For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being devlped

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sX
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For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being devlped

Postby sX » Dec 3rd, 2010 at 7:37 pm

http://www.military.com/news/article/ar ... =army-a.nl



November 26, 2010
Military.com|by Christian Lowe

It’s an iconic weapon whose guttural “thump-thump-thump” inspires confidence that whatever it’s shooting at is going down – in a big way.

But for the first time since World War II, the Army is working on a fundamental redesign of the venerable M2 .50cal machine gun, cutting its weight in half, increasing its accuracy and making it a lot easier to shoot for Soldiers on the move.

Dubbed the XM806, the new version of the “Ma Duce” is being developed in response to the Army’s concerns about the weight and mobility of the current M2. With a greater emphasis on light infantry tactics since 9/11, officials wanted a weapon that can be as easily mounted on a Humvee as it can a hillside.

“It is designed to augment the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, but can also be used to replace the M2 in select operational locations,” the Program Executive Office for Soldier Weapons said in an email to Military.com. “The weapon is ideal for light infantry and special operations forces, as well as for vehicles demanding more lethality but lighter weight.”

Talk about taking a diet – the XM806 with its specially-designed tripod weighs a little over 60 lbs. That’s compared to the current M2 Heavy Barrel which comes in at a portly 120 lbs. But the General Dynamics-made XM806’s advantages go deeper than its waistline, Army officials say.

With recoil 60 percent less than an M2, the new lightweight .50 allows Soldiers to fire the weapon with tactical optics, making for a more accurate shot within the first few rounds.

“Safety is improved through a manual safety and a quick change barrel that eliminates the requirement for the operator to adjust headspace and timing,” Army officials added. “The reduced recoil permits the mounting of an optic for greater lethality through increased first-burst accuracy and control.”

The Army is midway through testing the new machine gun at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The service has four weapons on hand and has so far fired almost 90,000 rounds through each test weapon.

Officials say the XM806 will not replace all the Army’s M2 machine guns, but will instead be fielded to light infantry units such as the 101st Airborne, 10th Mountain and 82nd.

“There are also some discussions regarding the issue of weapons to units where a traditional heavy machine gun was impractical but long range fire is still needed, such as on tactical vehicles where weight is an issue,” Army officials added.

It is still unclear how many weapons the Army will buy, but if all goes according to plan, the service will begin fielding the bantam-weight .50cal in late 2012.

The Army also plans to field a new version of the M2 tripod that’s 30 percent lighter than the current one, which comes in at a hefty 44 pounds.
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K2
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Re: For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being dev

Postby K2 » Dec 3rd, 2010 at 8:21 pm

“Safety is improved through a manual safety and a quick change barrel that eliminates the requirement for the operator to adjust headspace and timing,” Army officials added.


OMG... why couldnt I have had this on my last deployment? the M2 is awesome when it fires correctlly, but getting it to that point can be a bitch, especially in an environment like Iraq. bleh.

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Re: For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being dev

Postby sX » Dec 4th, 2010 at 8:04 am

Did those things have much kick to them, K2? I understand it being mounted on a humvee isn't really much recoil, but I see that picture with that XM and his face is just right there on the scope -- unmounted!

Makes you think..
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Timmy
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Re: For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being dev

Postby Timmy » Dec 6th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Lots of ways to displace blowback in a rifle design nowaday :)


You probably wouldn't see them even if you were active in 20 years K2, the U.S. Military prefers to use it's cheapest resource, humans over the more costly tech stuff. Thats why our troops are still rolling around urban zones in the deathtrap humvees when we've had Strykers sitting in storage (get like 5 humvees for the price of 1 striker, so even if ya lose 4 hummers its still a "win").



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Re: For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being dev

Postby K2 » Dec 6th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Strykers in storage? I was a stryker commander on my last deployment, entire brigade had 'em. Those and MRAP's - hated both. Had a chance to use humvee's towards the end of the deployment and loved it, you can go so many more places with em. Plus hajji likes to make bigger IED's for the heavier vehicles.

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Re: For you military folks. New lightweight .50cal being dev

Postby Timmy » Dec 10th, 2010 at 11:45 am

Wouldn't bigger ied's mean even more casualties in hummers? Nice you got to be in a Stryker, most of my other military pals are stuck with the lee press on plated hummers, of course they aren't engineers either...



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