Army cuts the XM806 Next-Gen .50 Cal

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The Army has decided to cut the XM806 Lightweight .50 Caliber Machine Gun program. The XM806 was a scaled down version of the 25mm XM307 Advanced Crew Served Weapon, which was also cut before it went into production.

XM806

The XM806 was originally going to be deployed this year, but delays pushed the expected deployment date back to late 2013 or early 2014. Military Times reports that the money allocated to the XM806 will be used to upgrade the Army’s .50 M2 Browning machine guns to the M2A1 version. Earlier this year the Army announced plans to upgrade every M2 to the M2A1.

[ 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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  • Zappy

    one does not simply replace the M2

    • Nadnerbus

      One heavy machine gun to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them.

    • runalltheway

      I do recall an episode of the old SF show Space:Above and Beyond, where a twin M2 setup made an appearance – the show was set in 2063, from memory :)

    • mosinman

      tricksey DoD……. they trys to take the precious!!!!!!!!!

  • Lance

    Pitty like the M-85 the design had potential, but no design take John Browning legacy away and lives ;) LOL.

    Over expect more program ICC and GCV may be axed as well especially if and when sequestration hits the DoD.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Was I the only one that saw this coming? Anybody else?

    The M2 is a fine piece of machinery and I really don’t see it being replaced any time soon, unless blasters are coming out next year. Browning really got it right on this one…

    • Colin

      ^^This. I have been saying ever since my time as a tank platoon leader that the Army will replace the M2 when it’s fielding directed energy weapons as small arms, and not a moment sooner.

  • Jeff

    Not really surprising, the US usually doesn’t issue a new firearm unless it’s a quantum leap over the previous one…. I mean, we’re still rocking the 50+ year old AR-15 and 100+ year old 1911, updated of course.

    It’d probably take making a loaded 50 cal MG weigh and recoil as much as an M240 before they take another look =P

    • John Doe

      Amen. We use what works, and not many things work better than the good old M2. The day the M2 is replaced will likely be the day the .50 BMG is replaced.

  • Kevin

    How many millions wasted in development?
    Not surprised though.

    • BenJamin

      Like so many other military projects that promised to be the cutting edge weapons of tomorrow, it was cruelly throttled in it’s sleep.
      But like all the cutting edge weapons of tomorrow that were axed, we learned a few new things to upgrade our current arsenal, which saves us money in the long run. So I wouldn’t say all that money was entirely wasted

  • 15yroldgunman

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it replacing a 50 with 50 may have good intentions cause of the weight but but that kinda seems like screens within the firearm world

  • 15yroldgunman

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it replacing a 50 with 50 may have good intentions cause of the weight but that kinda seems like a trend within the firearm world

  • Nick

    Of course we could just make a Russian Kord copy with some modifications. I mean it is light enough, has less recoil, cheaper and can be fired from a Bipod.

    • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

      Somebody’s already done it. I forget which, but one of the East European companies (IIRC) is offering the Russian HMG in .50 BMG calibre. Then there’s the STK 50 already in service with Singapore (and possibly others).

      But then, there are lots of lighter, more modern alternatives to the 40mm MK19 automatic grenade launcher, but the US keeps buying the MK19. If it ain’t broke…

      • W

        like the Mk 47. One incredible weapon system.

  • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

    I never did see the sense of a lightweight .50 cal MG intended to be easily man-portable, when the belted ammo weighs so much that very little could be carried.

    If you mount the gun on a vehicle, or in a fixed position at a base, then the weight doesn’t much matter. If dismounted troops want the range and hitting power of a .50, take a Barrett.

    • Nadnerbus

      exactly. No one is going to be humping any .50 cal machine gun on foot, no matter how light they make it. So a few pounds makes no difference as far as vehicle and ship mounted weapons go. And the M2 works very well with many decades of knowledge base on how to employ it and keep it working. There is just no compelling reason to replace it.

      • Joe Schmoe

        The Israeli’s carry the M2 and the Mk19 with them on their backs in the field, takes several men to carry the entire package (weapon, tripod, ammo, etc) but they manage to hump it. This system would have been a godsend for those poor guys who have to hump those systems around.

