us army ranger weapons

Army Ranger Weapons and Gear

The United States Army features an elite airborne light infantry unit known as the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Army Ranger weapons and gear are among the most impressive and sophisticated in the world.

Army Rangers have relied on these weapons and gear for combat in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Learn more about the different Army Rangers’ weapons and gear including assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, pistols, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers:

Related ArticleHow To Prep for Army Ranger School (RASP)

Assault Rifles

M4A1 Carbine

M4A1 Carbine
Image: Pixabay
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Length: 33 inches (stock extended); 29.75 inches (retracted)
  • Range: 500 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2.970 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds

The M4A1 Carbine is similar to the M16A2 assault rifle yet with smaller dimensions.

Regardless, the M4A1 Carbine is a personal favorite among many of the U.S. special forces.

The M4A1 variant offers additional safety features along with its semi-automatic design.

Rangers incorporate the SOPMOD 2 package with their M4 rifle which includes an infrared laser, tactical light, and other accessories.

The EO Tech 553 holographic reflex serves as a long-distance identifier.

Additionally, an M4A1 Carbine with a 10-inch barrel is sometimes seen in special forces such as the Navy SEALs.


mk 16 scar l
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs.
  • Length: 35 inches (stock extended); 25 inches (retracted)
  • Range: 500 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,870 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds

The MK 16 SCAR-L is a recent addition to the Army Ranger weapons and gear arsenal.

The 5.56mm carbine is gradually replacing old favorites like the M4A1 Carbine and CQBR.

Operatives may configure the firearm with three different barrel options (10 inches, 14 inches, and 18 inches).

The 14-inch barrel is standard stock while the other two options are quickly interchangeable in the field.

Consequently, personnel may quickly configure the assault rifle for close-quarters combat or medium-distance targets.

Additionally, the MK 16 SCAR-L carbine offers an adjustable stock that soldiers may extend, collapse, or fold.

The MK 16 SCAR-L also provides a plethora of assault rifle accessories to select from.

Related ArticleNavy SEALs vs. Army Rangers: An In-Depth Comparison


  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs.
  • Length: 38 inches (stock extended); 28 inches (retracted)
  • Range: 600 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,342 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 20 rounds

The MK 17 Mod 0 SCAR-H sounds and looks like a handful.

The high-powered 7.62mm caliber assault rifle is slowly replacing existing weapons previously relied on by Army Rangers.

There is plenty to like about the MK 17 Mod 0 SCAR-H including the many ways you can customize the firearm.

The MK 17 Mod 0 features a standard version with a 16-inch barrel along with a close-quarters version (13 inches) and long distance (20 inches).

Operatives have the ability to quickly switch out barrels for different types of combat similar to the Mk 16 SCAR-L.

Special units have turned to the MK 17 assault rifle because of its light weight and dependable accuracy.

There are many ways to accessorize the MK 17 Mod 0 SCAR-H with fore grips, optics, or even a grenade launcher.

Automatic Weapons / Machine Guns

M249 SAW Machine Gun

an army ranger with a MK 46 machine gun - army rangers weapons
A Ranger with 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment armed with a Mk 46 machine gun provides overwatch security on an objective during a mission in Iraq, November 2006. Image:
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Length: 70.75 inches (stock extended)
  • Range: 700 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,000 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 200 rounds (disintegrating belt)

The M249 SAW machine gun is an automatic weapon used distinctively by special ops procedures and training. 

The M249 SAW combines the ideal amount of weight with reliable accuracy and dependability.

It consistently fires ammunition with the ability to switch to several different variations of the machine gun (M249 PIP, M249 Para, etc).

The gas-operated automatic weapon feeds from a U.S. M27 disintegrating belt into the 5.56x45mm chamber.

It’s easy to understand why the M249 SAW will protect special ops in the future with all its impressive specifications.

MK 48 Machine Gun

mk48 machine gun
  • Caliber: 7.62 mm
  • Weight: 18.26 lbs.
  • Length: 39.75 inches
  • Range: 800 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,950 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 200 rounds (disintegrating belt)

The MK 48 is a variant of the ever-popular M249 SAW automatic weapon.

It looks like the M249 SAW on steroids, with an extremely powerful 7.62x51mm chamber.

The MK 48 was developed by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for the unique challenges that operatives face in the field.

The design and production are nearly flawless, which is why it acts as a regular among Army Rangers’ weapons and gear.

It delivers outstanding range and firepower considering how portable the assault rifle is for special ops.

For this reason and many more, it has slowly replaced the M60 which was not nearly as reliable.

The MK 48 is gas-operated like the MK 46 machine gun with an M13 disintegrating belt or non-disintegrating DM1 belt.

