89 Responses

  1. Bangaloid
    Bangaloid at |

    That Sten is a Stirling.

    1. Will
      Will at |

      I thought that when I saw it too, the vented front gave it away.

    2. kentsnpsht
      kentsnpsht at |

      I was under the impression that STEN stood for STerling ENfield as did BREN stood for BRno ENfield. Am I wrong?

      1. Wasser
        Wasser at |

        You are right pal, btw, Enfield developed the Lee Enfield bolt action rifle, to countermeasure the german Mauser K98.

        1. MP-043075
          MP-043075 at |

          Close, but not quite. STEN stands for Shepherd, Turpin, and ENfield, after the chief designers, Major Reginald Shepherd, Harold Turpin, and Enfield

  2. Wilm210
    Wilm210 at |

    Great list

    Although I am suprised the Sturmgewher 44 was not included even though it was mentioned twice in the list.

    1. sovi3t
      sovi3t at |

      yeah i agree, stg44 was technicly the first modern assualt rifle and obviously thats what our armys use today, how could they even consider a 8 round semi automatic weapon to be better than a 30 round full auto/semi auto rifle that could atleast detach its magazine for ease of use

      1. Mustache
        Mustache at |

        stg44 was a revolution.
        I’m supprised that he mp44 wasn’t mentioned for its industrial “stamping out” reproduction.

        1. E Sterz
          E Sterz at |

          Ican’t believe it either… Even the Military Channel ranks the MG42 as the best ever… They called it Hitler’s buzzsaw. Why do you think we lost all those brave men who fought against all odds and 2700 rounds a minute. The Stg 44 also revolutionized the game for the aforementioned reasons. Why do you think we imported all the German Scientists and Engineers?

          Different weapons with different purposes. Each should have been ahead of the M1 Garand…. But to our (USA) Credit… The M1 Garand and the Thompson won the war for the good guys. So I respect the M1 as the best gun, but there were two others that revolutionized the game… and yes they came from Nazi Germany.

        2. Arya Chatterjee
          Arya Chatterjee at |

          I think you graded this “m1 ” as the best just because you love your country very much.
          Otherwise, if u can b neutral, The no. 1 would definitely have been the MG 42 / STG 44

        3. Josh
          Josh at |

          He might love his country very much but the MG 42 and the STG44(MP44) are Machine Guns and Assault Rifles respectively. Although, you’re correct they are superior weapons, the author did not rate any MGs and ARs on hence why they’re not included.

          Also, please feel free to show any widely issued semi-automatic rifles for any army aside from the M-1 Carbine/Garand’s. The fact that it was the US Army that brought semi-auto rifles to the battlefield while the rest of the world had bolt action is remarkable.

        4. MarylandBill
          MarylandBill at |

          Notice there are no crew served weapons on the list, hence the exclusion of the machine gun. The STG44, though revolutionary was made in relatively small numbers (420 thousand) and thus was not even as common as the mp40 (over 1 million). If you judge it by its post war impact, its in a class of its own, but it did very little to change the course of the war.

        5. Anonymous
          Anonymous at |

          U mean mp 40

      2. chris
        chris at |

        the stg44 is just a copy of the mp44

        1. chris
          chris at |

          the germans started to make a weapon called the wonderwaffa.

        2. andrew
          andrew at |

          this isnt call of duty dude

        3. tyler carter
          tyler carter at |

          this isnt call of duty oh my god people are so stupid nowadays

        4. Sherit
          Sherit at |

          while wonder weapons were things *gewehr43 and the real der reise there never was a wonderwaffe
          but i do love zombies

        5. Kalle
          Kalle at |

          The StG44 was the MP44, the MP44 was to keep it off Hitler’s “radar” until he embraced the weapon and named it the StG44, the same weapon.

        6. rofl
          rofl at |

          No. StG44 IS MP44. MP is just english short for machine pistol – exactly what StG short is in german.

          Assault Rifle term didn’t even exist when this weapon was created.

        7. AudieHolland
          AudieHolland at |

          MP in English is the same in German: MP -Machinen Pistol
          StG meant SturmGewehr which translates as Assault Rifle.
          And yes, good old uncle Adolf himself gave us this wonderful name…

        8. anonymous
          anonymous at |

          the term stg44 was used with the first production by mauser, whereas the mp44 was the same construction but built by walther.

          just how a m14 is the same as an m1a, but the M1a is built by springfield armory

        9. Sherit
          Sherit at |

          exactly and to expand this this it was because he didn’t want an assault rifle when first suggested so it was originally the mp44 as that name would suggest its an smh

      3. Sean Dion
        Sean Dion at |

        Because you cannot make any article that somehow “glorify’s” the accomplishments of NAZI germany in today’s politically correct society.

