The top ten infantry rifles used by the Allies and the Axis during WWII.
10. M1 Garand
For the years 1936-1959, the M1 Garand was the go-to infantry rifle for the United States Army. The M1 Garand was a semiautomatic rifle that offered American troops a huge edge during World War II. General George S. Patton dubbed it “the greatest battle weapon ever designed.”
The M1 was a semiautomatic rifle that was still very accurate, unlike the bolt-action rifles that the German, Italian, and Japanese armies gave their soldiers as standard equipment.
One of the many obvious benefits of this was that it made the Japanese “banzai charge” strategy much less effective by giving the enemy a very good rate of fire. As an extra, the M1 could be equipped with a bayonet or a grenade launcher.
9. Lee-Enfield Rifle
The Lee-Enfield No. 4 MK I is a British motorcycle. In 1941, they became the standard issue infantry rifle of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth states, continuing a lengthy sequence of improvements to a bolt-action design that originated in 1895.
The Lee-Enfield is the longest-serving bolt-action rifle in history, as it is still used by some armies today. Over 17 million Lee-Enfield rifles have been produced across all versions.
The Lee-Precision Enfield makes up for the fact that the M1 Garand fires more slowly. During World War II, British infantry had great range and accuracy with their Lee-Enfield 303 rifles, which had sights that could be set for 200-1,300 yards. If you used charger clips that held five rounds, the gun could hold up to ten.
8. Colt 1911
The Colt 1911 is often considered the best pistol of the 20th century.
The Colt 1911, which served as the U.S. military’s standard sidearm from 1911 until 1986, has been adapted for use by several branches.
Browning created the Colt 1911 in response to a desire for a handgun with more stopping capability expressed by soldiers during the Philippine-American War.
This is what the Colt’s.45 caliber rounds did. It was a good and powerful sidearm for U.S. infantrymen during World War II.
After WWII, the Soviet Union continued to use the PPSh-41, or Shpagin Machine Pistol, as their primary sub-machine gun.
Russian factories were churning out as many as 3,000 of these weapons day; they were primarily made of pressed sheet metal and wood.
The successor to the Soviet Union’s previous submachine gun, the PPD-40, the PPSh-41, was more accurate and cheaper to produce. With whole companies armed with this beast, which could fire up to 1000 rounds per minute from drum magazines that held 71 standard Russian pistol rounds, the Russian infantry’s firepower was on the rise.
6. The Sten Gun
As a result of dire circumstances, the British military developed the Sten Gun submachine gun. After suffering heavy losses during the Dunkirk evacuation and facing the imminent threat of a German invasion, Britain urgently needs large quantities of low-cost, high-quality infantry weaponry.
The Sten Gun had accomplished its mission. With its straightforward design, this product was mass-produced by manufacturers all over England under contract.
It was the knockout punch Britain required, even though the final product was frequently poor and beset by tales of misfiring. Because of its ease of construction, several nations and partisan groups began making their own versions; the Polish Resistance alone produced at least 2,000.
5. Thompson Submachine Gun
The United States manufactured more than 1.5 million Thompson submachine guns during World War II.
Paratroopers highly valued this well-known weapon because of its usefulness in close-quarters fighting and its history of employment during the Prohibition era in the United States.
The M1A1, simpler and cheaper, was mass-produced for the U.S. Army in 1942. The Thompson usually had a 30-round magazine and fired. Forty-five caliber bullets, which American soldiers widely used at the time, had a great deal of destructive force.
4. Bren Infantry LMG
British infantry platoons depended heavily on the Bren Light Machine Gun since it was a reliable, effective, and simple weapon. The Bren, a licensed version of the Czechoslovak Z.B. vz. 26, is the primary light machine gun used by the British Army. There are three Brens in each platoon, one for each rifle section.
Soldiers were rumored to be able to fix any Bren by just hitting it or adjusting the gas piston regulator.
The Bren could shoot 500-520 rounds per minute and be designed to accept the 303 ammunition fired from the standard issue Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle.
Armed forces in every corner of the globe continue to employ the Bren and its Czech equivalent.
3. M1918 BAR
The U.S. Army adopted the Browning Automatic Rifle in 1918 as its basic light machine gun in 1938, and it remained in service with the Army all the way through Vietnam.
Army recruits for World War II. The M1918 BAR was effective even though the United States never produced a light machine gun during World War II that was as practical and powerful as the British Bren or the German MG34.
Depending on the model, it can weigh anywhere from 13 to 24 pounds. When first introduced, the BAR was regarded as a rifle support weapon capable of firing thirty 30-06 rounds from a cartridge that often carried twenty.
When going up against German forces that were all armed with automatic weapons, U.S. military doctrine said that rifle squad should have at least two BARs.
One of the weapons that gave the infantry of Nazi Germany such a strong punch was the Maschinengewehr 34. The MG34 was one of World War II’s most reliable and well-made full machine guns. It could fire up to 900 rounds per minute and was light enough for one person to carry.
It had a double-crescent trigger that let it fire in both semi- and fully-automatic modes.
Drum magazines for the MG34 could hold up to 75 bullets, significantly increasing its effective ammunition capacity when deployed. As a defensive weapon, it could be belt-fed continually with a quick barrel swap to prevent overheating.
The MG34 was the standard machine gun for the German infantry until the MG42 replaced it because it was easier to manufacture.
1. Sturmgewehr 44
Nazi Germany began mass producing the StG 44 in 1944 after it had been in development during the early 1940s. Hitler had asked his senior commanders on the Eastern Front what they required after years of ignoring the concept of a new automatic or semiautomatic in the style of the StG44.
The Wehrmacht produced over 425,000 StG 44s as one of their final attempts to reverse the course of World War II. The German Sturmgewehr, or “storm” (or “assault”) rifle in English, was the first mass-produced assault weapon and had a profound impact on the nature of the battle. But by then, it was too late for the Nazis.