20 Guns Militaries All Over the World Will Have in the Future

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Militaries around the world budget for innovation annually, testing new weapons, ordering contracts, and outfitting their troops for the field. From World War II to the Vietnam War, the standard issue rifle for the U.S. soldier evolved from the M1 Garand to the M16. This upgraded rifle came with a better effective range, sights, and a bigger standard magazine capacity. (These are the 26 guns in the U.S. Marines arsenal.)

Here 24/7 Wall St. is taking a look at the future of small arms in militaries around the world after reviewing various military and historical sources. We ordered these small arms by country alphabetically. We also included supplemental information regarding what type of small arms each weapon is as well as the country of origin and a brief summary of each weapon.

It is worth noting that it is possible that not all of these small arms will ultimately enter service. Some may be too expensive, or not as effective as expected, leading to the design being put up. Also, we were not able to find many Chinese small arms, so their presence may be underrepresented on the list. (These are the Chinese military’s small arms ranked from shortest to longest range.)

One unique class of weapon that is in development globally, and in some cases in the field, is anti-drone small arms. These weapons work to incapacitate enemy drones through a couple of means, electronic and projectile. As war has evolved with drones, their counter has evolved as well.

Take a look at some of the weapons soon to be coming out from military all over the world:

Why We’re Covering Future Military Weapons

Source: specnaz-s / iStock via Getty Images

Weapons play a huge role in political relationships between countries. Places with the strongest armies tend to be a little more stable. Militaries that have stronger weapons often hold quite a bit of power, as other countries may be wary of getting on their bad side.

While nuclear weapons still pose the biggest threat to countries and their political stability, guns, and other tools are constantly changing and growing more powerful, playing a part. Since the military plays such a vital role in global stability, it’s important to understand how the roles might change and what new technology various militaries around the world are coming up with.

1. QBZ-191

  • Type: Battle rifle
  • Country: China

One of the weapons China is known to be working on is the QBZ-191, also called the Type 20. They are made by Chongqing Jianshe Industry of the CSGC. It’s set to work for several different purposes, filling the role of an assault carbine, a designated marksman rifle, and an assault rifle. It uses some rather unconventional bullets, specifically the 5.8x42mm intermediate cartridge.

2. SAKO M23

  • Type: Battle rifle
  • Country: Finland

Finland is also working on an upgrade. Their new battle rifle, the SAKO M23 is to be a multi-purpose weapon. It’s set to be a marksman rifle, a sniper rifle, and a battle rifle. Though it’s set to be used for several purposes, it will only use standard 7.62x51mm NATO rounds. It will be replacing some of Finland’s older weapons that are still from the Soviet era.

3. PGM Mini-Hecate II

  • Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
  • Country: France

The PGM Mini-Hecate II is similar to the Hecate II. However, it’s made to be smaller and better suited to an infantry sniper. It’s a tactical bolt-action sniper rifle that holds multiple rounds. Some of the more common rounds it works for include the 300NM, 375 SWISS P, 300PRC, and 338L.

4. Rheinmetall SSW40

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images
  • Type: Grenade Launcher
  • Country: Germany

Rheinmetall SSW40 is a German weapon. It’s a grenade launcher and is to improve the 40mm grenade launchers by expanding on grenade-firing as well as fire support abilities to fit the modern era better. It’s also an automatic weapon and is fed by the magazine. It’s said to be able to hit targets almost 3,000 feet away.

5. Kalashnikov AK-203

Source: BDphoto / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Country: India

AK-style weapons are usually more associated with Russia, but India is working to develop their own version. The Kalashnikov AK-203 is a combined effort by India and Russia in an attempt to improve the AK-103. The main focus is on upgrading the penetration at range by using 7.62mm caliber bullets. It’s also improving on the gas-operated firing.

6. NT Service UAB EDM4S (Sky Wiper)

  • Type: Anti-drone rifle
  • Country: Lithuania

Lithuania is working to develop countermeasures against drones. The Electronic Drone Mitigation 4 System (EDM4S) is set up similarly to a rifle with a pistol grip. However, instead of bullets, it fires electromagnetic pulses to block signals the drone receives.

7. Kalashnikov AK-19

  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Country: Russia

The AK-19 is set to be very similar to an AK-47, keeping the arrangement, gas-operated firing, and general design. However, this one will use slightly different rounds, specifically the 5.56x45mm NATO round.

8. Kalashnikov PLK (Lebedev)

  • Type: Semi-automatic service pistol
  • Country: Russia

The Kalashnikov is meant to be a counter to Western semi-automatic pistols. The PLK is meant to work with 9mm rounds. It has a semi-automatic firing action and a 14-round box magazine that detaches.


