Marines Magazine

The Official Magazine of the United States Marine Corps

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The next evolution in firepower has arrived.

For 27 years the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon has served as the Corps automatic rifle standard. In December 2010 initial fielding of the M249 SAW’s replacement, the Heckler and Koch M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, was fielded and is now set for implementation throughout the Corps.

The M27 IAR is less than half the weight of the M249 and allows the automatic rifleman to carry fewer rounds because of its improved accuracy. With a lighter load to carry, enemy combatants will now face a more lethal and mobile Marine with better firepower to boot, allowing the Marine to move faster and engage his enemy in record time.

The Corps plans to purchase more than four thousand M27s – replacing nearly all the existing Squad Automatic Weapons. By the end of 2013, the Marine Corps intends to supply M27s to every infantry and light armored reconnaissance battalion in the Corps.

Click here to read about more gear that could be in store for Marines.


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188 Responses

  1. Blackwinterssun says:

    so as i understand, it is a beefed up M16? With the 249 you can pin the enemy down and make sure you get that kill instead of clipping him and him saying that he was a civilian and gets away to only put an IED down and kill several of our men? I agree that we need a more pinpoint fire support weapon system but we need a larger mag capacity so you can still do what is needed. sometimes in life you cant get a shot off but you can put there head down and let the M16A4 next to you shoot him when i go on a reload and its that. you never can replace suppressive fire to pinpoint rifle fire. thats just like saying hear lets all give you bolt action rifles to take several guys out in that building and you cant use your M9 as thats semi auto and has more suppressive fire capability.

  2. Bertster says:

    Thank You, Auto-Rifle men and MMG (Medium Machine Gun ) Are meant to suppress and put down a base of fire. M 27 IAR in my opinion is more of a battle rifle. It also is using a 5.56, making it less lethal out at distance vs. the 7.62 NATO round which is more effective when hits on target. Plus just a 30 round Stagnag? haha That is barley a base of fire. They should at least upscale the Magazine if they are going to do this. Maybe go to 45 rounds instead of 30 Magazine. In my opinion the SAW is worth sticking with, just do to it’s fire power over Assault Rifles. Because a base of fire is key in most battles. 

  3. Fishunlimited says:

    How is this weapon different from the M4 Carbine? 

  4. Rjburk1961 says:

    The type of combat dictates the necessary weapons….the new IAR is better suited to the Afghan situation than a 249 is….there is still need and use for 249, just not in majority of situations in Afghanistan, Marksmanship has not been stressed as it was in past and we found out in Afghanistan that we needed it more than large volumes of fire….I carried 249 shorty in Astan and it is pretty useless past 200 yrds., would rather have had an accurate A3….or the IAR…..

  5. Dave says:

    Just saying, I like to hear that that the M27 is more accurate and whatnot than the M249, but you it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The M249 was designed for suppressing fire which is meant to keep the enemy’s heads down so a squad can advance on a enemies position, not for accurate shooting like an assualt rifle. The M27 is being put into the wrong role, unless it has a faster rate of fire and troops would be able to put in 100 round magazines instead of using 30 round magazines that you can go through almost instantly if it is being used for suppressing fire. In my opinion, if the M27 should be a replacement for the M-4/M-16 because it is basically an assualt rifle, all you need to do is put on an M-203, put on a burst option and you are done.

  6. M27 facts says:

    Mr. Jones,

    I’m curious as to why you focused on the rate of fire variance between the M27 and the M249.  ROF is relative if you ask me, and relatively unimportant.  It may make for a good stat in a Jane’s handbook, but what does it really mean in terms of effects on the enemy?  If you can provide some insight as to why you are looking at the difference, I might be able to offer some answers.

    You picked up on one key point, and the question isn’t much whether accuracy is a good tradeoff for volume of fire, but rather whether accuracy AND mobility are a good tradeoff.  That is what the Marine Corps banked on by making the transition away from the SAW and to the IAR.

