View Full Version : Best Assault Rifle In Your Opinion ?

Mike H
March 22, 2000, 05:04 PM
So Guys,

Is it the Steyr AUG, M16A2, Enfield SA80,
AK-74, H&K 53/93/G1/G3 etc etc

If it all came raining down around you which one would you choose ?

A Person Is Smart
But People Are Stupid

Mike H

Jeff White
March 22, 2000, 06:13 PM
M4A1 the final M16 derivitive. Short, light, lethal cartridge.

Sea Bass
March 22, 2000, 06:39 PM
I have to agree w/ Jeff. M-16/M-4 variant :)

March 22, 2000, 07:37 PM
The HKs are the only rifles listed. As for carbines, I'd have to go with the AK-74.

March 23, 2000, 01:34 AM
Although it's heavier than the M4, I think the HK 33 would be the best Assault rifle. If I need something for MOUT operations I think the HK 33K would be ideal. It can go anywhere an MP5 can go, plus it will hit harder.

George Hill
March 23, 2000, 05:49 AM
HK 91 or a FAL.
M1A is a fine rifle as well.

4V50 Gary
March 23, 2000, 09:30 AM
If we're talking intermediate cartridges, I'd rule out anything in the 7.62mm Nato. This would include the beloved M14, G3 and the FN-FAL. For all practical purposes, these are 8-9 plus pounds rifles and the only advantage they enjoy over their bolt action predecessor is that they are semi-automatic. None are effective in full auto since they are far too light to be controllable.

For all practical purposes, our selection is thus narrowed down to the smaller 5.56 mm Nato, 5.45 (?) x 39mm Russian or 7.62 x 39 Russian.

With respects to accuracy, you can't beat the AR family. Gas Impingment means fewer moving parts and less to affect consistent lock-up and less variables for the rifle's harmonics. While the bugs (failure to extract, jamming) have been resolved years ago, the main weakness has yet to be addressed: poor magazine design. The AR's weakness is not in the gun but the flimsy magazine lips which, if abused, dramatically affect the AR's reliability. Compare the standard aluminum AR mag to the HK33 (HK93) magazine which is reinforced or the heavy AK magazine (you can beat someone with an AK mag).

The British L85? A repackaged AR-180 in full auto. There were a lot of problems which includes parts breakage. These should have been solved by now but I've heard some troops still don't trust it.

Reliability wise, the AK is unstoppable. Mud, sand, dirt does not deter an AK from chugging along. It does suffer from a tell tale "clack" when the safety is moved.

HK-36? I've fired it. Nifty sighting system, easy to handle either left handed or right handed.

Sorry to wimp out but I gotta think about this some more.

Mike H
March 23, 2000, 02:23 PM

I think you're getting confused with the awful SA80 series of British assault rifles chambered for the SS109 round, the far superior version of our own lighter version of the 5.56 (M185 ??). This gun is a real lemon and has almost no international sales except where it has been given away, and, I believe returned on one occasion for sure. Personally I have a big liking for the NEW HK53 carbine in 5.56, it's only about 2 inches longer than an MP5 and it's a HK which tends to rule out questions about reliability. One question about the popular as ever M4A1, isn't this the 3 round burst version as with the M16A2 ?, why would you not want to have full auto on a gun that could potentially be used close in, surely when faced with a room full of terrorists all having roast Marine for lunch you're gonna feel pretty stupid being limited to stitching just one at a time.


A Person Is Smart
But People Are Stupid

Mike H

George Hill
March 24, 2000, 12:45 AM
For a .223 gun?

HK G36 series.

For a rifle we could buy today - right now?

"I like the word 'indolence.' It makes my laziness seem classy." -Bern Williams

Eric Blair
March 24, 2000, 10:10 AM
Ya might want to rethink what you wrote.
You contradicted yourself.

"awful SA80 series of British assault rifles"
"it's a HK which tends to rule out questions about reliability. "

Please check. http://www.army.mod.uk/army/equip/personal/main.htm#sa80

The SA80 is an HK rifle. HK is british, same as SW. (Owned)

All the news that's fit to print... In my opinion.

[This message has been edited by Eric Blair (edited March 24, 2000).]

March 25, 2000, 11:21 AM
well, in mike H's defense, there is a difference in producing a rifle and designing a rifle... and as far as i know the design for the sa80 was done by enfield in the 70's as far as i know (based on their post-ww2 bulpup design) i could be wrong on my previous statement, but i agree on the statement that it is a poor weapon... did a weapon "recognition" program in 97 where we had to learn to operate and disassemble/assemble, amongst others, the sa80... accuracy was ok compared to the other weapons, but dismanteling the thing was a bloody nightmare... i don't think i've seen a "modern" standard issue weapon with so many parts to keep track of...

as for my own favorites, i go for the hk53 or g3...
even though the g3 is heavy compared to an m4, i know the g3 will never fail to feed a round because of a mag the didn't go all the way up, and the g3/hk53 will not start to bleed exess gass past your eyes after a magazine or two of rapid fire as the m4 will (ie in an immediate action drill/peel-off)..