    2. Cade Tormanen
      Cade Tormanen at |

      Yes, I too was surprised not to see the Stg 44

  3. Patrick
    Patrick at |

    KA-BAR = Knife Attachment – Browning Automatic Rifle. Let’s put the “killed a bear” rumor to rest.

    1. dyrge
      dyrge at |

      I quote: “How KA-BAR Got Its Name

      Our name dates back to the early 1900’s from a fur trapper testimonial. He wrote that while trapping, his gun jammed leaving him with only his knife to kill a wounded bear that was attacking him. He thanked us for making the quality knife that helped him to kill a bear, but all that was legible was “K a bar”. Honored by the testimonial, the company adopted the phrase KA-BAR as their trademark. ” (taken from KA-BAR’s website.) The fact that the M1 Garand has no means of attaching a knife, (aka bayonet), further serves as truth to the trapper’s origin of the knives’ namesake.

      1. dyrge
        dyrge at |

        correction: While I named the M1 Garand in the previous post, what was meant was the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). The body of text and facts wherein contained remain the same, save for the naming of the M1 garand. Thank you.

      2. Mark
        Mark at |

        Umm I know I am late here, but oh well. Tell me, what is the lug under the barrel of the garand, just ahead of the staking swivel isn’t that the BAYONETTE LUG??? I have owned 5 and trained with one in high school, and yeah, they sure do accept a bayonet, the KA-Bar is a knife NOT a bayonette

      3. Sherit
        Sherit at |

        the kill a bear myth is just a myth its the ka means knife attachment and the
        bar stands for the browning automatic rifle

    2. anonymous
      anonymous at |

      the BAR was not made to have a bayonett

  4. George McHugh
    George McHugh at |

    The Colt M1911 Semi-Automatic pistol belongs on this list. How many MOH winners used this weapon in their medal winning action?

    1. zac
      zac at |

      Well Said!

    2. BoogerHog
      BoogerHog at |

      The Medal of Honor is not a prize to “win”, it is earned and awarded to the recipient. I dont mean to beat you up about this, but it is something that really irks me when I hear/see it being disrespected (almost always unintentionally) and reduced to something akin to a carnival prize. Buy i agree with your point: the M1911 is cited or referenced in more Medal of Honor award citations than any weapon before or after its adoption.

    3. Doobs
      Doobs at |

      Probably only because they run out of ammo in their other crappy sidearm…

  5. Evan
    Evan at |

    “The Top 10 Most Recognizable WW2 Weapons Featured in Movies I’ve Seen” might be a better title for this article.

    These weapons feature prominently in recent movies like Saving Private Ryan and that aweful movie by Tarantino.

    Sten 9mm was often tossed away by experienced troops – it has a notoriously unreliable safety.

    World War 2 Infantry weapons that changed warfare.
    – Sturmgewehr MP44 considered to be the first assault rifle and inspired the highly popular AK 47.
    – MG 42 Machine gun had both light and heavy versions, extremely high rate of fire and excellent range, veterans who were shot at by these described the sound as someone tearing paper, but really loudly.
    – 80mm mortar, light, highly portable artillery.
    – Antitank weapons like Panzershrek or Panzerfaust -for days teenage boys held off veteran Russian tanks crews with these before the fall of Nazi Germany.

    1. Carles
      Carles at |

      And the glorious 88mm FLAK…..this list sucks xD

    2. Mustache
      Mustache at |

      I don’t know if I would say they AK47 was inspired but almost ripped off from the stg44, beautiful assult rifle still to this day one of the greats.

      mg42 i’ve head paper being ripped or a pair of jean being ripped “Hitler’s Saw”. crazy rate of fire compared to a bren and browning. 1. 2. 3 max second burst. any more than that if it had wings it would fly.

      lee enfiled No.4 is a beauty too.

      I think the brits were planing on assinating Hitler w a K98 at the eagles nest…

      1. anonymous
        anonymous at |

        the simonouv project (“ak”) was started before the war, but this could also be for the germans coming in and destroying hundreds of thousands of svt-40s and taking the design and copying it to come up with the gewher 43

    3. Henry
      Henry at |

      And that ppsh was not used in winter war against finland in 39. Soviets got inspiration to ppsh from finnish suomi-kp (KP/-31). And first ppsh’s enterd service in 41 …

  6. dallas daniel hessler junior
    dallas daniel hessler junior at |

    no IEDS

  7. Realitypod
    Realitypod at |

    All the top most gun were looking nice. Especially i have seen the Thompson sub machine gun in lots of films.

