M27 IAR will be fielded in November


Military.com reports on the deployment of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.

Program officials maintain that the increased accuracy will compensate for the M27′s slower, sustained rate of fire. Unlike the M249, the new IAR doesn’t have a spare barrel that can be switched out to prevent overheating. Marine gunners will have to keep their sustained rate of fire at 65 rounds per minute compared to the M249′s 85 rounds per minute.

Each company in the three active infantry battalions and one reserve infantry battalion will receive 28 M27s, one for every SAW gunner and one extra to remain organic to the unit. These companies will also retain six M249s to give commanders more firepower if necessary, Clark said.

The LAR battalion will receive 14 M27s per company and will not retain any M249s.

The Corps plans on buying 4,476 M27s and reducing its number of M249s from 10,000 to approximately 8,000, Marine officials said.

Read more here.

[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]



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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  • SpudGun

    Whoops! I think Military.com might be missing a zero or two, I think it should read 650 and 850 rounds per minute.

  • Josh

    The more i hear about this change over the more unsure about it i become…

  • Sgt B

    An area suppression weapon with only a 30 or 45 round mag is little better than a standard M16A4 or M4. The point of a M249 is to make the bad guys keep their heads down so that the rest of our guys can advance to a better firing position. There is a reason the 100 round belt became a standard item and the box mag fed light MGs went away. 20 round of full auto fire like with the BAR is great for all of a few seconds before you have to reload which take as long as it did to fire the 20 rounds a 1/1 fire to reload time as not a good thing in combat.

  • Rusty Ray

    ”Program officials maintain that the increased accuracy will compensate for the M27’s slower, sustained rate of fire. Unlike the M249, the new IAR doesn’t have a spare barrel that can be switched out to prevent overheating…….’

    Ah yes, that old cherry again. This exact thing was said when we went from Gimpys (FN MAG) to the LSW (a long barrelled version of the SA80). In essence this exact same scenario is being repeated here again – You are replacing a belt fed support weapon with a magazine fed rifle.

    As per on this (great) blog, getting flamed is super easy, so I’ll stick on my flame-proof underwear on when I say the following: You cannot support an infantry attack today with magazine fed weapons. Enemy fire-suppression takes belt fed weapons.

    Couple of years, they’ll change back.

    Cheers – Rusty

  • So where do the 2000 M249s end up that the Corps plans to remmove from their inventory?

    • Heath, your local PD 😉

  • Don

    Bad move replacing an M249. It should supplement, not replace it.

  • John Jackson

    Can the M27 use linked ammunition like the M249?

    • John, no, its magazine fed

  • charlesa222

    The 65 rpm is about 20 RPM faster than the M4 offers on semi. That’s really all I have to say about this.

  • I don’t get it — how does weapon meet the needs of a squad automatic gunner any better than the SCAR or other magazine-fed piston-operated carbine (which every infantryman could already be carrying instead of their M4/M16)?

  • Zach

    Do we have any information on which high cap magazine they will be using?

  • ParatrooperJJ

    Crazy stupid.

  • Tha Dave

    “So where do the 2000 M249s end up that the Corps plans to remmove from their inventory?”

    Ever seen the movie Lord of War? That might answer your queston.

  • Lance

    Federalist the H&K 416 was a lot better than the SCAR. The replicating handle on the FN kept hitting the shooters face and its plastic parts where not as reliable as the H&Ks metal parts. The 416 had a higher rate of fire as well. The fact too that a 416 can take USI M-4 parts in some areas can save money as well.

  • Nathan

    Would someone explain to me why this is not retarded?

  • Neal

    I honestly can’t find any logic behind this weapon in its designated purpose. I think the Marines want a few of the new toys for once. 😉

  • jdun1911

    I’m interested to see the report on how durable/reliable these AR piston rifles are with high round counts in combat environment.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=126&t=502195

  • Bill Lester

    Add me to the chorus who have serious reservations about this weapon. If the Marines wanted a lighter LMG, they should’ve bought the Ultimax 100 and called it a day. But instead they bought a weapon limited by design to 30 rd. magazines. Is this 1940 or 2010?

