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What is the world's most powerful assault rifle?



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An assault rifle is, by definition, a select fire weapon which fires an intermediate cartridge, and is generally designed for ranges of 300 metres or less. In this regards, there are only a handful of cartridges which are used by assault rifles. They include:

  • 7.62x39mm (used in the AK, Type 68, Type 81, Vz. 58)
  • 5.56x45mm (used in the M16, HK33, FN-FNC, Galil, AK-101, etc)
  • 5.45x39.5mm (used in the AK-74 and AN-94)
  • 5.8x42mm (used in the QBZ-95)

Several cartridges have been designed, such as the 6.8 Remington SPC, 6.5 Grendel, etc., but have not seen widespread military service. Out of those four cartridges, the 7.62x39 would be the most powerful, which would give an edge to weapons such as the AK-47 and AKM, Type 68 and 81, and Vz. 58.

Rifles such as the FN-FAL, G3, M14, etc., which fire the much more powerful 7.62x51 NATO cartridge, are classed as battle rifles, rather than assault rifles.