Other Small Arms

Military small arms are engineered for use in the armed forces, as opposed to weapons designed for personal uses such as hunting or target shooting. Some important applications of small arms include:

  • close-range combat
  • direct or indirect fire
  • self protection/self defense.

Small arms and light weapons can also be used at short distances against aircraft and tanks. American small arms have helped save the lives of many soldiers in dangerous combat situations.

Types of Small Arms

Small arms are important equipment for the military of all countries, and over 600 million varieties are in circulation worldwide.

While no international definition of small arms exists, generally any gun below a 20-millimeter bore size is considered a small arm. Small arms of the world are designed for personal use, while light weapons are used by a group of people acting as a crew. Here are some commonly used US Army small arms:

  • 40 mm grenade: an explosive device about the size of an egg
  • Carbine: a firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches in length
  • Pistol and machine pistol: hand-operated guns with a chamber permanently aligned or integral with the bore
  • Revolver: a hand-operated firearm containing a revolving cylinder that has chambers for individual cartridges
  • Rifle and assault rifle: shoulder firearms with a barrel 16 inches or longer
  • Rifle grenade: an explosive device about nine to 17 inches long that can be fired from standard infantry rifles
  • Submachine gun: a lightweight weapon capable of automatic fire.

Russian Small Arms

As a prominent world power, Russia has been involved in many armed conflicts, and has developed a respected arms industry. Russia ‘s long-standing interest in guns has led to investment in the development of new gun technologies.

Soviet small arms have a worldwide reputation for quality. One of the most famous of these is the AK-47, developed about 50 years ago by Lieutenant General Mikhail Kalashnikov. The AK-47 remains popular and in high demand all around the world.

Small Arms Industry in Germany

Germany has a long history of producing small arms dating back to the 1700s:

  • German rifles during the Seven Years ‘ War (1756-1763) had little standardization and were often designed for hunting.
  • During the 1800s, standardization of military rifles began and the first German rifle set up for a bayonet was used.
  • During World War II, the Karabiner 98k “Mauser ” was the most common infantry rifle used by the German Army.
  • The current standard service rifle of Germany is the Heckler