Since the beginning of time, man has sought out weapons for protection and for attack. Guns were a far leap past the knives and arrows that preceded them. Just as with any other contest, as guns were used the race was on for more and more powerful guns. This is a compilation of the ten most powerful guns man has ever made. They are from different countries and developed at different times in history, most for a specific purpose or need as dictated by the period of time. Each has its use and each is unique in its own way.
Table of Page Contents
- 10. Kalashnikov AK-47 Assault Rifle
- 9. Machine Gun – Koch and Heckler HK MG4 MG 43
- 8. Thompson M1921 Submachine Gun
- 7. Accuracy International AS50 Sniper Rifle
- 6. F2000 Assault Rifle
- 5. XM307 ACSW Advanced Heavy Machine Gun
- 4. HK416 Assault Rifle
- 3. Stoner AR-15
- 2. M2HB 50-Caliber Machine Gun
- 1. FN FAL
Following are the Top 10 Most Powerful Guns Ever
10. Kalashnikov AK-47 Assault Rifle
This Russian assault rifle was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, a tank commander who was wounded in World War II and overheard soldiers complaining about Russian Soviet rifles. He set out to change that. The first Kalashnikov rifle was manufactured in 1947 and has been the standard issue assault rifle of the Russian army since 1949.
These rifles are known as Kalashnikovs, AKs, or in Russian slang “Kalash”. This is one of the most powerful guns in the world and one of the most commonly used. Its popularity is due to its power, durability, ease of use, and low price. It takes no special skills to use this gun, making it a top choice. It is, in fact, in the Guinness Book of Records as the most widely used gun in the world.
9. Machine Gun – Koch and Heckler HK MG4 MG 43
This lightweight belt-fed machine gun has a caliber up to 5.56 mm. It was developed by the German company Heckler and Koch in the 1990’s but was first seen by the public in 2001. It was adopted in 2005 by the German army as the standard support weapon at the platoon level.
It was designed to be light, with an empty weight of 18.85 pounds, and the butt is hinged to collapse alongside the weapon to make it more compact or can be removed. It was also designed to be safe to the user, function well in adverse conditions, and use a wide range of ammunition from different manufacturers without adjusting the gas system. This gun is reliable and lethal with a range of 3,280 feet and is nicknamed “Perfect Killer”.
8. Thompson M1921 Submachine Gun
This American submachine gun was invented in 1919 by General John T. Thompson who envisioned a semi-automatic to replace the bolt action rifles that were used at the time. A small amount of these guns were sold to the United States postal Inspection Service to protect the mail from a string of robberies at that time and some
A small amount of these guns were sold to the United States postal Inspection Service to protect the mail from a string of robberies at that time and some to the United States Marine Corps. These guns were used at first mainly by the U.S. Navy but also exported, both before and after World war II, to Britain and Russia. It became the preferred weapon of police officers, soldiers, and criminals because it was compact, reliable, and had a high volume fire rate, firing 1500 rounds every minute. It gained wide
It became the preferred weapon of police officers, soldiers, and criminals because it was compact, reliable, and had a high volume fire rate, firing 1500 rounds every minute. It gained wide notoriety during Prohibition because of its use by criminals such as Al Capone’s gang.
Its rapid fire rate earned it nicknames like “The Chicago Typewriter”, “The Chopper”, but it is best known as the “Tommy Gun”. This submachine gun has a range of 50 yards with accuracy. Due to the quality and craftsmanship, it is a collector’s item.
7. Accuracy International AS50 Sniper Rifle
This gas-operated semi-automatic rifle was designed by the British firearms producer Accuracy International for British armed services and the United States Navy Seals. It is very easy to transport and lightweight at 31 pounds empty. It takes less than three minutes to disassemble and can be serviced without any tools. This rifle is popular for its high rate of fire at five rounds in 1.6 seconds, and the long range of 1,600 yards with precision. It can hold five rounds of 0.50 BMG in a single stack.
The focus of this weapon is to provide accuracy with reliability and ruggedness.
6. F2000 Assault Rifle
This gun is a gas-operated, totally automatic rifle introduced by FN Herstal, a Belgian company in 2001. It uses a box magazine with a capacity of 30 rounds. The most unique feature is ejection of spent cartridge casings forward and to the right side through a tube that runs above the barrel. By ejecting them in this way, the gun is useful for left or right-handed users without modification and at a safe distance from the shooter’s face. Its effective range is to 1,600 feet.
FN also very recently introduced a civilian version of the F2000, the FS2000.
5. XM307 ACSW Advanced Heavy Machine Gun
The XM307 ACSW is a powerful grenade machine gun. It was designed by the U.S. Army as a product of the Objective Crew Served Weapon project and features smart shell capacity. The gun is lightweight and two men can operate it, or it can be mounted on a vehicle. The firing rate of this gun is 260 rounds per minute. The gun has a kill range of 2.187 yards and can annihilate armored vehicles, watercraft, or helicopters at 1,094 yards. It was intended to replace the MK19 automatic grenade launcher and the M2 machine gun.