    I trust you kicked ass on the LFAM with your SAW, but honestly, how many other SAW gunners did you see over time who could consistently do the same, and be an effective element during a squad’s fire and maneuver.  Sadly, I have seen very few examples of SAW gunners (who again, are not AR men) who can shoot, move, and communicate effectively, and in fact tend to be a hindrance to maneuver more than than the knockout punch fight-breaker they could be if a ton of factors were resolved.

    You also mentioned overheating, so a quick question to you.  In you experience, during live fire attacks in training or any time in combat, how many times did you see a SAW barrel actually get changed.  Not from a static position mind you, but in the attack?  The barrel change component is pretty much a moot point.

    As for the magazines, yes, 22 mags are issued.  What the IAR gunner does with them is subject to squad/plt/company SOP, but the weapon does come with that quantity.  It replacates roughly a SAW combat load.

    You bring up good points.  Thank you for being thoughtful in your posts.

  7. 0369 GRUNT FALLUJAH VET says:

    M27 FACTS- I dont agree with what you are saying. There is a difference between suppression and “NOISE”. Please tell me the Mission of the Marine Rifle Squad. They Key to it is Fire and Maneuver. What if the IAR gunner cannot hit or kill the enemy? What if his rounds are EFFECTIVELY Suppresing the Enemy? And those Rounds are allowing the remaining members of the Fire Team or squad to Close with and destroy? That would go against all the logic you are saying. Just remember, there is a DIFFERENCE between EFFECTIVE and INEFFECTIVE suppression. Dont get me wrong, I like the IAR, but Maybe im old school because I still love the SAW. It seems like you may have done a fire and movement range Once or Twice. But something is not jiving with me about you. Any “SAW Gunner” or Automatic Rifleman or hell, any Marine Infantryman will tell you the same thing as I. Or maybe Im just too Salty or “Old School” because Ive been in the Grunts for 11 years with 3 Comabt deployments to Iraq and another Combat Deployment to Afghanistan. Get your FACTs right before you throw “your” opinion and become rude to other individuals just to say YOUR PRODUCT is better than something else.

  8. BFosenburg says:

    Does it put back together like the M-16

  9. Nbausmc says:

    “If so there is no need for an automatic rifle. One shot, one kill.” Exactly! The role of the Automatic Rifleman is not the same as the machine gunner

  10. GunnerLAR says:

    agee. I fight with “Old Corps” types all the time that don’t understnd this is not only a new weapon but also a new type of fighting. Fighting that values hits on the enemy more than noise.

  11. David Michael Koa Jones says:

    M27 Facts,

        As a Marine who carried the M249 SAW in combat I have to agree and disagree with you. The M27 IAR may be the replacement of the SAW but a Marine carrying 8 to 12 thirty round magazines compared to a Marrine carrying 600 to a 1000 rounds of belted ammo doesn’t quite add up. Yes it may be more “accurate”, but what is the rate of fire of the M27 IAR compared to the M249?

        When I went through the squad assualt course on Camp Lejeune, I was carrying the SAW and I had no problems navigating the course. Marines know that sustained rates of fire are the most accurate with a fully automatic LMG. Yes you can do that with a M27 IAR but after 4 or 5 bursts you have to change mags. With a typical squad of 13 Marines split into 3 fireteams of 4 you have 3 SAW’s in addition to the squad’s AR’s. Thats  rounds available to be sent downrange as you know. If the squad was to be armed with M-16A4′s, M4′s, and the M27 IAR, you have only 390 rounds available to be sent downrange. Is accuracy really a good trade off for volume of fire? As most Marines know that right now most of the current engagement ranges in OEF are beyond your typical CQB.

       Yes, the M27 IAR may more accurate but it has alot of downsides to its design. For example as far as this Marine can tell it lacks the ability to change out the barrel when it overheats. Unlike the M27 the M249 has that ability therefore extending the service life of said weapon. If I can remember correctly the M249 has a maximum effective range on a point target of 800 meters. The M27′s maximum effective range on a point target is only 550 meters. Some people might also argue that the SAW has a better reach on a area target.

