7.62mm LMGs aren’t typically employed as precision battlefield implements, but IWI aims to change the way armies think of these middleweights with their new Negev NG-7 machinegun. The company claims that theirs is the first 7.62mm LMG to feature a semi-automatic firing mode in addition to full-auto. (TTAG Commentator Chase points out that the select fire HK21 predates the NG-7.) The NG-7 is also lightweight and optics-ready . . .
7.62mm LMGs like M240s and PKMs are beloved by ground troops for their firepower, and because they get their grim job done at distances and through protective cover that lighter weapons cannot overcome. Unlike assault rifles or 5.56mm-class LMGs, heavy 7.62mm bullets chew through logs, sandbags and cinderblocks and also retain enough kinetic energy to put the terminal hurt on tangos out to 1,000 meters and beyond.
For a live demonstration in permanently pacifying Taliban from outrageous ranges with an M240B, go back and watch Restrepo again. But what’s the big deal about adding a semi-automatic selector position to the Negev NG-7? In a word, accuracy.
7.62mm LMGs like the M240 can deliver suppressive ‘minute-of-enemy-infantry squad’ accuracy out to more than two miles, according to Army Field Manual FM 3-22.68 Chapter 3. But they’re also capable of engaging single enemy targets at 600-800 meters.
They’ve got three big handicaps when it comes to long-range precision, however: they usually have iron sights, they fire from an open bolt, and they’re full-auto only. This video shows that it takes an expert trigger finger to fire just one round at a time.
The Negev NG-7 makes single shots a snap. It also has a built-in 1913 scope rail to make the long shots easier and allow the gunner to spot and adjust his fire at extreme range. It still can’t avoid firing from an open bolt, but this is pretty much a non-negotiable cooling requirement for any gun that’s designed for sustained automatic fire.
Those who complain that their AR-10 is too heavy should take note: the NG-7 tips the scales at ‘only’ 17 pounds empty. This sounds like a lot, but it’s damned good for a 7.62mm LMG. It’s only a hair more than a PKM, and nearly ten pounds less than a 240B.
Rest assured we’re working 24/7 to get our hands on an NG-7 for testing and evaluation. Yeah, I wish… [ED: NDIA baby.]