M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

    A couple of weeks ago at the NDIA Joint Armaments Conference Brigadier General Michael M. Brogan revealed that Marine Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) had been given the designation “M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle”.

    At the end of last year it was announced that Heckler & Koch had won the IAR competition with their entry of a slightly modified H&K 416.

    I visually inspected the H&K IAR which was on display at SHOT Show and the only difference I noticed between it and the standard H&K 416 was a slightly heavier barrel profile compared to the standard M4-style barrel with its grenade launcher cutouts. It has a bayonet lug attached to the barrel which is something I have not seen before in H&K 416 marketing material.

    The H&K IAR on display at SHOT Show

    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.

    [ Many thanks to Nathaniel for sending me info on the M27. ]

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!