improved it from godawful to regular awful. Of course, maybe one should not hope for too much from HK, considering their work with the G36 above. On the other hand, the L85 has a lot less plastic to melt than a G36.
* The Steyr AUG is another bullpup, originating in Austria in the late 1970s, and thus far having limited success in export sales, the only big buyer so far being Australia. It has even more plastic in its construction than the G36. Even its magazines are transparent plastic, so that the user can see at a glance how much ammo they contain. Many still find it very futuristic-looking, even though it was introduced in 1977. It has a built-in telescopic sight instead of iron sights, as well as easily-swappable interchangeable barrels allowing the operator to switch between an SMG-sized assault barrel and a suppression-oriented bipod barrel in seconds. A simple conversion kit can also turn the AUG into an ''actual'' SMG chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum.
* The SIG SG 550 and it's variants. This, as a refreshing change, is considered by many to be the best assault rifle in the world. It fires the same 5.56 NATO cartridge as most of the above, but lacks the reliability and quality control issues of the M16 and L85. It is the standard rifle of the Swiss Armed Forces, as well as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIG_SG_550#Users two dozen or so]] Special Ops and Police forces worldwide, including the United States' FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration, and also (unsurprisingly) the [[UsefulNotes/VaticanCity Vatican's]] Swiss Guard. I has not currently been adopted by any non-spec-ops military force outside of its native Switzerland; mostly because its quality comes with a high price tag. The "SG" in its name, incidentally, is short for Sturmgewehr, which brings us to...
* The first such weapon to appear was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StG_44 German StG44]], and it was for it that the term "assault rifle" was coined. It was a short and handy--well, compared to a K98, anyway--selective-fire automatic carbine using detachable 30 round box magazines and a distinctive-looking stubby little 7.92x33mm cartridge. The Germans manufactured several tens of thousands of them during the Second World War, and they were well liked by troops in the field, but the weapon was expensive to manufacture and they never produced enough of them to make any real difference in the outcome of the war[[note]]As the first of its kind, and due to the increasingly desperate German situation, the weapon also suffered from design and material deficiencies. Notably, the magazines were so poorly designed that dropping the gun from a height of 2 feet could bend the magazine and permanently jam the feed on the weapon, making it useless. The design was innovative, but Germany didn't have the ability to capitalize on it[[/note]]. After the war the captured ones were sold off around the world as surplus and are still sometimes encountered in the Middle East and the Third World.

to:

* The M16, living proof that if you PolishTheTurd enough, the primary rifle of the United States military, and are willing to lower your standards many of its allies. It suffered from a troubled development history, plagued by mismanagement and put up with a degree of subpar performance, and your competitors come up with even worse offerings, that something can eventually be considered good. Plagued by mismanagement, deliberate sabotage, as well as [[http://s606.photobucket.com/user/mortablunt/library/AR15%20Rant?sort=3&page=1 Eugene Stoner (and Armalite in general being clueless about weapons design]], in its early years and a general dislike of the fact its stock and handguard are plastic; as well as the small caliber (5.56mm NATO) it is chambered in, compared to the earlier 7.62x51 chambering of the M14. Changing ammunition specs without telling the weapons designer and cheaping out on the weapon itself? Bad. Giving it to troops fighting in the jungles of Vietnam and claiming that it didn't need to be cleaned? Very bad. sabotage. Fortunately, the M16 survived those horrible first years and has eventually become a widely adopted and copied weapon itself, though much like the Beretta 92 pistol, it still has a vocal {{Hatedom}}.itself. The now steadily more popular M4 variant is described under Carbines. More expensive to manufacture than most competing designs, it uses a hinged two-part receiver made from lightweight aircraft aluminum alloy.
*
The Heckler & Koch G36. CoolGun of the beginning 21st Century, it was not particularly innovative (indeed, mechanically the internals are a pretty close copy of Eugene Stoner's old [=AR18=], designed circa 1965 and never successful to being a pretty unreliable design). Made mostly of lightweight plastic, and with two integral optics (but no irons for some reason). The military forces that bought the G3 also looked at this, but most procurement was delayed well into the glut of new rifle designs spawned from the WarOnTerror. Anyone thinking about a Heckler & Koch now has probably turned to the 416, a hybrid between the inner workings of the G36 and the outer appearance of the M16 family. The G36 is [[http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/20140626.aspx currently on hold]], because H und K have finally confirmed [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/06/23/alleged-hk-g36-accuracy-problems troops' complaints about it being unreliable to the point of melting in combat.]] [[note]]For the full story, scroll down to Fegelein's comment.[[/note]] The Bundeswehr and HK have [[SarcasmMode responded]] [[BlatantLies admirably]] in the face of this [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/04/26/hk-g36-useless-at-200m-when-hot/ long]] [[http://www.military-today.com/firearms/hk_g36.htm ongoing]] [[http://www.guns.com/2013/05/29/hk-g36-rifle-acquisition-at-center-of-german-goverment-investigation/ scandal]] by doing the old American M16 dodge and [[http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/06/30/hk-g36-rifle-faulty-bad-ammunition-caused-poor-accuracy/ blaming not only the ammo (which was not even invented when the allegations began) for burning exothermically,]] but also [[http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?262342-Article-on-the-G36-in-Afghanistan blaming the troops]] for using the rifle as intended and instructed. No fixes are forthcoming, and HK is doing its best to hush it up. [[http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages?msg=5886.1 In the Bundeswehr, they did an assessment, and now the have been changed to make it impossible for the problems to emerge in "acceptable use.]]
* The L85, also known as the [=SA80=], the standard assault rifle of the British military and pretty good demonstration that anything the Yanks can fuck up, the Brits can fuck up over nine thousand times [[strike:better]] [[strike:worse]] UpToEleven. A bullpup
weapon's design (this means also proved to be extremely modular; the operating mechanism and magazine are located in its buttstock instead of in front of the user's right hand, this M16's design is relatively easy to make the weapon more compact), it suffered from staggeringly bad quality control and reliability problems, especially in sandy conditions. It uses the AR18 operating system [[SarcasmMode (big surprise there.)]] Despite its limited international presence, it turned up in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' and one scene in ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''. It was absolutely Wretched in Desert Storm, and HK's fixes to it seem to have improved it from godawful to regular awful. Of course, maybe one should not hope for too much from HK, considering their work with the G36 above. On the other hand, the L85 has a lot less plastic to melt than a G36.
* The Steyr AUG is another bullpup, originating in Austria in the late 1970s, and thus far having limited success in export sales, the only big buyer so far being Australia. It has even more plastic in its construction than the G36. Even its magazines are transparent plastic, so that the user can see at a glance how much ammo they contain. Many still find it very futuristic-looking, even though it was introduced in 1977. It has a built-in telescopic sight instead of iron sights, as well as easily-swappable interchangeable barrels
customize, allowing the operator it to switch between an SMG-sized assault barrel and accept a suppression-oriented bipod barrel in seconds. A simple conversion kit can also turn the AUG into an ''actual'' SMG chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum.
* The SIG SG 550 and it's variants. This, as a refreshing change, is considered by many to be the best assault rifle in the world. It fires the same 5.56 NATO cartridge as most
large number of the above, but lacks the reliability and quality control issues of the M16 and L85. It is the standard rifle of the Swiss Armed Forces, as well as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIG_SG_550#Users two dozen or so]] Special Ops and Police forces worldwide, including the United States' FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration, and also (unsurprisingly) the [[UsefulNotes/VaticanCity Vatican's]] Swiss Guard. I has not currently been adopted by any non-spec-ops military force outside of its native Switzerland; mostly because its quality comes with a high price tag. The "SG" in its name, incidentally, is short for Sturmgewehr, which brings us to...
* The first such weapon to appear was the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StG_44 German StG44]], and it was for it that the term "assault rifle" was coined. It was a short and handy--well, compared to a K98, anyway--selective-fire automatic carbine using detachable 30 round box magazines and a distinctive-looking stubby little 7.92x33mm cartridge. The Germans manufactured several tens of thousands of them during the Second World War, and they were well liked by troops in the field, but the weapon was expensive to manufacture and they never produced enough of them to make any real difference in the outcome of the war[[note]]As the first of its kind, and due to the increasingly desperate German situation, the weapon also suffered from design and material deficiencies. Notably, the magazines were so poorly designed that dropping the gun from a height of 2 feet could bend the magazine and permanently jam the feed on the weapon, making it useless. The design was innovative, but Germany didn't have the ability to capitalize on it[[/note]]. After the war the captured ones were sold off around the world as surplus and are still sometimes encountered in the Middle East and the Third World.
accessories.



