FN MK 48 Mod 2 Machine Gun Prototype in 6.5CM Unveiled

FN MK 48 Mod 2

The new FN MK 48 Mod 2 machine gun is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Image courtesy of FN America

FN Herstal has announced a prototype for the newest variant of the MK 48 machine gun. The Mod 2 variant is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The prototype is styled as the FN MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM.

Debuted at the 2019 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa May 18-23, the machine gun is part of FN’s response to USSOCOM’s qualification of the caliber last year. If civilian shooters had any reservations about the acceptance and longevity of the 6.5 Creedmoor, this should dispel them.

The FN MK 48 Mod 0, adopted as a USSOCOM program of record in 2003, was developed from FN Herstal’s 7.62x51mm FN MINIMI at the military’s request for a compact and easily-maneuverable machine gun in a heavier caliber.

The prototype FN MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM features the latest upgrades for FN’s series of light and medium machine guns, including

  • an adjustable stock for length of pull and cheek height;
  • improved, locking charging handle; 
  • improved, double-notched sear; 
  • improved handguard with 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions with improved bipod; and, 
  • more robust feed tray latch, ensuring the feed tray cover locks into place during reloads. 

Once development is complete, existing MK 48 Mod 1 models can be configured at the armorer level to the Mod 2 variant, or another chambering, with the addition of the upgrade kit and barrel conversion.

The improvements to the MK 48 Mod 0 were also incorporated into the M249 series and is in service with USSOCOM as the MK 46 5.56x45mm machine gun. In addition, FN also holds current USSOCOM contracts for the MK 17 7.62-caliber carbine and MK 20 SSR precision rifle.

For TTAGers who’ve handled the Mod 1 or other machine guns, do you think the 6.5 CM has the horses to replace the 7.62 round in range and downrange effectiveness?

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    One Gun To Rule Them All. CREEDMOOR!

  2. avatar Woody from NY says:

    Kind of curious about the longevity of the barrel. My 6.5 x 284 Norma has always been labeled as a short barrel life cartridge. The 6.5 CM is slower, but fire it on full auto and I don’t know if that will matter. Any thoughts?

    1. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

      How do you like your bacon, crispy crunchy or burnt

      1. avatar Kahlil says:

        vaporized. All it takes is the threat of 6.5 more Creed and the pig just rolls over and dies, sublimating into bacon and pancetta.

        1. avatar anaxis says:

          You’re thinking of .45

          6.5 CM not only vaporizes, it instantly metabolises pork into sheer awesomeness, available to any Americans within earshot; while also providing a +11 buff to teammate Fuck Yeah stats until ammo runs out, or everything is dead.

  3. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “For TTAGers who’ve handled the Mod 1 or other machine guns, do you think the 6.5 CM has the horses to replace the 7.62 round in range and downrange effectiveness?”

    Nope…And I would hate to be in theatre and run short of ammunition, at the very least, 7.62×51 is available worldwide…

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      I agree. Not even the type of ammo, but it’s a smaller caliber and that’s a no-go for me. 5.56 and 7.62 make a good combo.

    2. avatar anaxis says:

      Except at this point, the only guys that are going to be toting these MGs aren’t the ones who normally have to worry about getting things, no matter where they’re at.

      I’ve had a private theory for a long time, that SOCOM has a worldwide network of pneumatic tubes, which Umbrella Academy totally lifted.

      But if they ever do run out of rounds, it means things have seriously gone south of sideways, and the goings got too tough for the cyclic.

      We’ll just never hear about them rectifying the situation by speed-dialing in super-squirrels, melting everything around them, and/or unassing the AO like the ninjas they are.

  4. avatar possum destroyer of arachnids says:

    Well according to some this gunm is the answer to Viagra

  5. avatar Someone says:

    As long as we are discussing gun news:

    The Illinois State Rifle Association is pleased to announce the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois will hear the case of: People of the State of Illinois v Vivian Claudine Brown.

    This case is an appeal by the Illinois Attorney General of a case from White County IL, where the circuit judge ruled that the FOID card requirement was unconstitutional in this particular case, where Ms Brown had a .22 cal rifle in her home and did not have a FOID card and was not a prohibited person.

    No dates for arguments have been set at this time. We will keep you informed..

    Richard A. Pearson
    ISRA Executive Director

  6. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Is this the gun OBUMMER said we could get in the mail or buy anywhere anytime,? If so I want one.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      I want one anyways. I don’t care how I have to get it.

  7. thank you Mr Pearson . now about the cm, no I think the 7,62×51 is better. but is the cm around lighter round and easier to carry? or does it matter?