  8. Danbo
    Danbo at |

    Browning’s 1911 .45 ACP pistol served in both the Great War and WWII; a glaring ommision IMHO.

  9. Grinnell Wood
    Grinnell Wood at |

    Has anyone heard of a pencil pistol from WWII German used for suicide if caught by the enemy?

  10. SG
    SG at |

    Who compiled this list and what is it based on? Number of units produced? Number of casualties inflicted? If so how in the world did they end up with 4/10 being American? Another example of failed US public education.

    1. Anon150
      Anon150 at |

      Agree! The British Enfield rifle, the 1911 .45 pistol, the BAR, and a host of others should be considered.

    2. Scott
      Scott at |

      You say this is a failure in US education, but you fail to realize the ignorance of your own statement. No one said what this list was based off of. Besides, what would numbers produced mean in terms of quality? German and American had the best weapons of the era, respectively. Both the Germans and Americans produced weapons from which many of today’s modern weapons are based off of. What lasting weapon design from WW2 have the Russians, British, French, Italians, or Japanese produced? On the other hand, the M1911 has spawned more pistols based off of its design than any other handgun. The STG44 was the first assault rifle (and probably deserved a place very high on this list).

      1. anonymous
        anonymous at |

        the russians made the 91/30 mosin nagant, produced in mass numbers, and used my millions today, also the russian sks rifle first produced in 1943

    3. Doobs
      Doobs at |

      Well, they won the war all by they selfs didn’t they…. 😉

  11. PeterM
    PeterM at |

    These lists always end up comparing weapons meant for different purposes but the idea that the lovely M1 Carbine should be rated ahead of so many other serious weapons is slightly absurd.

    If you broke it down into categories it would make more sense. So; best Sub machine gun.
    Well presumably it was the Suomi followed by the Beretta Model 1938.

    Best battle rifle: Has to be the Garand. Yes the 303 had a bigger capacity (thanks to the .276 Pedersen cartridge being ruled out (th at would have made the garand a ten shot weapon) The German MP42 wasn’t regarded as the solution the Germans had hoped for so we can rule that one out. The Russian semi auto wasn’t as reliable so on merit and the ability to go bang bang bang gold medal to the US.

    Best light machinegun.

    Has to be the Bren. FN made a quick change model of the BAR but the US ignored them.
    Unless you argue that the weight of the MG 42 was sod all more than the Bren in which case I would concede and agree the MG 42 was the best light and General Purpose Machine gun of WW2.


    Browning HiPower

    Just my thoughts

    1. anonymous
      anonymous at |

      you say that like a BAR wasnt as heavy as an mg42
      mg42: 25.51 lbs
      BAR(M1918): 24 lbs

  12. Bangarrr
    Bangarrr at |

    I’d like to point out that you have a photo of a Sterling not a Sten. One has a curved magazine the other a straight magazine. I’d link to wiki but the site won’t let me.

    1. Dave
      Dave at |

      Same mistake I saw. The Sten barrel also wasn’t encased in a perforated heat shield like the Sterling in the picture.

  13. Aussie Ralf
    Aussie Ralf at |

    Why do Americans always think that everything of theirs is the best? The Lee Enfield .303 was used by thousands of commonwealth troops who would testify it to be the best weapon of the war, bar none.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      We don’t think that, I certainly don’t think that. Our gun control laws are horrible for one. But I think that the rest of the world likes to think we think like that. But none of my family and friends think this way.

  14. laskari
    laskari at |

    I know most of you have never heard of this, but Suomi kp, in english Finland sub machine gun. It was better version of the russian ppsh41. And actually made before it. Russians thought it kicked **s and decided to make a worse and cheaper version of it. Seriously, if a list has ppsh41, it should have Suomi kp….

    1. jay
      jay at |

      What about the owen gun. Made in Australia and beat the other submachine guns at trials. Due to politics it wasnt mass produced till later and the Americans which loved it couldnt get approval to produce it and supply to there troops. Was used up to the vietnam war by Australian troops as jungle or desert was no bother to it. Wonder how it would have fared in snow.

      However i agree the Suomi should be above the ppsh41.

  15. Me
    Me at |

    American weapons fanboys..