4. HK416 Assault Rifle
In the early 1990’s this rifle was designed and developed as a collaboration between the United States Army’s Delta Force and German firearms maker Heckler & Koch. It was intended to be an improvement on the Colt M4 carbine issued to the United States military with the inclusion of a short-stroke gas piston system such as that of the Heckler and Koch assault rifle.
Delta Force replaced its M4s with the HK416 in 2004 after it was proven that the piston operational system greatly reduces malfunctions and increased the life of the parts. In factory testing, the HK416 fired 10,000 rounds in fully automatic mode without malfunctioning. The gun has been tested by the U.S military and is used by some law enforcement agencies. It was also adopted as the standard rifle for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the French Armed Forces. The cost is high, so this gun is not widely used.
The rifle fires 700 to 900 rounds per minute with an accurate range of 400 yards.
3. Stoner AR-15
During the early 1950s, the ArmaLite company, a division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation of Hollywood, California, was working on a new assault rifle. Their chief engineer was Eugene Stoner whom many considered to be the most talented firearms designer since John Browning. His first attempt was the AR10.
Later, the focus was changed to the 22-caliber rifle and the AR-15 was born. Tests by the Infantry Board found the AR-15 to be much more reliable than the M14 in the development stages but Dr. Carten’s report stated that the AR-15 had not demonstrated sufficient technical merit and should not be developed by the Army. So the Ordnance Corps lost interest in the AR-15.
In 1959, ArmaLitesold the rights to the AR10 and AR15 to Colt, who marketed it to different miltary services throughout the world.
In 1960, Air Force General Curtis LeMay wanted to order 80,000 of the guns and eventually, the gun was retested and approved, and General LeMay got his AR-15s.
Stoner’s family, after his death, asserted that he was an avid skeet shooter and hunter and did not own an AR-15 because he intended it only for military use.
There are many variants available of this gun. A few are the M4, M-16 and the AR- 15. The place of origin of this gun is the United States Of America. The designs of all the variants are same, even the parts used are some, what differs is the accessories. There are versions that fire automatically and are used by military worldwide. The semi- automatic versions are also quite popular as assault-style civilian rifles worldwide.
2. M2HB 50-Caliber Machine Gun
Also known as “The Fifty” or “Ma Deuce”, this gun has been used more than any other machine gun. It is a .50 caliber and shoots 500 rounds per minute with accuracy at more than a mile. This gun was designed by John Browning in 1918. It was classified as a “heavy machine gun”. Production began in 1921. Its design allowed a single receiver to be turned into seven different variants by adding jackets, barrels or other components. About 94 years after its production, the 324th one made was found in an Army depot. It had never been overhauled, yet still shot perfectly.
The design is simple and the parts are quite durable and it has a wide variety of applications.
The M2 machine gun has been produced longer than any other machine gun. In fact, the M2 has been in use longer than any other firearm in U.S. inventory except the .45 ACP M1911 pistol, also designed by John Browning. The M2 has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States since the 1930s. It was used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan.
The current M2HB is being manufactured in the U.S. by General Dynamics and U.S. Ordnance for use by the U.S. government, and for allies through Foreign Military Sales.
1. FN FAL
The most powerful gun in the world was developed by the Belgian Fabrique Nationale company. The enormous length makes it rather bulky, but it was the most popular assault rifle in the 20th century. This gun is a favorite in 90 countries. It is accurate, durable and flexible.
The prototype was finished in 1946, introduced by its designers in 1951, and produced two years later. In countries where the rifle was used, the letters FAL became an acronym and is pronounced as one word instead of an abbreviation.
Germany adopted the FN FAL in 1956. FN was happy to accommodate the German special features but refused to sell Germany a manufacturing license. FN had no problems with selling manufacturing licenses and did with many nations. The company just did not trust the Germans only 11 years after the end of World War II. The Germans were adamant at producing the rifle in their country and eventually abandoned the FAL for political reasons.
One thing gun collectors should keep in mind is that many in American have purchased rifles that they believed to be FALs but found to be far from the quality of a true FN. The reality is that most of what is on the U.S. market may look like a FAL but does not function like a true FN FAL. These are usually made from discarded parts and, while FN did use interchangeable parts, building a FAL from new parts or used parts requires much expertise.
FN’s assemblers were true craftsmen had numerous parts at their disposal and decided which to use by subjective feel, like a custom rifle. If one part did not feel right, the worker substituted another one. Unless you have fired an FN FAL or a quality made version as made by DSA, you have not truly experienced the classic FAL.
This is a brief description of the most powerful guns ever made. There is much more information available for those interested in a particular one mentioned here. Some have quite an interesting story that this synopsis could not do justice to. If you are a gun enthusiast or interested in military history, you would probably enjoy reading more about some of these.