Special Report

The American Military's Longest-Range Guns

Stocktrek Images / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

Historically, long-range weapons have provided both tactical and strategic advantages in military conflicts. Basically, they can reach out-of-range enemy forces. While ultimately the longest range attacks come from aircraft, drones, naval vessels, and missiles, even small arms have differing ranges, and some have a much longer range than others. (Also see, the bombs and missiles used by the U.S. military.)

To determine the longest range small arms used by the U.S. military, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a range of sources, including military handbooks, government press releases, and firearms publications pertaining to small arms and light weapons currently used by the U.S. military. All small arms used by the U.S. military are ranked according to their maximum range, based on information from Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms and more used by militaries across the world. Data on the type of weapon, caliber, country of origin, and year entered service, also came from Military Factory.

The sniper rifle arguably came into the battlefield during the American Revolution, giving soldiers an incredible tactical advantage. By the Civil War, sharpshooters began to make use of telescopic sights to improve accuracy. These days, sniper rifles have a myriad of modular scopes for any particular situation to gain the most advantage on the battlefield.

The U.S. military uses other small arms capable of doing damage in a variety of ranges – some at even much greater ranges than traditional sniper rifles. (Here is every standard issue U.S. military rifle since the American Revolution.)

Although not all the weapons on this list are meant to be used at great range, each serves a distinct purpose within the military, whether a shotgun or a sniper rifle. Some of these weapons have a maximum range of under 100 feet, while others can be effective at over 4 miles away.  Some of these weapons have been in the service since the World War II era, and some have only been introduced within the last decade.

Here is a list of small arms in the U.S. military with the longest range:

Source: Mishella / iStock via Getty Images

42. Colt M1911
> Maximum range: 82 ft
> Caliber: .45 ACP
> Type: Semi-automatic service pistol
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Marine Corps, U.S. Army Special Operations
> Year entered service: 1911

Source: marine_corps / Flickr

41. Mossberg Model 590
> Maximum range: 130 ft
> Caliber: 12 gauge
> Type: Pump-action shotgun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines
> Year entered service: 1975

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

40. M26 (MASS)
> Maximum range: 135 ft
> Caliber: 12 gauge
> Type: Modular accessory shotgun system
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army
> Year entered service: 2003

39. Remington Model 870
> Maximum range: 140 ft
> Caliber: 12 gauge
> Type: Pump-action shotgun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard
> Year entered service: 1950

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

38. Benelli M4 Super 90 (M1014 JSCS)
> Maximum range: 164 ft
> Caliber: 12 gauge
> Type: Semi-automatic combat shotgun
> Country of origin: Italy
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1999

37. SIG-Sauer P320
> Maximum range: 165 ft
> Caliber: 9 mm, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W
> Type: Semi-automatic pistol
> Country of origin: Switzerland
> Military branches used: All branches
> Year entered service: 2014

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

36. Brugger & Thomet APC9 (series)
> Maximum range: 330 ft
> Caliber: 9 mm
> Type: Modular personal defense weapon
> Country of origin: Switzerland
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force
> Year entered service: 2011

35. Heckler & Koch HK MP7
> Maximum range: 656 ft
> Caliber: 4.6×30mm HK
> Type: Submachine gun / machine pistol
> Country of origin: Germany
> Military branches used: Army, Navy, Coast Guard
> Year entered service: 2001

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

34. Heckler & Koch HK MP5
> Maximum range: 660 ft
> Caliber: 9 mm
> Type: Submachine gun / machine pistol
> Country of origin: Germany
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, USSOCOM
> Year entered service: 1966

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

33. Heckler & Koch HK 416
> Maximum range: 985 ft
> Caliber: 5.56×45 mm
> Type: Assault rifle / tactical carbine weapon
> Country of origin: Germany
> Military branches used: Marine Corps, Army Delta Force, Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team 6)
> Year entered service: 2005

Source: Stocktrek Images / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

32. M136 Light Anti-Armor Weapon (AT4)
> Maximum range: 985 ft
> Caliber: 84mm
> Type: Man-portable, disposable anti-armor rocket launcher
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force
> Year entered service: 1987

Source: usairforce / Flickr

31. Mk14 Mod 0 EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle)
> Maximum range: 1,500 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Battle rifle / designated marksman rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Navy, Coast Guard
> Year entered service: 2004

Source: zim286 / iStock via Getty Images

30. Colt M4
> Maximum range: 1,640 ft
> Caliber: 5.56×45 mm
> Type: Assault carbine
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: All branches
> Year entered service: 1994

29. IMI M141 Bunker Defeat Munition (BDM) / SMAW-D
> Maximum range: 1,640 ft
> Caliber: 83.5mm
> Type: Shoulder-launched multi-purpose assault weapon
> Country of origin: Israel
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1984

Source: Vadimborkin / iStock via Getty Images

28. Colt M16 (Series)
> Maximum range: 1,800 ft
> Caliber: 5.56×45 mm
> Type: Infantry assault rifle / assault carbine
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Marine Corps, U.S. Navy SEALs
> Year entered service: 1963

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

27. Heckler & Koch HK M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle)
> Maximum range: 1,800 ft
> Caliber: 5.56×45 mm
> Type: Squad support / designated marksman weapon
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 2011

