View Full Version : Best assault rifle

January 7, 2001, 09:21 PM
This is purely a debate question, but I want to know what everyone thinks the best assault rifle made is (availability, legality, and cost is not a concern). My friend and I sometimes debate about which is better, the M16 or AK-47, but for this debate I want to open it up to any assault rifle (Steyr AUG, HK G3, HK G11, FN FAL).

My choice would be the M16, because it has good reliability and accuracy. Also, with the Beta C magazines and fully automatic capability, it's almost as good as the M249. Also, with all the accessories (M203, sights, lasers, and others) it is a very versatile weapon. And, there are tons of mounting rails available for different points on the weapon.

4V50 Gary
January 8, 2001, 03:17 AM
I'll share with you the one I won't carry: British L-85.

January 8, 2001, 06:58 PM
Robinson M96 expeditionary rifle, an evolution of the Stoner63.
Stainless steel construction, takes M16 mags, Ak/galil style gas system, fixed ejector, good ergos, FAL style gas regulator and operating handle in just the right spot.

Badger Arms
January 9, 2001, 12:54 AM
I'll bite. I agree with the Stoner (Robinson, whatever) system but I'll add that I'd rather hump a G-36. My nod to the Stoner is that it's a refined weapon that has a proven track record.


Let the G-36 evolve a few more years and I'll take it first. What I want is a heavier barrel and iron sights as well as heat shields in the handguards.

I would NOT agree that the AR-15 can be listed in the 'good' category of reliability. It's accurate and moderately reliable when kept clean. Your post was about 'assault' rifles and not benchrest rifles. I want a gun that goes bang every time no matter if I dropped the magazine on the ground, forgot to clean it the night before, or the manufacturer used a sligthly different powder formulation. If i'm carrying a tool into battle, I want to make sure that tool is GI proof.

As far as 'almost as good as the M-249' I'd also have to take issue. The AR-15 will not sustain fire reliably like the SAW will. You can pop off 100 rounds but the light, fixed barrel will NOT be able to keep that up. That's why I'd want a heavier barrel on the G-36.

Versatility is a relative term. For the civilian consumer, the AR-15 is very versatile. For the Military Customer, you can make any gun versatile with a little more money and a procurement contract.

Robert the41MagFan
January 9, 2001, 02:51 AM
Biggest advantage the AR has over any battle rifle available to civilian is "parts". Lots of parts. And, good ones to boot. And the auto sear is one critical component necessary to make anyone's list of best battle rifle and they are available for the AR. The AR's are inexpensive, accurate and reliable if kept clean.

I have a love/hate thing going on with the Robinson M96 right now. Love the way they shoots. It is very ergonomic and easy to use. More accurate in my hands than what I can do with a equally equipped AR. Problem is I broke one. Didn't know what happened at the time, no owners manual came with the demo. Apparently, I cycled the charge handle with the safety on. My fault! But the trigger broke in half inside the receiver. People at Robinson Armament were very friendly about the problem and were more than willing to fix the rifle. I just feel that a rifle of this nature should be immune from all problems, even if they are operator induced. Still want one though and it will most likely fill the spot in my safe when the time is right.


January 9, 2001, 11:50 AM
"I have a love/hate thing going on with the Robinson M96 right now."

A semi-auto only rifle, isn't it?

If you want the most reliable assault rifle,
you'll have to choose one of the AK-47 series in
7.62x39. I'm partial to the Valmets...

Robert the41MagFan
January 9, 2001, 03:07 PM

If you want the most reliable assault rifle, you'll have to choose one of the AK-47 series in 7.62x39.

Some things in life are just too ugly to own!


30 Carbine
January 9, 2001, 03:12 PM
for me i'd say the Colt M4-Carbine or the Winchetser M2-Carbine.

January 9, 2001, 09:48 PM
Most of the AK style rifles are cheap, but the IMI weapons are very well made (Israel has come up with some quality weapons lately). Also, what about the new Israeli assault rifle (I forget the name at the moment). It's a bullpup configuration, and it looks like it might be good. I haven't heard much about it, but I've seen it in places. And has anyone ever seen the grenade launcher on the AK-47? It looks flimsy and cheap. And with the M16, you can get a heavier barrel for sustained fire. And I do believe that most reliability issues with the M16 were solved with the M16A2 (but I'm not absolutely sure).

Badger Arms
January 10, 2001, 12:39 AM

Try this following link. Robinson explains that this is a known glitch in their system. They've most likely been working on a fix, but I'd assume that. I'll email them and ask the question.


Robert the41MagFan
January 10, 2001, 01:40 AM
They explained that to me after it broke. :)

I'm off to Shot Show in a few hours. When I see them, going to pick their brains a bit. See if they have a fix or if they are going to just leave it alone. Regardless, I like the rifle and may get one anyway. That is unless HK imports the G-36 for civilians. I know, Pipe Dream!


January 10, 2001, 11:04 AM
Valmets are indeed nice. Some of the models have a peep sight, which fixes my major beef with the AKs -- poor sights. If I have an AK and you're at 200 yards, you're not in all that much danger :p. If I've got a Valmet, you'd best keep moving ;). I don't like the push-in-and-rotate design for securing mags. More fumbly and takes longer than the M16 push-it-straight-in design.

