“Marine Corps Systems Command personnel and gun maker Heckler & Koch staff delivered more than 80 M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles Dec. 3 to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment armorers,” reports waronterrornews.typepad.com. “The rifles were being assembled and prepared for this week’s operator and maintainer training exercises to be conducted by 1/3 Squad Automatic Weapon gunners and armorers. The hope is that the M27 IAR will be able to someday replace the heavier, less maneuverable M249 SAW in most situations.” Hope? You mean plan. Just over a year ago, the Marine Times reported the H&K contract. In fact . . .

The Marines have ordered 4100 IARs to replace the significantly heavier M249 SAW (9.2. vs. 22 lbs).

The 1/3 will be testing the weapons throughout a full pre-deployment training schedule to deliver a pre-assessment of the weapon. Once the battalion deploys, they will conduct another assessment based on the performance of the weapon through the first one hundred days of operations. After all battalions have completed their evaluations, they will be delivered to the commandant for review.

What’s the hurry?

6 Responses to Marines Prepare to Field Test H&K M27 IAR

  1. I lieu of belt-fed ammo, does it accommodate high-capacity (100+) magazines? Doesn’t look like it. That’s a major drawback, even when they’re blowing smoke about belt-fed ammo getting snagged. Please. What’s next, a magazine-fed M240G?

    As for the SAW’s weight, the 240G is only three or so pounds heavier and packs a bigger punch. Yeah, the ammo weighs more and you have an extra barrel to be accountable for, but swapping barrels is a huge advantage. I’d rather carry the 240G on a dismounted patrol than the SAW to begin with, so I don’t see the M27 IAR so much as a direct SAW replacement, though it may be fielded as one, but an acknowledgment that the SAW wasn’t a particularly great weapon system.

    Way to get my attention first thing in the morning, Robert.

    • This weapon can support high-capacity magazines! Also, this weapon is not replacing the SAW. This is just a testing phase. Read the whole article again and you’ll see that. The Marine battalions who are testing them will submit the reviews to decide the weapons fate. As for now, this is just a supplement to the SAW. The SAW will not be weeded out of the equation yet, but, if Marines love the heck out this thing then maybe it will. We’ll find out in a year from now

  2. I was under the impression that they just wanted a new full auto carbine with out going through all the red tape that comes from trying to get a new M4 or M16. I can’t see how you could have a carbine fulfill the same role as a LMG.

  3. Interesting grist for the piston vs. direct impingement debate. Reading the specs it appears that Lance is correct. This is piston-upper AR, not a SAW.

  4. This is just great! Let’s outsource more American manufacturing to a foreign country. Who needs American manufacturers and American jobs anymore. We can just buy everything from overseas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *