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Assault rifle


The M27 infantry automatic rifle was adopted by US Marine Corps in 2011

Country of origin United States
Entered service 2011
Caliber 5.56x45 mm
Weight (empty) 3.6 kg
Length (stock extended) 940 mm
Length (stock collapsed) 840 mm
Barrel length 419 mm
Muzzle velocity 890 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 700 - 850 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range ?
Range of effective fire 550 m


   A HK416D is a modified variant of a Heckler & Koch HK416 assault rifle. It was introduced in 2010. In turn the HK416 is an improved version of the M4 carbine, that is widely used by the US military. The HK416D has been adopted by the US Marine corps as the M27 in 2011. Marines initially ordered 4 748 rifled and planned to obtain a total of 6 500 of these automatic weapons. These partially replaced the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, that was adopted back in 1985. The main goal adopting the M27 was to enhance automatic rifleman's maneuverability, especially in urban terrain. However the M249 will remain in service with the US Marine Corps. The new weapon is distributed one per 4-men fireteam.

   In terms of appearance and ergonomics the M27 is very similar to the M16A4 and M4A1 and has a familiar feel for soldiers, reducing the time needed for retraining. However the German Heckler & Koch company successfully improved this weapon and cured a lot of its problems.

   The M27 is a gas-operated automatic weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. It uses a patented gas piston system, derived from the Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. This new operating system significantly reduced malfunctions and increased life of parts, comparing with the M16A4 assault rifle. The new weapon is much more reliable.

   The M27 has a 419 mm (16.5") barrel. The barrel is cold hammer-forged and has a 20 000 round service life.

   Charging handle is ambidextrous. Fire mode selector has three positions for "safe", "semi-auto" and "full-auto".

   This assault rifle is fed from 30-round magazines. At the start of testing this automatic rifle used 100 round magazines, however these were unreliable. It is compatible with all standard NATO 5.56 mm magazines. However the M27 was criticized for its low magazine capacity, as it replaced the belt-fed 200 round suppressive fire weapon. Even though the M27 is more reliable and more accurate, it looses in terms of firepower to the M249. This magazine-fed rifle has to reload more often and is not able of sustaining fire. The gunner of the M27 is expected to carry a total of 16 to 22 magazines, depending on mission requirements. While the gunner of the M16A4 typically carries only 7 magazines.

   Weapon has a telescopic buttstock, that can be extended or collapsed to suit the shooter.

   The M27 has a Picatinny-type scope rail and can be used with various scopes. It comes as standard with Trijicon 3.5x magnification day sight. There is a reflex sight on top for close-quarters engagement. Also there are flip-up diopter sight and front post for emergency use. The M27 has effective range of 550 m against point targets and 800 m against area targets.

   There are accessory rails on all four sides of the forearm. The M27 is compatible with most current accessories for the M16 and M4, including a 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher. Also the M27 is often used with detachable bipod and laser pointer.






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