        I’m sure there are other armies that do the same as well; remember, not everyone uses the same tactics as the U.S..

      • Riceball

        Marine Corps grunts, like the Israelis, also hump both the M2 & Mk. 19, at least they do in training. I was part of a Reserve air wing unit and we would occasionally hump with a .50 so if Air Wingers did it you can bet the idea came from the grunts. I’m sure that in actual combat the grunts really don’t hump their .50s and Mk. 19s but the idea is that if you’re vehicles break down you need to be able to take them with you and not just leave them behind.

      • Cymond

        Also, every pound matters when dealing with helicopters. a lighter gun means more ammo/cargo/whatever in the heli. Of course, light weight improves portability in any situation.

    • Esh325

      Interesting. Then I suppose if they ever decide to make a replacement for the .50 BMG, they should make sure it has the same ability as the .50 BMG in anti material destruction. I think we can come up with a better round than the .50 BMG now.

  • BenJamin

    Next up is the XM25…

  • Jay.Mac

    I guess that with the development of the .338 machine gun, the whole idea of a lightweight .50 cal has been rendered obsolete.

    With the military budget cut- and more on the way if Congress doesn’t act soon- projects like this really need to be thought out more first….before development starts and dollars are spent.

  • Chris b

    The KISS principle needs to apply for all military weapons. There is only so many ways to throw bullets.
    Lightweight means better metals or more exotic metals. Look at how many years it took to get the AR suitable. Remember i live in a country where it was the late 80’s before we went to the carbine .223 fox and rabbit calibre from the rifle 308.
    50 cal will still be going strong in another 90 years unless the accountants deem that too expensive. M2 too heavy son ? Shut up and march son ?

    • Someone Else

      Or a better design. Take, for instance, Russell S Robinson’s .50 cal HMG. It weighed about as much a GPMG and had similar recoil felt. There were no exotic materials used in its construction (indeed, the early builds suffered because Robinson couldn’t get a hold of good quality steel because of the war), just an ingenious mechanism.

  • Wildchild

    Not a big deal at all cause even with all the update in the world it will always remain a direct-fire weapon who fire kinetic rounds with all the limitation of the case, just look at this history channel’s documentary on a battle in Iraq and between minute 5:22 and 6:13 you’ll se how is crearly outlined by the author the contextual ineffectivness of the M2, believe at your eyes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7sa_dQIvz8
    IN THIS SAME EXACT SITUATION, AGAINST A TARGET SO EXPOSED AND CLEAR AN XM 25 COULD HAVE NEUTRALIZED THE TREAT WITH JUST ONE ROUND!! MATTER OF SECONDS!!

    XM 25 IS THE WEAPON WHO COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE WAR AND MORE IMPORTANT TO SAVE LIFE, BETTER TO FOCUS MONEY AND RESOURCE TO HIS DEPLOYEMENT…FAST

    • BenJamin

      I personally think the XM25 is a pipe dream. First, it’s a complex weapons system, which means it will be prone to failure, and I’m not specifically referring to the mechanical components either. The K11 rifle, similar in function to the XM25, has computer problems which fail to arm the projectile, doesn’t las the distance correctly or made the projectile detonate within the barrel. I’m sure you can expect the XM25 to have the same problems.
      Secondly, the XM25 is a very expensive weapon to buy and shoot. A $1000 a round? Too expensive to be cost effective vs. a .50 BMG round that costs a dollar and can penetrate through a wall instead of detonating over it. Even mass produced, the .50 cal is still a cheaper weapon.
      I think using something akin to the Gepard M6 or even a PAW 20 in the role of the XM25 would be better and cheaper.
      Though this is my personal opinion and I’m not out there patrolling some dusty road in Afghanistan. What do you military guys think?

      • Duck Squad

        The XM 25 is definitely not a pipe dream friend. And note how the costs will decrease dramatically when the weapon is actually in production.