  • Type: Anti-drone rifle
  • Country: Russia

Like many other countries on this list, Russia is working on weapons to counter against drones. The Lokmas PARS STUPOR is their design. Similarly to other drone weapons, it’s meant to disrupt any communication between the drone and the user, giving the drone time to crash or fly somewhere else. It’s similar to a rifle with a sighting device for maximum accuracy.

10. SNT Motiv K16

  • Type: General purpose machine gun
  • Country: South Korea

This SNT Motiv K16 is to be the next machine gun for South Korea. It should be an overall improvement on the current K3 light machine gun and the M60 general-purpose machine gun South Korea currently uses. Specifically, the focus is on improving the maximum effective firing range, firing action, and design. It will use 7.62x51mm NATO rounds.

11. SNT Motiv STC16

Source: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Type: Modular assault rifle
  • Country: South Korea

Many of South Korea’s current weapons, especially small arms, are outdated. Currently, the country is working on creating more modern versions for many of them, including a modular assault rifle. The SNT Motiv STC16 is meant to bring their assault rifles into the modern world. It’s set to work with the 5.56x45mm NATO rounds. It will also operate using a gas-operated piston. The gun can be mounted on several different accessories and optics.

12. SNT Motiv STSM21

Source: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images
  • Type: Modular submachine gun
  • Country: South Korea

South Korea is also working on a modular submachine gun. The SNT Motiv STSM21 is set to work with 9mm rounds. It doesn’t have very many features that are breaking the mold but is instead focused on incorporating all of the modern features and specs for a reliable submachine gun. It’s said to work for personal defense and close-quarters combat.

13. SNT Motiv STSR23

South Korea Holds 74th Armed Forces Day Ceremony
Source: Jeon Heon-Kyun - Pool / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Type: Designated marksman rifle
  • Country: South Korea

This South Korean weapon is meant to be a marksman rifle. The SNT Motiv STSR23 uses a gas-operated piston to help it fire. Though it’s meant to work with 7.62x51mm NATO rounds, the weapon can have variable barrel lengths to make it more versatile.

14. Kvertus Technology Antidron KVSG-6

Source: Olena_Z / iStock via Getty Images
  • Type: Anti-drone rifle
  • Country: Ukraine

Ukraine is currently working on making anti-drone rifles. The KVSG-6 is set to be their next response to drones. It works by sending radio signals toward the drone, and scrambling signals, specifically those received by the machine. Generally, this weapon should be able to create a partial or even complete communication block, which will then lead the drone to crash or just fly around without command.

15. IXI-EW Dronekiller

Source: DanielBendjy / E+ via Getty Images
  • Type: Anti-drone rifle
  • Country: United States

As you might expect from the name, the IXI-EW Dronekiller is used to take down enemy drones. It is set up like a normal rifle with the grip of a pistol. It’s able to reach distances over 3,000 feet and works by stopping any communication between the drone and the user. It weighs just under 9 pounds

16. K&M M17S

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Battle rifle
  • Country: United States

This battle rifle is a semi-automatic based on the Bushmaster used in the 1990s. The K&M M17S works with many different rounds, such as .208 Winchester, 7.62x51mm NATO, .330 Blackouts, .223, and 5.56x45mm.

17. M250

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Squad automatic weapon
  • Country: United States

The M250 is a rifle developed by the United States for the Army. It’s meant to be an upgrade on SAW (Squad Automatic Weapons). SAW weapons are used when rapid firepower is needed, such as for suppression or support. It’s a direct upgrade to the M249 but with a few changes. One of the biggest is that it uses high-caliber rounds, like 6.8x51mm SIG Fury, instead of the 5.5x45mm NATO rounds that older generations used.

18. MCX Spear

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Battle rifle
  • Country: United States

The MCX Spear, also known as the XM5, is made by SIG-Sauer and is said to reach a maximum effective range of 1,700 feet. This is set to succeed the current standard issue M4 that the US Army uses. Despite replacing the M4, it builds on AR-15 technology. The main difference is that it uses 6.8x51mm SIG Fury rounds.

19. MK-22 Sniper

  • Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
  • Country: United States

The MK-22 is meant to be so good, it can replace both the M107 and the M2010 sniper rifles in the Army. The Military is also considering using this sniper rifle, replacing all of their older bolt-action sniper rifles. The MK-22, called MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design rifle) by the manufacturer, will be able to fire a few different rounds. Some examples include the common 7.62mm, .300mm, and .338 Norma Magnums.

20. Precision Grenadier System

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Type: Grenade launcher
  • Country: United States

This is meant to be an upgrade of the M320, an older grenade launcher. There were previous attempts to make an upgrade, but the contracts didn’t work out. Though the details of this upgrade haven’t been announced yet, the army is supposedly looking to be easily portable by soldiers and have efficiency and accuracy even at over 3,000 feet.

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