Guns have a long history, dating back to several centuries. The making of guns and cannons was subsequent to the invention of explosive black powder (aka gun powder) in China in 9th century. These firearms changed the rules of the game and provided an upper hand to nations and armies that had it. Guns played a key role in building colonial empires by countries such as United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, and Italy.
In the present day, guns are used by both armed forces as well as by civilians for hunting, sports or hobby. Over the years, a number of guns have been developed across the globe. Some of these have turned out to be hugely popular due to the unique advantages they offer. To know which ones you can buy, here’s a quick look at the top 5 most produced guns in the world.
Kalashnikov AK-47 – Officially referred to as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, AK-47 is the undisputed king in the world of guns. AK-47 was invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov and inducted into service by the Soviet Army in 1948. Since then, the gun has been widely produced across the globe. It has also received a lot of bad publicity, as everyone from criminals to terrorists and private militias prefer to use it. AK-47 is popular owing to its simple design, low production cost, good accuracy, and ability to function under harsh conditions. Around 35 – 150 million of these are estimated to have been produced till date.
Mauser Gewehr 98 – A bolt action rifle manufactured by Mauser, Gewehr 98 was the official German service rifle between 1898 and 1935. Gewehr 98 was widely used during World War I, which is why it has made it to the list of most produced guns in the world. The gun was also used during Chinese Boxer Rebellion. Lifetime production figures stand at around 20-102 million in Germany itself. In the present day, Gewehr 98 is primarily used by hobbyists and gun collectors.
M16 – The official gun of the United States military, M16 entered active service way back in 1964. It was used extensively during the Vietnam War. Over the years, the gun has undergone several variations such as M16A1, M16A2, M4A1 and M16A4. M16 and its derivatives are the world’s most produced firearm in 5.56 mm caliber class. Total lifetime production in US is estimated in the range of 13 – 16 million.
Remington 870 – A pump-action shotgun, Remington Model 870 has been in production since 1950. Even after several decades, Model 870 is widely used by law enforcement agencies and military organizations. It is also a popular gun for hunting, shooting and self-defense. Till date, around 10 – 11 million of these have been produced in United States.
Uzi – Inducted into service in 1954 by Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Uzi is a widely used submachine gun. Over the years, Uzi has been exported to more than 90 countries. It is preferred as it can fire bullets at a very fast rate, around 600 rounds per minute. It is also quite affordable and easy to manufacture. Till date, around 2 – 10 million of these have been produced in Israel.