SOCOM looks to buy 5,000 lightweight machine guns in .338

The LWMMG uses the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge to extend the battlespace for small unit machine guns out to an impressive 1,700 meters, eliminating the gap between 7.62mm and .50 caliber weapons. (Photo: General Dynamics)

The LWMMG uses the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge to extend the battlespace for small unit machine guns out to an impressive 1,700 meters, eliminating the gap between 7.62mm and .50 caliber weapons. (Photo: General Dynamics)

The U.S. Special Operations Command, partnering with the Marine Corps, is looking for domestic sources for a .338 Norma Magnum caliber machine gun.

In a sources sought listing posted on May 11, SOCOM stated a need to fill an order for 5,000 Lightweight Medium Machineguns chambered in .338NM. The 300 grain belted magnum round is touted as having a recoil similar to a 7.62mm NATO round while still being lethal out past 1,700 meters. At 1,000 meters, the round is still capable of defeating Level III body armor and penetrating soft skinned vehicles, thus considered a bridge between the current 7.62mm offerings and .50 BMG.

The LWMMG specs include that it should be belt-fed, use polymer-cased .338 NM, weigh less than 24-pounds unloaded with a 24-inch barrel, and have a 500-600 round per minute rate of fire. The system, capable of using the standard mounts and M192 tripods designed for the M240 series general purpose machine gun, would include both a suppressed and unsuppressed barrel, capable of rapid changes between the two, as well as all accessories.

Defense contracting giant General Dynamics in 2012 debuted a 24-pound M240 style LWMMG that fired the .338NM and carries it in their catalog today.

The expansion into the .338NM caliber was preceded by a similar source’s statement last month by SOCOM for a convertible advanced sniper rifle system adaptable to fire the 7.62mm NATO, .300NM, and .338NM cartridges.

Latest Reviews

  • Springfield SAINT: Your High-Value AR-15

    The Springfield Armory SAINT offers a high-value, no-frills-required AR-15 platform. We put it through its paces to see if it's worth adding to your collection. After several trips to the range, we can confirm this is a great gun.

    Read More
  • The Sig Sauer P320 X5 Legion is an Amazing Pistol

    The Sig Sauer p320 X5 Legion has been on the market for a little while now. So I wanted to bring you a review after shooting more than 30,000 rounds through mine over a year of competing in 3-gun and USPSA.

    Read More
  • 17 Reasons to Love the Glock 17

    Glock 17s are trusted by law enforcement and militaries around the world. But they are also great guns for civilians. Here are our top 17 reasons to get a Glock 17.

    Read More
  • Sig P320 vs. Sig P365 for Concealed Carry

    Sig’s P365 and P320 offer two great options for concealed carry. Their compact sizes and high magazine capacities make them excellent choices for everyday carry. They're also easy to customize.

    Read More

Loading