M27 DM role, front sights ditched, and other Marine Corps News

635914060329876117-MAR-marksmanship-course-1

Two articles recently came out in the Marine Corps Times (which has absolutely no affiliation or endorsement by the USMC) concerning a variety of small arms related topics. The first one is a sort of M27 qualification that some Twenty Nine Palms battalions participated in (3/4, 3/7), called the Designated Marksmanship Course for the M27. This qualification is completely separate from the Marine Corps standard Table 1 that consists of the annual rifle qualification all Marines have to complete once a year. In this case, M27 gunners from these two battalions worked on unknown distance target engagement from 200 meters out to 600 meters. Gunners worked with spotters and followed a very similar method used by Sniper Platoons in that they have a time limit in estimating the target range, then have another time limit in which they must engage the targets, and if they miss, they have to reengage within three to five seconds or so. Unfortunately, per how a fire team operates, this isn’t how an M27 is employed in a live fire attack or on a typical patrol. Doesn’t it make sense and could an M27 gunner be used in this capacity? Of course, the chances that it could happen in are less than often, in combat.

Over the three-week course that ended Jan. 28, about a dozen Marines in two-man shooter-spotter teams from 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, and 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, honed their abilities to use the IAR to identify and engage targets up to 600 yards.

As an organic asset supporting tactical movement, riflemen acting as marksmen for a squad need the ability reach out and touch a target, said 1st Lt. Lauren Luther, officer in charge of the marksmanship unit and chief instructor for the course.

“It’s about finding what the Marines ‘doing the do’ — the maneuver units, the rifle companies and rifle platoons — need to be more deadly,” she said. “Marines at the squad level aren’t leaving the wire with match-grade ammunition, good optics or a sniper rifle, they’re leaving the wire with an IAR, green-tip ammunition and a [standard day optic]; [we wanted] to cover down on what they actually need.

“You’d be shocked at how bad Marines are at guessing, like 700 meters for a target that was at 275 meters,” she said. “Range estimation comes into everything we do, whether it’s call for fire, small-arms marksmanship or setting a cordon for an [improvised explosive device]; it can be taught, but it’s a very perishable skill.”

The course culminated in a real-world scenario in which each shooter-spotter team went out to the field at Range 113 at Twentynine Palms.

They were allowed 40 minutes to positively identify 10 targets at ranges between 275 and 600 yards, taking conditions such as terrain, sunlight and wind speed into consideration.

When the 40 minutes were up, the shooter engaged each target; if he missed any, he was given three seconds to adjust and re-engage.

All this is very interesting, considering that the M27 is entering into an odd sort of requirements. The initial need for it to replace the M249 SAW, was using its fully automatic capability, and extreme accuracy. However the second, we are looking at it in a Designated Marksman role. Especially in going out to 600 or 700 meters, we’re looking at the ballistic limits of the 5.56 Green Tip ammunition. This is pretty much budging into territory that was occupied by the 5.56 Mark 12 DM rifle, used in the later portions of the war in Afghanistan (which, for anyone who didn’t know, was built on A1 receivers with the full auto capability). So now we have a rifle with the capability of doing both the SAWs previous job, and the former DM rifles job, in one. Another tidbit I would like to add to this discussion is that everyone thinks the SAW went away completely. It hasn’t, in the least. The SAWs in the victor units in the Fleet, and the Reserves are still being maintained, and are now organic to the weapons platoons in the line companies. So the SAWs are still there, available for use at the CO’s discretion, they just aren’t being used.

A4

The second article has to do with phasing out the front sight, the three point sling, and carrying handle for the M16A4, and M4 rifles. Current front sights that are integral to the rifle will apparently be replaced with a simple gas block and bayonet stud. A picatinny mounted front sight will be added to the forward rail in place of the previous front sight. The article wasn’t too clear on how this replacement would occur as this would entail some work at the unit armorer level to take every single front sight off of the rifles in that unit. Personally I don’t see a problem with the front sight to begin with, it doesn’t show up in the RCO, it helps protect the front portion of the rail, it’s extremely rugged, and it is one less thing to get lost, like a front picatinny mounted sight would be. However, the phasing out of the three point sling, and the carrying handle has been going on for some time, since at least 2012 with the three point being replaced by the Vickers two point, and the carrying handle being replaced by the Knight’s Armament picatinny mounted rear sight. The article also mentioned that the SOPMOD stock (which actually stands for Special Operations Peculiar Modification, had no idea about the Peculiar part) might be coming at least to the M4 carbines, replacing those current stocks that are routinely seen as garbage, and possibly the M16A4s with a buffer tube enhancement (which shouldn’t make any sense, as the Corps is replacing every M16A4 with an M4 soon). One of the other bits of news mentioned is that light bearing holsters will be coming to the Fleet for M9A2s. This is great, considering that most of the Fleet is still being issued those old green flap holsters, but there hasn’t been any mention of a weapon light for these rail mounted M9A2s (also seeing that the majority of M9s in the Fleet are the older versions with no rail). Either way, holster and light companies out there should take this as an opportunity for a contract.