Originally simply a shortened rifle for cavalry, engineers, etc., who wasn't expected to advance in lines at enemy position, but still needed something for self-defense, essentially an ancient PDW. Today they are something of a historical anomaly, most weapons here being spiritual successors of the M1 Carbine fielded by the US Military during World War 2 as a light automatic weapon for paratroopers and the like. (A similar thought process to what launched the Personal Defense Weapon trend; see submachine guns.) Examples include:

* The M1 Carbine, as mentioned. Chambered in a unique caliber that approached the intermediary cartridge ideal of assault rifles, yet very compact and light, it was intended to be used by truck drivers, vehicle crewmen, combat engineers, etc., and proved very popular with paratroopers. One variant, the M3, is notable for being fielded with one of the first portable nightvision optics late in World War II. ''Barely'' portable, that is; the massive 6-volt battery for the scope was so large it had to be carried separately in a backpack, and the whole assembly was heavier than a medium machine gun. Oddly enough, not long after the war, a simple straight-blowback open-bolt SMG was designed in the Dominican Republic to use its ammunition and magazines, suggesting that it may have been just slightly overengineered.
* The AKS-74U, a compact version of the AK-74. Small enough to double as a submachine gun, it was intended for use by truck drivers, armored vehicle crewmen, etc., but its compactness made it very popular with Russian Special Forces troops. Notable for its huge muzzle flash, like...
* The M4, the end result of decades of compact M16 variants that never quite caught on. However, the M4 is steadily replacing full-size M16s in US service now, being more maneuverable and compact - important for a military that spends a lot of time riding in vehicles and clearing tight urban spaces. The U.S. Army has adopted the M4 as its primary issue variant of the M16. And like the AKS-74U, it was originally intended for truck drivers and armored vehicle crewmen, then the Spec Ops guys demanded them because they liked the handling qualities. M4 carbines mostly these days have a rail mount built into the top of the receiver to mount an optical sight of some kind, and iron sights are generally relegated to emergency use if something goes wrong with the optical sight. They may also have rail mounts built into or even replacing the handguards, allowing the user an easy way to mount flashlights, laser sights, etc.
* Before the AK, there was the Simonov [=SKS=] semiauto carbine, which was the platform in which the AK's 7.62x39mm cartridge was introduced in 1943. This was essentially a carbine version of Simonov's AVS battle rifle without the full-auto. The Russians didn't have a lot of enthusiasm for a design they regarded as a stopgap and only mass-produced them for a few years, but the Chinese and several Soviet allies in Eastern Europe made copies by the tens of millions and exported them all over the world; the Chinese still export them today. It is perhaps a bit heavy and clunky for what it is, and almost all examples are loaded from the top with a stamped sheet metal stripper clip like something from before World War I, but it has a good reputation for ruggedness and reliability, and not a few have been sold in the US, where they have become in some areas fairly popular as deer hunting rifles. In Russia itself, it's also sold as a hunting rifle, and popular in this quality, but sometimes this carbine can be encountered in the hands of a VOHR security guard (VOHR is a state-owned security guard service, as opposed to [=ChOPs=], private security firms), but also as a ceremonial parade weapon due to its distinctive old-fashioned looks that's better suited to fancy arms maneuvers. Very commonly encountered around the world, they are also commonly issued weapons for police and prison guards in China.

to:

Originally simply A carbine is, somewhat oxymoronically, a long gun with a shorter than normal barrel. The most common weapons defined as "carbines" are shortened rifle versions of longer rifles. Many long-barreled rifles were found to be difficult to handle, while the accuracy offered by their long barrels was found to not be as much of an advantage as expected (most combat took place at ranges much closer than their maximum range). As a result, many long rifles had their barrels shortened (the German Gewehr 98, for instance, was shortened to create the Karabiner 98K), slightly reducing their range and muzzle velocity, but making them easier to handle. After World War II, as assault rifles and battle rifles, with barrels shorter than the rifles of old, came in, they, too, received carbine designs. The American M16, for instance, has the M4 carbine variant, while the Russian AK-74 has the AKS-74U compact carbine. Today, carbine-length rifles are mostly used by rear-echelon troops and soldiers expecting to see close-quarters combat, as the shorter barrel and weight make maneuvering easier. In fact, with the high-speed maneuvering and short-range engagements that define modern combat, short-barreled rifles and carbines are sometimes the norm rather than the exception (the United States Army, for instance, has replaced most of its M16s with the M4).

Carbines may also be purpose-built weapons with shorter barrels. They were intended
for cavalry, engineers, etc., who wasn't weren't expected to advance in lines at enemy position, but still needed something for self-defense, essentially an ancient PDW. Examples of these older carbines include: Today they are something of a historical anomaly, most weapons here being spiritual successors of the M1 Carbine fielded having been replaced by the US Military during World War 2 as a light automatic weapon for paratroopers and the like. (A similar thought process to what launched the Personal Defense Weapon trend; see submachine guns.) more advanced weapons. Examples include:

include:


* The M1 Carbine, as mentioned. Carbine. Chambered in a unique caliber that approached the intermediary cartridge ideal of assault rifles, yet it was very compact and light, it was intended to be used by truck drivers, vehicle crewmen, combat engineers, etc., rear-echelon troops, and proved very popular with paratroopers. One variant, the M3, is notable for being fielded with one of the first portable nightvision optics late in World War II. ''Barely'' portable, that is; the massive 6-volt battery for the scope was so large it had to be carried separately in a backpack, and the whole assembly was heavier than a medium machine gun. Oddly enough, not long after the war, a simple straight-blowback open-bolt SMG was designed in the Dominican Republic to use its ammunition and magazines, suggesting that it may have been just slightly overengineered.
paratroopers.
* The AKS-74U, a compact version of the AK-74. Small enough to double as a submachine gun, it was intended for use by truck drivers, armored vehicle crewmen, etc., but its compactness made it very popular with Russian Special Forces troops. Notable for its huge muzzle flash, like...
* The M4, the end result of decades of compact M16 variants that never quite caught on. However, the M4 is steadily replacing full-size M16s in US service now, being more maneuverable and compact - important for a military that spends a lot of time riding in vehicles and clearing tight urban spaces. The U.S. Army has adopted the M4 as its primary issue variant of the M16. And like the AKS-74U, it was originally intended for truck drivers and armored vehicle crewmen, then the Spec Ops guys demanded them because they liked the handling qualities. M4 carbines mostly these days have a rail mount built into the top of the receiver to mount an optical sight of some kind, and iron sights are generally relegated to emergency use if something goes wrong with the optical sight. They may also have rail mounts built into or even replacing the handguards, allowing the user an easy way to mount flashlights, laser sights, etc.
* Before the AK, there was the
Simonov [=SKS=] semiauto carbine, which was the platform in which the AK's 7.62x39mm cartridge was introduced in 1943. This was essentially a carbine version of Simonov's AVS battle rifle without the full-auto. The Russians didn't have a lot of enthusiasm for a design they regarded as a stopgap and only mass-produced them for a few years, but the Chinese and several Soviet allies in Eastern Europe made copies by the tens of millions and exported them all over the world; the Chinese still export them today. It is perhaps a bit heavy and clunky for what it is, and almost all examples are loaded from the top with a stamped sheet metal stripper clip like something from before World War I, but it has a good reputation for ruggedness and reliability, and not a few have been sold in the US, where they have become in some areas fairly popular as deer hunting rifles. In Russia itself, it's also sold as a hunting rifle, and popular in this quality, but sometimes this carbine can be encountered in the hands of a VOHR security guard (VOHR is a state-owned security guard service, as opposed to [=ChOPs=], private security firms), but also as a ceremonial parade weapon due to its distinctive old-fashioned looks that's better suited to fancy arms maneuvers. reliability. Very commonly encountered around the world, they are also commonly issued weapons for police and prison guards in China.
world.


* The German [[RareGuns Luger P08]], AKA ''[[PretentiousLatinMotto Parabellum]]''. Was the platform in which the extremely popular 9x19mm cartridge was introduced — after several false starts like 7.62x25mm. The cartridge's popularity endures long after original Lugers became collectors' items and museum pieces. The Luger was not uncommon, as such things go, until 1945, though even before the war the Germans were trying to replace it with more modern designs that were more reliable and less expensive to mass-produce. The Luger's steeply-raked gripframe angle was intended to force users to shoot with a locked wrist, which is thought by some to promote accuracy.
** Though fancy, the Luger didn't perform very well in dirty conditions, which is why it was officially replaced with the Walther P38 and the FN P35 (a variant of the Browning [=HiPower=] manufactured by Fabrique National Herstal). Lugers were prized by Allied soldiers as cool souvenirs. American [=M1911s=] and British/Canadian [=HiPowers=] (manufactured in Canada by Inglis, meaning the [=HiPower=] was standard-issue on both sides) were prized by Germans as pistols that actually worked.
* Luger's successor, P38, which actually was the standard German sidearm during the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Accurate and reliable, but still somewhat expensive to manufacture. As it was chambered in the ''original'' 9x19 Parabellum cartridge [[note]]modern 9x19 are much more powerful and would actually ''break'' WWII era firearms[[/note]] is also was somewhat less powerful than its Allies' counterparts.
* The Colt 1911 and all its variants. The US Military officially replaced it with a variant of the Beretta 92 in 1984, but a lot of soldiers were loathe to part with it. Still iconic and very popular in civilian hands, too. Still manufactured by Colt (and a host of others) even after a century (first model was adopted by the U.S Army in March of 1911, hence the name). An early example of superb ergonomics, especially the [=M1911A1=] model standardized in 1927. Designed by one [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Browning John Moses Browning]], a self-taught engineer with a fourth-grade education who designed a wide variety of sporting and military firearms, some of which are still in production today. It is powerful, accurate, tough, reliable, easy to use, exceptionally customizable, and practically impossible to accidentally discharge due to multiple redundant safeties (note the difference between ''accidental'' and ''negligent'' discharges).
** Many special forces units use their own funds to buy 1911's.
** The Marine Corps has approved a new production version of the 1911 as an alternate sidearm for Recon.
** It has been remarkably common (though officially frowned upon) for US personnel deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan to carry 1911s they have purchased on the civilian market instead of the issued M9.
** Want to see a flamewar go nuclear? Look up the "1911 vs Glock" debate.
* The aforementioned Beretta 92, adopted as the M9 pistol. Chambered for the NATO-standard 9mm Parabellum cartridge, it soundly beats the Colt in magazine capacity and is supposed to be easier to control, but got something of a bad reputation from the initial order of magazines being badly manufactured. Kind of large and not always easy to use for people with small hands.
** The pistol also had a bad reputation because the slide would break, causing injury or death to the person firing the pistol (it actually ''failed'' its acceptance trials at Aberdeen Proving Ground, but was adopted anyway due to a sweetheart deal with the Italians). This defect was fixed in later models. And then in 2003 the Army bought some magazines from the lowest bidder that had springs in them at the low end of the acceptable specs, which caused the magazines to jam and fail to feed when they got dirty with sand (which there's a lot of, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan). These problems have largely been fixed, but the reputation damage is done (especially amongst those who never wanted to give up the M1911 in the first place). Even with the improvements in place, it remains very high-maintenance and highly susceptible to dirt, while the old 1911 (and many newer designs) runs just fine in dirty conditions.
*** Note that the "fix" involves merely putting a metal tab in place to deflect the slide away from the shooter if it breaks off.
** The M9 is generally considered the textbook example of what happens when you try to use a ceremonial pistol as a fighting pistol.
* The SIG [=P22X=] series (mainly the P226, 228, and 229, which differ only in size), adopted by the U.S. military as the M11 pistol, as an alternate service weapon for special operations forces, Navy pilots, military police, security, and investigative services (it is smaller and more easily concealed in plain clothes than the M9, and likewise takes up less space in the cockpit of a jet fighter, not to mention easier to use for people with smaller than average hands). Also chambered in 9mm, and used by numerous military and police organizations around the globe.
** Pop culture appearance: Jack Bauer used one almost exclusively in the first two seasons of ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]''.
* The Makarov (officially called PM--''Pistolet Makarova''). Used extensively in the Eastern Bloc. Considered more of a backup weapon than a full service pistol, mostly because it was designed as a police pistol and became military sidearm almost by accident. The Makarov is quite compact, chambered for the then-new 9x18mm round, which has power along the lines of the venerable 38 Spc, it is considered both a highly accurate pistol, and is known for being insanely reliable. It was introduced in the year 1951, replacing the Tokarev Model 1933 semiauto and Nagant Model 1895 revolver. It was officially replaced as Russia's standard-issue sidearm in the 1990s, but remains as iconic to Russians as the 1911 is to Americans.
* TT, AKA Pistolet Tokarev (Just call it the Tokarev), is a Soviet take on the enduring Browning design and is something of a cross between M1911 and Hi-Power, only in weird Soviet early-Thirties Art Deco trim with simpliefied, more rugged internals and no need for tuning or hand fitting. It used the then-standard Soviet 7.62x25mm pistol round. It offers surprisingly wicked stopping power and is ''very'' accurate. This cartridge can rip through ballistic fibers like nothing else. Still used infrequently today exactly because of that, despite being phased out half a century ago -- it's able to pierce all production soft body armors.
* The Glock 17. Though more familiar as a weapon coveted by both cops and gangsters, it makes for a fine military weapon and indeed that's what it was designed for; beating out the Steyr GB for the Austrian Army contract in 1982 is what put Glock (a company that had never made a gun before) on the map. Entered service around 1980 and has been very widely exported. Beset by untrue rumors in the 1980s that it was "designed for terrorism" and "invisible to metal detectors and airport X-ray machines," stemming from the fact that it was the first popular design to use plastic (fiberglass reinforced nylon polymer, for the pedants out there) for the grip-frame instead of aluminum or steel; the rest of the gun IS steel, same as any other, however. Has a vocal HateDom mainly for its nontraditional polymer construction and its steeply raked, ergonomically-horrible grip angle, reminiscent of the Luger, which is intended to promote more accurate shooting by forcing the user to lock his or her wrist more rigidly--whether this actually works seems to be rather subjective, as many shooters find this style very uncomfortable, and the pistol ''will'' jam if "limp-wristed." The lack of any external safety (as opposed to the three different internal ones) is also something not all shooters appreciate. There have been numerous incidents of less-practiced Glock users (especially law enforcement) ''literally'' shooting themselves in the foot by attempting to draw with their [[ArtisticLicenseGunSafety finger on the trigger]].
* The Browning High-Power (or Hi-Power). From the same designer as the M1911, though after his death some aspects of the design were brought to their final form by his Belgian apprentice, Dieudronne Saive. Various marks of High-Power have been the standard sidearm of the British Army since the 1950s, and has been used by almost every military outside the Soviet Bloc that preferred 9mm to .45 at some point. Notable for being the first widely-accepted military sidearm to come with a magazine capacity over ten rounds. Also an early example of superb ergonomics.
* The CZ 75. Designed by the Czech national armaments bureau during the Cold War, it's visually and ergonomically rather similar to the Browning Hi-Power. Unlike the HP, it uses a unusual system where the slide's rails ride inside the frame, which in theory improves accuracy. Nowadays it's mostly used by the Czech and Slovakian armies, though formerly much of Eastern Europe as well as Israel used it. Numerous clones and derivatives (most famously the Israeli Jericho 941) have also been made without CZ's permission. It also was referred to by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper as the "finest 9mm combat handgun made" - high praise indeed coming from a die-hard M1911 partisan. On Cooper's advice, the [[RareGun Bren Ten]] was basically an enlarged and heavily modified CZ 75.
* The Heckler and Koch USP. Derived from the earlier [[RareGuns Mark 23]], which itself is mechanically based on the 1911, it was greatly slimmed down, as the Mark 23 was considered [[HandCannon way too large]] for [[AwesomeButImpractical practical use]]. Available in three different calibres (9mm Parabellum, [=.45ACP=] and [=.40S&W=], it has a reputation as an extremely durable pistol, if a little bulky. Like the Mark 23, the standard model comes with accessory rail for attaching flashlights or laser sights.

!!Sub-Machine Guns

Appearing in the late stages of World War I, [=SMG=]s have had something of a tumultuous military history. Note that a submachine gun by definition uses pistol ammunition, which is much less powerful than rifle ammunition. This makes them it relatively easily controlled in full auto fire--there is less recoil, the muzzle rises less--but it limits their effective range to 150m or less, and the relatively low velocities mean the bullets do not penetrate light cover on the battlefield--such as car doors, building materials, etc.--nearly as well as more powerful ones do. This class of small arm was most common during the Second World War; shortly thereafter, it was supplanted by selective-fire assault rifles.

Although they were first considered to be the equivalent of giving every soldier his own machine gun, experience showed that the pistol calibers and detachable magazines used meant [=SMG=]s could not attain the range or sustained fire capability of proper machine guns, and the invention of intermediate caliber automatic weapons (the assault rifle, as famously coined by Adolf Hitler himself) pushed them away from their primary weapon role. Today, [=SMG=]s are seeing a sort of resurgence in two fields: first, as a special-operations weapon, as sound suppressors can make pistol-caliber weapons surprisingly quiet, and also in the form of the personal defense weapon, designed for easy use and chambered in new, recoil-light calibers to equip rear echelon personnel with more defensive firepower than pistols provide. Their historical uses, such as close-quarters battle, have been almost completely overtaken by assault rifles. Common examples include:

* The Heckler & Koch [=MP5=] in all its variants. Perhaps the quintessential "modern [=SMG=]", its high accuracy and reliability made it very popular with many special operations units. The [=MP5SD=] variants with integral sound suppressor are prized for their quietness. Although the [=MP5=] has been around since the 1970s, it is still extremely widespread, and still extremely popular with US law enforcement special units such as "SWAT" teams. Expensive and, according to some, overengineered (the roller-delayed blowback system is not cheap to manufacture and was designed for much more powerful rifle ammunition before being scaled down in the [=MP5=]), but it sells. There were in the 1990s plans to discontinue manufacture in favor of the lightweight, mostly plastic, simple straight-blowback [=UMP=] [=SMG=], but it was too good a seller for HK to stop making them.
* The [=MP40=]. Together with its predecessor, the [=MP38=], this [=SMG=] equipped large portions of the German armed forces in the Second World War. Though nowhere near as large a portion as the movies would have you believe. Many millions were manufactured and they are still encountered around the world (for example, rumor has it that there are still tens of thousands of captured ones on racks in some French military arsenals, to be handed out to police and reservists in the event of Armageddon)
* The Thompson [=SMG=], in many variations. Although perhaps better known in its earlier models as the weapon of choice for Prohibition-era gangsters (with drum magazine, natch'), the military variants equipped the US Army and Marines in their fights during World War 2. Replaced from 1943 on by the much cheaper stamped sheetmetal M3 "Grease Gun"[[note]]Everything about this gun from the shape to the manner of construction just screams its manufacturer--General Motors. Yes, like Chevy.[[/note]] which remained in service until the mid-1990s as a weapon for tank crewmen and truck drivers, as it was much more compact than an M16.
* The [=STEN=], designed in the UK in the dark days of 1940, to be mass produced as cheaply as possible. It was manufactured in basement machine shops and village blacksmithies, and looked extremely crude, because it was--it had only four moving parts. But it worked well enough, and British Commonwealth soldiers used them for two decades after the war. It was so simple to manufacture, even with only hand tools, that clandestine machine shops turned them out by the tens of thousands for resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Europe during the war. Many but not all were designed to accept not only the 9mm ammunition but even the magazines of the [=MP40=]. The [=STEN=] has the slightly unusual feature of the magazine being inserted into the mag housing horizontally instead of vertically, so that the user may more easily adopt a prone position without a long magazine getting in the way.
* The Sterling was the [=STEN=]'s slightly more sophisticated successor in UK military service, entering service in the late 1950s and remaining in service until replaced by the L85 bullpup assault rifle in the 1980s. It shares the magazine-in-the-side layout of the [=STEN=] but it was much more carefully made--overengineered according to some, a single Sterling magazine with its unique roller bearing follower cost more to manufacture than a [=STEN=] gun. Also the gun that [[StarWars Imperial Stormtrooper]] blasters were based on.
* The Uzi. An Israeli-made SMG that was progressively shrunk down into the Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi models, this 9mm Parabellum SMG equipped many militaries from the 50's onwards, but achieved even greater pop-cultural fame. Commonly mistaken for the similar-looking MAC-10 and its variants, which never enjoyed serious military adoption. Named for its creator, one Uziel Gal (born in 1923 in Weimar as Gotthard Glas), its layout and some of its internals are obviously inspired by the Czech Samopal-52 [=SMG=] but its construction is more economical, heavy stamped sheet metal instead of milled forgings. The original Uzi had a 500 RPM cyclic rate, as well as a good folding stock and a relatively long barrel, making it one of the most controllable and accurate SMG's of all time. The smaller versions had vastly higher rates of fire (the smaller a full-auto weapon is, the more difficult it is to keep cyclic rate down) and thus far less controllable.
* The MAC M10, also called the MAC-10, was the brainchild of Gordon B. Ingram in the 1960s and is often seen--at least when used as a movie prop--with Mitch Werbell's massive suppressor screwed onto the muzzle. It never saw much export or military sales, but lookalikes are still manufactured decades later. It used .45 caliber ammunition in the same magazines that the aforementioned M3 "Grease Gun" used, and, due to constraints on the weight and mass of the bolt that could fit in its tiny stamped sheet metal receiver, cycled at 1200+ rounds per minute, making it a bit of a handful in full-auto fire, unless one had that big suppressor on the front to hang onto.
** This was a purpose built gun for foreign special forces, the Problem? Right after production started the U.S. passed laws banning the sale of suppressors to foreign governments. Gee, what a stroke of utterly improbably bad luck! Since this was the main selling point of the gun Gordon was left with a crapload of guns to sell, mounting debts and a civilian market.
* The Glock 18. The only Glock pistol that is fully automatic. Uses 9x19mm Parabellum rounds. This gun is ported to reduce recoil, which had been a major problem with other submachine guns.
** The "real" Glock 18 is actually very rare; however, the Glock 17 can be converted to full automatic fire. Most "Glock 18s" seen today (especially in movies) are modified Glock 17s.
* The Shpagin [=PPSh41=] aka the "Pah-Pah-Shah" after its Russian spelling. Somewhat inspired by the Finnish M31 "Suomi" SMG[[note]]A common story that it was a simplified copy of ''Suomi'' is a myth, the real story is much more complex. After the Winter War the lack of a good SMG was obvious, and PPSh's predecessor, PPD, designed by Vasily Degtyarev back in '34, was rescued from the rear echelons where it languished, and put to mass production, together with a characteristic drum magazine, which indeed was a copy of Finnish one. But PPD was relatively complex and expensive, and when the war rolled in, it was replaced by its simplified successor, PPSh, which, nevertheless, kept the magazine. Accidentally, soldiers ''hated'' the drum — it was heavy, unwieldy, and jammed constantly, negating all the advantages of large ammo reserve.[[/note]], manufactured by the millions in Russia during the Second World War to the point it received an iconic image to the Red Army, it has become fairly common around the world and examples were even captured from Iraqi troops in the 2003 war. Very distinctive looking with its perforated sheet metal handguard, drum magazine, and rifle-like wooden buttstock, the "Russian banjo" was given out by the million to Soviet clients during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. By that point, the Soviets had almost completely removed submachine guns from their own military in favor of assault rifles, so they had a ''lot'' of the things to pass down to their client states.
* Another great Soviet [=WW2=] was the slower-firing and uglier (but, unexpectedly, ''more'' accurate and reliable) Sudayev [=PPS43=]. The Sudayev was made mostly out of stamped metal parts and mass produced in Russia from 1943 until the 1950s (and copies in other countries were still being manufactured into the 1980s and possibly longer). It was literally created, designed, tested, and put into production in Leningrad, while Leningrad was besieged. It was created to further total sub-machinegun production (planners in its early stages of creation expected it would allow current sub-machine gun production to more than double), though simple momentum of the [=PPSh=]'s current production at the time of finalization prevented it from supplanting the weapon and thereby attaining anywhere near the production numbers of its cousin, and so it was not exported so much, therefore being rather less commonly encountered around the world today...to say nothing of the iconic image of the [=PPSh=] gained that the PPS lacks. That being said, the actual users of the [=PPS43=] did rather like the weapon, with airborne troops and naval infantry and vehicle crews (the PPS-43's shape fit in the cramped compartments of armored vehicles far better than the [=PPSh=]) being the last personnel to relinquish the weapon when it was phased out of the military, though many survived and were kept in units to serve with distinction into Afghanistan and even Chechnya.
*** Both used the old Soviet 7.62x25mm Tokarev pistol cartridge. Both were replaced in service by the AKM assault rifle around 1960 (which is itself [[{{Understatement}} a pretty commonly encountered weapon worldwide today]]).
* Probably belonging in the same category, tactically at least, with these is a new classification first appearing around 1990, which the manufacturers usually call a "PDW," Personal Defense Weapon. It is intended for use by rear area and support troops, such as combat engineers and truck drivers, and is intended to be shorter, lighter, and handier than an automatic rifle, yet still capable of penetrating the soft body armor that is becoming increasingly common on the modern battlefield. The Personal Defense Weapon concept was also meant to allow such troops to defend themselves against adversaries wearing soft body armor. In practice, the concept has flopped, with the SMG-type PDW's like the MP 7 and the P90 being vastly outsold by subcompact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45 ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, have more power both against flesh and armor, not needing any retraining, and being a lot more affordable. 4.6 and 5.7 are good against body armor, but they leave tiny wound channels, lacking severely in lethality. They do not compare favorably to more traditional 9x19mm SMG's like the UMP. 5.7 and 4.6 not only are much smaller bullets compared to the 9mm, but their muzzle energy peaks below the baseline for 9x19, so they are less lethal, no matter which school of terminal ballistics you ascribe to. Oh, and there are production loads of 9x19 which will defeat even the toughest soft armor. The only real advantages are that they have over traditional [=SMGs=] are virtually nonexistent recoil and very high magazine capacity, making it easy to rapidly put a few dozen bullets into their target. And those advantages are the reason [=PDWs=] see some use, not in their originally intended role as a defensive weapon for rear-line troops but as the weapons of VIP bodyguards (who have plenty of use for a small, easily-concealed weapon that can rapidly put lots of holes in the torso of a single assassin), counter-terrorism units and police SWAT teams.

to:

* The German [[RareGuns Luger P08]], AKA ''[[PretentiousLatinMotto Parabellum]]''. Was the platform in which the extremely popular 9x19mm cartridge was introduced — after several false starts like 7.62x25mm. The cartridge's popularity endures long after original Lugers became collectors' items and museum pieces. The Luger was not uncommon, as such things go, until 1945, though even before the war the Germans were trying to replace it with more modern designs that were more reliable and less expensive to mass-produce. The Luger's steeply-raked gripframe angle was intended to force users to shoot with a locked wrist, which is thought by some to promote accuracy.
** Though fancy, the Luger didn't perform very well in dirty conditions, which is why it was officially replaced with the Walther P38 and the FN P35 (a variant of the Browning [=HiPower=] manufactured by Fabrique National Herstal). Lugers were prized by Allied soldiers as cool souvenirs. American [=M1911s=] and British/Canadian [=HiPowers=] (manufactured in Canada by Inglis, meaning the [=HiPower=] was standard-issue on both sides) were prized by Germans as pistols that actually worked.
* Luger's successor, P38, which actually was the standard German sidearm during the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Accurate and reliable, but still somewhat expensive to manufacture. As it was chambered in the ''original'' 9x19 Parabellum cartridge [[note]]modern 9x19 are much more powerful and would actually ''break'' WWII era firearms[[/note]] is also was somewhat less powerful than its Allies' counterparts.
* The Colt 1911 and all its variants. The US Military officially replaced it with a variant of the Beretta 92 in 1984, but a lot of soldiers were loathe to part with it. Still iconic and very popular in civilian hands, too. Still manufactured by Colt (and a host of others) even after a century (first model was adopted by the U.S Army in March of 1911, hence the name). An early example of superb ergonomics, especially the [=M1911A1=] model standardized in 1927. Designed by one [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Browning John Moses Browning]], a self-taught engineer with a fourth-grade education who designed a wide variety of sporting and military firearms, some of which are still in production today. It is powerful, accurate, tough, reliable, easy to use, exceptionally customizable, and practically impossible to accidentally discharge due to multiple redundant safeties (note the difference between ''accidental'' and ''negligent'' discharges).
** Many special forces units use their own funds to buy 1911's.
** The Marine Corps has approved a new production version of the 1911 as an alternate sidearm for Recon.
** It has been remarkably common (though officially frowned upon) for US personnel deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan to carry 1911s they have purchased on the civilian market instead of the issued M9.
** Want to see a flamewar go nuclear? Look up the "1911 vs Glock" debate.
* The aforementioned Beretta 92, adopted as the M9 pistol. Chambered for the NATO-standard 9mm Parabellum cartridge, it soundly beats the Colt in magazine capacity and is supposed to be easier to control, but got something of a bad reputation from the initial order of magazines being badly manufactured. Kind of large and not always easy to use for people with small hands.
** The pistol also had a bad reputation because the slide would break, causing injury or death to the person firing the pistol (it actually ''failed'' its acceptance trials at Aberdeen Proving Ground, but was adopted anyway due to a sweetheart deal with the Italians). This defect was fixed in later models. And then in 2003 the Army bought some magazines from the lowest bidder that had springs in them at the low end of the acceptable specs, which caused the magazines to jam and fail to feed when they got dirty with sand (which there's a lot of, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan). These problems have largely been fixed, but the reputation damage is done (especially amongst those who never wanted to give up the M1911 in the first place). Even with the improvements in place, it remains very high-maintenance and highly susceptible to dirt, while the old 1911 (and many newer designs) runs just fine in dirty conditions.
*** Note that the "fix" involves merely putting a metal tab in place to deflect the slide away from the shooter if it breaks off.
** The M9 is generally considered the textbook example of what happens when you try to use a ceremonial pistol as a fighting pistol.
* The SIG [=P22X=] series (mainly the P226, 228, and 229, which differ only in size), adopted by the U.S. military as the M11 pistol, as an alternate service weapon for special operations forces, Navy pilots, military police, security, and investigative services (it is smaller and more easily concealed in plain clothes than the M9, and likewise takes up less space in the cockpit of a jet fighter, not to mention easier to use for people with smaller than average hands). Also chambered in 9mm, and used by numerous military and police organizations around the globe.
** Pop culture appearance: Jack Bauer used one almost exclusively in the first two seasons of ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]''.
* The Makarov (officially called PM--''Pistolet Makarova''). Used extensively in the Eastern Bloc. Considered more of a backup weapon than a full service pistol, mostly because it was designed as a police pistol and became military sidearm almost by accident. The Makarov is quite compact, chambered for the then-new 9x18mm round, which has power along the lines of the venerable 38 Spc, it is considered both a highly accurate pistol, and is known for being insanely reliable. It was introduced in the year 1951, replacing the Tokarev Model 1933 semiauto and Nagant Model 1895 revolver. It was officially replaced as Russia's standard-issue sidearm in the 1990s, but remains as iconic to Russians as the 1911 is to Americans.
* TT, AKA Pistolet Tokarev (Just call it the Tokarev), is a Soviet take on the enduring Browning design and is something of a cross between M1911 and Hi-Power, only in weird Soviet early-Thirties Art Deco trim with simpliefied, more rugged internals and no need for tuning or hand fitting. It used the then-standard Soviet 7.62x25mm pistol round. It offers surprisingly wicked stopping power and is ''very'' accurate. This cartridge can rip through ballistic fibers like nothing else. Still used infrequently today exactly because of that, despite being phased out half a century ago -- it's able to pierce all production soft body armors.
* The Glock 17. Though more familiar as a weapon coveted by both cops and gangsters, it makes for a fine military weapon and indeed that's what it was designed for; beating out the Steyr GB for the Austrian Army contract in 1982 is what put Glock (a company that had never made a gun before) on the map. Entered service around 1980 and has been very widely exported. Beset by untrue rumors in the 1980s that it was "designed for terrorism" and "invisible to metal detectors and airport X-ray machines," stemming from the fact that it was the first popular design to use plastic (fiberglass reinforced nylon polymer, for the pedants out there) for the grip-frame instead of aluminum or steel; the rest of the gun IS steel, same as any other, however. Has a vocal HateDom mainly for its nontraditional polymer construction and its steeply raked, ergonomically-horrible grip angle, reminiscent of the Luger, which is intended to promote more accurate shooting by forcing the user to lock his or her wrist more rigidly--whether this actually works seems to be rather subjective, as many shooters find this style very uncomfortable, and the pistol ''will'' jam if "limp-wristed." The lack of any external safety (as opposed to the three different internal ones) is also something not all shooters appreciate. There have been numerous incidents of less-practiced Glock users (especially law enforcement) ''literally'' shooting themselves in the foot by attempting to draw with their [[ArtisticLicenseGunSafety finger on the trigger]].
* The Browning High-Power (or Hi-Power). From the same designer as the M1911, though after his death some aspects of the design were brought to their final form by his Belgian apprentice, Dieudronne Saive. Various marks of High-Power have been the standard sidearm of the British Army since the 1950s, and has been used by almost every military outside the Soviet Bloc that preferred 9mm to .45 at some point. Notable for being the first widely-accepted military sidearm to come with a magazine capacity over ten rounds. Also an early example of superb ergonomics.
* The CZ 75. Designed by the Czech national armaments bureau during the Cold War, it's visually and ergonomically rather similar to the Browning Hi-Power. Unlike the HP, it uses a unusual system where the slide's rails ride inside the frame, which in theory improves accuracy. Nowadays it's mostly used by the Czech and Slovakian armies, though formerly much of Eastern Europe as well as Israel used it. Numerous clones and derivatives (most famously the Israeli Jericho 941) have also been made without CZ's permission. It also was referred to by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper as the "finest 9mm combat handgun made" - high praise indeed coming from a die-hard M1911 partisan. On Cooper's advice, the [[RareGun Bren Ten]] was basically an enlarged and heavily modified CZ 75.
* The Heckler and Koch USP. Derived from the earlier [[RareGuns Mark 23]], which itself is mechanically based on the 1911, it was greatly slimmed down, as the Mark 23 was considered [[HandCannon way too large]] for [[AwesomeButImpractical practical use]]. Available in three different calibres (9mm Parabellum, [=.45ACP=] and [=.40S&W=], it has a reputation as an extremely durable pistol, if a little bulky. Like the Mark 23, the standard model comes with accessory rail for attaching flashlights or laser sights.

!!Sub-Machine
!!Submachine Guns

Appearing in the late stages of World War I, [=SMG=]s have had something of a tumultuous military history. Note that a A submachine gun by definition is an automatic weapon that uses pistol ammunition, which is much less powerful than rifle ammunition. This makes them it relatively easily controlled in full auto fire--there is less recoil, the muzzle rises less--but it limits their effective range to 150m or less, and the relatively low velocities mean the bullets do not penetrate light cover on the battlefield--such cover--such as car doors, building materials, etc.--nearly as well as more powerful ones do. This class

Appearing in the late stages
of small arm was most common World War I, submachine guns, [=SMG=]s saw wide use during the Second World War; shortly thereafter, it was supplanted by selective-fire assault rifles.

rifles. Although they were first considered to be the equivalent of giving every soldier his own machine gun, experience showed that the pistol calibers and detachable magazines used meant [=SMG=]s could not attain the range or sustained fire capability of proper machine guns, and the invention of intermediate caliber automatic weapons (the assault rifle, as famously coined by Adolf Hitler himself) pushed them away from their primary weapon role. Today, [=SMG=]s are seeing a sort of resurgence in two fields: first, as a special-operations weapon, as sound suppressors can make pistol-caliber weapons surprisingly quiet, and also in the form of the personal defense weapon, designed for easy use and chambered in new, recoil-light calibers to equip rear echelon personnel with more defensive firepower than pistols provide. Their historical uses, such as close-quarters battle, quiet. Today, they have been almost completely overtaken by assault rifles. Common examples include:

* The Heckler & Koch [=MP5=]
rifles in all its variants. Perhaps the quintessential "modern [=SMG=]", its high accuracy and reliability made it very popular with many special operations units. The [=MP5SD=] variants with integral sound suppressor are prized for their quietness. Although the [=MP5=] has been around since the 1970s, it is still extremely widespread, and still extremely popular with US law enforcement special units such as "SWAT" teams. Expensive and, according to some, overengineered (the roller-delayed blowback system is not cheap to manufacture and was designed for much more powerful rifle ammunition before being scaled down in the [=MP5=]), but it sells. There were in the 1990s plans to discontinue manufacture in favor of the lightweight, mostly plastic, simple straight-blowback [=UMP=] [=SMG=], but it was too good a seller for HK to stop making them.
* The [=MP40=]. Together with its predecessor, the [=MP38=], this [=SMG=] equipped large portions of the German armed forces in the Second World War. Though nowhere near as large a portion as the movies would have you believe. Many millions were manufactured and they are still encountered around the world (for example, rumor has it that there are still tens of thousands of captured ones on racks in some French
military arsenals, to be handed out to police and reservists in the event of Armageddon)
* The Thompson [=SMG=], in many variations. Although perhaps better known in its earlier models as the weapon of choice for Prohibition-era gangsters (with drum magazine, natch'), the military variants equipped the US Army and Marines in their fights during World War 2. Replaced from 1943 on by the much cheaper stamped sheetmetal M3 "Grease Gun"[[note]]Everything about this gun from the shape to the manner of construction just screams its manufacturer--General Motors. Yes, like Chevy.[[/note]] which remained in service until the mid-1990s as a weapon for tank crewmen and truck drivers, as it was much more compact than an M16.
* The [=STEN=], designed in the UK in the dark days of 1940, to be mass produced as cheaply as possible. It was manufactured in basement machine shops and village blacksmithies, and looked extremely crude, because it was--it had only four moving parts. But it worked well enough, and British Commonwealth soldiers used them for two decades after the war. It was so simple to manufacture, even with only hand tools, that clandestine machine shops turned them out by the tens of thousands for resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Europe during the war. Many but not all were designed to accept not only the 9mm ammunition but even the magazines
use.

A further evolution
of the [=MP40=]. The [=STEN=] has the slightly unusual feature of the magazine being inserted into the mag housing horizontally instead of vertically, so that the user may more easily adopt a prone position without a long magazine getting in the way.
* The Sterling was the [=STEN=]'s slightly more sophisticated successor in UK military service, entering service in the late 1950s and remaining in service until replaced by the L85 bullpup assault rifle in the 1980s. It shares the magazine-in-the-side layout of the [=STEN=] but it was much more carefully made--overengineered according to some, a single Sterling magazine with its unique roller bearing follower cost more to manufacture than a [=STEN=] gun. Also the gun that [[StarWars Imperial Stormtrooper]] blasters were based on.
* The Uzi. An Israeli-made SMG that was progressively shrunk down into the Mini-Uzi and Micro-Uzi models, this 9mm Parabellum SMG equipped many militaries from the 50's onwards, but achieved even greater pop-cultural fame. Commonly mistaken for the similar-looking MAC-10 and its variants, which never enjoyed serious military adoption. Named for its creator, one Uziel Gal (born in 1923 in Weimar as Gotthard Glas), its layout and some of its internals are obviously inspired by the Czech Samopal-52 [=SMG=] but its construction is more economical, heavy stamped sheet metal instead of milled forgings. The original Uzi had a 500 RPM cyclic rate, as well as a good folding stock and a relatively long barrel, making it one of the most controllable and accurate SMG's of all time. The smaller versions had vastly higher rates of fire (the smaller a full-auto weapon is, the more difficult it is to keep cyclic rate down) and thus far less controllable.
* The MAC M10, also called the MAC-10, was the brainchild of Gordon B. Ingram in the 1960s and is often seen--at least when used as a movie prop--with Mitch Werbell's massive suppressor screwed onto the muzzle. It never saw much export or military sales, but lookalikes are still manufactured decades later. It used .45 caliber ammunition in the same magazines that the aforementioned M3 "Grease Gun" used, and, due to constraints on the weight and mass of the bolt that could fit in its tiny stamped sheet metal receiver, cycled at 1200+ rounds per minute, making it a bit of a handful in full-auto fire, unless one had that big suppressor on the front to hang onto.
** This was a purpose built gun for foreign special forces, the Problem? Right after production started the U.S. passed laws banning the sale of suppressors to foreign governments. Gee, what a stroke of utterly improbably bad luck! Since this was the main selling point of the gun Gordon was left with a crapload of guns to sell, mounting debts and a civilian market.
* The Glock 18. The only Glock pistol that is fully automatic. Uses 9x19mm Parabellum rounds. This gun is ported to reduce recoil, which had been a major problem with other
submachine guns.
** The "real" Glock 18
gun is actually very rare; however, the Glock 17 can be converted to full automatic fire. Most "Glock 18s" seen today (especially in movies) are modified Glock 17s.
* The Shpagin [=PPSh41=] aka the "Pah-Pah-Shah" after its Russian spelling. Somewhat inspired by the Finnish M31 "Suomi" SMG[[note]]A common story that it was a simplified copy of ''Suomi'' is a myth, the real story is much more complex. After the Winter War the lack of a good SMG was obvious, and PPSh's predecessor, PPD, designed by Vasily Degtyarev back in '34, was rescued from the rear echelons where it languished, and put to mass production, together with a characteristic drum magazine, which indeed was a copy of Finnish one. But PPD was relatively complex and expensive, and when the war rolled in, it was replaced by its simplified successor, PPSh, which, nevertheless, kept the magazine. Accidentally, soldiers ''hated'' the drum — it was heavy, unwieldy, and jammed constantly, negating all the advantages of large ammo reserve.[[/note]], manufactured by the millions in Russia during the Second World War to the point it received an iconic image to the Red Army, it has become fairly common around the world and examples were even captured from Iraqi troops in the 2003 war. Very distinctive looking with its perforated sheet metal handguard, drum magazine, and rifle-like wooden buttstock, the "Russian banjo" was given out by the million to Soviet clients during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. By that point, the Soviets had almost completely removed submachine guns from their own military in favor of assault rifles, so they had a ''lot'' of the things to pass down to their client states.
* Another great Soviet [=WW2=] was the slower-firing and uglier (but, unexpectedly, ''more'' accurate and reliable) Sudayev [=PPS43=]. The Sudayev was made mostly out of stamped metal parts and mass produced in Russia from 1943 until the 1950s (and copies in other countries were still being manufactured into the 1980s and possibly longer). It was literally created, designed, tested, and put into production in Leningrad, while Leningrad was besieged. It was created to further total sub-machinegun production (planners in its early stages of creation expected it would allow current sub-machine gun production to more than double), though simple momentum of the [=PPSh=]'s current production at the time of finalization prevented it from supplanting the weapon and thereby attaining anywhere near the production numbers of its cousin, and so it was not exported so much, therefore being rather less commonly encountered around the world today...to say nothing of the iconic image of the [=PPSh=] gained that the PPS lacks. That being said, the actual users of the [=PPS43=] did rather like the weapon, with airborne troops and naval infantry and vehicle crews (the PPS-43's shape fit in the cramped compartments of armored vehicles far better than the [=PPSh=]) being the last personnel to relinquish the weapon when it was phased out of the military, though many survived and were kept in units to serve with distinction into Afghanistan and even Chechnya.
*** Both used the old Soviet 7.62x25mm Tokarev pistol cartridge. Both were replaced in service by the AKM assault rifle around 1960 (which is itself [[{{Understatement}} a pretty commonly encountered weapon worldwide today]]).
* Probably belonging in the same category, tactically at least, with these is a new classification first appearing around 1990, which the manufacturers usually call a "PDW,"
Personal Defense Weapon. It is Weapon, or PDW. PDWs are intended for use by rear area rear-echelon and support troops, such as combat engineers and truck drivers, and is intended to be shorter, lighter, and handier than an automatic rifle, yet still capable of penetrating the soft body armor that is becoming increasingly common on the modern battlefield. The Personal Defense Weapon concept was also meant to allow such troops to defend themselves against adversaries wearing soft body armor. In practice, the concept has flopped, with not been particularly successful, due to the SMG-type PDW's like the MP 7 and the P90 being vastly outsold by subcompact popularity of compact assault rifles which use regular 5.56x45 56x45mm ammunition, don't need proprietary magazines or cartridges, have more power both against flesh and armor, not needing any don't need much retraining, and being are a lot more affordable. 4.6 and 5.7 are good against body armor, but they leave tiny wound channels, lacking severely in lethality. They do not compare favorably to more traditional 9x19mm SMG's like the UMP. 5.7 and 4.6 not only are much smaller bullets compared to the 9mm, but their muzzle energy peaks below the baseline for 9x19, so they are less lethal, no matter which school Because of terminal ballistics you ascribe to. Oh, and there are production loads of 9x19 which will defeat even the toughest soft armor. The only real advantages are that they have over traditional [=SMGs=] are virtually nonexistent recoil and very high magazine capacity, making it easy to rapidly put a few dozen bullets into their target. And those advantages are the reason this, [=PDWs=] mainly see some use, use not in their originally intended role as a defensive weapon for rear-line troops troops, but as the weapons of VIP bodyguards (who have plenty of use for a small, easily-concealed weapon that can rapidly put lots of holes in the torso of a single assassin), counter-terrorism units bodyguards, special forces units, and police SWAT teams.teams.



This is really almost exclusively a US military phenomenon. Since US intervention in the Philippines at the end of the 19th Century, US infantry units generally, and the US Marine Corps in particular, have issued shotguns to selected infantrymen whenever they have anticipated having to do a lot of house-to-house fighting, or close-quarters work under jungle conditions. Several models have been issued, most of them adapted from civilian hunting shotguns, but with barrels shortened, extended magazine capacity and mounting hardware for bayonets added on, so-called "trench guns." They are short-range weapons, really at their best within 40 meters, but within that distance quite astonishingly effective, even by 21st Century standards--and specialized types of ammunition, so-called "breacher rounds," have been created permitting the shotgun to be used as a tool for blowing hinges off doors in order to permit DynamicEntry. Most are manually operated "slide action" designs, which means the user must pump the forend back and forth to eject fired cases, cock the mechanism, and load a fresh round, with fixed tubular magazines that must be loaded one cartridge at a time through a spring-loaded gate in the bottom of the receiver. They have always been very popular with US law enforcement, also, who still call them "riot guns" even though it's been generations since the last time police officers in the US fired into a mob that refused to disperse. For military purposes, the most popular antipersonnel round is "buckshot," originally created in the late 19th Century for hunting medium to large game, and not greatly changed since then; these cartridges hold a stack of big heavy lead balls, big enough to be pistol bullets in their own right. There has been considerable experimentation with [[FlechetteStorm flechettes]], miniature grenades, and other, more exotic types of ammunition in an attempt to boost the shotgun's already considerable lethality further, but they keep coming back to buckshot, because it's really inexpensive to manufacture and works really well.

There has been a relatively-recent trend towards semi-automatic and fully-automatic shotguns, though they are of limited use for the same reason as a standard shotgun. The AA-12 is particularly well-known, despite its recent introduction, due to showing up in popular media such as ''The Expendables'' and ''CallOfDutyModernWarfare''. The general consensus of military forces seems to be that while a single-fire shotgun has (limited) uses, a fully-automatic shotgun is less than ideal due to ammunition considerations (shotgun shells are much bulkier than rifle rounds) and the lack of consistent role. And also because full-auto shotguns go through magazines in about two seconds.

to:

This Compared to other firearms, which typically fire single bullets, shotguns fire large numbers of pellets, or "shot", from a cylindrical shell. They are much more powerful compared to handguns, easier to aim, and much cheaper, while their large case capacity allows for the use of many different types of ammunition. The spherical pellets they fire lose velocity quickly, however, limiting their effective range to around 50 meters, as well as reducing their penetration against obstacles or armor (which may sometimes be an advantage if one does not wish to cause collateral damage), while the large shells limit the amount of ammunition one can carry.

The most common shotguns are manually operated "pump-action" designs, which means the user must pump the forend back and forth to eject fired cases, cock the mechanism, and load a fresh round, with fixed tubular magazines that must be loaded one cartridge at a time through a spring-loaded gate in the bottom of the receiver. There has been a relatively-recent trend towards semi-automatic and even fully-automatic shotguns, though the pump-action
is really almost exclusively a US still considered the most reliable.

For
military phenomenon. Since US intervention purposes, the most popular antipersonnel round is "buckshot," originally created in the Philippines at late 19th Century for hunting medium to large game, and not greatly changed since then; these cartridges hold a stack of big heavy lead balls, big enough to be pistol bullets in their own right. There has been considerable experimentation with [[FlechetteStorm flechettes]], miniature grenades, and other, more exotic types of ammunition in an attempt to boost the shotgun's already considerable lethality further, but they keep coming back to buckshot, because it's really inexpensive to manufacture and works really well. Specialized types of ammunition include "breacher rounds," have been created permitting the shotgun to be used as a tool for blowing hinges off doors in order to permit DynamicEntry, along with rubber slug or baton rounds for less-lethal use and riot control.

Shotguns have always been very popular with US law enforcement, and since
the end of the 19th Century, century, US infantry military units generally, and the US Marine Corps in particular, have issued shotguns to selected infantrymen whenever they have anticipated having are expected to do a lot of house-to-house fighting, or close-quarters work under jungle conditions. Several models have been issued, most of them adapted from civilian hunting shotguns, but with barrels shortened, extended magazine capacity and mounting hardware for bayonets added on, so-called "trench guns." They are short-range weapons, really at their best within 40 meters, but within that distance quite astonishingly effective, even by 21st Century standards--and specialized types of ammunition, so-called "breacher rounds," have been created permitting the shotgun to be used as a tool for blowing hinges off doors in order to permit DynamicEntry. Most are manually operated "slide action" designs, which means the user must pump the forend back and forth to eject fired cases, cock the mechanism, and load a fresh round, with fixed tubular magazines that must be loaded one cartridge at a time through a spring-loaded gate in the bottom of the receiver. They have always been very popular with US law enforcement, also, who still call them "riot guns" even though it's been generations since the last time police officers in the US fired into a mob that refused to disperse. For military purposes, the most popular antipersonnel round is "buckshot," originally created in the late 19th Century for hunting medium to large game, and not greatly changed since then; these cartridges hold a stack of big heavy lead balls, big enough to be pistol bullets in their own right. There has been considerable experimentation with [[FlechetteStorm flechettes]], miniature grenades, and other, more exotic types of ammunition in an attempt to boost the shotgun's already considerable lethality further, but they keep coming back to buckshot, because it's really inexpensive to manufacture and works really well.