  • vereceleritas

    SpudGun, Military.com is correct. The SUSTAINED rate is 85rpm. You’re thinking of the cyclic rate which is about 750pm for the M249. The sustained rate is the rate at which you can fire continuously without overheating and needing a barrel change. There is also the rapid rate which is between the two.

    I think everyone is misjudging the M27. It’s not replacing the M249, it is in fact supplementing it since the Corps is still keeping 8000 M249’s. The IAR program came about because carrying a 22lb LMG on top of 80lbs of other gear through the mountains of Afghanistan limits your maneuverability. Keep in mind that we’re fighting an asymmetric war in Iraq and Afghanistan against an insurgency and not a regular military. Sometimes mobility and flexibility is more important than greater firepower. They say that we always train for the last war. At least the Corps is trying to adapt and adjust to the environment.

  • Big Daddy

    Rusty Ray hit the rusty nail on the head. This is a really stupid idea hatched up by pencil pushers and armchair commandos. I am surprised at the marine corp, it’s not like them to do this type of thing.

  • SpudGun

    @vereceleritas – ah, my mistake, thanks for clearing that up for me. 85 RPM seems awful slow, but if it doesn’t jam, that’s better then 0 RPM I suppose.

    The big question is – if you were in a USMC squad and were given the choice between a battered M4 / M249 that had been in service for a while or a brand new piston driven 416, which one would you choose?

  • Sgt B

    @SpudGun: I would take the one that my team and I knew how to work the best. A new weapon is great and all but if it really gets hairy, I want a weapon that I know inside and out. If my M4 or a M249 jams it takes a fraction of a second to realize it and clearing those weapons gets drilled into us so much that it is almost 2nd nature oh and by the way most of our weapons are only a few year old if that. Not too long ago (2006) a great many of us were still (some still are) packing M16A2s.

    Piston operated weapons are easier ro clean the bolts one but the gas system needs to be cleaned and those have small parts that add to the number of moving parts that can fail. Whereas DGIP weapons like the M16A1,2, and 4/M4 do get hotter and dirtier but a quick squirt of CLP will keep most of them shooting when its needed and have fewer moving parts to fail.

    These are my personal opinion and do not reflect in any way to the opinions of the U.S. Armed Services.

  • SpudGun

    @Sgt B – thanks for your reply. Didn’t realize that the M4s / M249s in service were only a few years old. I heard a lot of conflicting reports and as you pointed out, with weapons such as the M16A2 still being in service until recently.

  • Lance

    Spudgun the M-16A2 is still in Marine service especially in MP and training units.

  • Charlesa222

    The main reason for the IAR supplementing the SAW is the prevalence of urban warfare. The SAW is heavy and slow to reload, two major knocks against any weapon in urban combat. It’s also dependent on belts, which offer spectacular firepower, but are bulky, heavy, and easily damaged.

    I used to be a SAW gunner in 2-22 INF at Ft. Drum. My average ammunition load was between 600 and 1,000 rounds, or around 16 pounds of ammunition in addition to the SAW’s unloaded weight of 20. And that’s before you started counting in things like body armor/water/etc. It’s a cumbersome weapon that’s very ill-suited to a room clearing battle; there’s a reason it’s the last weapon in a fire team stack into a room, and that’s because no matter how much of a badass you are you’re always going to be slower to get a SAW into action than a man with a rifle.

    In the fields of Europe or open desert, the SAW reigns supreme with it’s accuracy and heavy firepower; in room clearing, it’s a terrible design completely unsuited to the fight.

  • Etienne

    How long is the barrel on the M27? I’ve heard rumors that the Marine Corps was adopting this as a back door way of adopting a new standard issue rifle (much like the LSAT purportedly went with a new MG first, as it is apparently less of an issue to develop/adopt a new MG than a Rifle), but as ‘Every Marine [is] A Marksman’ I’d find it odd that they would replace the M16A4 (and it’s ~20″ barrel) with an M4 (~14.5″ barrel) type weapon.

