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NAT’L – MILITARY – Special operations Marines to call for end of iconic machine gun: M2 ‘Ma Deuce’ soon will be replaced (VIDEO)

Special operations Marines are aiming to replace their long-serving and iconic M2 machine gun. After more than 80 years with the M2 “Ma Deuce” weapon, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, otherwise known as MARSOC, is seeking to lighten its machine gun load. First produced in 1933, the M2 quickly earned a reputation for reliability and power and is the longest-serving weapon in the U.S. military arsenal. Its .50 caliber round is one of the largest in existence, allowing the user to hit targets at more than 8,000 yards. With a firing rate reaching nearly 600 rounds per minute, the M2 is formidable in a firefight. “Witnessing the downrange effects of the .50-caliber bullet is an eye-opening experience,” wrote Gordon Rottman, author of Browning .50-Caliber Machine Guns. “There are few who can say they were wounded by a .50-cal. Those hit seldom say much more.” But all the power of the “Ma Deuce” comes with a price. Weighing in at more than 80 pounds, the M2 and its large caliber ammunition are a heavy cargo. Hence the search for a lighter substitute. Two potential replacements have come forward. The Sig Sauer MG 338 system has completed a safety certification, company president Robert Cohen said in a statement. Also in contention is General Dynamics’s Lightweight Medium Machine Gun. The replacement weapon could come on-line as early as 2021. Created by the renowned firearms designer John Browning, the “Ma Deuce” has been used by more than 100 countries around the world, from Argentina to ZImbabwe. In the United States, it has been used by war fighters beyond those in MARSOC.  [full article]

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