(and no, i don't think you should have to whack the base of the magazine for each fresh insert just to be sure... it takes time, and if you have to change a mag, you probably don't have that much time.. big design flaw in my eyes, just like the number of parts on the sa80)

Mike H
March 25, 2000, 05:33 PM

H&K were taken over by Royal Ordnance themselves a division of BAe Systems in March 1991, some 6 years after production of the SA80 began. The Brits renamed their wannabee site in Kings Meadow, Nottingham as Heckler & Koch (UK). It is here that the SA80 is now produced. It has zero links with H&K proper either in terms of design or production, i.e. it is not a H&K product and will never be. To compare it with the likes of the MP5 or G3 must make the Germans wince, hence my comments about reliability of the HK53 versus the SA80 even though they are made by the "same" company.


Mike H

James K
March 25, 2000, 11:33 PM
Hi, Mike,

Getting back to the original question, this is a little like asking what is the best SUV. I think you need to ask "best in what respect?"

Accuracy? Durability? Range? Power? Parts availability? Service availability? Weight? Availability of high cap magazines? Cost of ammunition? Availability of ammunition? Likely continued availability of parts, service and ammunition? Possibility of a ban or punitive taxation? Will it be registered on purchase (as in MD)?

All important factors and things to think about.


4V50 Gary
March 26, 2000, 12:20 AM
Having reflected a little more on the issue, I would have to consider the type of troops I would be issuing the firearm to.

In LE, I would prefer the HK36 but were I to find myself in some backwater 3rd world nation, I would opt for the AK74.

Mike H
March 26, 2000, 06:07 AM
Good point guys, I should have been more explicit.

I guess I was thinking more of a gun that would be used by you personally both in an urban and rural environment. This would lead me to choose a carbine sized 5.56mm, but I know others will prefer the heavier 7.62mm. As stated previously I'm a big fan of the new HK53 (fixed stock version) which just has quality stamped all over it, I've actually found one place that will sell this gun to private individuals either in SA or FA versions, but the price would make your bank manager weep.


Mike H

March 26, 2000, 07:55 PM
I'd pick up a Galil, Valmet, SiG550, or Ruger KAC556.

Eric Blair
March 27, 2000, 09:00 AM
HK vs SA80
Thanks Mike.

Learn something new every day. (Actually tons of new stuff....)

Given your new rules, I'd lean towards the M-4/203 combo.

Small, right caliber, realitivly reliable. Easy to work with.


March 28, 2000, 02:09 AM
If belt-fed weapons are allowed under your rules, I think I'd choose an M249 SAW.

What say you, George?

Guns cause crime like spoons cause Rosie O'Donnell to be fat!

I hunt, therefore I am.

George Hill
March 28, 2000, 03:14 AM
Oh heck yes the SAW!

Some say they are not reliable - I never had a problem with them...
Then again some say they get lots of probs with the MP5 too - so no gun is THE GOLDEN GUN... BLACK HAWK DOWN mentions a pilots whos MP5K was only single shooting... sounds like it had a busted return spring.

But if your going to go take and hold some ground on alien soil - the SAW is what will let you feel more at ease...

March 28, 2000, 06:27 AM
I don't know if these are considered assault weapons but http://www.leitner-wise.com/lw15_499.html
or http://www.leitner-wise.com/lw782sx24.html

March 28, 2000, 12:02 PM
Now if we are crossing over to belt-feds, I would rather quickly snatch up a CETME light MG. It looks like a small MG42 and doesn't foul after a few hundred rounds due to being gas operated. It's 5.56mm like the SAW, but is reputed to be more reliable.

Mike H
March 28, 2000, 01:18 PM
The only rules are that you have to sleep with it, carry it, carry enough ammo for any engagement, clean it and be able to use it in ANY scenario, but I am surprised at the choice of a SAW, just seems a little cumbersome with spare ammo. No arguments about the firepower though.

A supplementary question if I may. I've seen these new rapid acquisition sights on assault carbines, the red dot type that go with MP5's and M4's. Are they all red dot or do some have a kind of aiming reticule, or any magnification and which is reckoned to be the best. I don't feel my choice would be complete unless I had the best sighting system, not much point in having a great weapon if you can't hit diddly with it.


