The Guns in the US Navy SEAL Arsenal

In May 2011, SEAL Team Six infiltrated a compound in Pakistan, engaged multiple enemy combatants, and took out the most wanted man in the world — Osama bin Laden. This elite Special Forces unit is the tip of the spear for the U.S. military and the stories around it are the stuff of legend. (SEAL Team 6 is one of 17 of America’s most elite special forces.)

The U.S. Navy SEALs Special Forces are renowned for their high stakes missions and aptitude for conducting classified operations. To carry out these operations, the SEALs employ a variety of firearms that are versatile and adaptable to many tactical scenarios. 

To determine the guns used by U.S. Navy SEALs Special Forces, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed online database Military Factory‘s catalog of Navy SEALs Weapons. We removed guns that are similar to each other and guns that are believed to no longer be in use by the SEALs. We ranked the guns according to when they entered service. Supplemental data on the type of weapon, maximum effective range, and the caliber of ammunition each gun uses also came from Military Factory.

Handguns play a crucial role in the SEALs’ armory. The Sig Sauer P228 is the long-time standard sidearm of the SEALs. Along with several others on this list, it corresponds with the theme of small compact weapons that still pack a hefty punch. Similarly, the Beretta M9 is known for its reliability under harsh conditions, which comes in handy with the unpredictable warfare situations that the SEALs often face.

One of the larger weapons in the Navy SEALs arsenal is the FGM-148 Javelin. It is a man-portable, “fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile developed by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The Javelin allows Navy SEALs to engage armored vehicles, fortifications, and other hardened targets from a safe distance, with a maximum range of over 8,000 feet — far beyond the capacity of many similar shoulder-fired weapons. 

The weapons the Navy SEALs choose to use generally reflect their operational needs. These firearms are a significant part of what makes the Navy SEALs such an exceptionally effective force, but ultimately their effectiveness is decided by those behind the gun. (U.S. Special Forces such as the SEALs often fight in clandestine operations —  the U.S. government is involved in secret wars in 15 countries.)

Here is a look at the guns used by the Navy SEALs.

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