        ‘Five of the weapons were deployed with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in October 2010,[10] along with 1,000 hand-made air-burst rounds. The soldiers reported that the weapon was extremely effective at killing or neutralizing enemy combatants firing on US troops from covered positions. The US troops have nicknamed the weapon, “The Punisher.”[11] First contact was 3 December 2010. As of February 2011, the weapon has been fired 55 times at a cost of $1,000 each, but the cost is expected to be $35 per shot when in full production, scheduled from 2012.[12] The US Army ordered 36 more of the rifles in January 2012.[13]‘

      • Wildchild

        What you say is full of incorrectness and superstitious attachement to the past, even if i’ve not got in to patrol everytime that i fire at the range i find that even just at 100 yards a slight alteration in my heart rate or i my breathing cycle sensible affect the precision of the shot and i start to guess how those heroic guys who fight for our freedom in afghanistan could hit something in an environment where they can barely see an enemy who pop up casually from the vegetation and expose only partially head&shoulder before to take cover again, while at the same time they have to stay steady in front of a compulsive adrenaline rush, take the control of theyr breath after all of those sudden sprint with all their package on and theyr heart rate that is totally uncontrollable cause of the feverish stress for all those bullets that fly so near to them.No surprise that a provocative governement report attest that it takes 250000 bullets to kill one enemy combatant (saturation fire and training fire included but however this statistic is unconsiderably high).

        http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/us-forced-to-import-bullets-from-israel-as-troops-use-250000-for-every-rebel-killed-15050027.html

        The more time your fire is ineffective, the more time yo’re exposed under the fire of the enemy who have the advantage of a prepared firing position on a better ground and as a result more are the probability to have casualties; the punisher is a revolution cause it allow to a small fireteam in patrol to get a chirurgical hit over the cover of an enemy rifleman, killing/incapacitating him istantly thanx to his integrated laser-rangefire.

        The critics are absurd:In first place the Xm25 isn’t absolutely prone to failure and have nothing to do with the mechanics of the K-11, the reason why the punisher will be introduced massively in the field only the next year even if it’s ready since the 2010 it’s cause the army have take all the time necessary to build a weapon that is free from any technical defect and the fact that a precocious deployement of the k-11 have been a failure it’s the proof that they have take the right choice.

        But the most risible objection is the false belief that his rounds are expensive: After his mass production the cost of the bullets will drop to 25 $ http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/01/xm25-smart-gun-removes-benefit-of.html but even if for absurd the cost will remain high it will be always 100 time less expensive than all those airstrike called to break contact with the enemy who waste thousands and thousands of dollars in bombs resupply, airplane fuel and maintainance just to make run away a couple of insurgent armed with an Ak47 and a Lee-enfield from the ww1…and don’t forget that human life doesn’t have a price.

        In the end, with this single weapon the Usa have the opportunity to change the face of the counterinsurgency warfare, cause it put in the head of the enemy the consciousness that every hostile act against Nato forces will end bad for him no matter what just for the fact that he show up.The worst sinn that we could make now is seeing a danger where there is only the greatest opportunity since the crossbow was replace by the rifle.

      • W

        I certainly dont agree that the XM25 is a pipe dream. Indicating by the reports of individual soldiers in the field, it seems to be a effective weapon and has potential as a game changer.

        By dismissing it as ineffective you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It will lead to advancements in the future for counter defilade small arms.

    • Wildchild

      O and another thing: in real life is not sufficient a tumb up or down to be right, you have to put on the line your argumentations to allow other people to judge them, but i suspect that this never happen here cause many time those tumbs up are the results of mutliple fake id/random haters, but this is the magic of internet..

    • Big Daddy

      I don’t believe anything the Army says. The soldiers say what they are told. Yes I know I was one. Just say something they don’t want you to say and you’ll end up wondering why you where passed over so many times for promotion and your new duty station is Alaska.

      The XM25 is great just ask the troops, yes the ones we told what to say or else..ha ha.