The automatic weapon is lighter than the M240 while producing more reliability compared to the MK 43 Mod 1.

M240 Machine Gun

m240 machine gun - machine guns used by army rangers
  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Weight: 27.6 lbs.
  • Length: 49.7 inches
  • Range: 800 – 1,800 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,800 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: N/A (M13 disintegrating belt)

The M240 machine gun is an old reliable among special forces, like Army Rangers.

It delivers 7.62x51mm NATO rounds from a disintegrating belt like other machine guns found within the 75th Regiment.

This machine gun has a terrific reputation for its amazing power and dependability.

It is often mounted on vehicles such as the GMV.

Additionally, M240 machine guns provide fire support for SOC-R military boats and helicopters.

While the machine gun is heavy (nearly 30 lbs.), Rangers have the ability to also carry the weapon on foot.

As a result, the M240 machine gun provides both sustained fire protection along with indirect fire support.

Related ArticleDelta Force Weapons and Gear

M2 Machine Gun

browning m2 machine gun
  • Caliber: .50 BMG
  • Weight: 84 lbs.
  • Length: 65.1 inches
  • Range: 1,800 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,910 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: N/A (M2 or M9 belt-fed)

The M2 Browning machine gun is one of the most legendary weapons within the U.S. Armed Forces.

The firearm was designed in the 1920s by John Browning.

It continues to serve an important purpose in the military even if special ops have gradually replaced the legendary M2 with more modern versions.

The M2 fires incredibly powerful .50 BMG rounds that can rip through about anything.

What is even more impressive about the M2 is that the .50 BMG rounds can cover a distance of over a mile.

The M2 machine gun has the capability of penetrating soft-skinned vehicles and light armor.

Furthermore, the ammunition may punch through concrete walls or claw through dense forests.

Soldiers have the option of mounting the weapon on a vehicle, aircraft, or boat.

Needless to say, there are more than a few reasons why special ops continue to use a weapon that is over 100 years old.

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Handguns / Pistols

M9 Beretta

handguns used by army rangers
  • Caliber: 9mm.
  • Weight: 2.13 lbs.
  • Length: 8.5 inches
  • Range: 50 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,250 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds (detachable box magazine)

The M9 Beretta is a familiar handgun produced by a familiar manufacturer.

It has replaced the Colt 1911 as the standard sidearm for the U.S. Armed Forces.

The M9 semi-automatic pistol offers a short recoil with single and double-action alternatives.

The 15-round magazine provides a legitimate backup weapon for soldiers, even special ops.

In fact, the M9 is carried by many U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) including Army Rangers.

The sidearm is a standard piece in the Army Ranger weapons and gear arsenal for good reason.

Glock 19

the glock 19 is used by army rangers
  • Caliber: .40 S&W
  • Weight: 1.43 lbs.
  • Length: 7.36 inches
  • Range: 50 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 950 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds (detachable box magazine)

A Glock 19 (and its cousin the Glock 17) is sometimes used as an alternative to carrying the M9 Beretta.

The sidearm offers many of the same specifications as the M9 Beretta including a 15-round magazine.

The semi-automatic pistol also produces a comparable firing range (50 meters) and slightly lower muzzle velocity.

While the Glock 19 is quite a bit longer than the M9 Beretta, it actually weighs less, which makes it a popular choice for some Army Rangers.

Delta Force and Marine Force Recon also have relied on the Glock 19 as a backup weapon in the past.

The compact handgun is an upgrade over the Glock 17 which had a smaller magazine and caliber.

The handgun is produced by an Austrian company and features a characteristic polymer frame.

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Knight’s Armament Company Masterkey

kac masterkey
  • Caliber: 12 Gauge
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs.
  • Length: 17.25 inches
  • Range: 50 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: N/A
  • Magazine Capacity: 3+1 rounds

The Knight’s Armament Company Masterkey is a close-combat shotgun.

It is heavily relied upon for door-breaching exercises within special forces, including Army Rangers.

Door breaching is a technique that is used by military special forces comparable to local law enforcement agencies.

It provides valuable access to infrastructure that was previously denied because of an obstacle.

While there are a variety of explosives that military personnel may rely on for door breaching, the Knight’s Armament Company Masterkey remains a popular choice.

The pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun produces enough force to clear obstacles within close-quarters combat (CQC).

Delta Force most commonly uses the Masterkey, yet it is something that Rangers may also turn to when necessary.

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Sniper Rifles

MK 12 Mod 1 SPR

mk 12 special purpose rifle
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Length: 37.5 inches
  • Range: 700 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,750 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 20 – 30 rounds

The MK 12 Mod 1 SPR derives from a long and proud tradition of M16 weapons.

