Marine special ops. ditching the M2 .50 cal. after 80 years of military use
Special Operations Marines are bidding farewell to the “Ma Deuce” .50-caliber machine gun, ending over 80 years of a long-lasting love affair for the gun in favor of something a little slimmer.
The M2 machine gun is a fearsome beast that has been in service since the 1930s, and has a reputation for being extremely deadly.
Unfortunately, the legendary gun is also incredibly heavy, and is often unsuitable for infantry troops to transport by foot. As such, it is often relegated to a pintle mount atop of vehicles.
Seeing this as a problem, MARSOC is now looking for a replacement for the venerable “Ma Deuce,” and currently has two designs in mind: the Sig Sauer MG338 and the General Dynamics LWMMG, or Lightweight Medium Machine Gun.
Chambered in 338 Norma Mag and sporting a sleek profile, the MG338 comes with a pretty impressive kit, including a suppressor.
USSOCOM (US Special Operations Command) recently completed purchases and safety certifications for the MG338.
“The safety certification of the complete SIG SAUER MG338 system and delivery of the system to USSOCOM is historically very significant. For the first time in decades the US Military certified a new machine gun, ammunition, and suppressor at the same time, bringing new innovation, portability, and increased lethality to our ground forces, with all components coming from one company,” began Ron Cohen, President and CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. “This certification was achieved following the outstanding performance of the complete MG338 system through the rigors of the extensive function, durability, and safety tests set forth by USSOCOM.”
Weighing less than 20 pounds and made in the USA, the MG338 boasts a short-stroke gas piston system, which has proven to be reliable and sought after by military special operations troops around the world.
General Dynamics’ LWMMG was premiered in 2014, and weighs around 22 pounds. It has been in design improvement phases since then.
The LWMMG uses a long-stroke piston system, and the barrel is designed to be changed out quickly in combat.
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