The standard US Infantry field weapon is the ubiquitous M-16/M-4 series rifle.
It is a select-fire weapon, firing on semi-auto, 3 rd burst, or fully auto depending on model. It uses 5.56 x 45mm NATO ammunition from a STANAG magazine. This makes it compatible w/ many NATO firearms and their civilian equivalents.**
Obviously then, since the M-16 was based off of it, the ideal firearm for Militia compatibility would the the AR-15 (or its many clones) chambered in 5.56 NATO. This allows for the ease of obtaining not only ammunition and magazines, but many replacement parts as well as well as an increased familiarity should a general issue occur.
Next up for preference would be semi-auto STANAG compatible rifles in 5.56 NATO such as the FS2000 Carbine or Robinson Armaments M96. * These provide the magazine and ammo compatibility but w/o M-16 familiarization.
Non-STANAG 5.56 NATO semi-autos would be next up for preference such as the Ruger Mini-14 *. Same ammo but bring your own magazines.
Bolt-actions and Single Shot rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO round out the list for compatible infantry rifles. Keeping w/ a military issue mindset, some Remington 700's *come chambered in this.
Sniper/Designated Marksman Rifles:
The standard current issue sniper rifle is the M-24 Sniper Weapon System.
Basically this is a suped-up Remington 700 chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) or .300 Win Mag. w/ a Leupold, Ultra M3, 10 Power scope. A quality bolt-action chambered in the same should have a similar effect when being handled by an experienced shooter even though most don't train out as far. Keep practicing.
Since the M24 SWS replaced the M21, I'm going to combine it, the M25, and the M14 under the same category of Designated Marksman Rifle , 'Sniper Support Rifle', or 'Squad Sniper Rifle'. The primary differences being that the training isn't as far out on range and is also capable of providing some level of suppressive fire out to a farther distance for the unit.
An accurate select fire weapon that had a short lived history as a standard issue rifle in between the M-1 and M-16, the M-14 and/or its many variants have been adopted as a Designated Marksman Rifle and is still in use as a Sniper Rifle in some units. It is chambered in 7.62 x 51mm NATO (.308 Win). Civilian M-14's in semi-auto under various names are available as well as other long barreled semi-autos providing similar accuracy*.
US standard sidearm is the M-9 Baretta.
For all intents and purposes, a MilSpec Baretta 92 in 9 x 19mm Parabellum. Civilian equivalents available everywhere except Washington DC and Chicago, Il (unless you're a criminal or politician but that's redundant).
Along w/ your firearm, you'll also need accessories. I specifically didn't include these in Basic Field Gear for the specific fact that you wouldn't need a magazine pouch if you're shooting bolt-action etc. A good "Battle Load" is 4 or 6, 30 round magazines for a semi-auto or 50 rounds for a bolt-action. Thinking you can carry 20 magazines of .308 along w/ your other gear up and down hills will only result in your buddies having to practice their medical skills. The type of scope you use (if any) also depends on purpose, preference, and firearm. And don't forget a cleaning kit. As for these and other add-ons, use some common-sense. In trying to be "Tacti-cool" you may end up looking like a Tacti-Fool.
As stated in the beginning, this listing is along the idea of compatibility. If you can't handle an AR-15 to save your life but can shoot the nuts off a fly at 300m using an SAR-1, guess what you should do? Use the SAR and bring your own ammo. I own an NDM-86 and practice w/ it fairly regularly so I would be more effective w/ it than if someone handed me an M-14. At least until I ran out of 7.62 x 54R. Then I have a really expensive club.
*Note1: I'm not endorsing specific models but only using them for examples of the concept.
**Note2: Ammunition issues. It has been noted that Military 5.56 NATO has a higher pressure than civilian .223 Remington. Some rifles such as the AR-15 and Mini-14 are supposed to be designed to tolerate the difference but check w/ the manufacturer of your specific model for details.
Modern Militia Series
- Part 1: The Uniform
- Part 2: Field Gear I
- Part 3: Firearms
- Part 4: Field Gear II
- Part 5: Vehicles
- Propaganda Corps