It is the result of a need for a more lightweight sniper rifle that would produce similar results as the M16.

Consequently, Army Rangers and Navy SEALs have adapted to incorporate the MK 12 Mod 1 SPR into their arsenal.

The compact sniper rifle is individually customized to the unique demand of special forces with ammunition that is specifically developed for the firearm.

As a result, the semi-automatic weapon may feed 20 or 30-round STANAG magazines.

The stainless steel barrel is heavy-duty and accurate without compromising on portability.

Operators may adjust or configure just about every working component of the MK 12 Mod 1 SPR along with several helpful accessories.

The free-floating design of the hand guards has improved long-distance accuracy, which is why the MK 12 Mod 1 SPR was heavily used in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Related ArticleNavy SEAL Weapons and Gear

MK11 Mod 0

mk11 mod 0
  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Weight: 15.3 lbs.
  • Length: 45.4 inches
  • Range: 1,500 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,570 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 10 – 20 rounds

Army Ranger weapons and gear generally include the MK11 Mod 0 sniper rifle.

The long-distance semi-automatic weapon produces more damaging shells (7.62x51mm caliber) to enemy targets.

For this reason, Army Rangers rely on the MK11 Mod 0 for a variety of different missions.

It was a popular selection among Delta Force snipers during their pursuit of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Additionally, the MK11 Mod 0 can be seen in the popular movie “Captain Phillips,” which was also used in the real-life mission.

The sniper rifle has a dependable firing range of 1,500 meters and muzzle velocity.

The magazine capacity (varies between 10 – 20 rounds) is also reliable for a sniper rifle that weighs less than 16 lbs.


m24 sws
  • Caliber: 7.62mm
  • Weight: 11.88 lbs.
  • Length: 43 inches; 46.5 inches 
  • Range: 800 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,580 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 5 – 10 rounds (varying magazine styles)

The M24 SWS is an old-school bolt-action rifle that has a long tradition within the U.S. Army.

It has been used by soldiers of the military branch along with special operatives for decades.

The M24 SWS sniper rifle provides advanced long-range firing capabilities up to 1,000 meters.

The long-distance rifle features a comparable design to the Remington Model 700 long-action firearm.

There are several different versions of the M24 sniper rifle (A1, A2, A3).

The dimensions, magazine capabilities, and purpose allow special ops to switch between M24 designs depending on the requirements of an assignment.


m107 sniper rifle used by army rangers
  • Caliber: .50 BMG
  • Weight: 30.9 lbs.
  • Length: 57 inches
  • Range: 1,850 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,800 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds

The M107 sniper rifle is often simply referred to as “The Barrett” or “light fifty.”

In other words, the M107 semi-automatic weapon carries some serious implications.

The .50 BMG caliber (12.7 x 9 mm) weapon is an easy favorite among U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) thanks to all its specs.

The “anti-material” weapon has the versatility to engage a variety of targets.

The .50 rounds deliver significant damage to the opposition with the ability to pierce body armor and concrete walls.

Consequently, enemy targets hiding behind a vehicle or wall have little chance of survival with such a devastating weapon in Army Ranger arsenals.

The M107 is technically a sniper rifle yet can be modified to accommodate close-quarters combat.

The ammunition feeds from a 10-round box magazine.

Related Article: Army Height And Weight Standards

Missile / Rocket Launchers

M136 AT4

rocket launcher used by army rangers
  • Caliber: 84mm
  • Weight: 14.7 lbs.
  • Length: 40 inches
  • Range: 250 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 950 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 1-shot (discarded after firing)

The M136 AT4 is a regular among Army Ranger weapons and gear.

It is an incredibly powerful rocket launcher that delivers a single 84mm caliber blow to enemy targets.

You can find the M136 AT4 across all military branches, including Special Forces.

The warhead of the M136 resembles a fin projectile that may accurately cover a distance of up to 250 meters.

Additionally, military personnel may fit the M136 rocket launcher with other warheads such as the High Explosive Dual Purpose (HEDP) and High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) missiles.

For this reason, the M136 AT4 is often the top choice for producing damage to bunkers and other structures.

Ranger Antitank Weapons System (RAWS)

army special forces anti tank weapons
  • Caliber: 84mm
  • Weight: 18.73 lbs.
  • Length: 43.3 inches
  • Range: 700 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: 750 – 835 ft. / second
  • Magazine Capacity: 6 rounds (per minute)

The Ranger Antitank Weapons System (RAWS) is another defense system Army Rangers utilize against foreign adversaries.

The 84mm caliber weapon produces noticeable destruction which is why special forces use RAWS to engage vehicles and bunkers.