Miles Vining

Prior Infantry Marine and currently studying at Indiana University. I’m an avid shooter, you’ll find me most at home picking apart an interesting rifle or pistol. When not receiving horrible results at Steel Challenge competitions, I’m busy learning Pashtu, cycling long distance, and getting outdrunk by the English. I’ve written for Small Arms Review/Small Arms Defense Journal, Combat & Survival magazine, Forgotten Weapons, and SHTF Journal. Feel free to contact me at miles@tfb.tv


Advertisement

  • Ron

    The Marine Corps is not replacing all the A4s with M4s, all infantry and infantry like units going M4 pure. All other units will use a mix of M16A4s and M4s
    I am not sure where “Phasing Out the Front Sight” unless you mean an increased emphasis on the RCO and recognition that the irons are the degraded mode of operations.

    • Evan

      Read the article. They apparently plan on actually removing them from the rifles and replacing them with a low profile gas block

      • SCW

        Could you please provide the quote where it says they will be removing the FSB and replacing it with a low profile one? I can’t seem to find anything.

        • schizuki

          Last paragraph:

          “Current front sights that are integral to the rifle will apparently be replaced with a simple gas block and bayonet stud. A picatinny mounted front sight will be added to the forward rail in place of the previous front sight.”

    • Anonymoose

      The other units that already have M4s will keep them, and most of the non-infantry already do. They will probably just be converting their A4s to M4s (all that is required is a simple rebarrel and restock). They will go to a flip-up front sight on a railed gas block, not a straight-up “lo-pro” ground-down gas block.

    • Bullphrog855

      It’s a shame to see the M16s go, I feel like M4s and M16s synergize well

  • Lt M

    It’s not a new phenomenon – in the UK we had the L86 Light Support Weapon which morphed into a sub-600m marksman rifle until it was recently replaced by the L129A1 Sharpshooter Rifle.

  • Charlie Taylor

    This article made me think that maybe the objective in having the M27 replace the M249 at the squad level was to replace suppressive automatic fire with suppressive pinpoint fire. Same objective, keep the enemies’ heads down, but done with less ammo and probably more dead bad guys in the end.

    As for the irons, it’s about damned time but I’m curious if they’re going to replace the current quad rail with a free-float forend? I can’t imagine that a front folding sight on the current rail system would hold zero for very long.

    • Bullphrog855

      I haven’t read the article yet, but I’ve done a lot of research on this guns intended role and that’s what they were going for. There was research done on how sustain fire effected veterans and it drops off greatly as the enemy becomes less green. A volley of fire landing some where near by stops being as impressive after so many times apparently (I haven’t experienced it though).

      So the Marines took on the approach that a small amount of well place shots is more effective at scaring veteran soldiers due to the implied lethality of, well, accurate shooting. There still be saws to fill that niche though.

      • CommonSense23

        What would be nice if they could start getting belts of 855A1 for the saw so it could do accurate suppression at the 600 to 800 yard range.

        • Bullphrog855

          Are the Marines still being picky about the 855a1? I stop following what was happening with that.

          • CommonSense23

            Probably. Make it out of the MK318 then. The SAW’s biggest weakness is without a doubt the M855. I made some of the guys we were training link together a couple hundred rounds of MK262. Vastly improved the guns accuracy.

          • lowell houser

            If the M855A1 is noticeably more expensive than the MK318 then expect the Corps to fight adoption with everything it has. I have a feeling that the MK318 is probably a little more effective for an unarmored target but the reality is that there’s only so much longer before the people shooting at us are first world troops wearing SAPI plates like ours, and M855A1 is clearly superior for defeating that.

          • Squirreltakular

            Does the M885A1 offer much better penetration than the regular green tip? Because M885 doesn’t do diddly against level 4 plates. That’s why we train to aim for the head and pelvic girdle, and why I’m assuming there are stockpiles of M995 waiting for a war with a major power.

            In the meantime, I’d rather have a round that punches through intermediate barriers better and fragments more reliably in soft tissue, ie. Mk318.

          • Uniform223

            “In the meantime, I’d rather have a round that punches through intermediate barriers better and fragments more reliably in soft tissue, ie. Mk318”

            The M855A1 has proven to do all those.

            as to which round is “better” than the other is really anyone’s GUESS until there is some kind of documentation that proves one or the other.

          • Squirreltakular

            Hot damn, that’s awesome. Can’t trust everything you hear online, once again. Thanks for the links.

          • Uniform223

            You’re welcome.

  • ARCNA442

    I read the article and I don’t see anything about the front sight, much less replacing the front sight base with a low profile gas block. My bet is that they were referring solely to the rear sight.

    • Twilight sparkle

      I’m pretty sure the gun doesn’t even have a front sight gas block to begin with, it’s short stroke piston driven and I’ve never seen a piston front sight gas block.

