What Are The Most Popular Guns Ever Made?


People have used firearms for many purposes. Among them are self-defense, national defense, and hobbies such as hunting and shooting sports. The use of guns dates back to the olden times. In 14th-century China, people utilized hand cannons as weapons. This practice rapidly spread toward the Western Hemisphere. Europe’s matchlock modified battles. This mechanically fired gun decreased the necessity for close-quarters fighting. Firearms’ evolution continued, with some serving niche markets, while others became obsolete.

In this article, you will learn about the 20 most famous guns of all time. The publication’s researchers consulted various sources to identify these weapons. They gathered information about the firearms’ countries of origin and international gun sale estimates. The list of the world’s 20 most famous firearms ranks the weapons by approximated lifetime sales.

  1. Kalashnikov AK-47 and its spin-offs
    The Kalashnikov AK-47 and its derivatives are the most popular firearm in this list by CEOWorld Magazine. The publication’s researchers discovered that the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle originated in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union, which is now Russia. About 150 million units of the ubiquitous firearm and its spin-offs have been sold to date.
  2. Mauser Gewehr 98 and similar guns
    Approximately 102 million units of the Mauser Gewehr 98 and similar guns have been sold as of 2023 figures. This bolt-action rifle first appeared in Germany and was in service from 1898 to 1945.
  3. Mosin-Nagant
    Russia is the Mosin-Nagant’s country of origin. Similar to the Mauser Gewehr 98, this firearm is a bolt-action rifle. An estimated 37 million units of the Mosin-Nagant gun have been sold to date.
  4. AR-15, M4, M16, and their derivatives
    The AR-15, M4, M16, and their byproducts are among the most popular guns of all time. These powerful weapons originated in the United States.   Self-defense is assured with the AR-15, M4, M16, and their derivatives. Thus, about 20 million units of these semi-automatic and assault rifles have been sold.
  5. Lee-Enfield  
    The Lee-Enfield is a bolt-action rifle that originated in the United Kingdom. It was the primary weapon of the British Empire and Commonwealth’s military forces during the 20th century’s first half. Approximately 17 million units of the Lee-Enfield gun have been sold as of 2023.
  6. SKS
    The SKS is a semi-automatic rifle. It originated in the former Soviet Union, with its original name being Samozaryadny Karabin Sistemy Simonova. As among the world’s most preferred firearms, an estimated 15 million units of the SKS have been purchased by gun owners worldwide to date.
  7. Mossberg 500
    Pump-action shotgun Mossberg 500 is a firearm that first appeared in the United States. It is quite famous, with an estimated 12 million units of it sold at the time of writing this list.
  8. Remington 870
    The Remington 870 is a pump-action shotgun like the Mossberg 500. The United States is its country of origin. The Remington 870 is among the world-famous firearms and included in CEOWorld Magazine’s list. After all, a whopping 11 million units of this gun have been sold to date.
  9. Marlin Model 60
    Roughly 11 million Marlin Model 60 firearms have been in gun owners’ possession as of 2023. This semi-automatic rifle hailed from the United States.
  10. Makarov pistol
    The former Soviet Union is home to many of the world’s famous firearms. One of these guns is the Makarov pistol. About 10 million units of this semi-automatic handgun have been sold.
  11. IMI Uzi   Israel is a producer of one of the world’s most popular guns: the IMI Uzi. This submachine gun has been in active service since 1950 and the Israeli Defense Forces were among its first users. Roughly 10 million units of the IMI Uzi have been sold to date.   This effective and functional gun has been used in many international wars, such as the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the Yom Kippur War in the 1970s, the Falklands War in the 1980s, the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War.
  12. Glock   Among the world’s most preferred handguns is the Glock. This semi-automatic pistol originated in Austria. As of 2023, about 10 million units of Glock are in gun owners’ possession.
  13. Arisaka Type 30, 38, and 99   Japan’s Arisaka Type 30, 38, and 99 are among the world’s famous weapons. The Arisaka is a bolt-action rifle with an estimated 10 million units sold to date.
  14. M1 Garand   About 8.2 million units of the M1 Garand gun have been sold as of 2023 figures. This well-known semi-automatic rifle is a firearm that originated in the United States.
  15. Heckler and Koch G3   German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch developed the Heckler and Koch G3. This battle rifle has been sold to 8 million gun owners.
  16. Winchester Model 1894   The Winchester Model 1894 is a lever-action rifle considered among the world’s most famous firearms. This American-made weapon was used in World War I and World War II and became one of the most popular hunting rifles. An estimated 7.5 million units of the Winchester Model 1894 gun have been sold as of 2023 figures.
  17. Musket Model 1777   The Musket Model 1777 from France was in service to the French Army from 1777 to 1840. It was among the most common guns in Europe. About 7 million units of the Musket Model 1777 were sold.
  18. FN FAL and its byproducts   Leading Belgian armaments manufacturer FN Herstal offers the FN FAL and its derivatives. This battle rifle is quite famous, with 7 million units sold to date.
  19. M1, M2, and M3 Carbines   The United States is the exporter of M1, M2, and M3 carbines. These long guns are very popular and were present in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. About 6.5 million units of the M1, M2, and M3 carbines have been sold.
  20. Type 63   Type 63 is an assault rifle that originated in China. It looks like the SKS and was used in several armed conflicts like the Vietnam War, the Salvadoran Civil War, and the Kosovo War. Roughly 6 million units of the Type 63 assault rifle are in circulation, as of 2023.

While some of the guns on this list are manufactured in various countries, the majority of them hailed from the United States. Readers will discover that these powerful guns are the most popular due to their tremendous usefulness for various purposes and handy design, although some of them are not used anymore as of 2023, such as the Mauser Gewehr 98, the British Land Pattern Musket or “Brown Bess,” and the Mannlicher M1895.

Millions of units of these weapons were sold and continue to be sold, particularly those that are still used in service. Moreover, the firearms in this list have historical importance as they were employed by military troops in various wars, including the First World War and the Second World War. In 2017, a billion units of firearms were recorded to be in circulation. Based on the Small Arms Survey, civilians are the predominant gun owners. In recent times, approximately 393 million firearms have been recorded in the United States, which accounts for more than one-third of the international total. These numbers indicate that Americans are the world’s most armed populace.

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