Galils are supposed to be nice, but overly heavy. IIRC, they have an AK-like action so I would assume them to be reliable.

FALs are reliable in semi-auto. I've heard they tend to jam in full-auto, but don't have any first-hand experience. They're also overly heavy and the receiver is overly long, putting your support arm way, way out there when trying to shoot off-hand (I'm 5' 9" and wear 32" sleeves, so I'm not a midget). Sights on the FAL are only so-so and trigger isn't great. FALs also have the push-in-and-rotate design for securing mags.

The G3 is reliable. Fine when fired in semi-auto. Good for strafing the sky when firing full-auto (at least, in my hands).

But both the FAL and G3 are more accurately called battle rifles than assault rifles, as they fire full power 30 caliber ammunition (7.62Nato). Assault rifles use a reduced power cartridge (e.g., 5.56Nato or 7.62x39). Can't really compare assault rifles to battle rifles.

AUGs, like all bullpups, have a shorter overall length while retaining a long barrel for good ballistics. Problem is that they can't be fired from the off shoulder -- you'll catch the brass right in your face. Better not come up against any left-handed barricades and hope you're not the poor sucker assigned to patrol on the right side of the street. One problem with the AUG is that the "trigger guard" actually goes from the receiver down to the base of the pistol grip. All of your fingers fit inside the trigger guard. As a result, there isn't much protection for the trigger. I exchanged e-mail with an officer in the Australian army who said that they had suffered a number of negligent discharges with the AUG, far more than when they had FALs. He attributed it to the design of the trigger guard.

I like the M16. It has been shown to be quite flexible, available in M16 or M4 or M203 variants. I haven't had a problem with my AR15s, but there's the constant debate about whether or not M16s are reliable in the field. The stock trigger on most AR15s and M16s is pretty crummy. If you're getting a semi-auto AR15, there are lots of good 2-stage triggers that can fix that right up. The ergonomics of the M16 work quite well for me, and the sights are good. For a civilian who is unlikely to be dragging his rifle through the mud, or firing 1000 rounds in a firefight, I don't think the requirement to keep an AR15 reasonably clean is much of a drawback. And in the US, there's tons of spare parts and other cool stuff available for the AR15. So I think the AR15 is pretty hard to beat as a choice for a US civilian.

I'm currently drooling over the M96 Expeditionary Rifle, but haven't had a chance to handle or shoot one yet. They do sound as though they are a tad heavy, though.

I've hard the SIG 550 is quite a nice piece, but haven't had a chance to see or shoot one. They're quite rare and thus spendy :(.


January 10, 2001, 11:24 AM
"for me i'd say the Colt M4-Carbine or the Winchetser M2-Carbine."

The M1 or M2 carbines are not assault rifles. They are very handy, lightweight and have decent sized mags but the relatively inept cartridge compared to the 7.62 NATO, 5.56 NATO and 7.62X39 Russian keeps it out of discussion of assault rifles. It won't penetrate much in the way of barricades compared to the others mentioned. It is damn cute and handy and would be great if it was offered in a rifle caliber but then it wouldn't be so handy. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
A true rifle caliber requires a certain amount of power which will get you some recoil which must be dampened with weight. If you didn't need this we would be arming our armies with Ruger 10/22's.

Just my opinion of course but I'll stick with my M14S. If someone is shooting at me from behind a car I would like to do more than scratch up their paint with an M1 Carbine.

January 10, 2001, 02:30 PM
Well, although I'm not in any sense a RKI in regard to assault rifles (or anything else for that matter), I do feel that the dictum "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" is applicable here.

What does one need or want is paramount to one's definition of best. Ergo, AR-15s do have an enormous offer of parts and accessories, ammo can be found most anywhere in CONUS, and commonality of training is facilitated by its adoption by the military and several police departments. However, no one would argue that ARs are the most strong guns around, to mention but one thing.

On the same token, that's much to be argued in favor of the M1A1, AUG, H&K G3, FAL and other families of rifles. It's very difficult not to find one thing or another to like in any one of them exclusive of the others. Some like the feel and tradition of the M1A1s, others the heft and quality of the FALs, others yet the ergonomics, lightweight and futuristic looks of the AUGs. The H&Ks generally win the title of "most shootable boat anchor around."

Personally, I'd be willing to surrender cosmetics, ergonomics and so-called *very good* accuracy in lieu of sheer ruggedness, proven reliability and effective accuracy; in that respect, Kalashnikov pattern rifles are a hard act to beat.

Among those, I'm partial to the short barreled Galils in .308 caliber. Heavy beasts, perhaps, but utterly reliable and totally operational. Nice caliber too, if you want to reach out and touch someone, not to mention availability outside the US.

There are better choices in terms of portability, but I'd be hard pressed to find a better overall package in the long run than the Galils (or other comparable Kalashnikovs).

However, that only proves that I'm not THE guy to preach about assault rifles, eh? I'd say so myself. :rolleyes:

Best regards,


January 10, 2001, 05:42 PM
I persoanlly like the M16A2 as an assault rifle. However, it is still not anywhere close M249 mentioned earlier, but then again, the m249 isn't really a an assault rifle

January 10, 2001, 08:43 PM
Another vote for the G36. I enjoyed shooting it more than the M16 series. A great piece of work!