The G36 is a nice rifle, most HK weapons are, however different weapons are better for different reasons. I reckon the AK47 is king simply because of it's absolute reliability in the worst conditions due to it's simplicity.
The L85A2 is a good weapon. Has its drawbacks, but once you cut away the bollocks, it is actually a highly capable weapon. What more do you want? Good accuracy, reliability and a small overall size--I give you the L85.
G36 (and all variants) are good weapons. Size isn't much of a drawback due to the folding stock, however with stock locked in place (extended) it is fairly large. Smaller versions (Kurtz and Compact) offer smaller sizes, the "C" model of which is of a similar size to the HK53. Problem with smaller models is they sacrifice barrel length for size.
AK variants. Highly reliable. My 6 year old niece could fire one. A good point/pull interface with little--if any--maintenance needed. Accuracy is crap.
M16 (AR-15). Even though it is a dated and somewhat flawed design (ref: the gas parts), it is fairly reliable once properly looked after. Lacks the overall reliability of the above three weapons, however the M16 series and its variants are the most-produced 5.56mm rifle in the world. Must have been doing something right! A favourite of special forces the world over (granted, I believe the SAS are edging towards the HK G36 nowadays).
The SIG 55x range are supposed to be very reliable and sexay. No more information on them though
In short: the "best weapon"? There are two main prerequisites for the "ideal gun", and these are:
(1) Reliability. The ability for a weapon to withstand the elements and still churn out lead in the enemy's direction.
(2) The ability for the soldier to carry and use the weapon in a variety of scenarios; this includes the soldier's ability to shoot properly (marksmanship) and his knowledge of the weapon system.
With regards to that, I would say that virtually most rifles would fit the bill. Remember, a lot of fans and users of the AR-15 would say that is all that is needed for a good rifle, however there are others that are technologically superior and infinately more reliable (G36 for starters!); this doesn't stop the AR-15 from being a good family of weapons though.
The "best" is a subjective opinion. Much like how the USMC say they are the best.
In short: if I had to pick ONE rifle out of any rifle in the world.....I'd go for a G36. Accuracy, reliability and useability.
thanks for the views, keep it all coming!
Yes MP3 player and mobile phone built in would be great, it would really help my hectic lifestyle. Maybe a mirror and a little case to keep my lippy and mascara!
Although I was thinking more like the extra large mags i know you can get on the G36 (holds 100rnds) and any other cool stuff like that, but yeh I suppose a built in MP3 would be pretty cool!
I'm not a bird, well not on weekdays anyway!
I was being sarcastic about the lippy etc. come on, you army bods are supposed to be the most sarcastic people on the planet, I thought you'd pick up on that one.
The AKs great and all that regarding reliability, but as far as i know it's shit accuracy which is too big a problem!
I would have to go for the Martini Henry .45 calibre. It saw off all them bloody Zulus after all and was good enough for John Rouse Merriot Chard VC along with 'some cold steel with some guts behind it'!!
Not sure if it would fit well inside a Spartan though!