    • Papabear

      Here we have the same paradox we was talking about on Leonard’s thread about using a lightweight .338 MG for patrolling and use .50 cal on vehicles only: W and Duck squad give general info about the potential of the Xm25 and take a lot of thumbs up while Wildchild who give more useful detail about the necessity to integrate this weapon in our armory is getting a lot of thumbs down, this is illogical, i’m really start to thinking that there is some taliban infiltrated in this blog ;) as W say by dismissing the Xm25 as an ineffective weapon you basically kill the progress and I’m sure this doesn’t absolutely mean that the evolution of the CDTE armory will prevent the Army to develop new .50 weapons.Just my 2 cents.

  • Nater

    The best M2HB replacement I’ve seen proffered was FN’s BRG-15. Dual feed, 15.5x106mm, autocannon. It was designed to replace the M2 in what the M2 does well, static positions and vehicle mounts. It delivered twice the muzzle energy of a .50BMG and significantly more than even the massive Soviet 14.5x114mm round.

    I think the .338NM machine gun is a much more fitting weapon for the long range infantry machine gun than anything firing .50 BMG. The ammo alone is just way too heavy.

    • Avery

      My only problem with the .338 Norma Magnum machine gun is that it adds a whole new caliber to the logistics train. While the LWMMG can share a majority of parts with M240G, we’re still stuck with having to mold and load bullets that can only be used in that gun. Even the cartridges and projectiles can’t be refitted for use in other weapons (well, besides sniper rifles). At least a lightweight .50 machine gun can share its ammo with a Barret rifle, the M2, or a GAU-19 and we have plenty of it in stock.

      I’m not knocking the LWMMG, but ya gotta play devil’s advocate here when it comes to procurement of a new weapons system.

  • Leonard

    A lightweigh .50 cal MG is rather unnecessary. It would still be too heavy for carrying it around (especially due to the weight of its ammo). And if you mount it on vehicles, weight doesn’t really matter that much.
    Better give the troops a lightweight .338 MG and use .50 cal on vehicles only (and for anti-material rifles such as the M82, where you don’t need to carry thousands of rounds to fulfill your task)

    • Leonard

      Can anybody explain to me why I get several “thumbs down” when I said essentially the same as Nater did before my post (who only got “thumbs up” for that)? Or was it because of me basically saying the same (if so, sorry that I didn’t read all comments before posting)?

      • Phil White

        Leonard,

        That’s almost impossible to predict. We do have one person who will go through and put a negative check on every comment. Of course they can’t do that more than once. Don’t worry about it though. It is the Internet and sometimes you just have to let it roll off your shoulders.

      • Martin M

        I’ll give you an up, and a comment. While you are correct that it’s still too heavy to be man portable, the reduction in weight and recoil could make it useful in lighter platforms. Imagine mounting an XM806 on light recce vehicles or scout helos. Basically, the weight reduction allows you to have .50 firepower where you could only mount a MGM.

        • Retired Gunner

          The weight of the M2 isn’t why .50s aren’t being mounted on those light vehicles.

          It’s the weight and bulk of the ammunition feeding the gun.

          And that’s not going to change, no matter how light the gun gets.

      • Papabear

        Phil is right, don’t take it personal if your comments sometime get a bad welcome even when they’re reasonable cause the perspective of some reader could be preconceived, random or unprofessional so don’t worry and move on ;)

      • Leonard

        Thanks for your comments guys. I’m usually not letting a few silly downvotes get to me, but in this instance I really couldn’t figure out the reason for them, so I was curious…

      • Denny

        Every time you go into discussion you will get that, no matter who you are. Good for you that you have the guts to say what you think. Generally, I think the readership is decent and even generous at times. So, keep plugging! Cheers!

    • W

      I disagree leonard, but you bring up good points.

      I think having a lightweight 50 opens up new possibilities for the genre of heavy machine guns.

    • Nater

      Who knows? When you have a random clientele, you get random results.

  • mosinman

    tricksey DoD…. they trys to take the Precious!!!!!!

    • mosinman

      ah dang, that was supposed to be a reply…… :P

  • Esh325

    Why not replace the .50 BMG,7.62×51, and .300 winchester magnum with .338 round of some sort?