       There is talk that a M27 gunner would be issued 22 thirty round magazines (STANAG). Which is supposedly equals out to a standard combat load of a M249 SAW. 

  12. Pbplayer1202 says:

    I think the point of a squad automatic weapon is for supressive fire, keeping enemys heads down. This looks more like the early Vietnam war concept where you had 1 guy per squad who should have his m14 or m16 on full auto and carried a lot more rounds then the rest of the squad, this is more like the automatic rifleman

  13. James Vargas99 says:

    They need to put a drum mag on this and it’ll be good to go. But one thing that Im worried about is that marines won’t be able to put down that volley of fire needed to suppress enemy fighters with the standard magazine. While the riflemen in the squad take the more accurate shots. it’s kinda like having another rifleman in your squad. But if you’ve seen the HK 416 on future weapons you’ll know how durable it is. Soo a drum mag would make this weapon very lethal. Not to mention, you can have dirt, grime, sand, water, and this gun will still be able to operate as efficiently. Just my two cents. 

  14. Perrito says:

    Wow this is so insane….obviously some REMF’s decision

  15. Mike_sadler_project says:

    If insurgents are behind cover, why wouldn’t you just want to kill them when they popped their heads up?  Why do you believe they have to “suppress” them with a larger volume of rounds being fired at them, in order for maneuvering elements to move?

    As it stands in Helmand Province, when insurgents are behind cover, they move pretty easily a lot of the time, and slip out of the noose we try to put around them, while still employing a number of automatic weapons.  If your fires are more accurate because your IAR-men are not smoked from trying to displace at the same speed as the riflemen, then wouldn’t that be a beneficial thing? 

    The lack of a drum magazine on the IAR is not going to impede maneuver.

  16. Arthur Cuelho says:

    I agree the ability to use it for suppressive fire is about gone, they do have 100 and 200 round drum magazines but I dont see any mention of those.

  17. R_jones55 says:

    Suppression is a pretty big deal in my opinion, at least equip it with a drum magazine. How is it any different than an M16. has just about the same spects.  

  18. Andrew_scharnberg says:

    yes, whatever happend to suppressing fire? it may be accurate, but if insurgents are behind cover you would want to suppress them to STAY in cover for your men to move. seems that itwould be hard to suppress with the same amount of rounds as an m4..are we preparing for a more urban surrounding of warfare or what?

  19. M27 facts says:

    I by no means claim to be an “expert”, but I understand where you were going with the comment.  Seems folks around these parts think that by passing along facts, I am trying to pass myself off as an expert.

    There has been chatter and speculation (mostly on tactical forums where consipracy theories abound), but that’s been mostly from outside of the service.  The M16 product improvement program (PIP) continues to loook at ways to improve the M16A4, but the there aren’t any serious discussions about putting a HK-variant rifle in the hands of every infantryman. 

  20. M27 facts says:

    Where should I begin?  Short piston operation vs. direct impingement gas operation, free-floating barrel vs. the standard handguards that affect POI and variation in the strike of the rounds, a bipod…  The list actually goes on.  The only component that would put an M16A3 in the league of the M27 is the top rail interface.  The M27 is simply a better performer if you are trying to compare the two.

    This discussion isn’t even about the M16A3.  For the most part, I’ve been addressing the issue of M27 vs. SAW employment that most posters seem to be howling about.  M16A3 is apples to oranges.  Could it work in an IAR role?…perhaps, but then again I never said it couldn’t be employed as such  The burden isn’t for me to disprove it’s potential.  You brought that topic up, not me.

    As for the issue you seem to have with the gyrene article…look, it is historical fact.  Why do you care whether it came from a Berkley history professor?  I hear they have a good program by the way ; ).  I could have dug up the old tables of organization and laid them out, but the article link I posted captures the details in an easy to read and understand style.  Yes, we actually fought that way for years,so I am surprised you’re skeptical of it.  We won a ton of battles with that squad organization, and typicaly in the face of combatants who were employing total war techniques against us.  I interact with a veteran Marine Gunner on a weekly basis who was around when the BAR was still in service, and we have had a number of talks about the employment of that weapon as an AR.  These are facts, plain and simple.

