I’ll admit that, growing up in the city (Chicago), I didn’t have much access to firearms, other than handguns, and concerning variety, my experience was limited to a 9mm with the occasional 44 or 38 special. All that changed, though, upon entering military service, when I learned the difference between what was my "gun" and what was my "rifle" (see Full-Metal Jacket for clarity). In addition to this quasi-anatomy lesson, the Army gave me the thrill of firing all types of weapons, from the standard M16 A2 to the AT-4 Anti-Tank weapon. During my career in the Army, I had the privilege of firing the M2 50 caliber Machine Gun, the M240 Bravo, and the M249 SAW, as well as the Mk-19 Automatic Grenade Launcher. Below are some of my favorite weapons systems -- guns that fire a projectile and are not fixed to a vehicle. I tried to include a few that may be available for purchase, too, and not just for the military.
Anzio 20mm Sniper Cannon
Ammunition: 20mm x 102mm Anti-Material Rounds
Pros: Apparently this round is lethal to almost 5,000 meters out. . . which is about 3 miles. For those keeping track, that would shatter the world-record, mile-and-a-half kill-shot by Craig Harrison, the British Sniper. You can also attach a suppressor to this insane rifle that will keep your eardrums from bursting out of your head when you pull the trigger.
Cons: With a length that would surpass some NBA guards’ height, and a weight of 130 lbs, this puppy is not something you could carry while running up a mountain slope at 10,000 feet without blowing up your lungs.
Practical Applications: Hunting game from across the border of another country, or perhaps home defense against small aircraft and dinosaurs. Whatever the excuse, what an incredible weapon. Thanks Anzio!
Barrett M82 Sniper Rifle
Ammunition: .50 caliber Anti-Material Rounds
Pros: This weapon system is lethal out to just over a mile, is relatively light-weight (considering the system), and comes with an array of cool add-ons to add to its lethality . . . but you're just using this for target practice, right?
Cons: Though smaller than the 20mm super-cannon, it’s still a bit too large to be lugging around a mountain, which is why many U.S. Army and Marine snipers prefer the tried-and-true M40/Remington 700.
Practical Applications: More practical than the Anzio, still plenty powerful for hunting anything on this hemisphere, other than perhaps Hogzilla.
Saiga-12 Semi-Automatic Shotgun
Ammunition: 12-gauge shot or slugs
Pros: Who wouldn't want a semi-automatic shotgun in the house for just such an occasion? I know I would sleep a whole lot better knowing that I was just a few feet from hell's fury if I had one of these. The fact that you can purchase a 30-round detachable drum magazine for this bad boy (even though it’s illegal to own one), not to mention its high degree of reliability, makes this weapon a must-have for any guy's X-mas list.
Cons: As far as we can tell, you can't get a full-auto version of this weapon . . . yet. However, somewhere in the hills of Tennessee or Kentucky, someone has converted one of these to full-auto....
Practical Applications: Home defense, perhaps during the apocalypse or if you happen to live on the wrong side of New Orleans. Or while hunting, that is if you don't mind not having a trophy and you're using the meat for dog food.
TAR-21 Assault Rifle
Ammunition: 5.56mm X 45mm NATO Rounds
Pros: This weapon system features semi-burst (3-rounds) and fully-auto, waterproof and extremely light-weight. It was also designed with the shooter in mind—made out of composite materials and shaped ergonomically to ensure you're comfortable while you kill. There is also an optional scope that provides target images in 3D via the holographic weapons site.
Cons: Maybe we’re just old-fashioned, but the bullpup design looks too "Total Recall" for us. Also, if you’re a lefty, you better learn how to shoot right-handed, as the brass will end up doing a money-shot to your face. It's no doubt a good weapon, and there are many options and add-ons; it just looks like a train wreck.
Practical Applications: Much more suitable for hunting, especially when using the 5.56mm variant without the 40mm grenade-launcher add-on. Most likely, the civilian variant will only include semi and burst selections of fire, but if you head to hills of West Virginia, they’ll fix that for a price.
Fully-Suppressed AK-47 Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle
Ammunition: 7.62mm X 39mm NATO Rounds
Pros: Say this out loud—"Internally-suppressed AK-47"—and see if that doesn't bring a smile to your face. Among the standard equipment, you get a rail-system to add all sorts of optics and all-around cool shit to this genius of an idea. Thank you, Red Jacket Firearms!
Cons: We have looked this weapon up and down and cannot find one bad thing about it. If anything, the price is almost three grand; however, it’s an internally suppressed AK, and it doesn't get much better than that. So, go out and buy one. Since it has a silencer, your wife won't even know you’re out back taking pot-shots at photos of the in-laws.
Practical Applications: Target shooting from your back porch without the threat of your neighbors bitching to the cops or ATF. A weapon that you can get down and dirty with, Rambo-style. Home defense without the hassle of noise-pollution violations.
Desert Eagle Mk XIX Hand-Canon
Ammunition: .50 Caliber (12.7mmX40.9mm) Rounds
Pros: A tried-and-true handgun from the Israelis, this is about as big a cannon as you can get to fit in the palm of your hand. You can basically hunt a polar bear with one of these, and you just might win.
Cons: You better start working out those hand muscles if you plan on putting more than just a few rounds in the target at your local gun range. The power behind this hand-cannon is incredible.
Practical Applications: Hunting game with a handgun, although it sounds ridiculous, might come in handy when you’ve dropped your Anzio from sheer exhaustion after having hiked a few miles in grizzly country.
Mk-19 Automatic Grenade Launcher
Ammunition: 40mm X 53mm Grenades
Pros: Although we tried to stick with weapons that are currently in wide circulation and those that you might be able to get your hands on, we just had to touch on everyone's favorite weapons invention: the automatic grenade launcher. This awesome piece of machinery can fire 40mm exploding grenade rounds straight up the ass of a terrorist from 1500 meters away with a maximum effective range of just over 2,200 meters.
Cons: This weapon is heavy, cumbersome and takes two to operate—certainly not something you can carry, unless you’re John Cena. Of course, it’s definitely not available to civilians hoping to spice up their morning commute by mounting it on their SUVs.
Practical Applications: Unless you’re the leader of your nation, owning one of these will require you to sign up for military service, and if your only motivation is firing this weapons system, I suggest you figure out another way. However, if for some reason Mad Max becomes reality and these end up in the hands of the highest bidder, then by all means we advise mounting a few on your homestead to keep away those pesky motorcycle gangs.
M134 Multi-Barrel “Minigun”
Ammunition: 7.62mm X 51mm NATO Rounds
Pros: Since I added the Mk19, I had to add the M134 (more commonly referred to as the "Minigun") to the list. This weapons system is quite possibly the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It has six barrels, is electronically driven, and can fire up to 4,000 rounds per minute without overheating. For this "Call of Duty" generation, a push-button machine gun is a wet-dream.
Cons: Again, this weapon is heavy and cumbersome, and only a steroid-jacked Jesse Ventura could handle this extreme machine-gun, or better known as Ol Painless. This burden of badass needs to be mounted on something for best or really any results.
Practical Applications: Deforesting the Amazon in search of an invisible alien but, really, who friggin' cares, it's a electronically-controlled Gatling gun? We would love to play around with one of these. What do you say, DillonAero?
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