    • Anonymoose

      .338 LM doesn’t have near the anti-materiel capabilities of the .50 BMG, partly because you can’t legally make explosive rounds for the .338. Also, .338 LM is still not a NATO standard, unlike .50 BMG and 7.62×51.

      • Esh325

        Civilians can’t to my knowledge, but the military can.

      • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

        There is no calibre restriction as far as high-explosive/incendiary bullets is concerned – that was effectively abandoned in World War 1 when such bullets were developed for 7.92mm and .303 aircraft MGs for shooting at hydrogen-filled balloons and airships. Such bullets were also used by aircraft in WW2.

        There is an international ban (regardless of calibre) on developing and fielding military HEI bullets for use against people rather than planes, vehicles or other materiel targets. There was a fuss a decade or so ago over the Nammo Raufoss NM140 Multipurpose .50 bullet, currently in US service as the MK211, which contains explosive and incendiary materials. The makers had to demonstrate that it would not expode inside a person before it was accepted by the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross, who have the task of policing adherence to the Geneva Conventions).

  • jack Luz

    Where others have tried, the M2 still thrives. John Browning must be smiling somewhere.

  • Big Daddy

    Yes the DOD should cut this weapon and spend more on F-35s and F-22s that don’t work.

    Keep on taking away the firepower of the foot solider good move, keep on buying overpirced outdated weapons that don’t work for hundreds of billions of dollars. Yes what we need is another carrier group that don’t even have up to date aircraft on them…LMAO!!!!!!!!!

    The M2 is too heavy for smaller units to carry, as is the M19. It is great for vehicles but not as an offensive weapon. It’s great as a defensive weapon in established FOBs. I know I carried plenty of 50 cals., way too heavy for the infantry.

    This was the perfect weapon for infantry units that travel through rough terrain and need fire power within the company level. It could also supplement both the M240 and M2 on lighter vehicles and would be an upgrade as co-ax MGs in tanks and other armored vehicles like the M2/M3 Bradley. The Israelis are using 50 cals now in their tanks as co-ax MGs.

    I believe the DOD has to cut spending and become more efficient with the money they are allotted, this is NOT the way to do it. As a choice between this and the XM25, I think this weapon would be the better one. Better yet have both, give the boots on the ground the tools to WIN a battle.

    • W

      I have to say im with big daddy. Of course, in the bigger picture, aircraft and missiles are the deus ex machina of the battlefield, though 21st century, 4th generation warfare is infantry-centric, meaning it is wisest to invest in small arms and infantry systems.

      I believe the F35 is a wet dream and the F22’s results have been less than satisfactory. What is a slap in the face for the hundreds of billions spent in research and development is that the US navy and air force is untouchable. They have strength in numbers AND technological superiority.

  • Big Daddy

    And to those who say this weapon is replacing the M2, no…..not replacing at all. It’s just adding to the tools of the infantry. It can go places the M2 cannot. It fits perfectly between the M2 and the M240.

    The weapon is lighter and the ammo is lighter, it is man portable. The M2 is really not man portable although in practice it is. In reality it is not. The ammo alone is just too heavy.

    How many troops does it take to carry an M2 or MK19 and enough ammo for even one engagement?

    This substantial firepower in a weapon and ammo that can be carried by a squad realistically.

    I like the idea of using the money to update the M2 but that should have been done no matter what the outome of any other weapon.

    • Big Daddy

      I should have said that he ammo is not lighter less is needed.

      This weapon fires at a slower cyclic rate and is more inclinded to be used the way it was supposed to in short bursts and with more accuracy.

      I hope the DOD is still looking at the .338 General Dynamics GPMG.

  • Anonymous

    Like that wasn’t coming.

  • W

    sadness. I love the idea of a light heavy machine gun, much like the Russians did with the Kord.

    Sure the M2 50 cal is a revolutionary weapon system and has rightfully earned a excellent reputation. I believe, however, the future lies in a heavy machine gun light enough to be carried by individual infantrymen rather than limiting the caliber to vehicle/static mount.