  • Dan

    bad move on the part of the USMC. In an interesting twist, the Army has the high ground on this one. They just finished fielding the mk48 mod 0, essentially a 7.62 SAW, and I can say from personal experience it is phenomenal. Increased range, reliability, and power. The IAR is a mistake.

  • Lance

    Dan the Mk-48 hasnt enterd army service it was made for SOCOM to replace the M-60E3s in the navy, but the SEALs didnt replace them, its a SOCOM mechine cgun and the regular army is usesin plain M-249s with newer features on them

    The M-27 has a 16 inch heavy barrel.

  • Alaskan

    I like the M27 IAR,not every time you go in the field do you need a belt fed.

    Accurate fire is better than continuous fire in a urban situation like Iraq.If you need a belt fed to keep the enemy down while you move,then use the M2 on the Hummer that you rolled in on.Besides instead of a 5.56 belt fed,you are firing .50BMG..and like those penis enlargement ads in your spam folder,bigger is better.

  • W

    *sighs* i hope most of you realize that the M27 is not intended to replace the SAW….

    i disagree with a closed bolt weapon and seriously doubt the M249’s will be replaced. The article simply states that there will be enough ordered to replace every M249, not that it will replace.

    The accuracy is an excellent merit, though many times a higher sustained rate of fire and quick change barrel is needed.

  • charlesa222

    A point on the IAR’s seeming lack of long-term firepower: The IAR has a sustained rate of 65 RPM to the SAW’s 85 RPM. Assuming the Marines adopt some sort of high-capacity magazine like Magpul’s upcoming quad-stack magazine with an assumed 50 to 60 round capacity, that’s approximately a magazine change every minute.

    The far and away preferred method of feeding the SAW is it’s lower-capacity 100-round pouch. There is a 200-round pouch available and widely issued, but it does not feed as reliably as the 100-round, adds considerable weight, and makes the bipod fundamentally useless as well. Now, the SAW fires at a sustained rate of 85 rounds per minute; with the much-preferred 100-round pouch, that’s a belt change at every minute, give or take a few seconds.

    A magazine change every minute.

    A belt change every minute.

    You’ll be putting more rounds downrange (about a third more) with the SAW, but you’ll be reloading far more quickly with the IAR, and be able to resume putting lead downrange much more quickly. There simply is no way to be as fast in the reload with the SAW’s multi-step reloading process as with an IAR and it’s magazines.

    Another point on the sustained rate of fire: The Marines squad with three IARs will actually have a higher rate of sustained fire than an Army squad with two SAWs. 65 multiplied by 3 is 195; 85 multiplied by two is 170.

  • VK

    Accoring to another IAR article here.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/06/07/m27-infantry-automatic-rifle/

    “The Marine command touted this project as the development of a new class of weapon. I have gotten the impression that in reality they wanted a new carbine but did not want to deal with DoD and Congress politics to get it. The Army is already looking into developing a new carbine and the USMC would have been hard pressed to persuade the powers-that-be to give them funding for their own independent carbine project.”

    The Marines wanted another weapon in. That does not freaking jam as much as the rubbish AR15 designs.

    SAW may fit into the Army tactics. But the USMC does as far as I know aim at being more mobile and on splitting the squad into 2 fire teams.

    The wimpy USA made M4 jams and gets the USMC on the run. But the M27 IAR, will provide them with an alternative German design.

    The big issues is if the lightweight HK416 can change to a large C mag in heavy firefights. Not if the barrel is possible to change. Or if it takes belts.

    Then there is the amazing SAWMAG….

  • Baby B

    I myself am a SAW Gunner in Afghanistan with 1st LAR, we’re supposed to get this weapon when we return. Things to remember about the M249, ask any SAW gunner, there are no barrel changes. You can fire till the barrels white and you’ll be fine, hell we dont even carry them with us. Also the weapon is going to LAR where we use LAVs, if you’ve ever been in the back of one the Scouts are cramped enough as is with all our gear. Using the SAW to get in and out of the vehicle is a pain. The SAW is also an open bolt weapon which out here with so much dust and sand increases the likelihood of jams.