Mike H

March 28, 2000, 09:30 PM
I have carried the SAW. I have slept with it, carried three 200 round belt boxes (including the one mounted on the weapon) for 18 miles (never let the Lt. navigate), cleaned it, shot it, cleaned it, and cleaned it and carried some more. I am so glad that thing is now in the hands of some other poor grunt! ;)

Guns cause crime like spoons cause Rosie O'Donnell to be fat!

I hunt, therefore I am.

March 29, 2000, 03:27 AM
The British mount a SUSAT on there lack-luster bullpup SA80.

George Hill
March 29, 2000, 03:41 AM
They also eat crumpets with tea...

What the hell is a "crumpet" anyway?

March 29, 2000, 05:23 AM
A Crumpet is kinda like a thick pancake. Made with Wheat flour, water, sugar, Salt, Acid (Glucono Delta-Lactone), yeast, perservative (Potassium sorbate), stabiliser (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose).
Served lightly grilled or toasted, with butter or jam. Just having one now, with my tea.

The SA80 is a difficult weapon to clean, there are two retaining pins in the bolt carrier that are easy to lose. Other problems include a mainspring which is not powerful enough to strip the live round from the top of a full magazine, lots of small parts to lose, the SUSAT sight steams up, iron sights that fall off, sensitive to dirt, heavy trigger pull etc etc.

The Design Authority for SA80, formerly Royal Ordnance but now Heckler and Koch UK (Ltd.), was tasked in 1996 to investigate the reliability of the SA80 weapon system. Heckler and Koch reported in 1998 that there might be underlying problems with the reliability of the system and presented their proposals for modifications. A contract was placed in mid-1998 with Heckler and Koch for the modification of 200 weapons to be used for trials to determine the effectiveness of these modifications. Deliveries of these modified weapons were made in January 1999. The MOD conducted user trials in hot and cold climatic conditions with a range of NATO ammunition types. The trials were completed in July 1999 and the formal Design Authority report was delivered to the MOD in late December 1999. The trials confirmed that, after modification, there were significant improvements in the reliability of both the SA80 rifle and Light Support Weapon. Urgent work is in hand to assess the wider implications of the Design Authority report, including the cost, and a decision on any modification programme is expected by the end of March 2000.
The SA80 weapon system remains suspended from the NATO Nominated Weapons List, the list of weapons for use in the testing of
NATO approved ammunition types.


[This message has been edited by point308 (edited March 29, 2000).]

March 30, 2000, 12:42 PM
Sounds like SA80 needs slightly lighter bolt with stronger return spring. It also needs to be used on Parlament posthaste before they implant tracking chips in all subjects.

By the way, does any nation, faction, use the KAC556, or paramilitary model Mini14?

March 31, 2000, 01:55 AM
I think the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office uses them.

Guns cause crime like spoons cause Rosie O'Donnell to be fat!

I hunt, therefore I am.

Mike H
March 31, 2000, 04:32 PM
Excellent update on the SA80 308.

I've also taken a look at the Sig 550 family, very very impressive, especially the mid-size Sig 551-2 adapted for use with the SS109 round and the required 1 in 7 barrel twist rate. I don't recall who chose the Sig, but it looks like a great weapon, bet the Brits wish they had some, or maybe even the old SLR's (FN FAL's) they got rid of. Isn't the French FAMAS similar in design, is that a superior design ??

Mike H

April 2, 2000, 06:52 PM
Have to agree with Mike and some of the others...An H&K 53. A .223 that has the barrel length of a submachinegun. Nasty, nasty, nasty...


Where's that Class III licence...?

April 4, 2000, 11:03 PM
to answer mike h's question about aming aids, i think the aimpoint X2 is pretty decent for the g3/mp5's and the m4..
(standard aimpoint red-dot with duplex)

the acog for the m4 is not too shabby either
, concidering it's "standard" equipment, but no duplex as far as i know,and the magnification is a bit high, making it a rather poor close combat scope/reticle..
but still, i'd rather have it on my m4 than not :)

[This message has been edited by Harlequin (edited April 05, 2000).]

April 5, 2000, 09:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shin-Tao:
Now if we are crossing over to belt-feds, I would rather quickly snatch up a CETME light MG. It looks like a small MG42 and doesn't foul after a few hundred rounds due to being gas operated. It's 5.56mm like the SAW, but is reputed to be more reliable. [/quote]

Now that would be the AMELI, or Ameli, from the spanish "Ametralladora Ligera". The reason it looks like a mini-MG42 is that it was largely inspired by the former, although there are differences.

As Shin Tao said, it is not gas operated, actually resorting to the classical CETME/H&K roller-lock, delayed blowback system.

