Posted : April 2014Author : Fozia Malik
The use of firearms has become controversial as of late. One common type of firearm is the handgun. It is a type of firearm with a short stock and designed to be fired by one hand. The earliest use of the term was in 1388 when it was referred to as handgunnes. It also appeared in Archaeologia XXII in 1448. Lovers of firearms are fascinated with it because of the thought of having power in a single hand. It can be used both as a fighting arm and as a sport instrument.
Over 8 million
Originally developed by Armalite in 1956 as the AR-10 with the new revolutionary selective fire (semi-automatic and automatic firing modes) they failed to impress the US military enough to become the standard infantry full-auto rifle. However Armalite decided to produce 100 prototype models for arms dealer Samuel Cummings to display to foreign forces to secure international sales. Cummings almost sold 7500 AR-10s to Nicaragua but when Nicaragua’s chief military commander, General Anastasia Somoza, personally conducted an endurance trial the bolt sheared off and skimmed passed his head. The entire order was canceled after this and Armalite was in dire straits. In order to keep the company on its feet Armalite’s chief engineer Eugene Stoner turned his attention to fully automatic weapons and the AR-15 was born. The rights to it were immediately sold to Colt who were successful in making the US military adopt it as the M16 rifle. This was the iconic rifle of the US forces in Vietnam and has evolved into the M4 carbine of today.
4 - RPG-7
Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot is the most widely used anti-tank weapon in the world. Believed by many to have the title “Rocket-Propelled Grenade,” although descriptive, this is a backronym formed by the acronym for the official Russian title. Over 9,000,000 licensed RPG-7s have been made under the designs originating from the Soviet Union shortly after WW2. Still being produced today this iconic weapon is often seen next to its Soviet comrades the PKM and AK-47 as the low cost choice for effective warfare. Even the USA is now using it to train the Afghan National Police due to their abundance in the hills of Afghanistan.
3 - UZI
A gun that was given its most iconic look in the hands of Tony Montana shooting up gangsters in pastel suits along the shores of Miami. One of Israel’s most famous exports, the UZI was first manufactured in 1951 and the more recognized variations – Mini, Micro – were developed in 1982 and ’83. They found favor with more than 90 countries’ armed forces and even more in special operations and security units. The main rival to the MP5, the UZI has managed to fill the holes in the market the MP5 leaves, concealable, lightweight with a high rate of fire. Because of this they have produced over ten million worldwide.
2 - Remington Model
The only shotgun on this list and outstrips all other shotguns in terms of popularity. At least 10 million of these 1951 pump-action models have been officially rolled out the gates of Remington-licensed factories due to their ability to fire up to a 28 gauge cartridge and cheapness to produce. They are equally popular with civilians and the military and so are present in probably every single US government department requiring firearms. They are represented in half of the nations comprising the G20 (although China’s usage is unlicensed) and has appeared in almost 80 films. What is interesting is how prolific this gun is without being present in any major conflicts that haven’t had some sort of sanction from the UN (e.g. no rebellions and militias).
1 - AK-47
Another product of Mikhail Kalashnikov, Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947 is the most famous weapon on this list, if not of all time. Designed by Kalashnikov after he witnessed through his own eyes the power of the German submachine guns and assault rifles such as the MP40 and STG44 and how woefully unequipped the Red Army was to match them. Thus the Soviets launched a competition to design the assault rifle for the military of the USSR.