    The argument about the lower amount of ammunition can be countered by simply going out and buying the 150 round drums. Yes you’re paying out of your own pocket but hell as a Marine we do plenty of that with all our other gear. So now you have a weapon that can fire just as many rounds and a quicker reload, smaller and easier to handle as well as maintain.

    My two cents.

  • VK

    The SAW have a very good reputation. But it’s old now. And was made for frontal warfare in WW3. The Afghan war is different. The HK416 is a good fit for the terrain. With a heavy barrel it will have both firepower in tight fights, and accuracy on long range. It will also

    Both Norway and Turkey are going to use the HK416 as their standard rifle. The same goes for Delta Force.

    Having the M27 IAR as an option will at least give the USMC some kind of experience with the HK416 design. I think this may replace the M4 in combat units over time. In a VERY sneaky way. Almost like a free market.

    USA have to do something about their way of forcing useless weapons down the throat of the grunts. And stop being so pigheaded about bying German guns. If German or US production is too expensive, keep in mind that Turkey is producing both the HK416, the MG3/MG42, the AG3, the

    There are no military reasons for using the M4 anymore. A USA produced HK416 would give real firepower. Because it’s reliable, accurate, compatible and modular.

    Just the existence of the HK416 upper receiver may safe lives in combat, if the USMC can be flexible on how may spare parts they buy. The M4 may be replaced part by part.
    It does not require a lot of training. It’s much worse for my Norwegian buddies, who are used to the AG3. Still I’m confident that they will learn to use the gun in “Family” whenever it’s needed. Instead of learning NOT to use full automatic in any situations.:-)

  • Suikoden

    Yeah, guys…the Marines just did an run-a-round on the DoD. They aren’t replacing their M249s with carbines. They wanted to replace M4s with HK416. Once they get the weapons they’ll be, “Oh wow, we have these great rifles that are better than the M4…I guess we should order more for those guys too.”

    I’ll bet any M27s slated for the SAW guys will be handed over to the riflemen. Sure they might use the weapon in some cases to replace the M249, like one guy said with the LAV guys.

  • Witt Sullivan

    One of my friends was in Iraq in the Marines during the early part of the Iraq war. He said their SAW gunners stopped using belts in favor of 30 round magazines because they were less bulky, lighter, and easier to swap. I asked him about the M249’s habit of jamming with 30 round magazines and he said it wasn’t that big of a deal, it was still better than carrying all of those belts and easier on everyone. He said it was easier and faster to clear a jam with a magazine than with the belt and the SAW gunners got used to it. They fire in bursts, not one long string of shots.

    The 150 round magazine that’s being promoted is illogical. They’ll be carrying an 8 lb rifle and 2-8 lb magazines with 300 rds versus an 8 lb rifle and however many 1lb 30 round magazines that can fit on a MOLLE vest; more rounds per weight using regular magazines. The Marines rejected high cap drums already because they might pass a drop test, but they can’t survive a Marine. 🙂

  • CharlesA222

    Another thing to point out: Special Forces and Delta do not issue the SAW and have been toting around “IARs” (AKA M4A1) for years now. Ever hear them complaining about a firepower deficit? No.

    Interesting how 6 to 16-man units armed basically with all rifles are apparently quite comfortable with their lack of belt-fed machine guns. :p

    • Jim

      Another thing to point out: Special Forces and Delta do not issue the SAW and have been toting around “IARs” (AKA M4A1) First, the M4A1 is not an IAR. Second, they absolutely carry SAW’s and even have them specifically designed for them. Hell, some guys are still carrying M60’s.

  • VK (Norway)

    SOF teams have a lot more training, in how to sustain fire when disengaging an enemy. Every man rotates as they retreat. I remember watching some documentary about NAVY Seals using this tactic. And they used the saw too.