There has been a relatively-recent trend towards semi-automatic and fully-automatic shotguns, though they are of limited use for the same reason as a standard shotgun. The AA-12 is particularly well-known, despite its recent introduction, due to showing up in popular media such as ''The Expendables'' and ''CallOfDutyModernWarfare''. The general consensus of military forces seems to be that while a single-fire shotgun has (limited) uses, a fully-automatic shotgun is less than ideal due to ammunition considerations (shotgun shells are much bulkier than rifle rounds) and the lack of consistent role. And also because full-auto shotguns go through magazines in about two seconds.
"



Most common in the First World War, and used by most nations until well after the Second World War (indeed, in the US, Remington and Smith-Corona made [=M1903A3=] Springfields until 1944, as there was a perception that more modern semiauto weapons could not be produced quickly enough; lots of them ended up being used for training, issued to National Guard units, and after the war given out as military aid to South Korea and other US allies), these weapons were created at the end of the Victorian Era. Most have a bolt handle on the right, which a right-handed user rotates upward to unlock, then pulls back to eject the fired casing, pushes forward to load the next cartridge into the chamber, then rotates the bolt handle back down to lock the breech. There were three different designs that were most common: the Mauser model 1898 or Gewehr 98, copied in the US as the M1903 Springfield (really; after World War I, the US government had to pay reparations to the Mauser company for using their design without permission) and in Japan as the Arisaka. The British had the Lee-Enfield (ironically enough designed by an American, one James Parrish Lee). The Russians had the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891, created by a Russian and a Belgian, whose design sparked a whole slew of lawsuits and hearings.[[note]]As a whole, the rifle was designed by the one Captain Mosin, a noted Russian weaponsmith, but he used a crucial detail from a pretty obscure and rather unsuccessful rifle by famous Belgian designer Leon Nagant, who then took the matter to court and sued for royalties.[[/note]] The French had the Lebel from the late 19th century into WW1 and later the MAS-36 by [=WW2=]. This is not to say that other nations didn't also have similar designs, but these were the ones commonly found on battlefields in the early and mid part of the century; the Mauser designs were extremely widely exported, and the Model 1898 was the [=AK47=] of its day--it can be found on Third World battlefields even in the present day. By 21st Century standards they seem extremely primitive, and almost comically long and heavy, but they were accurate and powerful, simple and rugged, and extremely resistant to abuse and neglect. They could be quite astonishingly deadly in skilled hands, and were rugged enough to use as a very effective bludgeon when ammunition ran low. Some nations still issued these into the 1960s (and the Russians had tens of millions of Mosin-Nagants left over from the Second World War put away in arsenals that they didn't start selling off as surplus until after the year 2000), but more modern designs eventually supplanted them. The bolt-action mechanism is still very popular for target rifles and hunting rifles in the present day--and has been since the 1920s. Several dedicated sniper rifles (differentiated from marksman rifles) are bolt-action only, even in the modern day: the [=M40A3 rifle=], used by Marine sharpshooters, is bolt-action, as is the ultra-modern Cheytac Intervention.

to:

Most common in the First World War, and used by most nations until well after the Second World War (indeed, in the US, Remington and Smith-Corona made [=M1903A3=] Springfields until 1944, as there was a perception that more modern semiauto weapons could not be produced quickly enough; lots of them ended up being used for training, issued to National Guard units, and after the war given out as military aid to South Korea and other US allies), these weapons were created at the end of the Victorian Era.War. Most have a bolt handle on the right, which a right-handed user rotates upward to unlock, then pulls back to eject the fired casing, pushes forward to load the next cartridge into the chamber, then rotates the bolt handle back down to lock the breech. They can be fed by integral magazines, box magazines, or be single-shot.

By 21st century standards, bolt-actions are quite slow and old-fashioned due to their manual, non-repeating design. Compared to automatics, however, bolt-actions have fewer moving parts, meaning there is less of a chance for them to be thrown off-target, while their sealed, non-repeating design means they can potentially achieve higher velocity and accuracy (most automatic or semi-automatic weapons must tap some of the energy from the weapon's firing to cycle the action). The simple, manually-operated action also makes them easy to build and disassemble, simple and rugged, and is extremely resistant to abuse and neglect. Finally, most bolt-action designs are strongly-built, allowing them to chamber large calibers.

There were three different designs that were most common: popular bolt-action designs: the Mauser model 1898 or Gewehr 98, copied in the US as the M1903 Springfield (really; after World War I, the US government had to pay reparations to the Mauser company for using their design without permission) and in Japan as the Arisaka. The British had the Lee-Enfield (ironically enough designed by an American, one James Parrish Lee). The Lee-Enfield, and the Russians had the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891, created by a Russian and a Belgian, whose design sparked a whole slew of lawsuits and hearings.[[note]]As a whole, the rifle was designed by the one Captain Mosin, a noted Russian weaponsmith, but he used a crucial detail from a pretty obscure and rather unsuccessful rifle by famous Belgian designer Leon Nagant, who then took the matter to court and sued for royalties.[[/note]] The French had the Lebel from the late 19th century into WW1 and later the MAS-36 by [=WW2=].1891. This is not to say that other nations didn't also have similar designs, but these were the ones commonly found on battlefields in the early and mid part of the century; the Mauser designs were extremely widely exported, and the Model 1898 was the [=AK47=] of its day--it can be found on Third World battlefields even in the present day. By 21st Century standards they seem extremely primitive, and almost comically long and heavy, but they were accurate and powerful, simple and rugged, and extremely resistant to abuse and neglect. They could be quite astonishingly deadly in skilled hands, and were rugged enough to use as a very effective bludgeon when ammunition ran low. Some nations still issued these into the 1960s (and the Russians had tens of millions of Mosin-Nagants left over from the Second World War put away in arsenals that they didn't start selling off as surplus until after the year 2000), but more modern designs eventually supplanted them. The bolt-action mechanism is still very popular for target rifles and hunting rifles in the present day--and has been since the 1920s. Several Due to their high potential accuracy, many dedicated sniper rifles (differentiated from marksman rifles) are bolt-action only, even in the modern day: the [=M40A3 rifle=], used by Marine sharpshooters, is bolt-action, as is the ultra-modern Cheytac Intervention.
bolt-action.



Following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, NATO adopted the 7.62mmx51 round--a World War I style "full power" rifle cartridge--at the behest of the USA. Paired with maturing designs of man-portable automatic weapons, this created the distinctive class of battle rifles, which are chambered in full-power rifle calibers. Most are capable of full-automatic fire, but the recoil is prohibitive and so this capability was rarely used. Common examples include:

* The M1 Garand, the predecessor to the M14, designed during the 1920s by Canadian-born engineer John Cantius Garand. It was mass produced in the US from 1939 to 1956, and several million were manufactured, almost all built to use the big old .30/06 cartridge, which it used in clips of eight loaded into the top of the action. The Garand was reliable, powerful, rugged, and accurate, and well liked by the troops, if distressingly expensive to manufacture by Depression-era standards. Served worldwide with Americans into the 1970's in limited numbers. Even today Garand rifles are often found in places like the National Match every summer at Camp Perry, Ohio, where people compete at the thousand-yard line with iron sights.
* The M14 rifle. Somewhat ill-fated, this modification of the Garand rifle that had equipped the US Military during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII came into service at the end of the 1950s. It was generally considered a good weapon, but the full-auto capability was removed from most rifles and they only served briefly in Vietnam before being replaced by the M16 assault rifle. It is generally considered to have been the worst of the three great western battle rifles. It was heavier than the Garand. It was longer than the Garand. It was less powerful than the Garand. It was less controllable than the Garand. It was more expensive than the Garand. Today, the M14 has gained a second life as semi-automatic precision rifle.
* The Heckler & Koch G3. This one is considered the middle child battle rifle, definitely better than the M14, but far from the glory of the FAL. Working from a design developed by Mauser engineers at the tail end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and further refined when they went to work for Francisco Franco in Spain after the war, the G3 was Heckler & Koch's first big success (previously they had been a manufacturer of precision machine tools and sewing machine needles) and introduction to their use of the roller-locked breech system which is also used in the [=MP5=] [=SMG=]. Widely adopted by militaries in Western Europe and a very popular export item all over the Third World. Still used by surprisingly many countries, with Pakistan and Turkey being the two most famous.
* The FN FAL. This Belgian rifle is unanimously hailed the greatest battle rifle of them all. Both it and the G3 were in fierce competition for adoption in many countries. The UK abandoned their own experiments with novel rifle designs and calibers in favor of a purely semi-automatic version of the FAL, which they used into the mid-1980s including against Argentine [=FALs=] in UsefulNotes/TheFalklandsWar (not the only bit of equipment shared by both sides). At one point, circa 1985, the FAL was the second most common military rifle in use on the planet, the most common being the AKM. Affectionately nicknamed the 'the right arm of the Free World'. The US also very nearly adopted the FAL in 1955 (rumor has it that when the US forced NATO to adopt the 7.62x51mm cartridge instead of the British .280/7x43mm that the Europeans favored, the British had extracted a promise in return that the US Army would adopt the FAL like everybody else), but at the last moment went with the M14 instead after looking very hard to find any excuse to go with the domestic design.
* [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Union]] actually beat everyone except US, and fielded not one but ''two'' different battle rifles ''before'' the WWII, Tokarev's SVT and Simonov's AVS, the latter of which, with its selective fire, had even lead Nazi generals to think initially that Soviet soldiers are armed with [=LMG=]s. But these, while very advanced and accurate for their day, were even ''more'' complex and expensive than Garand rifle, and USSR wasn't even near US' production capabilities at the time. Nor was the average Soviet soldier sufficiently well-trained to keep such complex rifles in working order. So when the WWII finally reached Soviet soil, these two were largely abandoned for much cheaper and more practical [=SMG=]s. Still, they, especially SVT, found a major success as ''sniper'' rifles.