  • Lance

    Think this is stupidity at its zenith. Iron sights never where a issue with RCOs and ditching training with them is stupid for any new Marine recruit its better to learn basic rifle marksmanship before they goto RCOs and other sights. Its possible a RCO to be damaged in combat its poor for the marines not to train a Marine to use iron sights. Overall like past meddling by tacti cool generals this will impact our solders and marines readiness and skills in combat just to look good for Pentagon tacti coolers. Sad to see the military go so far down south these days.

    • Jack

      Won’t they still learn irons in basic training/boot camp first? I havent read whole lot of stories from guys in combat recently that have had too many problems with their primary optics and had to transition to irons. Its a good idea for troops to learn irons obviously, but at some point its kinda like making a Calvary soldier stay proficient in riding a horse. Not saying it won’t come in handy some time, but you gotta stay relevant, only so many training hours in a day and muscle memory takes lots of maintenance, modern shooting techniques with red dots often contradict methodology for irons. Red dots are faster if you are not so concerned with cheek weld and buttstock contact and shoot eyes open. Those methods are not so great on irons. Troops need to learn the basics of irons in boot and then train on red dots, trijicons etc and keep those skills sharp.

      • Evan

        My understanding is that the Corps trains on RCOs in boot camp nowadays. Back in ’03 when I went to boot camp, we still used irons, but I understand they made the switch a few years back now.

        • Squirreltakular

          The first boot camp platoons to qual with RCOs did so in 2011, I think.

      • Mr. Kill

        As of a couple years ago, the whole bootcamp is with an RCO attached. Drill, hiking, shooting. No irons. Irons are covered briefly in MCT with the M240G, but not enough to ensure the same proficiency.

      • GD Ajax

        Ignore Lance. He’s an M4/M16 fanboy who think serving in the Coast Guard makes you a gun expert.

      • Ron

        The reason irons are taught as a secondary is that they are there for the degraded mode of operation. So why spend all of the initial training on a means of operation that is not the standard? And when you throw in the rule of primacy (what someone learns first, they do best) it did not make sense to not train for the primary mode.
        It also takes 2-3x times more time to detrain and retain someone on something new, and never get that same 3 weeks of focus on marksmanship training on most of the operating forces.

    • Kyle

      I mean I don’t know about other units but I know in mine we didn’t carry around the carrying handle in a pouch. So if my RCO got jacked up in the field somehow my ability to use iron sights would have been irrelevant since I would have only had a front sight post to work with. The carrying handles were all kept in the armory under the correct assumption that LCpls would have lost the damn things all the time.

  • KestrelBike

    What the… Removing the front sight will greatly diminish the ability to index the hand for order arms…

    • Evan

      Because that’s really useful for anything past boot camp.

      • Joseph Smith

        Why do you hate America?

        [returns to parade rest]

    • skusmc

      “Order!…”

      *platoon clicks front sight release simultaneously

      • Anonymoose

        That’s funny, because the KAC sights they’ll be issuing aren’t spring-loaded. 😀

    • Anonymoose

      They’re probably going to put a railed gas block and KAC folding sights on the front, so it won’t be that bad. Hopefully they remember that most railed gas blocks are not on the same plane as the upper receiver rail. I’m certain they won’t put the new front sights on the RAS because the normal models aren’t free-floating and KAC doesn’t make the free-floated versions anymore.

      • Gunner4guy

        You really are asking a lot for those folks to figure out. Next thing you know they’ll be issuing the Manual of Arms for an M14(God Rest It’s Soul!).

  • Kyle

    What the hell? Since when is the RCO not a “good optic”? In what context are these not good? My mind is blown by that claim. The only reason I haven’t bought one for myself in civilian life is because they are so damn expensive. They are extremely tough, accurate, and easy to use. I mean the reticle is a little confusing at first but once you zero it and learn what everything is it is assuredly a top tier optic.

    • Anonymoose

      If you ever do decide to get an RCO, save up a couple hundred more and buy an MGO instead. The 3.5 ACOGs have a lot better eye relief and FOV than the 4x ACOGs.

      • Rob

        It is counter intuitive but the 4x RCO has a larger field of view than the 3.5x MGO. 36.8ft @ 100y for the RCO while the MGO has field of view of 28.9ft at the same distance. The reduced field of view at a lower magnification along with a longer and 4oz heavier scope is the price you pay for longer eye relief.

        However, I agree that the MGO is the better scope.

      • Squirreltakular

        The TA33 is considerably better than the RCO, as well.

      • BigR

        I’ve been out of the loop for too many years! Please tell me what an RCO, MGO, 3.5 ACOG, and FOV. I’ve been away from anything military for so many years, I don’t know what’s what. I’m just an old worn out deer hunter with a bolt action rifle and a Leupold scope. But, I do own an AR today.