Source: Stocktrek Images / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

26. Barrett M107
> Maximum range: 1,850 ft
> Caliber: .50 BMG
> Type: Anti-material / anti-personnel sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard,USSOCOM
> Year entered service: 2008

25. Fabrique Nationale FN SCAR (Mk 16 / Mk 17)
> Maximum range: 1,980 ft
> Caliber: 5.56×45 mm and 7.62×51mm
> Type: Modular automatic assault rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
> Year entered service: 2009

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

24. MK 20 Mod 0 Sniper Support Rifle
> Maximum range: 1,980 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army
> Year entered service: 2004

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

23. M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle (EMR)
> Maximum range: 2,550 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Designated marksman rifle / sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Marines
> Year entered service: 2008

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

22. Fabrique National M249 SAW / LMG
> Maximum range: 2,600 ft
> Caliber: 5.56×45 mm
> Type: Light machine gun / squad support weapon
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines
> Year entered service: 1984

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

21. M110 SASS (Semi-Automatic Sniper System)
> Maximum range: 2,624 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Designated marksman rifle / sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Amy, Marines, SOCOM
> Year entered service: 2007

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

20. Remington M24 SWS (Sniper Weapon System)
> Maximum range: 2,624 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force, USSOCOM
> Year entered service: 1987

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. Heckler & Koch HK 417
> Maximum range: 2,625 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Battle rifle / designated marksman rifle
> Country of origin: Germany
> Military branches used: Joint Special Operations Command, Army, and Navy
> Year entered service: 2006

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. General Electric GAU-17/A Minigun
> Maximum range: 3,280 ft
> Caliber: 7.62mm x 51mm
> Type: Six barrel gatling gun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy
> Year entered service: 1965

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Saco M60
> Maximum range: 3,280 ft
> Caliber: 7.62mm x 51mm
> Type: General purpose machine gun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard,USSOCOM
> Year entered service: 1957

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. GA MSSR (Marine Scout Sniper Rifle)
> Maximum range: 3,610 ft
> Caliber: 7.62x51mm
> Type: Semi-automatic sniper rifle / designated marksman rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army
> Year entered service: 1996

15. Remington M2010 ESR (Enhanced Sniper Rifle)
> Maximum range: 3,935 ft
> Caliber: .300 Win Mag
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: N/A
> Year entered service: 2011

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. Accuracy International Mk 13 (SOCOM)
> Maximum range: 3,940 ft
> Caliber: .300 Win Mag
> Type: Bolt-action sniper rifle
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Navy, Marines
> Year entered service: 2017

Source: 39955793@N07 / Flickr / Public Domain

13. Saco Mk19
> Maximum range: 4,500 ft
> Caliber: 40 mm grenades
> Type: 40mm automatic grenade launcher
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy
> Year entered service: 1967

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

12. Remington MSR (Modular Sniper Rifle)
> Maximum range: 4,920 ft
> Caliber: 7.62×51 mm, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum
> Type: Remington MSR (modular sniper rifle)
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, SOCOM
> Year entered service: 2013

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

11. General Dynamics Mk 47 Striker AGL (Mk 47 Mod 0)
> Maximum range: 5,600 ft
> Caliber: 40 mm grenades
> Type: 40mm automatic grenade launcher
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: SOCOM
> Year entered service: 2006

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Fabrique Nationale M240
> Maximum range: 5,905 ft
> Caliber: 7.62mm x 51mm
> Type: General purpose machine gun / medium machine gun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard
> Year entered service: 1977

9. Carl-Gustav M3 (M1948)
> Maximum range: 6,000 ft
> Caliber: 84mm
> Type: Multirole, shoulder-fired recoilless rifle
> Country of origin: Sweden
> Military branches used: Army, SOCOM, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1948

8. Browning M2
> Maximum range: 6,550 ft
> Caliber: .50 BMG
> Type: Multi-role heavy machine gun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard
> Year entered service: 1921

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

7. Raytheon & Lockheed Martin FGM-148 Javelin
> Maximum range: 8,202 ft
> Caliber: 127mm explosive
> Type: Anti-tank guided missile launcher
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marines
> Year entered service: 1996

6. M224, 60mm Mortar
> Maximum range: 11,447 ft
> Caliber: 60mm
> Type: 60mm lightweight mortar
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1978

Source: 101561334@N08 / Flickr

5. M167 Vulcan
> Maximum range: 14,763 ft
> Caliber: 20×102mm
> Type: Towed / static air defense system
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard
> Year entered service: 1967

4. General Dynamics / Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger
> Maximum range: 15,750 ft
> Caliber: Varied
> Type: Man-portable, air defense missile system
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1981

Source: 39955793@N07 / Flickr

3. M252, 81 Mortar
> Maximum range: 18,618 ft
> Caliber: 81mm
> Type: Medium weight extended range mortar
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1987

2. GAU-19
> Maximum range: 19,685 ft
> Caliber: .50 BMG
> Type: Gatling gun
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Navy
> Year entered service: 1983

1. M120, 120mm Mortar
> Maximum range: 23,750 ft
> Caliber: 120mm
> Type: Towed heavy field mortar
> Country of origin: United States
> Military branches used: Army, Marine Corps
> Year entered service: 1991

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