  • Shilka-Gunluvr

    Just stick with what works until something demonstrably better supplants it. Personally besides optics I don’t see any major improvement for the M2.

    • Big Daddy

      It’s not about sticking with what works, it’s about giving light infantry extra firepower. They do not hump 50 cals into combat as far as I know. So they have to be brought in by chopper or vehicle. If you cannot get to their position by chopper or vehicle well oh sorry you just have to make do.

      Wait lets see if there’s a drone available, sorry not for 3 hours, maybe. A-10, oh no none here, how about some attack choppers, sorry they are all on a mission and we have to keep some ready just in case they need backup. So what should we do throw rocks?

      That happens all the time just ask any grunt. I know I have talked to vets of Afghanistan and Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, WWII from the US and other countries.

      Giving the infantry the light 50 cal would really help on the company level. So would the M32 and a host of other weapons the Army does not field. I hope the M25 works well and is given to the infantry at the platoon level.

      I also hope the general Dynamics .338 GPMG is not a pipe dream and it gets into their hands ASAP especially considering the end to the XM806. Maybe that’s the plan……..I can only hope.

      Whatever happened to the concept of giving the American warrior the best equipment that there is, without worrying about money, their lives do not have a monetary value on them. More propaganda from the American Government.

  • John Doe

    The only advantage of a lighter .50 that I can think of is in shipping and transport, where you can pack in more for the same price.

    Otherwise, still too heavy for practical movement by a grunt, and no better for vehicle mounting than the M2.

    Browning knew how to make a kick-ass machine gun.

  • arcanesoldierx

    Since this got cut Has there been any word on the fate/progress of the M249 replacement the LSAT LMG (Lightweight Small Arms Technologies) ???

    • Lance

      With more cuts coming LSAT looks set back by several years. ICC looks like victim #2.

  • Kalashie

    Can’t we just reverse-engineer the Kord, or at least take inspiration from it? It seems like the Army’s had 3 or so M2 replacement projects, and they’ve all been cancelled after delays and cost overruns.

  • Tyler Marcoz

    I really don’t see how even a lighter .50 was going to make it a weapon anyone was going to hump around on patrol. You can argue effectiveness, but it’s still going to slow you down compared to even a M240, even I’d you got it to weigh the same the .50 is bigger and more unwieldy and the ammo would be heavier as well.

    The lethality issues of 25mm grenades in airburst has been established pretty handily. I’m guessing the XM25 may solve this with volumn, but that’s got it’s own problems. And you can claim the rounds will get cheaper but they’ll never be as cheap as a .50 call round for the same job.

    I’d rather we get a 40mm AGL that actually works first. The Mk19 don’t cut it.

    I’m all for new tech. But don’t idolize the new to the sane slavish levels people do the old.

  • bbmg

    Why carry a 50 cal machinegun at all? What sort of targets are present on the modern battlefield that justify its weight of fire.

    An accurate semi-automatic 50 cal rifle is lighter and much more economical with ammunition. If you’re beyond the effective range of a 7.62 GPMG, clearly the enemy is far enough for you to have some time to take decent aim with a rifle.

    You can carry three Barrett XM500s for the weight of one M2, and these are much more likely to hit their targets at distance, and can be more readily dispersed and concealed.

    • Shilka-Gunluvr

      I agree. Instead of adding more technically complicated equipment to a weapons system that works well enough make more of them and use off the shelf equipment to optimize their deployment and refine the tactics and logistics of how they’re used.

    • SmallEwok

      Machine Guns provide suppressing fire in a way that sniper rifles do not.

      • bbmg

        I’m no combat veteran or military tactician, but from the comfort of my armchair this seems to make more sense.

        If I have five guys available, I would think it’s better to have three guys with accurate long range rifles taking out specific targets with another two guys humping the ammo, as opposed to four guys humping ammo for another one spraying wildly in the general direction of the enemy.

      • bbmg

        I didn’t mean to diminish the value of suppressive fire by the way, but if all you’re doing is keeping the enemy’s head down, why use a larger calibre when you can use a 7.62 machinegun?

