In this episode of TFBTV, James Reeves interviews SIG about their ultimate belt-fed machine gun – the MG 338. The gun weighs under 20 lbs and is chambered in .338 Norma Magnum giving the gun an effective range out to 2000 metres. This machine gun uses a short-stroke gas piston system and SIG Sauer’s proprietary recoil mitigation system, it can also be re-chambered to 7.62x51mm. The gun has been purchased by US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM).
The lightweight medium machine gun project dates back a number of years with a joint USMC & US SOCOM sources sought solicitation launched in May 2017. SOCOM’s purchases so far have included the guns themselves, 338 Norma Mag ammunition and some of SIG’s new next generation suppressors.
The ammunition and guns have been safety certified to enable them to undergo troops testing with MARSOC and have completed function, drop, stress, and various endurance and cook-off tests. The testing by MARSOC is in-line with the original 2017 solicitation that sought up to 5,000 guns.
According to SIG:
“The SIG MG 338 bridges the gap between the current machine guns currently in use with the U.S. Military. In comparison to the current M240 (7.62x51cal) machine gun, which has been in service with the U.S. Military for 60 years, the SIG MG 338, is noticeably lighter, weighing only 20 pounds, and provides significantly more range and lethality. In comparison to the M2 (.50cal), which has been in service with the U.S. Military for 110 years, the MG 338 is approximately one-quarter the weight, and in a historic first, offers a man-portable solution with similar effective-range. Making this system even more desirable is the new SIG SAUER Next Generation Suppressors which drastically reduces the impact of harmful toxic fumes and signature, making the operator less vulnerable.
The SIG SAUER MG 338 machine gun is a belt-fed, lightweight medium machine gun weighing under 20lbs., chambered in 338 Norma Mag. The MG 338 features a short-stroke gas piston system and a proprietary recoil mitigation system, with a free-floating, quick-change barrel, ambidextrous controls, switchable feed tray, charging handle that can be alternated to either side depending on operator preference, and as a modern, multi-caliber, modular system the new SIG MG 338 is easily convertible to 7.62x51cal.”
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