    Skill and speed is their way of avoiding getting overrun by a numerically superior enemy. While USMC have a long history of digging in and taking heavy losses. For no good reason. How much can lighter gear and better tactics help in winning wars?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Basilone

    And for the US patriots. The German designed IAR M27 / HK416 was designed to give better reliability to the M4A1. With the compact form factor, and heavy barrel M27 will give at least some of the members of a USMC team a little a surprise for their enemies. (And not for the jarheads, when the M4 has a jam.)

  • Charles222

    USMC infantry is still massively heavily armed compared to any current opponent they face, and clearly outclass them just on the rifleman to rifleman fight. Feel free to claim that Taliban gunmen with 20-year-old AKs are going to be outshooting Marines who just spent the last eighteen months of their training cycle going through thousands of rounds of 5.56 through ACOG-equipped M4s. Further, the Marines’ very organization, particularly in the MEUs that make up the pointy tip of their spears, is designed expressly to bring killing power to bear. This is what an MEU-SOC has at it’s disposal:

    3 rifle companies with approximately 140 Marines per company. These rifle companies also have M240G MMGs, 60mm mortars, and Javelins available as integral weaponry.

    A Heavy Weapons company with 24 Humvees armed with Mk 19 40mm automatic grenade launchers, .50 cal M2 machine guns, TOW missile launchers, and 81mm mortars.

    A LAV platoon with 6 LAVs, all armed with either 25mm cannon or TOWs and more mortars.

    A howitzer battery with 8 of the new Lightweight Howitzers.

    And that’s just the ground element. 😉

    The air element includes:

    8 AH-1Z Vipers
    6 AV-8B Harriers
    And a variety of transport helicopters.

    Suggesting that the Marines are going to be outgunned because they feel that the SAW is not suited for them is absurd to the extreme.

    And that is exactly why the Marines are supplementing their SAWs with IARs: The SAW is a medium machine gun masquerading as a machine rifle. It offers good firepower, but that’s frankly about all. It’s heavy, reloading on the move or even quickly is not a viable option, the belts are susceptible to damage…etc.

    From the Force Recon page ‘strong men armed’:

    he M249 (para) is the standard Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) of the Marine Corps. There is some dissatisfaction in the infantry units with the 249. Recent articles in professional publications cite doctrinal issues, stating that the M249 is more like a light machine gun than a Squad Automatic Weapon. They also take issue with weight, reliability, and the fact that it is an open bolt weapon. (There is a problem with first round feeding. In a bizarre twist, some cite the fact that it has no provision for a bayonet (!), therefore rendering it less effective in MOUT operations).

    “There is some dissatisfaction in the infantry units with the 249. Recent articles in professional publications cite doctrinal issues, stating that the M249 is more like a light machine gun than a Squad Automatic Weapon.”

    A Squad Automatic Weapon is not, and indeed originally wasn’t, a machine gun in the current doctrine. The original squad autos-the Lewis, Bren, and BAR-were all magazine-fed with a capacity of under fifty rounds, with the exception of the Lewis and it’s optional 94-round magazine. Furthermore, they were all operable by a single soldier or Marine who could be on the move, which is not a viable option with the M249. The Automatic Rifleman (the Army’s current parlance for a soldier with a SAW) needs to be able to move as rapidly as the rest of the squad for obvious reasons. Currently he cannot due to the very nature of his weapon. The Automatic Rifleman is currently set as the 4th man in a room-clearing stack because of how slowly he is able to reload, plus the reliability issues. Clearly, your automatic weapon should be first into a room (or any fight, for that matter) but currently it isn’t because of how poorly suited the SAW is for fighting in an urban environment.

    Automatic RIFLEman…glad to see the Marines caught on to the idea that the full-auto-capable member of the fire team is supposed to be carrying a rifle like everyone else.