Ranger Antitank Weapons Systems were relied upon heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan to target infrastructure.

RAWS is a term specific to the U.S. Army, as other branches refer to the weapon as the Carl Gustav or M3 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (MAAWS).

It has the ability to fire a wide range of projectiles like the M136 AT4.

Thus, the variety of ammunition that RAWS may support makes it a popular choice among Army Rangers.

FGM-148 Javelin

javelin anti tank missile
  • Caliber: 127mm
  • Weight: 49 lbs.
  • Length: 43 inches
  • Range: 2,500 meters
  • Muzzle Velocity: N/A
  • Magazine Capacity: 1-shot (discarded after firing)

The FGM-148 is a relatively new anti-armor missile system.

Nonetheless, it has quickly become popular among special operations like Army Rangers.

The Javelin features a command launch unit (CLU) that fires a warhead from a disposable launcher tube.

Operatives may rely on an optical viewer and infrared targeting system to locate adversaries.

The infrared targeting system includes a thermal seeker which locks onto moving targets once the missile is ejected from the CLU.

The Army refers to this type of rocket launcher as a “fire-and-forget” system.

In other words, the FGM-148 operator does not need to monitor or control the flight of the warhead once it is launched from the CLU.

The FGM-148 is considered a more accurate and reliable rocket launcher compared to the previous M47 Dragon.

It can help protect a smaller team that is outnumbered in the field by producing long-range damage to armored threats.

The destructive launcher is generally mounted on GMVs for quick access and fire support.

FIM-92 Stinger

stinger missile used by army rangers
  • Caliber: N/A
  • Weight: 22.2 lbs.
  • Length: 59.84 inches
  • Range: .1 to 5 miles
  • Muzzle Velocity: N/A
  • Magazine Capacity: 1-shot

The FIM-92 Stinger is yet another long-range missile system utilized by regular and special forces.

The anti-aircraft weapons system features a warhead that locks onto enemy targets through heat-seeking technology.

As a result, the FIM-92 Stinger provides defense against airborne threats that exist below 12,000 feet in elevation.

It is exceptionally useful against helicopters and other low-flying aircraft.

The FIM-92 Stinger has a launcher tube that is reusable.

It is typically operated by two individuals with one loading the warheads while the other supports the launcher.

The Stinger weapons system has seen action since the early 1980s and remains a noteworthy choice for those looking to inflict long-range damage.

Night Vision and Optics

ENVG-B Night Vision Goggles

night vision goggles used by army rangers
  • Day and night vision
  • White phosphorus display
  • Hands-free removal

The U.S. Army had exciting news in 2019 when it announced that Rangers would be the first to receive new Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binoculars (ENGV-B).

The night vision goggles / binoculars present special operatives like Rangers with a significant edge out in the field.

The ENVG-B is the first vision display in the military that is both day and night capable.

Therefore, soldiers may quickly switch between different lines of sight without having to replace optics.

Furthermore, there is no need to slide the optics overhead when not in use as they simply slide sideways to remain out of sight.

The most impressive feature, however, is that the new ENVG-B goggles have replaced the traditional green glow used for night vision with a white phosphorous display.

The result is improved night vision for Army Rangers with enhanced clarity and contrast.

Plus, the ENVG-B goggles / binoculars feature thermal vision with the push of a button.

ENVG-B Helmet Mount

army soldier wearing the envg-b helmet mount
  • Universal helmet mount
  • Rapid target acquisition

The announcement of the new ENVG-B goggles was not the only exciting news from the U.S. Army in 2019.

The military branch also announced the release of a universal helmet mount that pairs with the ENVG-B day/night vision goggles.

The universal helmet mount includes the Family Weapons Sight-Individual.

The sight enables operatives to utilize Rapid Target Acquisition that is fed through the display of the goggles.

Family Weapons Sight-Individual allows Rangers to acquire targets at speeds not seen before, as the system can locate enemies from around corners and behind walls.

Related ArticleHow to Become an Army Ranger: Requirements, Training, and More!


Army Ranger weapons and gear create an unstoppable arsenal for special forces.

These assault rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and night optics allow operatives to carry out the challenges of their job.

Some Army Ranger weapons and gear (like the M4 carbine) have been relied upon for decades, while others are recent creations that will shape the future of warfare.

What is your favorite Army Ranger weapon? What would you like to see the U.S. Army create next for special forces?

Rob V.
Army Ranger Weapons

Army Ranger Weapons

4.9 out of 5 (77 Ratings)

See our list of 20 weapons and gear used by US Army Rangers. They include assault rifles, sniper rifles, handguns & pistols, rocket launchers, and more.
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