The simpler gas-piston rifle system reduces the amount of time it takes to resolve malfunctions on the IAR compared with the M249. This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. At SHOT Show 2018, the Marine Corps announced that the deal with H&K to produce 11,000 M27s for the Marine Corps had been finalized and that the M27 IAR would be adopted as the standard issue service rifle of the Marine Corps infantry, replacing the M4A1. One need only look at the other RFIs that have been recently issued by MCSC for small arms. 8. 7. The M27 has proven to be extremely durable when compared to the M16A4 and M4/M4A1. During that time period, it was distributed one per four-man fireteam, three per squad, 28 per company, 84 per infantry battalion and 72 per Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, with a total of 4,476 being serviced by the Marine Corps as a whole. Such an upgrade would give the Marine Corps an impressive boost in aimed firepower and mark a broad return to the Corps’ tradition of marksmanship. The GAO adjudicated in favor of the USMC and an RFP was prepared to purchase M27s for every Rifleman in every USMC Rifle Squad (and potential issuance to members of Combat Engineer Squads, Reconnaissance Teams, etc.).  The naming of the M38 followed a similar convention to the M27, being named after the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines unit that tested the rifle out.
, The IAR was initially fielded in December 2010. Former SAW gunners initially did not like the M27, but appreciated it as time went on. Although certain selected M27s had been employed as marksman rifles since 2016, the M38 version outfits M27s selected for accuracy with a Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T 2.5-8x36mm variable power scope, the same optic fitted on the Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle. Its gas-operated short-stroke piston action with a rotating bolt runs cooler, cleaner, requires less maintenance, has less internal parts wear and is less susceptible to malfunctions compared to previous direct impingement M4/M16 style weapons.
The timeline for funding was planned for fiscal years 2019 and 2020, with the Corps acquiring some of the rifles in fiscal year 2018. , The M27 usually draws ammunition from a standard 30-round STANAG magazine. The most glaring problem with the M249: it was never a good institutional fit for the Marine Corps. It is a 3.5×35 machine gun optic that has a Ruggedized Miniature Reflex (RMR) sight screwed on top for close-quarters engagements under 100 meters.
)", "Corps chooses H&K to make SAW replacement", "Conway eyes additional testing for auto-rifle", Marines swap firepower for accuracy with IAR, "SAW replacement set for real world testing", "Infantry Automatic Rifle: Update on a Marine Corps Priority Weapon System", "Corps to Replace SAW With Automatic Rifle", Marines want 11,000 Infantry Automatic Rifles to replace M4 in every infantry squad, "Corps may field infantry auto-rifle this fall", West Coast Marines complete first M27 Designated Marksman Course, IAR wins over skeptical Marine infantrymen, M249 Light Machine Gun: Endangered species for Marines in Afghanistan, Marine brass endorses infantry plan to ditch M16 for M4, "Deadlier rifles and ammo may be on the way", "U.S. Marine Corps Selects Heckler & Koch Infantry Automatic Rifle (HK IAR) Candidate as Replacement for FN M249 SAW/LMG", No More M4 — USMC Adopts H&K M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, The Corps' quest for the best rifle for infantrymen, Marine Corps bans popular rifle magazines, Magpul speaks out on the Marine Corps polymer magazine ban, Army Round Triggers Problems in Marine M27 Auto Rifle, Marines to Get PMAG to Fix M27 Woes with M855A1 Round, Marine Unit in Norway First to Deploy with Rifle Suppressors, The Marine Corps Plans on Fielding Suppressors to Infantry Squads Starting this Year, "US Marine Corps Selects Leupold Scope for M38 Designated Marksman Rifle", USMC Fields Heckler & Koch M27 as M38 Designated Marksman Rifle, The Corps is on track to fully field the M38 marksman rifle, despite setbacks for the M27 IAR, "H&K wins Marine Corps IAR contract with HK416 variant", United States Navy press release regarding Contract #3928, "Heckler-Koch HK M27 IAR Infantry Automatic Rifle (USA / Germany)", "The Infantry Automatic Rifle: Closing the last 5 yards", United States Marine Corps Squad Advanced Marksman Rifle, United States Army Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=M27_Infantry_Automatic_Rifle&oldid=987138168, Weapons and ammunition introduced in 2010, Articles with dead external links from January 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the United States Marine Corps, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 36.9 to 33 in (940 to 840 mm) w/adjustable, This page was last edited on 5 November 2020, at 04:18. Nearly 30 percent of troops issued the M249 reported experiencing a stoppage in contact with the enemy, and 35 percent expressed a lack of confidence in weapon reliability. A bit like this, perhaps. Here’s eight reasons that this is the rifle our Corps needs now, and at the right price: 1. Thread pitch diameter, major diameter and minor diameter for M profile external threads are given.