  8. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    As voiced above, I’d just be worried about the supply chain.
    As far as horsepower goes? Yeah, it’ll out perform the 7.62 all day long.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Tom, I agree with your comment on the supply chain. The first thing I thought was logistics. As far the authors comment that this assures the longevity of the 6.5. Not so fast. You can’t bake a cake with flower alone. It will depend on who, how many, if any, militaries adopt it. Along with other weapons systems chambered for it. Rifles in this caliber would fly in the face of decades of the intermediate cartridge theory. Not that I think that’s a bad thing. I’ve always had a .556 and 7.62X39. See logistics. Tom, I’ll allow your ballistic edge of the 6.5 CR over 7.62 NATO. Two questions. Will anyone on the receiving end be able to tell the difference? Is it worth the expense of the research & development, adoption and issue for a large military? I don’t think so on both counts.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        SOCOM did a pretty in depth trial between the 7.62NATO and the 6.5CM and found that, all other things equal, their shooters doubled their hit percentage at and beyond the 1,000 yard mark with the CM, almost purely due to wind calls. Jeremy S wrote it up.
        Some SF units have already adopted the CM for their bolt guns. For those units, also chambering their MGs in the same caliber may make sense.
        But I mean “may” because I don’t think it does, purely for the logistics reason you’ve already mentioned.
        Im betting this will be an “also has” configuration that I doubt will be used often.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Correction, not doubled, increased by 50%.

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          Is the Mk48 being used out to such distances, though? I thought the whole point was a more mobile, compact 308 belt fed for tighter environments & vehicle use. It’s quite a bit lighter-duty than the M240 –intentionally so– so the high-volume/sustained-fire (for a belt-fed) type use seems like a strain on its abilities.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          barnbwt, you mean at 1k yards? I seriously doubt it.

        4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          JW, I agree. Logistics is the key. If a team in the field has a turn bolt in 6.5 CM, okay. Bolt rifle and belt fed while everyone else another caliber. Not so much. Now if everyone is carrying 6.5 CM…Especially Spec Ops. Question: which rifle platform do they use? AR-10 offers ease of crossover training. M-14, FN FAL, G-3 are all what I think could be adapted to the caliber. Are an all new rifle could be developed. Billions of dollars and years later it’s deployed. 6.5 CM may have a niche in SOCOM, but I don’t think so as general issue.

        5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Or, an all new…damn spell check.

        6. avatar Anymouse says:

          AR-10 pattern Mk11/M110s or SCAR-H MK17/MK20. Both could be converted to 6.5CM.

        7. avatar Geoff “Guns. Lots of guns.” PR says:

          How often are special forces deployed where they need to scrounge ammo from the locals?

          Since they pretty much operate with what they hump in, ammo incompatibility seems to be a non-issue. Let ’em use whatever they want. If anything, it keeps the locals from using their ammo…

        8. avatar Leslie says:

          ~$3,100 USD is a bit pricey for an M14 type (M65) 6.5 CM…

        9. avatar DrewN says:

          FA makes a premium product. Well worth the price. Best M14,M1,Carbine on the market and their AR pattern rifles are top notch as well.

    2. avatar Erik Weisz says:

      Exactly. It’s Creedmoor, not Creedless.

  9. avatar daveinwyo says:

    I truly do not understand the need to change from a round that has worked for decades, to one that is only marginally different. How is 6.5 better than 7.62? Are we looking at the military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about? Change for the sake of money? An answer looking for a question? What??
    Last thing we need is more expense in logistics for a new gun/round when we can’t even field a military that can beat a bunch of 7th century barbarians.
    I also don’t buy the “lighter so troops can carry more” crap. Didn’t work in VN, doesn’t work now.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Those 7th century barbarians often outgun us.

      1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

        PK and PKM machine guns using the 7.62x54R cartridge have a better range than a 5.56 AR or SAW. To counter the MG’s the M110 DMR was fielded but didn’t significantly increase the max effective range or suppressive capability for the rest of the team.
        Solution? Re-barrel a SAW for a cartridge with less drop, better ballistic coefficient, and improved accuracy over a 7.62 round. Seems like a no-brainer but some people have a hard time with reality – unless it’s their ass getting pinned down in order for the lesson to sink in.

      2. avatar daveinwyo says:

        That’s because the 5.56 is just a souped up .22. Should have gone with the AR10 version.
        That seems to be the reason everyone is “upgrading” to large cal. uppers for AR15s

    2. avatar B.D. says:

      Never underestimate your enemy.

    3. daveinwyo, you said,
      “I truly do not understand the need to change from a round that has worked for decades, to one that is only marginally different.”

      If everyone thought that way, the U.S. military would still be using .30-06 in all their rifles and machine guns, just as we did in WWII, rather than going to the 7.62 (which is not only marginally different, but also LESS POWERFUL than the .30-06) and the 5.56 (which is far less powerful than the .30-06).

      “How is 6.5 better than 7.62?”
      In every possible way!
      Range…. accuracy…. energy…. drop…. wind drift…. muzzle velocity…. recoil…. weight (ability to carry more rounds due to lighter weight)….high BC (ballistic coefficient)….high SD (sectional density)…etc.