        • Anonymoose

          The TA31 Rifle Combat Optic is the 4x ACOG (there’s 3 different reticles, iirc, for M16s and M4s) standardized by the Army and Marines. These are distinct from the old 4x TA01 ACOG adopted by SOCOM way back in the day, and basically unchanged since the mid-1980s. The TA11 MGO is the 3.5x ACOG used by the Marines on their M249s and M27s, and has a better eye relief (you have to get really close up with a 4x ACOG). There are also Machine Gun Optics

  • SCW

    Where did the author learn to read? The article says nothing about replacing the FSB with a “simple gas block and bayonet stud”.

    “The legacy iron sights will be replaced with micro backup iron sights,
    which are modular attachments that can be affixed to a rifle’s rail
    mount and flipped up for use.”

    That’s all it says.

    • schizuki

      Well, one assumes they wouldn’t put on a BUIS in ADDITION to the FSB. And it clearly says “will be replaced by”. What other conclusion could you possibly draw?

    • schizuki

      I see your point. Reading the original article, they could just be referring to the rear sights.

  • Major Tom

    So the rumors about the M27 being a stealth replacement for other rifles (particularly the M4) might have some more weight behind it.

    • gunsandrockets

      Seriously? Just because of some DMR style training for automatic-riflemen?

      I’m astonished that anyone still gives any weight to those completely unsupported rumors about the M27 since the USMC announcement of the M4 replacing the M16 in infantry roles.

      Even if the USMC was so inclined about the M27, which they clearly are not, where would they get the money? The entire DoD is on a crash diet, many top line programs have spiraling runaway cost increases, but the USMC will throw away money on the expensive M27 to replace the cheap M4?

      But I guess some people just can’t let go of conspiracy theories.

  • Squirreltakular

    The DM training with the M27 has been going on for at least a couple years now. When you consider how firefights in the open terrain of Afg. tended to play out, I can see it being a good idea. Who knows, with the current shift that we’re seeing back towards being able to fight in the jungle, maybe we’ll start seeing two-man scout teams added to the T/O squad a la Vietnam.

  • Jambo

    The M27 is a mistake. The sustained rate of fire is way too low to be effective at suppression. I don’t know why people think the SAW is that inaccurate. A well-trained gunner can hit targets at any required range.

    The Army has it right with the LSAT.

    • TheSmellofNapalm

      Can’t clear rooms with a SAW.

      • CommonSense23

        Yes you can. Its not that large of a weapon.

        • TheSmellofNapalm

          That’s easy to say behind a desk. Unless you’ve done it personally, and can verify that an M4-style weapon isn’t more convenient or effective, your opinion is moot.

          • CommonSense23

            Considering I have. And my MK46 and my MK18 when suppressed were roughly within a inch of each other length wise. It’s more than capable of clearing rooms. Would I have preferred just using a my MK18. Of course. But my MK46 was capable of doing the job.

          • Uniform223

            If you’re assigned the SAW during MOUT exercises or in combat and you’re tasked/ordered to clear and secure a building/structure; you can’t say,

            “Oh I have SAW so I can’t go room to room with you guys”

            The ONLY people who have that free pass is the 240 guys.

        • Uniform223

          The M249 SAW Para is better for room to room and MOUT stuff than the original SAW.

      • Uniform223

        You can… its just not ideal.

    • Petto

      Well the 30 round magazine LMG isn’t a good idea to begin with.

  • DIR911911 .

    and yet you can clearly see the fold down sight in the picture

  • iksnilol

    So an AR with a heavy barrel is a decent DMR?

    Who’da thunk that?

  • Petto

    Interesting , it seems almost like the Marines want Hk416’s instead of M4/M16
    so they now want to create a psuedo 416 heh

  • lowell houser

    No training with irons? Beyond stupid. Spending money to replace the FSB that causes no issues Oh thank God, FINALLY. Do like the civilian market and replace it with a compact flip-up and you can have it on the rifle ready to use if you have to pull the ACOG off because you’ve somehow managed to break it(Marines can break anything).

    Pretty sure that at some point the M16A4s will eventually be retrofitted to M4A1s. The idea of a 16 inch barreled carbine as a DMR has always mystified me, and maybe some of those M16s will instead be made in heavy barreled SPRs or something. For that matter, I’m still not sold on a 5.56 as a DMR. Once the Corps is forced kicking and screaming to adopt the M855A1 and M80A1 we’ll see how effective they are stacked against the other.

    For everyone knocking rifle drill, understand something, rifle drill instills instant obedience to orders, but as a side effect it also instills in the Marine a sense of mastery over the rifle. Everyone else will talk about weight, a Marine is used to flipping around their eight pound rifle like it’s nothing because at that point it is nothing. And that sense of confidence transfers to every aspect of handling the rifle.