Battle rifles have recently undergone a kind of resurgence, by Western forces who've adopted designated marksman tactics, giving one squad member a longer ranged weapon that can more easily pierce cover. This is suspiciously similar to the Russian concept of a squad sniper. They also started dusting them off because the current standard assault rifle round in the NATO, the 5.56x45mm, has issues with stopping power in the current theater of war, particularly in the mountains of Afghanistan where combat ranges can often be too long for effective use of 5.56x45mm rifles.

!!Automatic Rifles/Assault Rifles

Perhaps ''the'' main man-portable firearm since UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, modern automatic rifles are full-automatic capable firearms firing intermediate calibers, such as the 5.56mm x45 NATO or the 5.45/7.62mm x39 Soviet rounds. While still doctrinally intended to be fired mostly in well-aimed single shots, assault rifles combine the low recoil of [=SMG=]s with more range and stopping power; the relatively lightweight ammunition also allows an infantryman to carry twice as much or more ammunition than previous designs. The all-rounder of battlefield weapons. More range and power than a submachinegun, though less portable. Less range than a sniper rifle, though more portable and featuring a higher rate of fire. These weapons are sometimes called "assault rifles," but this is a nebulous term whose definition varies depending on who says it (especially if they are pushing a personal political agenda) and often overlaps with the "battle rifle" category.

to:

Following UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, NATO adopted the 7.62mmx51 62x51mm round--a World War I style "full power" rifle cartridge--at the behest of the USA. Paired with maturing designs of man-portable automatic weapons, this created the distinctive class of battle rifles, which are chambered in full-power rifle calibers. Most are capable of full-automatic fire, but the recoil is prohibitive and so this capability was rarely used. Common examples include:

* The M1 Garand, the predecessor to the M14, designed during the 1920s by Canadian-born engineer John Cantius Garand. It was mass produced in the US from 1939 to 1956, and several million were manufactured, almost all built to use the big old .30/06 cartridge, which it used in clips of eight loaded into the top of the action. The Garand was reliable, powerful, rugged, and accurate, and well liked by the troops, if distressingly expensive to manufacture by Depression-era standards. Served worldwide with Americans into the 1970's in limited numbers. Even today Garand rifles are often found in places like the National Match every summer at Camp Perry, Ohio, where people compete at the thousand-yard line with iron sights.
* The M14 rifle. Somewhat ill-fated, this This modification of the Garand rifle that had equipped the US Military during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII came into service at the end of the 1950s. It was generally considered a good weapon, but the full-auto capability was removed from most rifles and they only served briefly in Vietnam before being replaced by the M16 assault rifle. It is generally considered to have been the worst of the three great western battle rifles. It was heavier than the Garand. It was longer than the Garand. It was less powerful than the Garand. It was less controllable than the Garand. It was more expensive than the Garand. Today, the M14 has gained a second life as semi-automatic precision rifle.
1950s.
* The Heckler & Koch G3. This one is considered the middle child battle rifle, definitely better than the M14, but far from the glory of the FAL. Working from a design developed by Mauser engineers at the tail end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and further refined when they went to work for Francisco Franco in Spain after the war, the G3 was Heckler & Koch's first big success (previously they had been a manufacturer of precision machine tools and sewing machine needles) and introduction to their use of the roller-locked breech system which is also used in the [=MP5=] [=SMG=]. many of their other firearms. Widely adopted by militaries in Western Europe and a very popular export item all over the Third World. world. Still used by surprisingly many countries, with Pakistan and Turkey being the two most famous.
countries.
* The FN FAL. This Belgian rifle is unanimously hailed the greatest battle rifle of them all.rifle. Both it and the G3 were in fierce competition for adoption in many countries. The UK abandoned their own experiments with novel rifle designs and calibers in favor of a purely semi-automatic version of the FAL, which they used into the mid-1980s including against Argentine [=FALs=] in UsefulNotes/TheFalklandsWar (not the only bit of equipment shared by both sides). At one point, circa 1985, the FAL was the second most common military rifle in use on the planet, the most common being the AKM. Affectionately nicknamed the 'the right arm of the Free World'. planet. The US also very nearly adopted the FAL in 1955 (rumor has it that when the US forced NATO to adopt the 7.62x51mm cartridge instead of the British .280/7x43mm that the Europeans favored, the British had extracted a promise in return that the US Army would adopt the FAL like everybody else), 1955, but at the last moment went with the M14 instead after looking very hard to find any excuse to go with the domestic design.
* [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Union]] actually beat everyone except US, and fielded not one but ''two'' different battle rifles ''before'' the WWII, Tokarev's SVT and Simonov's AVS, the latter of which, with its selective fire, had even lead Nazi generals to think initially that Soviet soldiers are armed with [=LMG=]s. But these, while very advanced and accurate for their day, were even ''more'' complex and expensive than Garand rifle, and USSR wasn't even near US' production capabilities at the time. Nor was the average Soviet soldier sufficiently well-trained to keep such complex rifles in working order. So when the WWII finally reached Soviet soil, these two were largely abandoned for much cheaper and more practical [=SMG=]s. Still, they, especially SVT, found a major success as ''sniper'' rifles.

design.

Battle rifles were mostly supplanted in the late 20th century by the assault rifle, which fired lighter, intermediate-power rounds. Battle rifles, however, have recently undergone a kind of resurgence, by Western forces who've adopted designated marksman tactics, giving one squad member a longer ranged weapon that can more easily pierce cover. This is suspiciously similar to cover.

Note that
the Russian concept of a squad sniper. They also started dusting them off because the current standard assault term "battle rifle" is somewhat vague. In most cases (like this page), it refers to select-fire weapons fed by box magazines and chambered in full-power rifle round in rounds, but the NATO, term may also be retroactively applied to older weapons that meet some, but not all of these requirements, like the 5.56x45mm, has issues with stopping power in American M1 Garand or the current theater of war, particularly in the mountains of Afghanistan where combat ranges can often be too long for effective use of 5.56x45mm rifles.

!!Automatic Rifles/Assault
Soviet SVT-40.

!!Assault
Rifles

Perhaps ''the'' main man-portable firearm since UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, modern automatic assault rifles are full-automatic capable select-fire firearms firing intermediate calibers, such as like the 5.56mm x45 56x45mm NATO or the 7.62x39mm or 5.45/7.62mm x39 45x39mm Soviet rounds. While still doctrinally intended to be fired mostly in well-aimed single shots, assault rifles combine They are the low recoil of [=SMG=]s with more range and stopping power; the relatively lightweight ammunition also allows an infantryman to carry twice as much or more ammunition than previous designs. The all-rounder of battlefield weapons. More range The relatively lightweight ammunition allows an infantryman to carry more ammunition than previous designs, while the low recoil allows for better accuracy and controllability. They are much longer-ranged and have better penetration and power than a submachinegun, though most submachine guns, but less portable. Less range than a sniper rifle, though more portable and featuring a higher rate of fire. These weapons are sometimes called "assault rifles," but this is a nebulous term whose definition varies depending on who says it (especially if they are pushing a personal political agenda) and often overlaps with the "battle rifle" category.
rifle.



* The AK (''Avtomat Kalashnikova'' or "Kalashnikov automatic") and all its descendants. [[MemeticBadass Memetically tough and nigh-indestructible]], this weapon family entered mass production around 1948 (the original is [[MisidentifiedWeapons often erroneously called the AK-47; the Russians never called it that]]) and is widespread around the world and has more licensed copies / unlicensed knock-offs than can be easily recounted, including some in use by Western-aligned nations (designs based on it but not outright copies have been manufactured in Israel, Switzerland and South Africa, among other countries, while Finland directly licensed AKM from USSR, though it later introduced its own modifications and indeed those Finnish modifications were what the Israeli and South African rifles were derived from). According to some estimates, more than thirty million [=AKM=] and [=AK74=] pattern rifles have been manufactured worldwide since 1960. Often crudely made--the definitive mass-produced variations in Soviet service, the AKM (in 7.62x39mm caliber, appearing in 1960) and [=AK74=] (in 5.45x39mm caliber, appearing in 1974) have a receiver made from stamped sheet metal riveted together and most often a buttstock and handguard cut roughly from plywood, even the military issue ammunition in these calibers is usually loaded in lacquered steel cases instead of more expensive brass (though the bores, chambers, and gas cylinders are usually chrome-lined to reduce wear and protect them from corrosive primer residue)--the design is considered much more reliable but less accurate than...

to:

* The AK (''Avtomat AK-47 (or, officially, the ''Avtomat Kalashnikova'' or "Kalashnikov automatic") and all its descendants. [[MemeticBadass Memetically tough and nigh-indestructible]], this weapon family entered mass production around 1948 (the original is [[MisidentifiedWeapons often erroneously called the AK-47; the Russians never called it that]]) and is widespread around the world and has more licensed copies / unlicensed knock-offs than can be easily recounted, including some in use by Western-aligned nations (designs based on it but not outright copies have been manufactured in Israel, Switzerland Finland, and South Africa, among other countries, while Finland directly licensed AKM from USSR, though it later introduced its own modifications and indeed those Finnish modifications were what the Israeli and South African rifles were derived from).countries). According to some estimates, more than thirty million [=AKM=] and [=AK74=] pattern rifles have been manufactured worldwide since 1960. Often crudely made--the definitive mass-produced variations in Soviet service, the AKM (in 7.62x39mm caliber, appearing in 1960) and [=AK74=] (in 5.45x39mm caliber, appearing in 1974) have a receiver made from stamped sheet metal riveted together and most often a buttstock and handguard cut roughly from plywood, even the military issue ammunition in these calibers is usually loaded in lacquered steel cases instead of more expensive brass (though the bores, chambers, and gas cylinders are usually chrome-lined to reduce wear and protect them from corrosive primer residue)--the design is considered much more reliable but less accurate than...residue).

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