Friday, October 03, 2008

Cool New Tool for the Military

This new .50 caliber machine gun looks like a definite asset for our guys.


BY Debi Dawson

The LW50, an addition to the Army's arsenal of machine guns at one-half the weight of the M2 .50-Caliber Machine Gun and with 60 percent less recoil, does not require the setting of headspace and timing. The LW50 provides Soldiers with the punch of a .50-caliber machine gun in the footprint of a 7.62mm weapon system, allowing them to bring .50 caliber lethality to the fight in situations where using a light to medium machine gun is the only available option.

The LW50, a technological spinout from the 25mm XM307 Advanced Crew Served Weapon program, is capable of firing all current .50-caliber ammunition in the inventory, including the standard M33 ball; the M8 armor-piercing incendiary; the M903 saboted light armor penetrator; and the MK211 multipurpose round that combines armor-piercing, explosive, and incendiary effects.

"A major benefit of the LW50 is the weight and recoil savings and no requirement to adjust the headspace and timing," said Shailesh Parmar, a product director for Product Manager Crew Served Weapons in the office of Project Manager Soldier Weapons. "The LW50 is expected to weigh less than 65 pounds, including tripod and traversing and elevation mechanism, compared with the M2 system's weight of 128 pounds, a savings of 63 pounds or more," said Parmar. He also noted that the LW50 can be set up faster than an M2 because it does not need ballast to weigh down the tripod due to less recoil.

The LW50's greatly reduced recoil enables Soldiers to use weapon-magnified optics and maintain sight picture of the target, which was unthinkable and potentially painful with the M2.
Definitely something our guys can use.


GeorgeH said...

Look at the skinny barrel on that thing. One belt of ammo would melt it unless it is made of something super exotic. If it is, then it needs to be compared to a titanium M2 with a similar barrel.

Bob said...

lethality at half the weight

Sounds like the selling point of the original M-16. Reliability, not so much. Field testing will determine if this new .50 will retire Mr. Browning's M2 design.