    • Evan

      Rifle drill does none of that. The way they instill obedience to orders is by smoking you if you don’t instantly obey. And mastery of the rifle? That’s entirely separate from all that snap pop nonsense. Basically, if the Marine Corps spent half the time they waste on drill at boot camp teaching useful skills, Marines would graduate far better trained than they do. Drill is essentially just filler, it helps with military bearing, but that’s really it. I thought it was a waste of time at boot camp, and I never once did it in the fleet.

      • Uniform223

        Remember you’re taking someone from off the street and making them a professional soldier/marine. Smoking the new young privates instills fear and obedience within the first week… so does shouting and lots of threatening. D&C teaches those raw recruits how to listen and how to follow orders. It teaches them how to move as one cohesive unit. It may seem useless but there is a method to the madness.

        • Evan

          I’ve heard all the reasons behind it, and maybe you’re right for the first couple weeks, but overall, I don’t buy it. In the Corps at least, we spend way too much time at boot camp on useless nonsense like obliques and column of files and whatnot. None of this is stuff that anyone in the Fleet Marine Force will ever use. On the other hand, we do next to no patrolling whatsoever. That’s something useful, it teaches a real military skill in addition to broader general things like moving as a unit, and it wouldn’t cause any extra expenditures. Also, the Marine Corps emphasizes the known distance rifle range. I have no problem with this, it builds a solid base of knowledge for marksmanship, but I think that after qualifying on the KD range, recruits should spend at least an equal amount of time on practical combat marksmanship. No loop slings and range notebooks, I’m talking moving targets, unknown distances, imperfect positions, gear, etc. This is real practical military skill, though it would cost a lot more. Basically, all the snap pop stuff comes at the expense of actual military training.

          • Uniform223

            Could recruits learn more from being taught other skills. DEFINITELY. I am not oppose to that at all. How often does a soldier/marine use D&C skills when they get to their unit. Almost never, very very few and far in between (unless you are part of an honor guard).

            Really D&C is more military tradition than anything else and anyone who has been in knows how much the military loves and adheres to tradition (written and unwritten). I heard this all throughout my time in the military, “there is a method to the madness”. Sometimes I can see it and understand it other times (most), I couldn’t… (depending on the situation).

          • Gunner4guy

            Sometimes it’s just….madness. We spent a certain amount of time on D&C…. and moved on to practical subjects like where would Charley hide punji stick traps, how to spot tripwires, patrolling w/o giving away you were, how to walk point, etc.
            When we came back to the world was time enough for all the spit ‘n’ polish to impress the CG we knew our s&%t out on the parade field during change of command ceremonies. We might have been a touch rusty but we knew the basics and with some practice…. Just don’t expect us to look like The Old Guard. “Of the Troops, For the Troops”

      • Ron

        Drill is still done partially because it was always done, but helps teach attention to detail and instant obedience to order. More importantly drill actually is low impact PT, we can only do so much high impact PT so having them march back and forth across the grinder and manipulate weapons helps get them in shape.

    • Squirreltakular

      I thought we were set on the Mk318. Why would we adopt the M855A1?

      • Uniform223

        because congress actually has a real brilliant idea to have the US Military as a whole adopt the same types of ammunition.

        • Squirreltakular

          Ugh. I forgot about that.

          • Ron

            Mk318 was an interim solution adopted for OEF only, the Marine Corps at the Army-Marine Corps Board stated they would adopted the same round as the Army once the fouling problems were solved.

          • Squirreltakular

            Seems like a far better all-purpose round than M855A1, though.

          • Uniform223

            I reserve judgement between the two rounds until their is some type of documentation between the two and a NON-BIAS youtube video that actually shows the difference between the two.

  • Captain obvious

    One can use the standard front sight post to estimate range pretty effectively and actually using a sling as a shooting support works well. It has proven effective for over 100 years. Maybe they ought to be teaching fundamental marksmanship skills.

  • Joe

    Facts:
    1. M-27 IAR ~ 1 MOA
    2. Mk 12 ~ 2 MOA
    3. M16A4/M4A1 ~ 4 MOA
    4. No such thing as an M9A2
    5. Efective Suppressive Fire IS NOT determined by the rounds per minute a weapon is capable of firing, the diameter of the bullets, or the capacity of the ammunition feed device.
    6. Mk 318 ammo puts less stress on carbines than M855-A1 does.
    7. Going to a flip up front sight is an excellent idea, as long as it is made possible by using a free float rail/handguard.
    8. In the same time frame the Corps has gone from the M16A2 to the M4, Marines of yesteryear went from the M-1903, to the M-1 to the M-14, to the M16A1.Close order drill manual of arms may change. Let not your hearts be troubled POG’s Drill isn’t going anywhere.
    9. The reason you “Cant do room clearing /CQB” with a belt fed is not due to the size of the weapon and EVERYTHING to do with mean stoppage rates. SAW’S suck. They definitley aren’t made to stay in service for 30 years, hell the ones made last year suck.
    10. 40 minutes to observe targets before firing is….. well the female officer in charge of this course of fire must have enough time to read do her makeup between relays.

