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Firearms Legends: Meet the Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet

Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet
Glock 19. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Take any soldier from around the world, and he or she will have broad opinions about sidearms. Choosing the best one is subjective, and it depends on many factors. So be patient if your favorite is not mentioned in the following list, but perhaps we picked at least one of your preferred handguns.

Let’s take a look at three pistols that are the top choices of military personnel around the globe.

Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Colt M1911

Not as widespread in the U.S. military as it used to be, it still serves as the handgun of choice for many special operations personnel. The Colt M1911 was the official American pistol from 1911 to 1985 before giving way to the Beretta M9. Soldiers and marines preferred its powerful .45 ACP round that had ample stopping power.

The design of the Colt M1911 makes for easy shooting. The grip has a good angle for a comfortable press of the trigger with a reasonable amount of recoil. Since it weighs 39 ounces with a five-inch barrel, it’s relatively easy to conceal since the gun is not very thick. The magazine is seven-plus one rounds, and the effective range is 50 meters.

In 2014, the Marine Corps ordered 12,000 Close Quarter Battle Pistols (M45A1). The M45A1 is a 1911A1 variant made by Colt Defense with a Picatinny rail night sights and accessories. The pistols were given to U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC).


M1911 Kimber Custom Stainless pistol

Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Glock 19

The Navy SEALs used the SIG Sauer P226 for decades but switched to the Glock 19 in 2015. Handguns made in a polymer such as the Glock 19 are less likely to corrode from sea water. The Glock also performs well in a wide range of temperatures. The Glock 19 weighs less than the P226. It comes in various-sized magazines including 17, 19, 24, 31, or 33-round capacities. The Glock is striker-fired instead of hammer-fired. The striker fire design yields a lighter, more comfortable and predictable trigger pull when compared to hammer-fired designs. This can sometimes result in more accuracy depending on the skill of the shooter.

The Glock 19 is also considered reliable in many combat situations with few jams and malfunctions. The Glock is easy to take apart and clean. Moreover, the Glock 19 can be customized and accessorized. Operators can replace the sights with fiber optic front and rear or with tritium for low-light shooting. Users can also change over to an extended slide release. The Glock 19 has nice gripping for the support hand.

Glock 19

Top 3 Military Guns on the Planet: Browning Hi-Power

The Browning Hi-Power is in use by militaries in Belgium, India, Indonesia, Australia, Argentina, and Luxembourg. The Mk 1 version is the Canadian Armed Forces pistol of choice for now because the Canadians have tried to replace it. But the Browning is not going away, even though it was first designed in the late 1920s.

Like the Glock 19, the Browning Hi-Power is simple to assemble and disassemble for easy maintenance. It’s a reliable nine-millimeter with a 13-round double-stack magazine. It has a light, single-action trigger and good balance with manageable recoil.

Browning Hi-Power

Browning Hi-Power. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

My choice is the Glock 19 for its ease of use, but the M1911 has the better stopping power. The Browning Hi-Power is getting long in the tooth, but if it was good enough for the Israelis during the famous Entebbe-raid, it should be good enough for many militaries.

Bonus Photo Essay: Top U.S. Military Rifles


U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Noah Larose, motor transportation operator, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, fires an M16A4 rifle during a rifle marksmanship qualification on Alpha Range at Stone Bay on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 3, 2019. Marksmanship qualification is required once a year for all Marines and consists of two tables that test the individual’s knowledge and skills while operating the M16A4 rifle or the M4 carbine in order to maintain mission readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ginnie Lee)


M16A2. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

5 Best US Military Rifles

M16A2 rifle. Image Credit: US Army Creative Commons.

M16 Rifle

Sgt. Marco Gutierrez, a public affairs specialist from Indianapolis, Indiana assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve’s 350th Public Affairs Detachment, fires his M-16A2 at the range on Camp Atterbury, Indiana Nov. 3. Army Reserve Soldiers qualify on their individual assigned weapon once a year in order to be “mission capable” should they need to deploy.

M16 Army

U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Harrison Brewer, G4 Chief Movements Supervisor for the 335th Signal Command (Theater), fires an M16 rifle on a range at Fort Gordon, Georgia, March 8, 2019. Soldiers from the 335th Signal Command (Theater) headquarters completed warrior tasks and battle drills to include weapons qualification, grenade practice and roll over training during a four-day training designed to increase their warfighting abilities. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Leron Richards)

U.S. Army Private 1st Class Andre Matthews fires an M16A4 rifle during the Squad Designated Marksman Course instructed by the New Jersey Army National Guard’s 254th Regiment on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., July 20, 2017. The course teaches the Squad Designated Marksman to directly support their squad with well-aimed shots at ranges slightly beyond the normal engagement distances for riflemen, up to 600 meters. The 254th Regiment is based out of the Regional Training Institute, National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt, N.J. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht/Released)


M16. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Best Guns Ever Used by the US Military

M16 Rifle


M16A4. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

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Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, Ph.D., is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.