US Army looking for lighter .50 machine gun

180px-m2-24th-meu.jpg

The U.S. Army and Special Operations Command are stepping up efforts to procure a lighter, modernized .50-caliber machine gun more easily transported than the standard 85-pound M2.

180Px-M2 - 24Th Meu

The goal is not to replace the M2, a combat fixture for 70 years, but to augment the inventory with a .50-caliber weapon that brings the same firepower at less than half the weight, Army officials said here at the Feb. 27-29 winter convention of the Association of the U.S. Army. Early models of the Light Weight .50-caliber (LW50) are expected to be delivered this year.

More info at Murdoc Online

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.



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  • Daverino

    Sounds like the XM312 would be good fit. If they haven’t canceled the program that is.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

    I read that the problem with the XM312 was the slow rate of fire (260 rounds/min), half the rate of the M2.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/lana_sands Tiger

    Instead of reinventing the wheel, why not change the material? Instead of a new gun, build a M2 out of Titanium or Scandium with a Carbon fiber barrel?

  • Jcamelo

    Sounds like what they need is an XM312 .50 cal.

    they are way lighter and more portable.

  • Vitor

    Making a lighter gun than the M2 is no rocket science. The russians and chinese already did that decades ago. Why? Cause the M2 is was designed almost 90 years ago!! Although a very a good design, it baffles me that american companies have a hard time to surpass something made 90 years ago.

  • RJ

    I know Vitor, it boggles my mind too. Stealth Technology? No problem. Lasers in space? No problem. Predicting the outcome of nuclear explosions with mathematics and supercomputers? Yawn.

    But a new rifle or machine-gun invented 100+ years ago?

    IMPOSSIBLE. TOO COMPLEX.

  • Ben

    Vitor: clearly you’ve never spoken to someone who owns a 1911 then :D Thats Brownings designs for you.

    Tiger: the cost of a weapon made out of titanium would be pretty phonomenal. Some fabrication companies I’ve worked with in the past won’t deal with the stuff as its just too expensive to replace if a machinist makes a mistake.

  • AK™

    Funny stuff.
    personally I would feel safer lugging around the M2 than a light version of the M2.

    The Army thought we didn’t need the M14/M21 anymore..too heavy or whatever..

    What we need are stronger soldiers to heft the guns around ;)

  • Sean Ingram

    Some things are not meant to be “man portable”. Instead of making the gun lighter why not create a new vehicle to make the gun team more portable?

  • Anton

    Big dog with an M2 on would be awesome.