    • ron

      Joe,
      The Mk12 and M-27 are both 2 MOA weapons, semi-precision in Marine Corps parlances .

      • Joe

        I haven’t seen the M-27 listed anywhere as a 2 MOA rifle, only as 1 MOA from the factory. Granted after being shot, humped, dropped, and handled by 14 LCPL’s in a year it will likely be a 3 MOA rifle.

        • CommonSense23

          Where are you getting a M27 is more accurate than a MK12 from?

          • Uniform223

            Because its made out of material of German folklore and forged in the pits old German gods and creatures of the legend…

          • Ron

            The M27 barrels are near match grade accurate, it could be the hammer forging, it could be the polygonal rifling, it could be the taper bore or it could be a combination of all the above in caged chassis (military term for free floating when it comes to the M16 Family of Weapons).

          • Uniform223

            So you don’t exactly know?

            M27s are good rifles but they aren’t the second coming of Baby Jesus in the fire arms industry.

            weapon harmonics… I recommend you look it up.

            If both rifles/carbine were made out of the same material. Same manufacturing process. Had the same barrel. Same free float rail/hand guard. Same ammo. Same trigger. Same shooter. Same environment. Everything being EXACTLY the same, yet the only thing that was different was the gas operating system. Which one do you think would be more inherently accurate?

          • Ron

            That is kind of silly argument because no one is making a DI gun with all the same specs as the M27 right now.

            It is not a matter of one factors but many factors that leads to the HK guns doing better; the caged barrel improvement has been quantified by caged barrel experiments during the PIP testing. Other than that no one has ever sat down quantified its improved accuracy is 50 percent barrel, 10 percent handguard, 30 percent trigger and 10 percent unicorn gas.

            All that aside HK seems to make good barrels and in Marine Corps endurance testing they have lasted over 3 times longer than Colt and FN made M4 and A4 barrels

          • Uniform223

            “That is kind of silly argument because no one is making a DI gun with all the same specs as the M27 right now.”

            and IF they did what then?

            There are plenty of manufacturers that make their ARs with very good quality… both piston and DI. No parts are ever exactly same of course because sometimes they just want all their items to be proprietary. This doesn’t mean that one is absolutely superior over the other (as you are insinuating). If I were to take a KAC SR-15 and run it against the best build from BCM can I say that one is absolutely better than the other? If I did this all on my own without any set standard and without the use of scientific method, can I make draw an absolute conclusion? Remember most of what is seen around the interwebs are often “non scientific”. They are just SIMPLE tests. Though they are impressive, they are not absolutely conclusive.

            That is why I purposed the hypothetical that if an AR-15 was built exactly the same and fired in exactly the same conditions but the only difference between the two is their gas operating system. Then and only then can we claim that one is absolutely superior to the other in all means, manners, and conditions.

            If you’re trying to argue that the M27 is the best “because of this” and “because of that”, but you’re not measuring it to a set standard without empirical data to back your claim then it is all personal opinion.

          • Ron

            “and IF they did what then?” they don’t so it is a meaningless argument.
            You most certainly could build a more accurate gun than the M27 by putting together everything known to create a more accurate M16 FOW (many of those things are implemented into the M27) but your argument is sophistry at best, if not just being argumentative.
            No one is arguing if DI or Short Stroke Piston is better, what I have seen said it the M27 is more accurate than the M4/A4 and meets the same accuracy requirements as the Mk12. It is able to do this while able to fire its UBL of ammo in sufficient burst lengths to cover the gap in fires created when the rest of the team maneuvers
            The testing done by both the Army and Marine Corps IRT the M27s do show significant rigor with statistically significant sample sizes. The Army produced ones (and some of the Marine ones) are available on DTIC, and the Marine are available to Marines who have access.

        • Ron

          The 2 MOA comes from the testing done during the M27 as the service rifle testing done several years ago and the M27 as the replacement for the Mk12 done by PP&O a couple of years ago

  • Ron

    The Marine Corps time, aka the Marine Corps Enquire mashes together several years worth of marksmanship symposiums and concepts. There was a branch plan to PIP A4s and M4s with a replacement URG without a front sight, that has been on hold because of costs. Similarly Gen Amos did direct looking at the M27 as a service rifle replacement but that to was too expensive, H&K would take several years at surge rates to produce enough guns, and the cost per system was pretty high for marginal improvement you got.

  • CommonSense23

    Heres the thing. The MK12 is a sub minute gun with match grade ammunition. It gets its 2MOA accuracy from shooting MK262, which is a two minute round.
    What SOAST round? Are you referring to the SOST MK318. Cause that is definitely not a SUB 1MOA round. And where are you pulling these numbers from to begin with. They are absolutely insane. 35MOA for a AK47. And that link is just full of laughably bad information.