    As for ad hominem attacks, I can’t change your perception of my posts, but from my read of the whole range of posts here, too many sound like the frame of reference comes from life behind a console game.  I never actually accused anyone directly of being a playstationer, so please quote me accurately if you are going to question my “credentials”.

    And as for that matter, please stop that line of discussion right now.  It makes your line of argument sound bad when you try to play the credential card–who’s going to verify it anyway?  I’ve been on five combat deployments to include Somalia, the march up in OIF, and most recently Afghanistan.  I have served from the level of a Pfc rifleman, designated marksman, and on to time as an LAR officer, and I continue to serve.  Gunner Eby used to be a platoon sergeant in an adjacent platoon during my first tour, and the history of the development of the M27 IAR is a series of known facts that I have discussed with him on a few occasions, if one bothers to dig beyond one layer deep.  I’ve been through infantry squad leader school, infantry officer school, and a slew of other training.  What is being discussed here doesn’t have anything to do with any of that though.  This has primarly been a discussion of why the Marine Corps went the way it did in pursuing a IAR, and to take us back to a rifle squad equipped with a true AR.

    As for bases of fire (they are actually referred to as support-by-fire positions now) and platoon supported attacks, read the doctrine to find the answer.  Or attach a machine gun squad to the platoon.  They have those things, you know, as well as still retaining 6 M249s on the Rifle Co T/E.  The flexibility remains, but in the assault, the M27 is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

    I’ll concede one point to you, and that is how does the M27 compare to the M249.  During the testing and experimentation, the various test AR samples did not overwhelmingly outperform the M249 across the full range of tactical fire and movement/maneuver exercises.  Put another way, hits on tgts, per exposure, were not enough to drive the decision to continue requirements development and acquisition.  The issue of mobility was what tipped the process in favor of returning to a true IAR.  The details of all of this are in numerous Marine Corps Gazette articles, writings of Gunner Eby, and other material that I have been dealing with for over six years now.  If you need to see that, I can dig it up and pass it on, but it’s fairly easy to find with a Google search.

    If you have a beef with anything posted here, dispute the facts and try to avoid getting hung up on the small stuff.

  21. M27 facts says:

    9 rounds does just fine.  It doesn’t blow up in some catastrophic explosion like you see in the movies, but APDS-T cuts through a BMP like a knife through hot butter.  I’m tracking on your point though, and yes, I’ve shot a frontal with a few “splash” rounds that counted.  Killed plenty of BMPs and BTRs for real though.

  22. Valencia_aixa says:

    i want 2 be a marine when i grow up

  23. M27 facts says:

    I think you might be confusing the old CRISAT standards in terms of armor penetration  (penetration of a 1.6mm titanium plate back by 20 layers of Kevlar), with any discussion of an armor penetrator.  This standard was developed a while back in Europe, and has hung around for a long time.

    When NATO sought to standardize a 5.56x45mm round, it chose the 62-gr FN SS109 round.  Among those considered was the US 55-gr M193 round, but it lost out to the SS109.  That’s the round that you may have heard cause massive wounds due to fragmentation–the whole urban legend that 5.56mm was fielded because the bullet tumbled, created wounds rather than killing, and took more enemy out of the fight as they tried to tend to a wounded compatriot.  There are elements to the legends that are true, but the whole myth is a compilation of facts, half-truths, and issues that have no connection at all to 5.56mm development.

    The 62-gr M855 round was developed to meet NATO standards formalized in the SS109.  Only recently have adaptations of the basic design been able to match or exceed 7.62mm ball penetration effects on hardened steel targets, so here’s the rub: the BMP-1 was developed to defeat 23mm rounds across the frontal arcs and against 7.62mm across the side and rear arcs (wikipedia reference to Jane’s Defense notes).