  16. Jaba
    Jaba at |

    No MG42 ? One of the best, no the best Machine Gun of the War

    1. anonymous
      anonymous at |

      Ever heard of an old marine corps saying..
      “accuracy over rate of fire”

  17. observer
    observer at |

    In trying to provide some alternative argument, I’ll happily say that I think the Garand needed to be on the list, but the top of it? Also in the end the Australians dropped the sometimes unreliable Sten and the heavy Thompson for the Owen submachine gun. I won’t say it was better than either of them but it was definitely a preferred choice. Also if you want to cover all bases – how famous a gun has become or how much of an impact it had on the soldiers of ww2 – you had to consider the MG42 or even the earlier used MG34 for their unbelievable rate of fire, widespread familiarity among Allied troops on all fronts and the sheer psychological terror of hearing one rip the countryside apart.

  18. Sheen
    Sheen at |

    No.6 is a Sterling not a Sten.

    And why no Lee-Enfield? The best bolt action rifle ever.

    The article looks to have been written by an American teen whose experience is limited to Hollywood movies & video games.

  19. Waffen Schultzstaffel
    Waffen Schultzstaffel at |

    This list is just your opinion. M1 Carbine is weaker and less effective than StG44 yet it’s not in the list. Luger P08 wasnt used much by the Germans as Luger bearers were officers, who were supplied with MP40. The Sten was a worse weapon than BAR, Bren and FG42 yet it gets a place in the list. M1 was mechanically unreliable in muddy and sandy conditions(you’ll know that if you read the veteran’s complaints of it. Kar98k was a better weapon than the M1 Carbine due to its superior accuracy, firepower(M1 Carbine uses a weak round to reduce the impact against his user) and reliability. That said, if M1 Carbine, Sten and Luger gets a place in the list, why not StG44, FG42 or Gewehr 43? As the title said, we do not talk about its service length but its service life. Why is KA-BAR even in the list? I know it was responsible for many kills by paratroopers and troops involved in certain missions but it never did anything like the Sten or MP40.

  20. lollol
    lollol at |


    L2 sterling as a sten ? REALLY ?

    No STG-44 ? REALLY? it’s by far the best weapon of the war.

    No Lee enfield mentioned ? REALLY ? by far the best manual action rifle of the war, and of any war, period. Be it the SMLE N°1 MKIII or the even better N°4…

    P08 the only handgun mentionned ? REALLY ? HAHAHA Best handguns of the war : P38 and browning 35, seconded by the M1911A1 and TT33, also the polish VIS radom.

  21. lollol
    lollol at |

    TOP 5 best rifles ;

    1- STG-44
    1bis- M1 carbine
    2- M1 garand
    3- SVT-40
    4- K43
    5- LeeEnfield N°4

    No contest possible. M1 garand has the edge over the 2 other semi autos, because of its ruggeness and reliability. However, K43 and SVT-40 are great rifles.
    The LeeEnfield N°4 is the quintessence of the family, ultra robust, 10 rounds, ultra quick and smooth action, exellent peep sight. Kar 98K doesn’t have those features, but is a good rifle.

    The STG-44 is a clear winner, no contest possible. First true assault rifle, massively used in the last year of the war.
    The M1 carbine should be in the list, but it’s a too tiny and not robust enough weapon, with too small power. Not a true battle rifle, but a very good weapon close range, and urban area, much better than any bolt action rifle. If they had used the 30 round magazine early on, i’d put it on par with the STG-44, but rather between M1 rifle and STG44.

    Other great rifles :

    6- US17 Enfield
    6bis- Pattern14 enfield
    7- leeEnfield SMLE N°1 mkIII
    8- M1903A3 springfield
    9- Karabiner 98K
    10- Mosin nagant M39 (finland)
    11- russian mosin nagants (M91/30, M38, M44)
    12- Arisaka 99

    US17-P14 : extremly good rifle, second only to the N°4 enfield because of the 6-5 rounds, weight, and action less smooth. US17 over P14 because of the exellent 30-06 cartridge and 6 round mag.
    SMLE : classic of the whole british empire, prime rifle of british army worldwide, even if the N°4 started to remplace it from 1942.
    M1903a3 : best model of the Springfield, simple and effective rear sight. Other models sights sucks too much for a battle rifle.
    Kar 98K : classic, robust, effective. Mauser 98 action, really hard to beat.
    M39 : by far the best mosin nagant ever, improve every aspect possible over the 91/30. It is classed under mauser/enfield actions, but in very cold climate, this rifle outdoes them all. Mosin M39, best rifle for under -15°C.
    M91/30 : crude, but accurate, cheap, and extremly sturdy rugged, reliable. A tremendous rifle if you can master it, and just like the M39, prefer this in cold climate.
    M38/44 carbine : just like the 91/30, but for non combatants. Good but lacks range and has painful recoil.
    Arisaka 99 : Second japanese main rifle, shorter and in a powerful caliber compared to the 38. Good extrapolation of the mauser 98 action, but nothing tremendous (especially the poor sights).