    • Joe

      I did not write that peice. In my rush to provide you with where I have heard it I pulled the first item I could find. SOAST was however clearly a typo referring to Mk 318. And my guess is that 35 MOA was supposed to be 3.5 MOA. I have heard the 1 MOA figure in regards to the M27 various places. The former Commandant supposedly shot a 6″ group at 500 yards with one. Which is closer to 1 MOA than 2 MOA. I have heard that figure from fellow Marines in 1st LAR, and 7th Marines as well, who got said info from there unit Gunners.

      • CommonSense23

        So you have no actual documentation on any of your claims?

        • Joe

          As much documentation as all the “M27 IAR is a 2 MOA” Rifle” claimed have. I have second and third hand accounts from vetted SME’s but no linkable audio quotes or written transcripts. Between working 50 hours a week, getting married 5 days ago, and having 2 children. I haven’t been able to find any more documentation. I’m working on it.

          • CommonSense23

            HKs own advertising specs of the gun state that it shoots under 4MOA(with averages of 2.5MOA) with M855. Which is normal for any gun shooting M855 these days. Cause M855 is a round you can shoot a couple ten round groups that easily make 2-2.5 minutes out of a M4, then that next group opens up magically.
            And you stated that MK318 is like a match grade M855, which the rounds aren’t even close to being similar other than they are 62gr and 5.56. That AKs are 35MOA, then must have been 3.5 MOA which would make them better than the M16/M4 in terms of technical specs. Or the saw is a 25MOA gun. Not sure what specs you are going off of there. Cause thats definitely not right. Or how a gas piston is going to put less pressure on the bolt face than a DI shooting the same ammo? You started off with a list of facts, which makes absolutely no sense with any sort of actual understanding of the firearms you are referencing.

          • Joe

            Like I said before I DID NOT WRITE THAT PEICE. You asked for links I gave you the first one I could find, albeit not a good one. I do not agree with the 35 MOA AK, or the 249 25 MOA numbers.

          • Joe

            Out of the 10 facts I listed which ones do you believe make no sense?

          • Uniform223

            given the FACT that you don’t source ANY information for your alleged 10 “facts” that could all seem like guestimated assumptions. Especially for points 1,2,3,5, and 6. The rest looks like personal opinion. 9 is is personal assumption based on opinion (possibly with no experience).

          • CommonSense23

            1,2, and 3 are all ammo dependent. I put MK262 in a M4A1, it’s going to shoot tighter groups than 4MOA, and more than likely shoot tighter groups than a M27 shooting M855.

          • Joe

            True. My whole point is the M27 shouldn’t be discredited as a faulty choice as a DMR, or be seen as something that could not be pressed into that role. If an M4A1 CQBW will shoot tighter groups with MK262 ammo than a M27 IAR will with M855 than I think we are in somewhat of an agreeance.

          • Uniform223

            you’re almost arguing semantics of what constitutes as a DMR.

          • Joe

            It just irks me that people who’ve never been in a firefight, or served at all argue over which weapons system is better, which one provides better “suppressive fire”.
            Or that the entire IAR concept is flawed because its not a belt fed.
            Or that an IAR that is every bit as accurate as a DMR could never, or should never be used as a DMR.

          • CommonSense23

            The IAR concept is flawed cause they are not using a belt fed. They got themselves a DMR trying to full fill a belt fed role and its not going to work. If they wanted to make the Saw more accurate, then they should have stopped using M855 for the thing. I ran a MK46 a good bit. The idea that someone can keep up suppressive fire running 30 round mags versus a 200 round boxed of link is insane.
            They also went and got a rifle that while can fill that role DMR well, its expensive, going to be breaking a lot, and really doesn’t offer that impressive of performance upgrade over a M4A1.

          • Joe

            Then you fundamentally misunderstand the difference between not only an IAR and a LMG and are getting thier roles confused.
            As well as not understanding what suppressive fire truly is, it’s intent, or how there can be effective and ineffective suppressive fire based off of who you are fighting, the weapons being used to provide it, and the individual situationsafety that require it’s use.
            As a relatable anology from American Military small arms history, the M-1 Carbine was never intended to fully supplant or replace the M1911A1, it was an addition to the weapons organic to the Infantry in WW2.
            Belt fed, effective suppressive fire will still be available to the American Grunt, albeit in the former of the vastly superior M240B and it’s derivatives.

          • CommonSense23

            I understand how suppressive fire works. I also understand the idea of a IAR. It made sense when all your rifleman had was a M1 Garand. It doesn’t make sense when your rifleman have M4s. What performance difference is the guy with the M27 going to have over someone with a M4 with the same optic and ammo?
            Thats why this whole M27 IAR idea is insane. You take away the Saw. Ok, you replace it with a rifle that is going to offer pretty much the same performance as the rifle everyone else in the squad is using. Then decide to treat it as more of a DMR. Ok then, what optic do you use. 10x? No, they go with a 3.5x.

          • Uniform223

            I’ll let this video by MAC better cover what I mean by arguing semantics.