    M855 steel tip does penetrate armor (personal body armor) and metal, but it is not classified as an armor penetrating round.  That’s the M995 steel core “black tip” round. I still haven’t seen any reference in my recent research where M995 black tip was designed to defeat BMP-1 armor. Perhaps against the top armor, but I’m scratching my head and wondering why SAWIC would have passed that bum scoop that “green tip” was designed to defeat BMP armor.  Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time urban legends and myths crept into a period of instruction–at any level.  I’ve seen it a number of times.  I’ll stand corrected if you can cite a reference about the 5.56mm and a BMP, but for now, I still believe you’ve got it wrong.

    This article about the M855A1 round is interesting (although it drifts off into mention of “stopping power” for whatever reason), but I’m not so sure its assertions about the limitations of original M855 are true.  I’ll have to dig back through my stuff to find old abstracts about the development of the round.
    As for 9mm vs. .45, yes, I understand what you’re talking about.  A 9mm does have to hit a popper at just the right height in order to drop it, where the impact of a .45 will usually drop it easily.  That “knockdown power” you reference on a square competition range doesn’t have anything to do with killing an opponent.  That is a function of penetration, permanent wound cavity, fluid loss and shock, or incapacitative effects from damaging the nervous system (spinal cord or brain).

    One of the more interesting things I have witnessed is a comparison of 9mm vs. .45, .44, and .22 against the quarter panel of a Crown Vic at 15 yds.  9mm went clear through both sides every time, while the other rounds did not fare nearly as well.

  24. Fuzzy says:

    Because the M-4 is as bad as the M-16 and we are too cheap to buy 416′s for everyone.

  25. Djmc993150 says:

    And what are your credentials besides Playstation. As someone who HAS used and instructed squad, platoon and company tactics, tell me what the M27 gives me that the M16A3 (fully auto capaple M16) doesnt. Tell me HOW to use this weapon in a base of fire operation when its uninterrupted sustained rate of fire is actually worse than the M4 and the M249 (higher rate of fire with equal/lower magazine capacity means LESS time in operation between magazine changes and more magazine changes).
    You cite an article that could have been written by some berkley historian. If you have ever actually BEEN in a Marine Rifle Squad, instead of citing articles about one and claiming some higher ‘understanding’, maybe you would get it.

  26. Djmc9931550 says:

    Way to make ad hominem attacks against people who have philisophical differences with the weapon. Have YOU served a day in combat? What is your foundation other than Playstation or reading an article written by someone who may have only playstation experience too.
    Having been someone who instructed in squad, platoon and company tactics a Fireteams ability to have a suppressive fire weapon is essential in the attack. During some manuvers A fireteam or squad would get loaded up with EXTRA M249s to be a base of fire suppporting a manuever.
    So tell me, as an apparent self proclaimed ‘expert’ capable of disparaging others opinions as PS deep, tell me how the M27 will support base of fire operations for a platoon. AND explain what the M27 gives a Squad leader that the M16A3 (which has full auto capability) doesnt? When most fire fights happen at 300 yards or less – ie well within the M16 and M249′s accuracy range – what purpose does this weapon serve that wasnt already available in the A3 and how does it replace the capability of a belt fed automatic weapon – ie show me the UNINTERRUPTED SUSTAINED rate of fire comparison – ie the time im NOT changing out magazines and drums.

  27. BigRedCaveTroll says:

     That’s the gunnery standard. Gunnery standard on the range is also 3 rounds impacting the target (or just one hitting the dirt below it and splashing it up onto the target and registering 20+ hits). 9 rounds is probably not going to kill a BMP-2, and definitely not a BMP-3.

  28. Fuzzy says:

    This is not a SAW replacement, it is the best carbine available and should replace both the M-4 and M-16!

  29. Boomer0369 says:

    I think you mean Black Tip

  30. WIlliam Wallace says:

    exactly what I meant, some other idiot posted that coment.