      It will probably be better at penetration, also, when they develop armor-piercing (AP) ammunition for the 6.5 Creedmoor, but I haven’t seen any studies on that, and I’m not aware of any AP ammunition for it yet.

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        @ D Dave; thanks for the info vs. 7.62. The main reason we went to 308 vs. 30-06, IMO, was because the Army isn’t like the Marines, where everyone is a rifleman first. Also the 308/7.62 was/is more control-able in full auto.
        Check the statistics of riflemen accuracy in the Army vs. Marines. Rounds fired vs. hits on target.
        Spray and pray is not good marksmanship. Hence the 3 round burst.
        Or are Army shooters that much better in the 21st century than in the 20th?
        Former SF weapons specialist, ’69-’76.

        1. avatar daveinwyo says:

          PS; The difference between 6.5 vs. 7.62 in a MG is probably very slight. MGs are for suppression fire, not pinpoint accuracy.

  10. avatar Mercutio says:

    Someone is going to see 6.5 CM and think 6.5cm… with much hilarity ensuing

  11. avatar Greg says:

    .260 Remington is the better round. DoD always looking for the magic round and camo.😉

  12. avatar Ironhead says:

    To be honest, I have always been a .308 guy. I like it, reasonable recoil, its readily available. And it gets the job done. I’ve poked fun at the 6.5 cm before. Then I shot it.
    And now I own a rifle chambered in it. And I’m getting another one.
    As far as supply chain, there was a time that 7.62 x 51 was the new guy in town.

  13. avatar Dutch says:

    “You went full Creedmoor man, never go full Creedmoor”

    1. avatar Kahlil says:

      @Dutch – in the immortal words of Private William Hudson, “Game over, man…game over!”

  14. avatar HellBilly says:

    “For TTAGers who’ve handled the Mod 1 or other machine guns, do you think the 6.5 CM has the horses to replace the 7.62 round in range and downrange effectiveness?“

    My question is as those above mentioned is barrel life, MGs easily go through thousands and thousands of rounds per year. But Also, barrel length. Not sure what the story is now, but when I left the army in ‘11, everything was going to shorter and shorter barrels, even the machine guns. I don’t remember the exact length of the short 240 barrel, but it looked something like 16 inches. 6.5 creedmoor/.224 valkyrie and the like, doesn’t seem to me to be fitting for combat roles based on that.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      From comments here and in other forums, including my range, is 6.5 CM has a third of the barrel life of a 7.62/.308.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        Good thing it has a quick change barrel then.

        1. avatar Leslie says:

          I suspect it would seriously depend on whether the 6.5 CM barrels are either Chrome or Nitrided Lined. Average Life Expectancy of the .308 Win or .30-06 is between 5,000 to 8,000 rounds in an untreated barrel. the 6.5 CM between 2,000 and 3,000 rounds, and worse still for the 6.5×284 Norma at between 1,500 and 1,800 rounds. I suspect the High Muzzle Velocities and the Propellant used to propel the 6.5 to those velocities have a weakening affect on Non-Treated Barrels…

  15. avatar Leslie says:

    Five Small Arms Manufacturers are competing in the competition on 30 May 2019.

    1. AAI Corporation Textron Systems
    2. FN America, LLC.
    3. General Dynamics-Otis, Inc.
    4. PCP Tactical, LLC.
    5. Sig Sauer, Inc.

    Of the five, three contenders will be picked in October 2019, for a more than a Year competition. New Squad Automatic Weapon, should be introduced into the U.S. Military within Twenty-Seven Months. The Test is called “Environmental Mil-Std.-810 Overview” and there’s Twenty-Four categories in the Testing to Qualify. Fifty-One percent or greater in each category is required to past the test…

  16. avatar Arc says:

    If this thing is ANYTHING like the Jam-o-matic M249 SAW… Fuck it, just give me the M240 with a short barrel.

  17. avatar Joseph says:

    An absolutely magnificent waste of time.

    1. avatar Ed P. says:

      I, we, us really shouldn’t be part of the 6.5CM discussion. As military/industrial projects go this project is way less than a rounding error. Let the warfighter/evaluators on the pointy end make the call on the 6.5CM. Yes, I realize that, more than likely, their input will get lost in the numbers, i.e., figures lie, liars figure.

  18. avatar greg kiefer says:

    I just hope some guy in the field do not get butt-fucked because some guy behind a desk gets a bright idea.

  19. avatar Jr says:

    This is silly. Why would you need more than one shot of 6.5CM?

  20. avatar Herb Gerber says:

    can someone tell me what this thing does that a Browning 1919 didn’t do 100 years ago? tell you what. you can shoot at me with that thing from 1000 yards and I’ll shoot at you with an actual GP machine gun and we will see who cries uncle first.

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