          • Joe

            Great video, saw it months ago when Tim first uploaded it. Been subbed to his channel since his first video.
            Im not arguing that the M27 IAR is or isn’t a DMR, or DMR canidate. I’m not trying to be semantical??? I don’t know if that’s even a word….oh well. I’m sure an Interwebz genius will be along to straighten me out on that. I’m merely saying that the M27 can and probably IS as accurate, or more accurate than currently, or previously issued DMR’s. And so those choking at gnats on the IAR being utilized in that role are silly.

          • Ron

            Joe The actual requirement from the CDD was

            “Precision in Semi-Automatic Fire: Threshold: The IAR shall demonstrate 7 Minutes Of Angle (MOA) in semi-automatic fire. Objective: The IAR shall demonstrate 4.5 MOA in semi-automatic fire”

            If you need to look at the “M27 as a USMC service Rifle Study Report” of Aug 22, 2011 page 21, in it the weapon was able to fire 6″ groups at 300 meters. and the 2/4 AAR of 8 Feb 2011 from the fielding of the weapon and its first employment the Battalion Commander stated ” The ability to accurately engage targets with a weapon that holds 2 MOA is something that every Marine should be jealous of.”

            The 2 MOA requirement for the Mk12 for the Marine Corps came from the original SAMR UNS which required a 2 MOA gun see Marine Corps Warfighting Lab report of Analysis 03-20 published June 2003

          • Joe

            I wasn’t saying the Marines IAR fielding requiremeets was 1 MOA, just that the IAR is easily capable, and repeatedly capable of 1 MOA groups given good ammo. Any rifle shooting M855 is going to have a tough time maintaining better than 2 MOA.

          • Uniform223

            Sounds like H&K fanboy to me. Do you know what MOA is or how it is measured? Have you ever truly tried to shoot an M16A2/A4/M4/M4A1 for pure accuracy. Have you ever shot the M27 IAR or the civilian version MR556?

          • Joe

            No I am not an H&K fanboy. Never owned one, never will. Yes I do. 1 MOA equals 1.047″ at 100 yards. Yes. I was issued an M16A2, then an M16A4, than an M4A1, than back to an M16A4 with M203. I qualified as a 2 Award Expert with a service rifle (Only qualified 3 times in 5 years) during my time with the Marine Corps (2007-2012). I have never personally fired an M-27 IAR as my unit (1/5 Bravo Co) did not field them, until I checked out. My good friend however was a range coach with 7th Marine Regiment and has shot them extensively. I handled one once for about 30 minutes at Camp Wilson at MCB 29 Palms during a deployment workup to Sangin Afghanistan.I wouldnt touch the Civvie MR556 with a 10′ stick if you paid me to.

    • Uniform223

      People need to stop looking at the M27 IAR like its a weapon handed down from the heavens. Its just another piston driven AR-15 type weapon with a very well known company behind it. There really isn’t anything special about the weapon so I don’t know why people have to play it up like its the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  • Joe

    “Test Guns with 15,000 rounds have fired 2 MOA with M855”

    • CommonSense23

      What’s it say right below that Joe.

      • Joe

        Less than 4 MOA. (Averages 2.5 MOA with M855)

  • BigR

    I just can’t understand how a 5.56 rifle can reach out and do any damage at 700 meters. I’m old school, my generation used M-1 Garands, which was .30′ 06 caliber. They were accurate up to 1,000 yards, and still had killing power. It’s been almost 60 years since I shot one in the military, but it was a shooting machine back then. I loved it so much, I bought one in my early 30’s and had it glass bedded, got a trigger job on it(4.5 lbs), and replaced the the old guide rod with a heavy duty one. I still love shooting it today! Don’t get me wrong, I love my little M4 Carbine in 5.56, and it’s fun to shoot at 100 to 200 yds. I always thought that it was only good up to 300 yards, but today, I’m lucky to be able to see the target at 200 yds. with my eyesight and that’s with 1-4X scope. We weren’t very sophisticated back then. But, the M-1 wasn’t that particular up to 500 yds, and I was a lot younger then(18 yrs. old).

    Can somebody out there clue me in on what the 5.56 can do at 600-700 yards? I’m no mathematical genius, by a long shot, but I’m always open to learn more, even at my age!

    • Ron

      The problem you see is at those ranges is not terminal effects but instead hitting the target. 5.56 kills people just fine at those distances.
      One of the biggest problems I have seen is troops expectations of what weapons do to targets is based on what they see on TV so they don’t understand terminal effects, when you shoot a guy and he instantly does not fly back 10 feet it is proof in their mind the rounds don’t work.

  • Squirreltakular

    Good info. Glad you’re okay, too. Friggin’ Range 410.

  • CavScout

    Wow. SO FAR BEHIND. Maybe the army should be the same girls the marines were and say, “Hey, we can’t use your uniforms? OK, you can’t use the M4.”