This list of weapons article takes a look at military surplus weapons that are used on the battlefield today.
Modern Hand Firearms – The early muskets evolved into the modern hand firearms we have today. Muskets were smoothbore (a smooth inside of the barrels), which sometimes caused the bullets to tumble and be inaccurate. Modern hand firearms are made with rifled barrels, which have grooves on the inside and improve the firearms’ accuracy. It was in the 19th century that rifled barrels became commonplace.
Firearms have come a long way since the first rifled-barrel guns were made. We now have fully- and semi-automatic guns, pistols and rifles, and submachine guns and shotguns. The pistol that has been produced more than any other is probably the M1911 pistol. It was the standard firearm for the US military up until the 1990s. One of the military’s favorite automatic firearms is the M16, a variant of the AR15 (check out this AR15 Builder to design your own automatic rifle). Other weapons that fall under the category of firearms include rocket launchers and grenade launchers, but there are several others that are not included in this list of weapons. Firearms are constantly being modified for improvements. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for firearms (we’ll have a futuristic list of weapons soon).
Missiles – Propelling explosives through the use of combustion goes back to the use of gunpowder by the Chinese. But it was not until the 20th century that missiles as we know them were used. The first guided missile to be used in battle was the German’s V-1, when it was fired upon London in 1944 during World War II. After the war, other countries, including the US, began developing their own missiles.
Missiles make this list of weapons because they are often the primary weapon used on military vehicles. Almost all US military aircraft design for combat have some form of weaponized missile (the ones that don’t have bombs instead). The F-22 fighter jet is armed with six AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, and the new F-35 lightning will be armed with either the same missiles as the F-22’s or AIM-132 AMRAAM missiles. Missiles are also fired from battleships and from stationary launching pads. There are many different categories of missiles, such as air-to-air, ground-to-air, anti-tank, ant-aircraft, and anti-satellite. We’d love to go into more detail about these awesome and powerful weapons, but this list of weapons is just to give a short description of each weapon featured.
Hand Grenade – The hand grenade comes in very handy for soldiers in tough situations. Because of its wide range of effectiveness, it does not require its thrower to have perfect accuracy. There are several types of hand grenades out there. Fragmentation grenades (or “frag” grenades) are the most common, and the one used by the US is designated the M67 grenade. Frag grenades spew shrapnel upon explosion in order to achieve maximum damage. A concussion grenade is designed to harm enemies solely from its explosive force. Smoke grenades are frequently used to mark locations. Incendiary grenades produce a harmful gas that can cause serious burns. Again, since this is a list of weapons, we can’t go into detail about every type of grenade.
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Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.