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Special operators’ wish lists for firepower include new rounds and small arms

TAMPA, Fla. (Transatlantic Today) — The next machine gun, according to special operators, should have the accuracy, power and range of a.50 caliber in the stature of a platoon-level M240 machine gun. 

To put it mildly, the.338 Norma Magnum Lightweight Medium Machine Gun is a significant breakthrough in small weapons for spec ops, according to one expert. 

The initiative began in 2017, and 2 corporations, General Dynamics and Sig Sauer, have principally competed for the contract throughout the years since. 

During his address Tuesday at the National Defense Industrial Association’s SOF Industry Conference, a lieutenant colonel in charge of Special Operations Forces’ lethality programme for Special Operations Command provided information of this and other small arms initiatives. 

Pursuant to the tactical nature of their work with SOCOM, officers at the rank of O5 or below are not identifiable by name due to media guidelines. 

The 7.62mm NATO cartridge is used in the contemporary M240 machine gun. It’s a bullet that’s been in operation for over 50 years and has witnessed many improvements, but most specialists feel that it’s hit its range and lethality limits. 

According to Marine Corps Times, the Marine Corps and the Army have acquired a multi-barrel sniper rifle that can fire.300 Winchester Magnum,.338 Norma Magnum, and 7.62mm rounds. 

The administration is still sorting through the selection, according to the official, but the machine gun should be delivered by fiscal 2024. 

The Sig Sauer Lightweight Machine Gun, or SLMG, was a 20-pound machine gun with a folding stock that could be loaded from either side. This feature enables the firearm to be utilized efficiently whether dismounted, in an aircraft, or in a combat vehicle. 

The Sig Sauer variant has a movable gas block that may be adjusted to match the pressure needs of various suppressors. 

Sig Sauer defense product manager Cory McQuilkin informed Army Times in 2019 that the suppressor add-on had not impacted the gun’s firing rate, which had been a concern with these kinds of systems in the past. 

The sidearm upgrade contract for the Modular Handgun System programme was awarded to Sig Sauer in 2017. It was also awarded the carbine and squad machine gun armament upgrade contract for the Next Generation Squad Weapon programme earlier this year. 

General Dynamics claims that this weapon combination can pierce Level III body armor and take out soft-skinned automobiles at ranges of up to 1,000 meters. 

The Mid-Range Gas Gun, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, is another developing small arms replacement. 

According to the presentation given by the official, that gun will arrive a little sooner, with deliveries slated to begin this year. 

The gas gun’s next stage will be to develop an assault model, which will be beneficial for airborne missions and close-quarters warfare in congested places. 

The primary add-ons for both firearms will be accouterments, according to the official. That implies optics, weapon attachments, and, most significantly, new types of ammunition. 

Forces want training bullets, armor-piercing rounds, and a tracer, according to him. 

For years, the agencies have been looking for a one-way tracer. Because the light emitted when a gunman fires a tracer can be seen from all sides, this is the case. This is advantageous for a shooter who is marching in rounds on a target while others fire in formation. The enemy, on the other hand, can see where they’re firing from and hit them effectively.

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