Hello defence lovers! today we have another very interesting topic to discuss. In this article, we are going to discuss the top 5 most-produced guns ever. For a particular gun, we will also consider weapons that are similar to it. So let us find out which are the top 5 most-produced guns.
#No. 5: AR-15/M-4/M-16 Family
On number 5 of our top 5 most-produced guns, we have the AR-15 family of weapons. Note that when US military designation for AR-15 is M-16. Later a carbine version of M16 was developed which was named M-4. AR 15, M 16 and M4 are pretty much the same weapon with some minor differences.
According to some estimates over 18,000,000 rifles of this type have been produced to this day. Colt has produced more than 8 million M16/M4 rifles. According to estimates, there are more than 10 million AR-15 rifles and their derivatives in the civilian markets around the world.
M16 had a revolutionary design. In that era, most of the rifles were made out of wood and metal. M16 was perhaps the fired rifle to use polymers and plastics instead of wood. In 1964, the M16 entered US military service after rigorous trials and in the following year was deployed for jungle warfare operations in Vietnam. Eventually, in 1969, the M16A1 replaced the old and unreliable M14 rifle to become the US military’s standard service rifle. The M 16 continues to evolve after its induction. Many versions were made which removed the previous version’s shortcomings.
The M16 has also been extensively adopted by other armed forces around the world. It is perhaps the most produced 5.56 rifle. The US military later replaced most of the M16 in frontline combat units with a shorter and lighter version, the M4 carbine.
#No. 4: Lee Enfield Rifle aka “.303 Rifle”
On number 4 of our top 5 most-produced guns, we have the British Lee Enfield rifle. The legendary Lee-Enfield is a bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle that was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and British Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century. The WWI versions are often referred to as the “SMLE”, which is short for the common “Short, Magazine, Lee–Enfield” variant.
This rifle saw over 17 million unit production around the world. It is the third most produced bolt action rifle. The rifle saw extensive production due to the two world wars.
The Lee Enfield rifle invented by James Paris Lee and the rifle was initially manufactured by Royal Small Arms Factory. The lee Enfield has the dubious distinction of having the highest kills to its name
The Indian Army also inherited the Lee-Enfield rifles from the British Indian Army after independence. Indian army used the SMLE MK III* variants which were produced in rifle factory Isapore, west Bengal.
#No. 3: Mauser Gewehr 98/Karabiner 98k
On number 3 of our top 5 most-produced guns, we have the German Mauser Gewehr 98/Karabiner 98k. Mauser Gewehr 98 was a German bolt action rifle designed and made by Mauser and fired cartridges from a 5-round internal clip-loaded magazine. It was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replaced by the Karabiner 98k, which was nothing but Gewehr 98’s carbine version with a shortened barrel and an improved cartridge.
Over 9,000,000 Gewehr 98 and over 14,000,000 kar98k were producing taking the total numbers beyond 23 million. This is the second most mass-produced military bolt-action rifles in history, second only to our next gun on the list.
#No. 2: Mosin-Nagant Rifle
On number 2 of our top 5 most-produced guns, we have the Mosin-Nagant rifle. It can be called the Ak-47 of the bolt action rifle. Like the Ak-47 Mosin-Nagant rifle also traces its origin to the Soviet Union or more precisely to the Russian Empire of the Tsars.
The Mosin-Nagant rifle is a five-shot, bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle developed from 1882 to 1891 and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and countless other nations. It is primarily found chambered for its original 7.62×54mmR cartridge.
The Mosin-Nagant rifle is the most mass-produced military bolt-action rifles in history with over 37 million units having been made since its inception in 1891, and, in spite of its age, it has been used in various conflicts around the world up to the present day.
#No. 1: The Legendary Kalashnikov
On number one, we have the legendary Kalashnikov family of rifles or more commonly known as the Ak 47 family. The AK-47 gas-operated, 7.62×39mm assault rifle developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in post World War II era. It may be termed as the mother of all Ak type weapons as it is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov rifle (or “AK”) family. The AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova and the number 47 refers to the year it was finished.
The AK 47’s design began in 1945 and the final product was completed in 1947. It was formally inducted into the service of the Red army in 1949. Even after more than seven decades, the model and its several variants remain the most popular and widely used rifles in the world because of their reliability under harsh conditions, low production cost compared to contemporary Western weapons, availability in virtually every geographic region, and ease of use.
Under the Warsaw pact, several countries got the license to produce the Kalashnikov. Poland, Romania, Hungry, Bulgaria, East Germany and China all developed their own version of Ak 47. The total production till this day surpasses 150,000,000. It is widely used in many modern armies. It is also infamous for being used widely by terrorist and insurgents. Being seven decades old, it’s still in mass production!
It was a revolutionary design. The Ak 47 had only seven parts and is undoubtedly the most rugged and reliable weapon made to this day. No other firearm has shaped the history as the Kalashnikovs have. It is the only weapon that is featured in some country’s national flag.