Not Your Schoolyard Backpack: The "Iron Man" Mk 48 7.62mm Pack

A custom-built ammunition backpack for the Mk48 7.62mm machine gun could completely revolutionize how soldiers use this powerful gun.

When it comes to unloading a constant stream of firepower, nothing does it better than a high-powered machine gun. The Mk48 is a favorite machine gun among soldiers for its light weight and reliability. As great as they are, the one major problem with a gun that fires 700 rounds per minutes is keeping it loaded. The Mk48 has a belt-fed design so that soldiers can keep the gun firing, but carrying around those heavy bags of ammo can be a real hassle.

The ammo sacks that come with the gun are much too heavy and bulky for soldiers to carry over long distances, reported Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski. After he was issued the gun, his first method of solving the ammo weight problem was to break up the bag into 50-round belts, but he found that this resulted in slow and costly reload times. So, what did he do? He grabbed a welding torch and came up with a devastatingly efficient ammo carrier design.

He started with an All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE), welded two ammo cans on top of each other, and strapped them to the back of the ALICE. The result was an easy-to-carry backpack that allowed a soldier to feed the ammunition directly out of his backpack and into his weapon. No reloading, no hassle — just bullets. And on top of everything else, it just looks awesome.

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