General Dynamics has unveiled a new medium machine gun chambered in .338 Norma Magnum.
It looks like it is based on the FN MAG / M240 machine gun with a new fire control system, AR-14 pistol grip, M4-style stock and quad picatinny rails.
The .338 Norma Magnum’s performance is very similar to that of the much more popular .338 Lapua Magnum. The .338 NM has a slight advantage in that when loaded with a .300 grain Sierra HPBT MatchKing projectile, its overall length is shorter than the .338 LM loaded with the same bullet. This is why General Dynamics would have chosen this round over the more popular .338 LM.
The gun itself weighs 24 lbs. This is a lot lighter than the M240B and about 1.7 lbs heavier than the new M240L. The .338 NM cartridges are a lot larger and heavier than 7.62mm cartridges.
This gun makes a lot of sense to me. The ballistics of the .338 NM are far superior to the 7.62mm. At longer ranges it has ballistics similar to the .50 BMG without the need to carry around a M2 + bipod.
From the press release …
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), today unveiled a next-generation Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG) at the Joint Armaments Conference in Seattle, Wash.
Identifying an unmet warfighter need, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products conducted its own research and development program to develop the LWMMG in just over one year. The weapon is designed for low-cost production and for maximum effectiveness at the small unit level, where weight and lethality are decisive factors.
“The LWMMG is an affordable weapon that closes a current operational gap, providing .50 caliber-like firepower in range and effect at the same weight and size of currently fielded 7.62mm machine guns,” said Steve Elgin, vice president and general manager of armament systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. “Weighing in at 24 pounds and featuring a fully collapsible stock, the LWMMG offers superior mobility and portability in both mounted and dismounted operations.”
General Dynamics’ LWMMG also offers a distinct advantage in both extended and close-in fighting by using the highly efficient .338 Norma Magnum cartridge for increased accuracy and lethality out to 1,700 meters, a distance currently gapped in the operational capabilities of warfighters.
“By employing the larger .338 NM round, the LWMMG delivers twice the range and dramatically increases lethality above the 7.62 round,” said Elgin. “In addition, the LWMMG goes beyond providing suppressive fire and gives warfighters the ability to attack point targets at significantly extended ranges.”
The LWMMG has a firing rate of 500 rounds per minute, a maximum range of 5,642 meters, and is equipped with quick-change barrel technology. In addition to use by dismounted infantry and on ground vehicles, the weapon can be used as the armament system aboard helicopters and littoral craft, providing greater range and effectiveness for those platforms.
“The LWMMG is a well-designed machine gun ideally suited to provide long-range lethality to U.S. and allied forces,” Elgin said.
[ Many thanks to John + Lance for emailing us the link. ]