The past few decades have seen several adaptions in the world of warfare and military weaponry. However, the average gun owner is probably not all that interested in military missiles and nuclear bomb developments. While you may not be searching for the best explosive weapon options on the market, most homeowners and family-orientated parents are searching for the best means of protecting their homes as well as their families from home intrusions and attacks. That said, there are several other reasons firearm ownership has become exceptionally popular for those who are not after a career in defending their country’s honour. These reasons range from building valuable and intriguing collections to the hobby of enjoying indoor shooting and other areas. So, whether you are searching for guns to add to your collection or take your firearm hobby to the next level, here are the five most popular firearms in the world.
Kalashnikov’s Automatic Rifle
A Kalashnikov rifle (Калашников) is any one of a series of automatic rifles based on the original design of Mikhail Kalashnikov. They are officially known in Russian as “Avtomát Kaláshnikova” (Russian: Автома́т Кала́шникова, lit. ‘Kalashnikov’s Automatic Gun’), but are widely known as Kalashnikovs, AKs, or in Russian slang, as a “Kalash.” They were originally manufactured in the Soviet Union, primarily by Kalashnikov Concern, formerly Izhmash, but these rifles and their variants are now manufactured in many other countries.
The Kalashnikov is one of the most widely-used guns in the world, with an estimated 72 million rifles in circulation around the world in almost 100 countries.
The M1911, also known as the Colt 1911, or the Colt Government, is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The pistol’s formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Calibre .45, M1911 for the original model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Calibre .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, which was adopted in 1924. The designation changed to Pistol, Calibre .45, Automatic, M1911A1 in the Vietnam War era.
The US procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols in military contracts during its service life. The M1911 was replaced by the adoption of the 9 mm Beretta M9 pistol as the standard US sidearm in 1985 and it officially entered service in 1990. But, due to its popularity among users, it has not been completely phased out. Modernised derivative variants of the M1911 are still in use by some units of the US Army Special Forces, US Marine Corps and the US Navy.
Designed by John Browning, the M1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. The pistol was widely copied, and this operating system rose to become the preeminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern centrefire pistols. It is popular with civilian shooters in competitive events such as USPSA, IDPA, International Practical Shooting Confederation, and bullseye shooting. Compact variants are popular civilian concealed carry weapons in the US because of the design’s relatively slim width and the stopping power of the .45 ACP cartridge.
The Heckler & Koch MP5
The MP5 (German: Maschinenpistole 5) is a 9x19mm Parabellum submachine gun, developed in the 1960s by a team of engineers from the German small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K) of Oberndorf am Neckar. There are over 100 variants and clones of the MP5, including some semi-automatic versions.
The MP5 is one of the most widely used submachine guns in the world, having been adopted by 40 nations and numerous military, law enforcement, intelligence, and security organizations. It was widely used by SWAT teams in North America, but has since been supplanted by M16 variants in the 21st century.
In 1999, Heckler & Koch developed the UMP, the MP5’s successor; as of 2019 both were available, but the UMP had not met the same level of success.
The FAL (French: Fusil Automatique Léger, English: Light Automatic Rifle) is a battle rifle designed by Belgian small arms designer Dieudonné Saive and manufactured by FN Herstal.
During the Cold War the FAL was adopted by many countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), with the notable exception of the United States. It is one of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by more than 90 countries. Because of its prevalence and widespread usage among the militaries of many NATO and first world countries during the Cold War, it received the title “The right arm of the Free World”.
It is chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge (although originally designed for the .280 British intermediate cartridge). The British Commonwealth variant of the FAL was redesigned from FN’s metrical FAL into British imperial units and was produced under licence as the L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle.
The Heckler & Koch G3
The G3 (Gewehr 3) is a 7.62×51mm NATO, select-fire battle rifle developed in the 1950s by the German armament manufacturer H&K in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME (Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales).
The G3 was the service rifle of the Bundeswehr until it was replaced by the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle in the 1990s.
Indulging In The World Of Firearm Collection
If you consider yourself a lover of weaponry and firearms, you will need to consider the local firearm laws before you can start collecting vintage and iconic weapons. As laws differ drastically from country to country, it is always best to determine what the laws are before searching for the first pieces of your collection. What is more, collecting is often somewhat different from using firearms at shooting ranges as a hobby as some classic weapons can be purchase but not used without special licensing.
While there are various details relevant to collecting and using firearms, you will also need to brush up on your knowledge of firearm maintenance and safe storage. In addition to this, it is also imperative to know how to find vintage weapons in working condition. Starting a collection of firearms can be understandably exciting, although you should do enough research to understand how to start the proper way. On the other hand, if you are purchasing firearms for personal protection and use, you should opt for modern pistols, shotguns, and different variations of weapons that are more suitable for self-defence. It is also essential to opt for safety courses, gun licensing, and specific courses that will enable you to adequately protect yourself according to gun laws in your state or region. It is best to avoid assuming that gun use is as simple as pulling a trigger as there are various aspects to consider.