The AMELI is shorter than a FN-FAL, weights 7.2 kg with a full 100 rounds plastic box magazine attached; there is also a 200 round mag available, the gun being belt-fed, of course.



Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum -- Audaces Fortuna juvat

April 5, 2000, 11:37 AM

April 5, 2000, 03:29 PM
Whoops, misread the original question.

M16A2 very versatile and accurate. As for as being lethal at long distances, it's not very good beyond 150 yards?? Anything on it, it rocks.

[This message has been edited by Svt (edited April 05, 2000).]

4V50 Gary
April 6, 2000, 09:47 AM
I think some ACC556 Rugers were sold to the Philippines. The French Gendarme Nationale also have the Ruger Mini14, but it is different from ours.

Based on the earlier 180 series, the rear sight is mounted on the barrel instead of the receiver. The magazine release looks like it was bent back. Also, it features a chequered wood stock. The only marking which suggests that it is Ruger is the rubber recoil pad. You see, the French didn't want any markings which suggested an American made firearm on it. Ruger complied, with the exception of the recoil pad.

April 6, 2000, 10:11 AM
The French? That is strange.

4V50 Gary
April 8, 2000, 12:19 AM
The markings found on the French Mini14 are as follows:

A.M.D. - 5.56

Brett Bellmore
April 9, 2000, 07:50 AM
I'm curious; I own a semi-auto pre-ban 9MM Calico carbine; Has anyone here fired the full auto version, or heard anything about it?

I must confess, my purchase of this gun wasn't the result of intensive study; After the '93 ban passed, I went to a big gun show, and just bought the gun which seem to me most likely to offend my Senator. (I'm not normally that impulsive, but I'd just broken up with a girl, and was in an odd frame of mind.)

Truth to tell, what I had really wanted was an H K 93; Bush's ban on their importation after I'd saved up the necessary funds was what origninally propelled me to join the NRA. The Calico has slaughtered a lot of tin cans off my back porch, though; It's a great gun for plinking.

Sic semper tyrannis!

4V50 Gary
April 9, 2000, 08:35 AM
The 9mm Calico is a fun gun and with its bottom ejection port, is entirely ambidextreous. I dislike the flimsy extruded stock or the later fixed plastic stock. It's a natural for a bullpup with a 100 round magazine attached. The weak point of the Calico is the material used for the magazine. It's a bit too brittle and can break if dropped (ouch!). Also, magazine spring tension is crucial to reliability in the Calico (never did figure out how many cranks for a partially loaded magazine).

Another thing nice about the design is that it uses a very simplified delayed blowback (ala HK91/93/MP5) design. Whereas HK went with expensive (and extensive) machining, Calico accomplished the same with less costly methods (part of the bolt may have been machined, but a lot of its wasn't).

If you haven't gotten the magazine loader for the Calico, get one. With practice, you can load a 50 round magazine in less than 15 seconds.

Years ago I visited the factory in Bakersfield and spoke with two of the designers. The factory was actually only an assembly plant and the production of parts was contracted out. They had about a dozen drill presses with drill jigs bolted down. The receiver would be placed in the jig and drilled. The final product was sent outside for anodizing.

Headspacing on the carbine and pistol are slightly different. It's a little longer on the carbine so as to slow down the unlocking time. With the longer barrel, the pressure is higher (or stays higher longer) and to slow down unlocking, they allow the rollers to protrude out further.

Brett Bellmore
April 10, 2000, 02:27 PM
Gary: What you say about the magazine being brittle raises a question in my mind; I know that for legal purposes the receiver is the gun; But what part of a magazine is the magazine? (A silly question in the case of some magazines, I suppose, but anyone who has seen a Calico magazine understands that there are a LOT of parts there!) I do a fair amount of machine work, and replacing the brittle plastic outer case with aluminum or even stainless would be... interesting... But scarcely impossible.

Sic semper tyrannis!

April 11, 2000, 12:49 AM
I love my AR/M16s but the AK family of rifles wins hands down, IMHO.

4V50 Gary
April 11, 2000, 10:00 AM
Brett: The magazine on the Calico is that huge octagon block which is affixed atop of the receiver. It includes the rear sight and the crank on the back to tension the magazine spring.

The magazine assembly consists of two plastic shells (with integral guide ribs). In the center is the spring assembly which pushes the cartridges along the guide ribs. The shells are held together by a strip of spring steel on the bottom and a plastic strip which also has the rear sight.

While it shells can be machined out of aluminum, it would be far easier to cast it. Alternatively, if jigs could be made such that the integral ribs are properly spaced, they could be welded on. Casting seems to be the more feasible and easiest approach.

Hope this helps.