  • USMC0351

    Lots of negative comments here… from civilians. “These guys do this, those guys do that… MEUSOC this, Delta Force does that…” I’m telling you from experience… The M249 is a great weapon- WHEN IT WORKS! Number one- You can’t initiate an ambush with an open-bolt weapon: bad juju. Number two- I can slap in a new mag a hell of a lot faster than opening a feed tray and throwing on a belt, and the Marine Corps is already looking at 50-100 rnd mags- so no loss there. Number three- are any of you even remotely aware of how often the SAW jams??? You cant lay down suppressive fire when you’re stuck fiddling with plastic boxes and belts, slapping the feed tray and re-racking. More parts, more problems. Number four- For once, the Corps is LIGHTENING our load! 8 lbs versus 17 lbs? And I don’t have to carry a spare barrel!? SOLD!

  • mike

    Would it be better off to have a dual purpose(rifleman, support) system operate with the most standard proven magazine ever, the 30 rder, and switch to a much larger capacity when the situation is needed. This means that you could carry the 150 rd drum with the MOLLE attachments.

    Or do you want a total phase out of the 30 for a mid ranged magazine that will never beat the 30 rder.

    PLUG AND PLAY-Sustained Firepower is irreplaceable,

    Shooting a 30 rd mag out of this only is going to lead to a program FAILURE, The M4 would have dominated the trials had it been entered with only using smaller than 30 rd magazines as the feed device, 5 rd magazines were used as testing methods for the “Infantry AUTOMATIC rifle”, program.

  • Witt Sullivan

    I’ve warmed up to the IAR, but I still think the 150 round drum sucks. The 150 round drum weighs 8 lbs loaded. That’s the same weight as 8 loaded 30 round magazines, but with 8 – 30 round magazines you get 240 rounds of ammo with less bulk.

    The 4 and 6 magazine carriers are tight to your body, so you can roll around with them on you. If you have two of the 150 round drums on your body, you can’t roll.

    If the 150 round drum jams, you’ve lost up to 150 rounds of ammo which is a significant amount of your combat load. If a 30 round magazine jams, you’ve lost up to 30 rounds, but still have several extras to replace it.

  • IRgRunt

    Numbers on this article are off by quite a bit, but I’m not really interested in posting our T/O on a public forum. That being said, the IAR is not replacing the M249’s yet. They are supplementing them for the time being until they are deployment tested. And hi-cap mags are a no-go, and were dropped as a contract requirement due to the lack of a reliable candidate. As for the above poster….if a mag jams, you haven’t lost the mag. You’ve lost the round, and maybe the one or two behind it. Remedial action does not equal a magazine out of action. And I can tell you exactly how many times I’ve rolled since reaching the fleet: exactly zero. Vereceleritas was spot on with his post.

  • Bruno

    Why not an enhaced KAC LMG (Stoner 96)? It’s really lighter than the M249.
    Of course, the M27 will only be used when such a weapon is needed (don’t ask me when, but I guess patrol is a good bet).
    The M27 shall end as DSMs, of course, as did the Colt LSW.
    Anyway, there are some high capacity magazines (box or drum).
    There’s the quadstack with 60 rounds, there are some common magazines with 50 rounds, there are the Armatac, the Beta and the Snail drum (don’t ask me if they are reliable, but they do exist).

  • Some Guy

    The marines believed in the whole “Browning Automatic Rifle” concept, in which you have someone using a fully automatic rifle to do a suppressive job, and had a bunch of semi-auto rifleman and grenadiers to come in and do most of the killing.

    If you notice, their three group flexible squad allows them to preform geometric squad maneuvers; I.E. they can surround the enemy (In a triangle), make an L shape and flank them, attack them from multiple directions etc. Three points is the smallest amount you need to be able to make a “shape”, rather than just a line or a dot. The Marine squad was designed for both strategic and tactical capabilities, allowing a single squad, under the command of an NCO, to preform complicated combat maneuvers which would grant them a form of force multiplier as low as the squad level.

    The Army is basically leap frog; one team provides covering fire, one team advances, until their close enough to launch grenades or open fire. Their tactics are basically lack luster, although at say, the platoon level, or the company level, entire units could preform complicated maneuvers.