  31. Guest says:

    The M27 IAR is a very accurate weapons system that has a some what high rate of fire. I say a somewhat high rate of fire is because it is magazined fed. Now an “IAR Gunner” will carry a full combat load of 6 magazines approved by the Marine Corps to be reliable. The rest of the squad will carry the rest of the IAR gunners Magazines in turn loading those Marines down even more. The fact of the matter is you are taking the fully automatic weapon out of the Marine Rifle squad, which does provide suppressive fire “a high volume of accurate fire” (not noise). I don’t know about you “m27 facts” but if I were the squad leader i much rather have 3 automatic weapons organic to my squad than 3 IARS and a 2 or 3 machine gun teams attached. The reason I say this is because i trained these “saw gunners”, If i was an 0306 a Marine Gunner or the senior gunner in the Marine Corps I would give each squad 3 saws and have the assistant automatic rifle man or rifleman carry the IAR. 

  32. Usmcoldcorps says:

    As an 8532 now known as 0932.  SAWIC taught alot of good material.  The green tip “DID” come out in responce to the BMP.  Many many hours on the range conducting bullet penetration exercises.  YES there is a thing called knock down power.  When you shoot a steel pepper popper with a 9mm and then with a .45 you will see knock down power.  I am glad to see you motivated about a subject but “you” are the one that needs to “stop along those lines”  Devil.

  33. Tim McVeigh says:

    Did you just say, “Did you just say, “Did you just you the word “Clip”????” !?.” !?.

  34. Mike. says:

    I agree with you. Why don’t we take this further and just eliminate the M2?  We can issue Barrets instead. They are also lighter, much more accurate and can be used by individuals as opposed to being mounted on a vehicle….

  35. Crowder MJ says:

    You know I’ve read other comments from others and I’ve really thought on this.
    I do enjoy the SAW as a dedicated squad tool, it’s a lovely machine gun that can get the job done.
    And what about the IAR? To me it appears like a souped up assault rifle with a few bonuses here and there (put in a bland manner). Can it be more accurate than the SAW? Most likely; it’s smaller and the rate of fire can probably lead to better grouping of shots. Can it perform like a SAW? Possibly; the M27 IAR does appear to based off of the 416 of H&K’s prodigious line of assault rifles, and no doubt has very similar attributes.
    All in all the IAR does appear to be a capable weapon. It certainly sounds like an effective ‘death-dealer’ in its own right, but then again, I enjoy the sight of a single weapon laying waste to what used to be enemy cover.
    I’m sure given time the M27 IAR might see some adjustments here and there that will bring it to an effective existence in the Marines. The quick transition though will be the most difficult. Its the downsizing in firing capability (as in how many bullets spat in a relative direction) that a good number of automatic riflemen will have to adjust to.
    That said, I like the looks of the M27 IAR, and hope that it provides ample service in the Marines.
    Thanks for the picture and the posts.

  36. Sullly3169 says:

    Great addition but not replacement…too easy too run out of ammo…… this from an 0331 accuracy by volume baby!!Semper fuckin fi Ooh rah

  37. Mpobrien70 says:

    Though a fine replacement for a SAW, which had no business in a squad, this mostley points out the shortcomings of the M4/M16 direct gas system over the piston.
    M27 Expert, any chatter about perhaps a gradual changeover to say the 416 or a selctable M27?

  38. Manuelrobledo78 says:

    If we can get a bigger round capacity this weapon would be perfect. Just saying.

  39. NateCaney says:

    the saw is a shock and awe weapon very loud and very big with alot of ammo you cant get better then 200 rounds of lead comming toward you and having to reload after every 30 shots is horriable and play you just cant get the fire power from the saw to the m27 iar you just cant the iar is just trash i belive the saw should have ben replaced with somthing just as good or even better persionaly this is a down grade for an automatic weapons guy in the squad when people look to you to provide COVER FIRE with the saw it makes you hide and scream like a little girl but 30 rounds of 556 ammo oooo whats that going to to do NOTHING ABSOLUTLY NOTHING at any distance 762 will knock you on your ass after 1 round a few or 556 are need for the same affect just no just stop making them already

  40. M27 facts says:

    The gunnery standard is only 9 rounds of APDS-T, and it can be done in less than that.