        If it’s about range, the latter calibre can reach out to several thousand yards with ease, so the heavier rounds do not seem to offer any real benefit given the weight penalty incurred.

      • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

        To have a suppressive effect, what matters most is getting the bullets close to the target. The sound of a gun firing in the distance doesn’t suppress, the sound of bullets flying past your ears does. So accuracy is more important than rate of fire. Snipers with bolt-action rifles have been known to suppress entire platoons (or more) for some time.

        The ballistics of small-arms ammunition therefore matter in achieving good suppression at long ranges. So 7.62mm is better than 5.56mm, .338 is better than 7.62mm. .50 cal isn’t any more accurate at long range than .338 (probably less) but it does have the bonus of a bigger and heavier bullet which makes a louder supersonic “crack” on the way past – and the bigger the noise, the better the suppression.

      • supression

        The majority of the bullets fired during *all wars* have been for supressive fire.
        Anyone who thinks that three sniper rifles = one belt fed machine gun is completely off their rocker.

    • Charles222

      Basically vehicles, or any target with more than minimal cover. The M240 is marginal against even regular cars, and 7.62 is also not particularly effective against building walls and so on. Not to mention that the .50 is remarkably versatile in what it can penetrate-the SLAP round will penetrate BMP armor from the sides, for example. The Barrett and the M2 really aren’t in the same category, especially from a vehicle use POV-an RWS could easily flip over to semi and “reach out and touch someone” at any range the Barrett could, and, you know, also be a .50-cal machine gun.

      • bbmg

        The BMP has some pretty serious firepower to shoot back with though.

        A Barrett looks a lot easier to conceal than an M2 on a tripod, especially if fitted with this little gadget: http://www.barrett.net/firearms/qdlsuppressor – and remember, for the same weight we have three of them available – so who is more likely to take out the BMP first without being hit?

        50 calibre anti-material rifles have a proven record of taking out vehicles, and are much less likely to cause collateral damage which is an increasing concern.

        On a vehicle mounting where weight is less of a concern and plenty of ammunition is at hand, naturally an M2 would seem like a natural choice. For the infantry though, they want to make the most of the limited ammunition they can carry, so a wider distribution of an accurate semi-automatic lighter weapon seems to make more sense.

      • Nicks87

        “The M240 is marginal against even regular cars, and 7.62 is also not particularly effective against building walls and so on”

        ^^This statement is very inaccurate and thats all I can say without violating the comment policy.

      • Mike

        The only problem with the m240 being ineffective on vehicels and walls is that the army dosnt issue any other ammo than cheapest shitty lead core ball. (m80) They should buy hundreds of milions of m993 armor piercing cartridges (for 1 bilion dollar) and issue them in huge numbers… Then the problem whould dissapeir. But they will not spend a bilion dollar on small caliber ammo… New soliders are cheaper…

  • Charles222

    That’s nice Nicks, as I’ve seen an M240 light up a car and the occupants not suffer serious injury. So feel free to keep make funny threats bout the comment policy. :D

    • Retired Gunner

      Bullshit.

      An M240 will shoot right through a car and anyone sitting in it. The engine block will stop rounds, but it’s not casting much of a “bullet shadow.” The rest is nothing more than thin sheet metal.

      I’ve shot up more than one car, and no one inside at the time went anywhere except into a bag.

  • Charles222

    Bbmg: What everyone is getting at in this thread is that .50 ammo is too heavy for a dismount role. Because it is. As for .50 vs a BMP-I’m not saying its recommended, just *possible* in an emergency.

    • bbmg

      That’s the point I’m trying to make – losing a few pounds will not make the M2 practical for the infantry, nor will it affect vehicle mounted weapons – so why bother at all?

  • Anonymoose

    Maybe someday the XM806 program can be revived, or better yet, redesigned with a higher ROF. I don’t want to see this suffer the same fate as the XM8…

  • fubo

    why is the guy in the video wearing a pink tie? Is he a ‘lightweight’ caliber?