The individual combat load would be determined at the unit level and was expected to vary by unit, based on results of evaluations conducted by the four infantry battalions and one light armored reconnaissance battalion that participated in the Limited User Evaluation.  Alternate calibers other than 5.56 mm are being considered for the M27. The M27 has suffered some M855A1 teething issues.
The notion that the M27 represents a reduction in suppressive fire has spawned considerable debate between proponents of the M249 SAW within the infantry and those who advocate that a lighter, more maneuverable, and accurate weapon is sufficient to support offensive operations at the squad level. The handguard has four MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails for use with accessories and optics. A Reconnaissance Man might care about that and for that matter, the root of the word “Marines” has something to do with water. Further, the SAW was already a battle-proven weapon. , The M27 IAR was adopted as the standard issue service rifle of the Marine Corps infantry - replacing the M4A1 - in 2018. Everything he has done has been checked and rechecked by attorneys, Inspector General personnel, Marine Gunners, and of course, by every firearms manufacturer looking for a contract and the elected officials who represent them. This has all been released to the public and has been discussed ad nauseum on Task & Purpose, The Firearm Blog, Soldier Systems Daily, and others for at least a year and a half, and I’m shocked that T&P did not include this in their recent article. It also blended in with standard M16-style service rifles, making it difficult for enemy forces to identify the machine gunner. After reading the article, “The Marine Corps’ Rifle is Super Expensive – And No One Knows Why,” I spent a few days pondering my response.
Instead of recycling hot, dirty propellent gases to cycle the weapon the M27 vents them, resulting in a cooler running, cleaner running, if slightly front-heavy rifle. Ammunition consumption went up, the weight of carried ammunition went up, and accuracy went down—not an ideal situation for infantry.
, Another benefit of the M27 over the M249 is that in many respects it resembles an M4 rifle as used by the rest of the squad. The rifle barrel is slightly longer and heavier than the M4 carbine, giving the M27 a slight range advantage over the carbine. The Universal Need Statement spent six years going through the procurement process before an official program was begun and a list of required capabilities was created in early 2005. , The M27 is based on the H&K HK416. The improved STANAG magazine with the tan-colored anti-tilt follower is favored over the previous version with the green follower because it can be inserted more easily and the anti-tilt follower can handle high rates of fully automatic fire with less chance of malfunction. With a shrinking budget, the Marine Corps is looking at ways to implement the IAR as a multipurpose weapon. The IAR is based on the Heckler and Koch 416 rifle, which outwardly is very similar to the M4 carbine. Characteristics desired in the weapon included: portability and maneuverability; similarity in appearance to other rifles in the squad, reducing the likelihood that the gunner will receive special attention from the enemy; facilitation of the gunner's participation in counter-insurgency operations and capability of maintaining a high volume of fire. Compared to a nine-man U.S. Army infantry squad, the Marine squad has four more personnel and a third rifle team, the result being increased flexibility and more tactical options for the squad leader. In 1999, a Universal Need Statement was issued for an Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). Army leaders are building a Next Generation Squad Weapon rather than field the M27, a rifle Marines have adopted as their Squad Automatic Weapon replacement and as a designated marksman rifle. In a firefight, squad members carrying extra magazines for the M27 might not always be in position to supply them to the gunner. As of August 2017, officials have stated that "riflemen are the top priority," but that the M27 "will be in the hands of combat engineers and light armored reconnaissance battalion scouts next." Readers should consider that the USMC requires more than just the basic rifle.
Suggestions included use as an automatic rifle and as a designated marksman rifle, a role where it replaced the Squad Advanced Marksman Rifle. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was so impressed by the performance of the M27 in testing and the Marines’ confidence in it that he ordered Marine Corps Systems Command to purchase the Approved Acquisition Objective and fully field the weapon.
A magazine-fed rifle, requiring frequent reloading, would not be able to sustain the same rate of fire. Don't let the critics tell you otherwise. The M27 differs in other ways.  1st Battalion 3rd Marines were deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 with 84 IARs. The Corps later issued a pre-solicitation notice for the M27. This weapon will take the USMC Infantry to the next generation of service weapons — a system the US Army continues to develop as I write. In 2010, the marines introduced the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). For example, USMC M27s have proven to group within three Minutes of Angle with M855 ball at a round count of 33,000 (at 100M). Created for the SAW, the day optic offers slightly less magnification, but longer eye relief than the ACOG Rifle Combat Optic (RCO) on M16s and M4s.
The main difference between the M27 and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, however, is accuracy. 4.
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