  22. J.Marlowe
    J.Marlowe at |

    That’s a Sterling and not a Sten.

    The omission of Lee-Enfield demonstrates the author knows nothing on the subject, and I suspect his information started with Call Of Duty and stopped with Wikipedia.

  23. fg42
    fg42 at |

    No FG42(Fallschirmjager gewehr 42)
    It’s not a good list.

  24. bonobo bobo
    bonobo bobo at |

    actually 7,62×25 mm bullet that ppsh used was (and is) very very fast and slices thru people like cheese. my fathers colleague put one thru the skull of a terrorist shqiptar at the distance of about 55mm, bullet went right thru and traveled for more than 100meters until it was found in the wall.

    therefore that calibre is pretty strong. it has no immediate stopping power but other than that? great military bullet.

  25. darko714
    darko714 at |

    German MG 42, and US M2 .50 cal.

  26. Ian Jordan
    Ian Jordan at |

    Where is the Owen gun? It was at least as reliable as the PPsh, and as cheap to make as the sten gun.

    1. jay
      jay at |

      Exactly. Where is the owen gun. Better then the thomson, sten, mp40 etc on trials and the troops loved it. Only politics got in the way of the US mass producing it for there troops as it beat the thomson hands down.

  27. A bloke
    A bloke at |

    The ten best WWII weapons – try the SPITFIRE !!
    The Hurricane
    Without both the battle of Britain would have been lost.
    Try the doodlebug – the V1.
    Try the U Boats that almost starved Britain to death !
    Try the Tiger tank.
    The Jerries had all the best kit (but we had spitfires and English roses to protect).
    Thanks to the yanks (you turned up eventually) and thanks to the Commonwealth and Russians really, it’s all academic and we can argue about it for fun (in English not German).
    But those few guns plus a grenade and a knife are not the best ten weapon of WWII.
    If I had to choose ONE – it would be the U Boat.
    Shocking to the moral, properly costly to the allies, hard to defeat and extremely effective. The U Boats did a lot more damage to the allied cause than bombing.

  28. FUGA
    FUGA at |

    this is so much fuga

  29. Cold
    Cold at |

    Why am I not surprised that the M1 is rated as #1 in a “totally not biased” american ranking.

    The Stg44 or even the FG42 beats the M1 as “the best WW2 infantry weapon” by miles.

  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous at |

    “The Stg44 or even the FG42 beats the M1 as “the best WW2 infantry weapon” by miles”

    Um, no. excellent weapons, but the Stg44 wasn’t produced in the numbers needed to make it a Top 10 and the FG42, while awesome, didn’t have the range or stopping power” of the M1 which could send a bullet long range through 3 or 4 lined-up Japanese.

    1. jono
      jono at |

      The Fg-42 fired the full round 7.92 X 57 so yes it did. Half a million stg-44’s were made, so I would think that would be enough numbers, and that rifle was the death knell for the M1 Garand too.

  31. Anonymous
    Anonymous at |

    Picture shows a Sterling SMG not a Sten.

  32. Rory
    Rory at |

    That’s not a Sten gun pictured… It’s a Sterling …formally adopted by the British army in 1951

  33. Jonathan Feriza
    Jonathan Feriza at |

    Wow, There’s No Mosin?? This is a joke

    1. Mark
      Mark at |

      Bad weapon

  34. MIchael Cruz
    MIchael Cruz at |

    The pic under the Sten entry is a Sterling SMG…similar but a different weapon altogether…

  35. Wargorr Bigodon
    Wargorr Bigodon at |

    Mosin Nagant?

    1. Mark
      Mark at |


  36. akim
    akim at |

    Whats with the Stg.44? it probably was the best weapon of ww2

    1. Kerstyn
      Kerstyn at |


  37. Kerstyn
    Kerstyn at |

    I need close combat weapons for a research paper ASAP

  38. Lol
    Lol at |

    Lol the sten in the picture isn’t even the sten gun it’s a sterling sub machine gun

  39. YO-merkonomi
    YO-merkonomi at |

    Quite bad list, sorry. No mosin nor suomi-kp

    1. Mark
      Mark at |

      Because it’s a piece of fire wood.


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