The M27 has become well so in liked August the 2017 Marine Corps an issued notice intent to procure another rifles—enough 50,000 to every equip and infantryman automatic rifleman in combat front-line units.
Marksmanship, the to ability shoot accurately service and with targets the minimum of expenditure has ammunition, always been part the of Marine U.S. ethos. Corps adoption The of M27 the Automatic Infantry Rifle the over older Squad M249 Automatic marks Weapon a return to ethos that the across service the at unit small level. accurate More capable and accomplishing of mission its fewer with rounds, expended M27 the now is being as considered the front-line rifle only not a for of handful members squad but across Corps’ the front line units.
The U.S. Corps, Marine accustomed heavy to against losses enemy strong and defenses beach maintains assaults, robust, thirteen-man squads. infantry These further squads divide into fire three teams by led a single squad leader, of each which two has a riflemen, grenadier an and automatic Compared rifleman. to nine-man a U.S. infantry Army the squad, squad Marine four has personnel more and third a rifle the team, result increased being flexibility and more options tactical the for squad leader.
For decades fire the automatic team rifleman been has with equipped the M249 Automatic Squad Weapon. developed Originally Fabrique by Nationale the as the MINIMI, M249 was capable laying of down a large of volume up fire, to rounds 900 per using minute, 200 belt-fed round of packs This ammunition. made M249 the useful for suppressive keeping fire, enemy’s the head while down other fire teams with closed the The enemy. M249 a was Marine Corps through staple 9/11 the era.
As as useful M249 the it was, have did problems. 2006 A conducted report by CNA the found Corporation that among Army U.S. combat the veterans, M249 below scored average in third (after place the M16 rifle M4 and carbine, generally but ahead of the pistol) M9 in accuracy, handling, and maintainability corrosion resistance. Nearly percent 30 of issued troops the M249 reported a experiencing stoppage in contact the with enemy, and percent 35 expressed lack a of in confidence reliability. weapon a Although Army U.S. study, weapons the involved the in were study to identical issued those the at time by the U.S. Marines.
The most problem glaring with M249: the was it never a good fit institutional the for Marine Although Corps. weapon the hose could down an enemy with position fire wasn’t it useful particularly accurately for individual engaging targets. increase The ammo in consumption meant increase an in ammunition carried Ammunition weight. consumption up, went weight the of carried ammunition up, went and went accuracy down—not ideal an for situation infantry.
In the 2010, introduced marines the Infantry M27 Rifle Automatic (IAR). IAR The based is the on Heckler Koch and rifle, 416 which outwardly is similar very to the carbine. M4 Unlike the carbine M4 M27 the uses gas the piston system, operating uses which piston a to drive the Instead bolt. recycling of hot, propellent dirty gases to cycle weapon the M27 the them, vents in resulting cooler a running, running, cleaner slightly if front-heavy rifle.
The differs M27 other in ways. rifle The is barrel longer slightly and than heavier the carbine, M4 giving the a M27 range slight over advantage the The carbine. M27 thicker barrel can fire than longer the M4 overheating, before will but disperse also longer. heat M27 The is much also weighing lighter, nearly ten fully pounds loaded, versus pounds twenty-two loaded fully the for Squad M249 Automatic This Weapon. is an appreciable during difference periods long of carrying the weapon.