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U.S. SOCOM receives new Sig Sauer MG 338 lightweight machine gun systems.

| 2020

U.S. Special Operations Command has officially taken delivery of its first Sig Sauer MG 338 machine gun, the company announced on Wednesday, Jan.15.

U.S. SOCOM receives new lightweight machine gun
Sig Sauer MG 338, now dubbed the Lightweight Machine Gun-Medium (LMG-M) (Picture source: Sig Sauer)

According to Sig Sauer, SOCOM has completed its official safety certification for the MG 338 and taken delivery of "multiple systems" comprised of the machine gun, .338 Norma Magnum ammunition, and suppressors, Jared Keller reports on Task&Purpose.

“For the first time in decades, the U.S. 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," Sig Sauer President and CEO Ron Cohen said in a statement.

SOCOM has been looking for a new lightweight machine gun — now dubbed the Lightweight Machine Gun-Medium (LMG-M) — since 2017, when a contract listing specified a need for 5,000 systems capable of firing fire belt-fed .338 Norma Mag rounds with "sufficient accuracy to engage area targets and vehicles at 2,000 yards."

According to Sig Sauer, the MG 338 will bridge the gap between the current 7.62mm M240 machine gun and the .50 cal M2 in terms of effective range and man-portability. Indeed, the company claims that the MG 338, with its weight of just 20 pounds, is "noticeably lighter" than the M240 while offering a maximum effective range similar to the M2. The MG 338 can be converted to fire 7.62mm ammunition, as well, a conversion that would allow special operators to conduct various types of general training, such as basic familiarization with the gun and its controls, without having to use more expensive .338 Norma Magnum ammunition.


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