The Most Popular Machine Gun, Ranked

Choose the machine gun you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 26, 2024 07:03
In assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of different machine guns, enthusiasts and experts often delve into detailed comparisons. Such assessments cover various aspects including rate of fire, accuracy, and reliability. These factors significantly impact the preference and popularity rankings among users and experts alike. By enabling a system where individuals can vote for their preferred machine gun, a clearer picture of general opinion is formed. This aids potential users in making informed decisions based on collective insights and experiences. Moreover, the dynamic nature of ongoing voting updates the rankings, providing current preferences at any given time.

What Is the Most Popular Machine Gun?

  1. 1

    PK Machine Gun

    The PK is a 7.62×54mmR general-purpose machine gun designed in the Soviet Union and currently in production in Russia.
    • Origin: Soviet Union
    • Introduced: 1961
  2. 2


    The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov.
    • Origin: Soviet Union
    • Introduced: 1948
  3. 3


    The RPK (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova, or Kalashnikov hand-held machine gun) is a Soviet-designed 7.62×39mm light machine gun.
    • Origin: Soviet Union
    • Introduced: 1961
  4. 4

    M16 Rifle

    The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is a family of military rifles adapted from the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle for the United States military.
    • Origin: United States
    • Introduced: 1964
  5. 5

    M4 Carbine

    The M4 carbine is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle. It is a standard-issue weapon in the U.S. military.
    • Origin: United States
    • Introduced: 1994
  6. 6

    FN Minimi

    The FN Minimi is a Belgian 5.56mm light machine gun developed by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Herstal by Ernest Vervier.
    • Origin: Belgium
    • Introduced: 1974
  7. 7

    GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun)

    The GPMG, or FN MAG, is a Belgian 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale (FN) by Ernest Vervier.
    • Origin: Belgium
    • Introduced: 1958
  8. 8


    The MG42 is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general-purpose machine gun designed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II.
    • Origin: Nazi Germany
    • Introduced: 1942
  9. 9

    M249 light machine gun

    The M249 light machine gun (LMG), formerly designated the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) and formally written as Light Machine Gun, 5.56 mm, M249, is the American adaptation of the Belgian FN Minimi, a light machine gun manufactured by the FN Herstal.
    • Origin: Belgium
    • Introduced: 1984
  10. 10

    HK MG4

    The HK MG4 is a belt-fed 5.56 mm light machine gun designed and developed by the German company Heckler & Koch.
    • Origin: Germany
    • Introduced: 1990s

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular machine gun. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or machine gun is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 36 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each machine gun once every 24 hours. The rank of each machine gun is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Machine Gun

PK Machine Gun
Rank #1 for the most popular machine gun: PK Machine Gun (Source)
Machine guns have played a crucial role in modern warfare. They emerged in the late 19th century and changed the face of combat. These weapons can fire bullets rapidly without needing manual reloading. This feature made them essential for both offensive and defensive operations.

Early models were heavy and required multiple operators. They were mounted on tripods or vehicles. Over time, engineers improved their design. They became lighter, more reliable, and easier to use. Today, a single person can operate most modern machine guns.

The basic principle behind a machine gun is simple. When the trigger is pulled, a bullet is fired. The recoil from this action ejects the spent cartridge and loads a new one. This cycle continues as long as the trigger is held down and there is ammunition.

Machine guns are classified into three main types: light, medium, and heavy. Light machine guns are portable and can be used by one soldier. They are often equipped with bipods for stability. Medium machine guns are heavier and usually require a team to operate. They offer a higher rate of fire and are more accurate over long distances. Heavy machine guns are the most powerful. They are mounted on vehicles or tripods and can fire larger caliber bullets.

The development of machine guns has been driven by military needs. During World War I, they became a symbol of trench warfare. Soldiers used them to defend positions and cut down advancing troops. The interwar period saw further advancements. By World War II, machine guns were standard issue for many armies.

In the post-war era, machine guns continued to evolve. Modern versions are more accurate and reliable. They can be fitted with accessories like scopes and suppressors. Some models use advanced materials to reduce weight and increase durability.

Machine guns are not only used by military forces. Law enforcement agencies also use them for specific operations. They are valuable in situations where rapid firepower is needed. However, their use is heavily regulated in many countries.

The impact of machine guns on warfare cannot be overstated. They have forced changes in tactics and strategies. Armies now place a greater emphasis on mobility and cover. Infantry units are trained to deal with the threat of machine gun fire.

Despite their destructive power, machine guns have limitations. They can overheat if fired continuously for too long. This can cause malfunctions or even damage the weapon. Ammunition supply is another concern. Machine guns consume bullets at a high rate, requiring a steady supply.

In conclusion, machine guns have had a profound impact on warfare. Their ability to deliver sustained fire has made them indispensable. From their early days to the present, they have undergone significant improvements. Today, they remain a key component of military and law enforcement arsenals. Their development reflects the ongoing quest for more effective and reliable weapons.

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