I am trying to learn from my past mistakes on asking for too much at a time, while asking for the wrong things, and often forgetting about crucial details.

So here I am, in my quest of finding the best arsenal of all for my dystopian clone army, where manpower, skill, and resources are no problem.

So all I want you to do is come up with the best assault rifle you can come up with, that fits within the next criteria, and if possible, is backed up by facts.

Here are the criteria :

  • The weapon must not violate the current laws of physics or even go into hypothetical territory.
  • The weapon must classify as an assault rifle
  • The weapon must use modern day technology, or technology that is currently being researched.
  • The weapon and the ammo must be cost-efficient.
  • The user of the weapon must not be in any danger (due to the weapon)
  • The weapon itself (not the user) must be moderately accurate (hit its target at least 75% of the time)
  • The weapon must weigh less than 100 kg (220 pounds)
  • The weapon must operate relatively similar in all weather conditions (except hurricanes, tornadoes and other high wind speeds)
  • The user must be able to carry at least one magazine of the weapon, the weapon itself and 20 kg (44 pounds) at the same time
  • The weapon must be able to penetrate at least 50 cm (19 inches) of ballistic gelatin
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    $\begingroup$ 100 kg is not "an assault rifle", it is a medium machinegun $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 Aug 11 '18 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ It might be a little hard to reconcile upto 120kg and an assault weapon and ammo. That would be like the equivalent of wielding a navy seal in battle. Not their weapon, that actual person and gear! The next generation of light 50cal machinegun seeks to trim the weight to about 27kg. In fact, the SAW (m249) is only 8kg and if you can carry upto 120kg then it would be easy envision a modified one with a higher caliber and capacity $\endgroup$ – JonSG Aug 11 '18 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ If you don't describe also the target, we cannot come with any best. The english longbow was the best against infantry of those times, it is useless against today infantry. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Aug 11 '18 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ "The weapon [...] must [...] hit it's (sic) target at least 75% of the time": just about all half-decent rifles will hit their target 100% of the time, provided the target is large enough and within range, and the weapons is accurately aimed and well controlled. And you must clearly explain what an "assault rifle" means; this phrase is not normally used in military context. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Aug 11 '18 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ The real problem with this question is that any modern military rifle (AK-47, M16, or whatever) already meets all the criteria given, so it really just boils down to an opinion question. Thousands of hours of Youtube commentary has been produced on the question of which rifle is best. No one can authoritatively answer. If the questioner is asking for a sci-fi rifle, then he needs to give some extra criteria or explain what he wants. $\endgroup$ – workerjoe Aug 12 '18 at 4:11

You'd likely want some sort of aim-assisted bullpup that uses a very high caliber, and some sort of penetrative incendiary rounds.

This doesn't really exist, but imagine a cross between an IWI Tavor assault rifle and a Fosstech Origin shotgun.

The Tavor is a modern, particularly sturdy bullpup weapon. Bullpups are rifles that house the action and magazine in the buttstock. Basically, they condense down a rifle without sacrificing accuracy by shortening the barrel. The decreased size allows bullpups to be used in close quarters, like urban areas or tight hallways, which would fit combat within a vessel. The Origin is a mag-fed automatic shotgun. Most actual 50 caliber weapons are belt-fed and are designed to be mounted or stationary. A large caliber weapon designed to be carried and fired like a traditional rifle would probably look something like this, but could be made more appropriate by re-arranging the internal elements into a bullpup configuration.

The rifle would ideally fire self-guided rounds, as demonstrated here, like the Exactos that are being tested by DARPA.

That part is pretty self-explanatory. Especially if there are cluttered urban environments, guided munitions could be useful. The payload itself could be a few things. You'd probably want either armor-piercing/incendiary or fragmenting bullets, like a giant version of the "Radically Invasive Projectile" (RIP), a bullet designed for improved penetration.

Armor piercing bullets would give you the kevlar/body-armor penetration that you asked for in the earlier version of this question, and incendiary elements could increase tissue damage when the round pierces whatever armor your characters are using. Fragmenting bullets like the RIP would be more appropriate if the targets are lightly armored. Munitions themselves are harder to pin down without knowing what they'd be fighting. In either case to properly penetrate near-future body armor, reliably, you need a large round. So a .45 or 9mm are out of the question. A 7.62 or 5.56 are better but might not track well against body armors that are in development right now. Which means you'd likely want at minimum a .308, or to be safe, something like a 50 caliber round.

  • $\begingroup$ As an aside, I've added in the links and added some phrases that I think give some context. That said, I'm no weapons expert; please add in some more information from the videos, as it's likely I've gotten something wrong. Thanks. Again, though, meta-commentary will be removed. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Aug 12 '18 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Hde226868 for the record, if the two mods who were present earlier had simply asked for supplemental text descriptions, or rationale, instead of deleting the answer, being punitative, and condescending, I would have been happy to flesh it out further. I'm going to amend the answer, per your request, and I'm also going to post a meta thread, because this is beyond ridiculous. $\endgroup$ – user49466 Aug 12 '18 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ You do realise you can undelete an answer right, it's usually a good idea to edit it for the content that got it dumped in the first place of course or it'll usually go away again. $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 12 '18 at 19:18

Rifle technology may have peaked in the 1960's, as indicated by the inability of the US military to replace the classic M-16 rifle, and Soviet/Russians using the tried and true AK series of weapons.

To give you some indication, in the 1960's the US military tried to replace the M-16 with the SPIW program. In the 1990's there was the Advanced Combat Rifle Program and in the early 2000's they tried with the OCIW program.

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various iterations of the SPIW by AAI corporation

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1990 era ACW contenders

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OCIW prototype

The next evolution of firearms may be defined by weapons like the XM-25 grenade launcher, delivering smart rounds and using high explosive to deliver the energy to the target. Several other posters have suggested the round also be guided, and there is no reason that specialty ammunition of all types could not be fired, with the sight attached to a ballistic computer to provide the initial aim, and the weapon able to communicate with the round, or even with off board sensors (for example, the soldier could use a mini UAV to "see" a target hidden behind a wall and use that information to fire a guided or explosive round to deal with it).

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XM25 in a test range


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