Sailors serving in the Special Warfare Operator (SO) rating, more commonly known as SEALs (Sea Air Land), are deployed in a wide array of environments—desert, jungle, mountain, even arctic—and need weapons that can perform reliably no matter what the weather conditions are like. For that reason, and also as something of a perk for having endured one of the world’s most rigorous military training regiments, SEALs are given the ability to choose their primary and secondary weapons (so long as they meet certain criteria).

This doesn’t mean there aren’t standard issue weapons for SEALs, however. For instance, the M4A1 was the standard issue assault for SEALs for many years, but it was supplanted by the FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle), winner of a competition held by the United States Special Operations Command. Similarly, it was recently announced that the SEALs’ longtime standard-issue handgun, the Sig Sauer P226, was being replaced by the Glock 19, one of the most durable and reliable pistols ever made (it’s been dubbed the “AK-47 of handguns”).

Over the years, experience has led some weapons to become all-time favorites of Special Warfare Operators. That Sig Sauer might have been the standard-issue pistol, for instance, but many SEALs came to treasure the Colt OHWS, a .45-caliber handgun that was developed to compete for a contract for a new Offensive Handgun Weapon System for use by U.S. Special Operations Command.

Another prized weapon for Special Warfare Operators is the M14 firing the 7.62mm round. Although a modern version called the MK14 Enhanced Battle Rifle is available, many SEALs prefer the rugged durability of the original, which was first produced in 1959.

When operating in tight quarters, the submachine gun of choice is the time-tested Heckler & Koch MP5, and the Benelli M4 Super 90 semi-automatic doesn’t even have any real competitors in the shotgun category. And no SEAL would consider leaving home without the M203 Grenade Launcher, which leaves quite the calling card for any enemy combatants firing from behind cover.

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