  41. Ghostknight86 says:

    No you cant.If you use precision shots it makes your enemy scatter so it does exactly the opposite of suppressive fire. I agree with most of the posts m 16 should of been replaced not the saw.the saw has been proven in the field this new weapon if you want to call it that hasnt been proved in the field so how can you test it accurately

  42. Lanny johnson says:

    that is why everyone doesnt fire at the same time. while one person is reloading the other is firing so there is always fire on the enemy

  43. Guest says:

    Looks like a good replacement…for the M4. It looks like an improved assault rifle. It’s great that it’s really accurate but 30 rounds of 5.56 is the M4′s job. We still need M249s.

  44. BigRedCaveTroll says:

     It takes 21+ rounds of 25mm APDS-T to penetrate a BMP’s armor…I don’t think 5.56 is going to do jack to it.,

  45. M27 facts says:

    Unfortunately, the reality is that “concerned citizens” who want so badly to help are the ones who write to Congress and allow too much gunstore commando drama to leak out, in turn influencing the narrative.

    I’m totally calm through all of this.  Believe me, it gets to a point where I shake my head to see the comments and ignorance, but this is all just education for folks who seem well-intentioned, but just do not know the facts.

  46. M27 facts says:

    It’s important that everyone read this extract from a global security article, in order to understand how the US got to the M249 SAW in the first place.  Just because it was chosen as part of a Joint Service acquisition project as the winning entry, it does not mean that the concept behind the automatic rifle is not valid.  Pay attention to the last sentence:

    Though the automatic rifle changed, the role of the automatic rifleman did not between its conception as a result of World War I and the end of the conflict in Vietnam. The automatic rifleman supported the infantry squad in the offense and defense. The M249 SAW was developed through an initially Army-led research and development effort and eventually a Joint NDO program in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The effort was part of a desire to restore sustained and accurate automatic weapons fire to the fire team and squad. The M249 SAW filled the void created by the retirement of the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) during the 1950s. Automatic weapons adopted subsequently for use as automatic rifles, the M15, M14A1, and M16A1, had failed as viable “base of fire” weapons.

    Take a look at this history of the Marine Rifle Squad, and you will understand a little bit better how the Corps got to where it is today.  It is important to pay attention to how the dots connect. 

    The M27 IAR is not some random idea tossed out there by some lobbyist, bean-counter, or know-nothing.  I’m frankly surpised to see so many comments that are 180 degrees out from the reality of how things really are, but I concede that perceptions of the M27 vs. M249 argument are probably colored by video games and such.  The real world of infantry close combat is a far cry from a Playstation console game.

  47. Rick Freeman says:

    Looks a like a M-4 with all the extras. Not sure about this. But, with our government building the F-22 that has been in service since ’05 and now the F-35 is on the way…for what? The F-22 cost $43 Billion. Takes $12 million a year to mantain. Gee I wonder what that could have done with that kind of money for our ground forces. The new Body armor. We do not even have anyone to use the F-22 or the F-35 against. Guess we will next built a few new Battleships. I mean it’s only been since ’45 they have seen action. 

  48. M27 facts says:

    You know, I just caught the contradiction of you statement.  I knew what you said was inaccurate from the outset, but consider this:

    If the SAW kept the enemy’s head down, then what would the M16 “gunners” have to fire at?

  49. stenusmc says:

    The M60 gunners were attached to maneuver elements from the infantry platoon which got them from the weapons platoon.  They were never ‘squad’ weapons.  There was a dedicated AR in the fire team – he was supposed to be the only one on full auto on the M16A1.  Then the SAWs came in.  Now we’re back to the M16 – hope the heat shields in the handguards are good.

  50. The Swede says:

    You got a strange sense of what is “fun” Jim.. :P :)