    Obviously, they are going to be keeping one heavy machine gun, so that, if so needed, they could suddenly form a squad based around a single machine gun (much like the German Squads of WWII, and some Army squads). This would allow them to focus most of their force around, arguably, their most powerful weapon (well, more so if it was an M240, instead of an M249), or at least give them a very strong defensive position, while the squad operates as a single unit, instead of three.

    Another thing is that, most people overestimate the ability of M16’s and M4’s, and the use of machine guns. No, M16’s and M4’s are not very good at fully automatic fire; they over heat, and jam frequently. How frequently? Well, on semi-auto fire, generally around once out of 60 rounds. On full auto, generally more. Assuming that the weapon is cleaned and doesn’t have dirt in it, which it probably will after a few shots of lying on the ground, especially in full auto.

    Secondly, nobody fires in full auto, not even machine guns. It’s called fire discipline. Machine guns can still overheat, and it wastes ammo. People don’t have unlimited ammo. If you fired 600 rounds a minute, and you only have 1000 rounds of ammunition, over half of your ammo would be gone in a minute. In a few minutes, a machine gunner would be completely out of ammunition. Considering that most fire fights last a few hours, and that 1000 rounds is over 30 pounds, I’d say that it would be pretty stupid to waste all your ammunition. As a machine gunner, you fire in bursts. You fire in bursts, to conserve ammunition, and because it’s just as effective. A Single sniper, firing a single round, say once every minute, can be good enough to keep the enemies heads down. If the sniper manages to kill a few people, most of the people will stay in hiding, long after they hear the crack of a single gunshot. A machine gun in bursts either forces the enemy to hide, as by suppressive fire, or kills all or most of the enemies quickly before the fight even begins. You only need bursts to do that, as it only takes one bullet to kill a person. Why fire 600 rounds when you only need 1? If you were to line up a few dozen people in a line, a few bursts from a machine gun is all it would take to kill all of them. And, it’s enough to make you keep your head down.

    Win-Win.

    Why would you do anything else? And seeing as how an HK416 can do that, but that it’s lighter weight, it seems like a good choice.

  • Bruno

    The belt-fed machine-guns are, still, the kill leaders in a platoon.
    M2, then M240, then M249. Period.

  • Bruno

    Charlesa222
    “A point on the IAR’s seeming lack of long-term firepower: The IAR has a sustained rate of 65 RPM to the SAW’s 85 RPM. Assuming the Marines adopt some sort of high-capacity magazine like Magpul’s upcoming quad-stack magazine with an assumed 50 to 60 round capacity, that’s approximately a magazine change every minute.

    The far and away preferred method of feeding the SAW is it’s lower-capacity 100-round pouch. There is a 200-round pouch available and widely issued, but it does not feed as reliably as the 100-round, adds considerable weight, and makes the bipod fundamentally useless as well. Now, the SAW fires at a sustained rate of 85 rounds per minute; with the much-preferred 100-round pouch, that’s a belt change at every minute, give or take a few seconds.

    A magazine change every minute.

    A belt change every minute.

    You’ll be putting more rounds downrange (about a third more) with the SAW, but you’ll be reloading far more quickly with the IAR, and be able to resume putting lead downrange much more quickly. There simply is no way to be as fast in the reload with the SAW’s multi-step reloading process as with an IAR and it’s magazines.

    Another point on the sustained rate of fire: The Marines squad with three IARs will actually have a higher rate of sustained fire than an Army squad with two SAWs. 65 multiplied by 3 is 195; 85 multiplied by two is 170;”

    Dude, do you know that it’s possible to attach belts one into another? The AGunner is there to do it aswell.

  • Logan

    How many more years do you think the army will use the m249 and m4 and marines m16a4

  • Lance

    The Marines have no plans to replace anything so there in use for now indefinetly.

  • Kenny

    Maybe the ammo problem cab be fixed but not with larger mags. What about a faster reload, that could shave even more seconds off reload, instead of drums what about The strac fast systems? Btw i think this is great to be used with the m249, now will the army pick up on this???