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World War 2 Guns

Updated on December 17, 2012

World War II yielded the advancement of military technology specifically in the category of firearms. These weapons revolutionized warfare and led to the transformation of military combat, ultimately making the old style of war obsolete.  World War II revolved around these weapons in the areas on tactics, defense, and mobility. 


M1 Garand: The M1 Garand may be the most notorious of the World War II weapons, and is certainly one of the most important. This gun revolutionized combat due to its semi-automatic feature which allowed it to fire multiple rounds very quickly and effectively. The M1 was developed by John C. Garand and was the backbone of the American Infantry forces.

Type 99 Arisaka: The Arisaka was used by Japanese forces during World War II. Unlike the Garand, the Arisaka was bolt action making it ideal for long range and even taking down airplanes. These rifles were produced with a "mum" which was the name of the emperor and was only on rifles that saw action. This rifle carries a 30 caliber bullet.

Kar98:  Primarily used by German forces, the Kar98 was the bolt action rifle for the axis armies.  This was a infantry rifle issued by the Wehrmacht, noted for its reliability, accuracy, and range of up to 500 meters.

Mosin Nagant:  The Mosin Nagant was used by Russian forces between 1891 to 1960 and saw considerable action during World War 2.  This weapon was a bolt-action rifle and was one of the most mass produced guns of all time.

M1 Carbine:  A semi-automatic rifle, the M1 carbine was used by American forces during World War 2.  Often used by paratroopers, the M1 was very light providing great mobility for front line forces. 

Gewehr 43: Germany's semi-automatic rifle, the Gewehr 43 was combative to American and Russian semi-auto rifles, but was somewhat less reliable.

SVT 40:  The SVT 40 was a semi-automatic rifle developed by the Soviet Union during in 1935.  The SVT 40 was gas operated and had a 10 round detachable magazine.  It could be attached with a telescopic scope. 

Sub Machine Guns

Thomson Submachine Gun: An automatic rifle, the Thomson provided an offensive punch for allied forces. Developed by John T. Thomson, the Thomson was rather heavy and expensive, but was eventually adopted by the United States Military in 1938.

STG 44: This was the German assault rifle and was the first of its kind to be devolved. It provide comparable range, but was most effective at shorter distances. Unapproved by Hitler during development, the Stg was built in disguise only later to be approved by the Fuhrer.

Type 100 Submachine Gun:  The Type 100 was introduced to the Imperial Army in 1942, which was very late in the war.  It was very simple and inexpensive, making it somewhat unreliable. 

MP40:  A fully automatic firearm, the MP40 was developed by Germany in 1939 using open-bolt technology.  The MP40's weakness was its 32 round magazine, which was relatively small compared to the Thomson round drum magazine.

Machine Guns

MG42: Capable of firing 1200 rounds per minute the MG42 was one of the fastest machine guns developed. The MG42 was accepted and the manufacturing began in 1942. This weapon had a very high recoil making it very difficult to handle and move.


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    • triggerjoe profile image

      triggerjoe 3 years ago

      One of my favorites is the British 303

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Very interesting article and the layout is really effective, great photos, great descriptions!

    • profile image

      seenu 5 years ago

      i like to join indian army i like guns a lot i like to use them very much

    • profile image

      bisho 5 years ago

      y u no pass toast firsy

    • profile image

      frost 5 years ago

      you just did my homework

    • profile image

      bobby 5 years ago


    • passthejelly profile image

      Mark Passarelli 5 years ago from Lakewood Colorado

      I am glad I could help :D

    • profile image

      jshu 5 years ago

      this is awesomw for my history fair project

    • profile image

      kian 5 years ago

      i love guns

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      danilo 5 years ago

      nice guns

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      shea 5 years ago

      all guns are cool

    • georgepjr profile image

      George 5 years ago from Ohio

      I have a 1944 British Enfield and love her she has seen war and was picked up by my uncle in the European Theater. She is Amazing, for the rest of them I feel that weapons made in this era are damn near the best ever made. Thanks for sharing! I am a little upset you didn't put down the best one! Still an amazing hub!

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      tigercub 5 years ago

      MG42 was the best MG of WW2 This weapon had a very high recoil making it very difficult to handle and move pigs fly?. Very high recoil That's because its firing at twice the rate of most MGs and was fired in bursts

      not long bullet spraying events...try and move one of the water cooled MGs

      The MP40's weakness was its 32 round magazine ? most SMG of ww2 had a 30 to 32 round mag including the thomson the bigger mag that the thomson used was disregarded because of the it was so heavy

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      unknown uzer !! 6 years ago

      i wuld luv one !!!

    • profile image

      bob 6 years ago

      me to

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      jewan 6 years ago

      I love to shot a gun.

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      craig 6 years ago

      world war two is harsh

    • ExquisiteExtacy profile image

      Vijay Anand Baree Sunnyasi 6 years ago from Perth

      nice explicit article on world war weapons

    • daryl2007 profile image

      daryl2007 6 years ago

      Excellent!!!! all guns of World War II...wew!!!!

      You have written a very interesting article..I am also a World War Historian and I am so glad that there is someone who put the history back to life again.. Thank you!!

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      jacob 7 years ago

      world war 2 is the most greatist war ever it is my life

    • VagabondE profile image

      VagabondE 7 years ago from Hitting the road again

      Nice informative hub.