General Dynamics new MMG in .338 Magnum...

#1
The Firearm Blog » .338 NM Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG)

MOD's - I thought the story sufficiently different to the "7.62 LMG" thread to warrent a new one. Interestingly, it IS actually a totally new round for an MMG, a Norma Magnum which is a lot like a Lapua Magnum I believe? Looks like a GPMG to me, but maybe an improved one? That round has been chosen for its punch at range - efforts to make the .50cal man portable hasn't really worked, however this one seems to have done. It uses an experimental soft recoil system (NOT based on a GPMG although it looks like it) and apparently barely moves on bipod when firing. Which is nice...

Edit: Here's the Press release from the article

"From the press release ...

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), today unveiled a next-generation Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG) at the Joint Armaments Conference in Seattle, Wash.

Identifying an unmet warfighter need, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products conducted its own research and development program to develop the LWMMG in just over one year. The weapon is designed for low-cost production and for maximum effectiveness at the small unit level, where weight and lethality are decisive factors.

“The LWMMG is an affordable weapon that closes a current operational gap, providing .50 caliber-like firepower in range and effect at the same weight and size of currently fielded 7.62mm machine guns,” said Steve Elgin, vice president and general manager of armament systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. “Weighing in at 24 pounds and featuring a fully collapsible stock, the LWMMG offers superior mobility and portability in both mounted and dismounted operations.”

General Dynamics’ LWMMG also offers a distinct advantage in both extended and close-in fighting by using the highly efficient .338 Norma Magnum cartridge for increased accuracy and lethality out to 1,700 meters, a distance currently gapped in the operational capabilities of warfighters.

“By employing the larger .338 NM round, the LWMMG delivers twice the range and dramatically increases lethality above the 7.62 round,” said Elgin. “In addition, the LWMMG goes beyond providing suppressive fire and gives warfighters the ability to attack point targets at significantly extended ranges.”

The LWMMG has a firing rate of 500 rounds per minute, a maximum range of 5,642 meters, and is equipped with quick-change barrel technology. In addition to use by dismounted infantry and on ground vehicles, the weapon can be used as the armament system aboard helicopters and littoral craft, providing greater range and effectiveness for those platforms.

“The LWMMG is a well-designed machine gun ideally suited to provide long-range lethality to U.S. and allied forces,” Elgin said."
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
They haven't really designed this one its essentially a re-chambered FN MAG!
You obviously didn't read Tony Williams' comment below the article:

I’ve just been examing the gun at NDIA and talking to the GD people there (including the ammo designer, Jimmie Sloan). The gun isn’t based on the FN MAG / M240, it’s actually based on the .50 cal XM806. It uses the same soft-recoil technology, in that the gun fires as the barrel group is moving forwards. This smoothes out the recoil dramatically, allowing the gun to weigh about the same as the M240 (24 lbs) and to use a lightweight tripod. I’ve been watching a video of it firing and it doesn’t move – most impressive.
The 338NM was chosen to keep the length down with long, heavy bullets. The loading used for the MG is a 300 grain FMJ at 2,650 fps.
 
#7
Sounds like a load of old cock as a light role gun.

There's nowt wrong with existing 7.62 weapons in the direct or indirect fire role, no bugger will be thankfull for them making the link even heavier to carry while at the same time increasing recoil.

The gun firing as the barrel moves forward is stolen from the old Vz/Besa tank machine gun, it's not a new idea.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
looks nothing like the XM806, which is a lightweight M2, 338 looks like it uses a piston as per GPMG.

Look doesn't mean the same, the Croatian VHS looks like a Famas, but the two have different operating mechanisms Direct Impingement/lever delayed blowback:

The design of the LW50MG is based on the recoil-reducing action, developed for 25mm XM-307 ACSW grenade launcher.The barrel is locked by the conventional rotating bolt, which, in turn, is operated by more or less conventional gas system. The bolt group moves within the barrel extension, which, along with the barrel and gas system, can recoil inside the gun housing. The LW50MGfires from the open bolt, and at the moment of fire the recoiling group (barrel, barrel extension, gas system and gas drive) is in its rearmost position, resting against the spring. When trigger is pulled to fire the gun, the barrel group first is released to slam forward. as soon as its acceleration results in sufficient kinetic energy / inertia build-up, the sear is released and the cartridge is fired while barrel/bolt group is still moving forward. Therefore the recoil of the discharge first had to overcome the inertia of the recoiling group, and only then group began to recoil back, compressing the return spring. At the same time gas drive unlocks the bolt, and retracts it within the barrel extension, extracting and ejecting a fired case.
Modern Firearms - LW50MG
 
#9
Sounds like it will be another overly complicated failure as a section weapon.

There's an extremely good reason why the MAG uses the old fashioned tipping bolt made famous by moses and Vz and why weapons like the M60 got kicked into touch and replaced with them.
 
#11
Unless I miss my guess, this is less of a more powerful GPMG and more a lighter, handier, M2. Instead of comparing to 7.62x51mm, it should be compared to 12.7x99mm.


This paired with something a bit smaller than 7.62mm and both making use of high sectional density bullets would give nearly all the capabilities of the current pairing of 7.62 and 12.7 but at much less weight. 6.5 and 8.6?
 
#12
Sounds like a load of old cock as a light role gun.

There's nowt wrong with existing 7.62 weapons in the direct or indirect fire role, no bugger will be thankfull for them making the link even heavier to carry while at the same time increasing recoil.

.
You quite plainly didn't make any effort to read even the precis presented by the OP.

It has more range than the FN MAG whilst having similar recoil & at 24lbs isn't anywhere near the weight of any other MG with that kind of reach.
Seems to me it'll have several advantages over the MAG in current operations.
 
#13
You quite plainly didn't make any effort to read even the precis presented by the OP.

It has more range than the FN MAG whilst having similar recoil & at 24lbs isn't anywhere near the weight of any other MG with that kind of reach.
Seems to me it'll have several advantages over the MAG in current operations.
I did make the effort.

24lbs or not you are still getting more weight in the link you are carrying so there is no real weight saving at all, as for "that kind of reach" people need to stop thinking of MAG as a direct fire weapon as it's not it's only role.

I also doubt if a light role gun with a bigger faster round with more reach is going to be acurate at all at extended ranges in automatic fire, you need an SF kit for that job.
 
#15
SF kit is available for it in lightened format nicht war?
Thats my point you are probably needing the SF kit to make the most of the bigger round, which defeats the object of having it as a light role gun.

Which takes us neatly back to the pre war state when no GPMG's were about.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
I cant see it being accepted even as aa UOR as we fill the role ok with the General and the .5 but even if one were needed another calibre when we already have a similar round for sniping would be a difficult call. As opined it reaches out in the light role and could effectively give direct light role fire out beyond 1500 m but would possibly only be accepted if we re ammo'd completely to an intermediate rifle round and did away with 556 and 7,62 Nato. Its no drama to go to a new calibre, its hardly going to make rakes of ammo plants redundant in the UK so a change over in 5 to 10 years could be a good thing but the new shorter .338 would possibly be also used for the sniping rifle to keep logistics a tad simpler or at least the bean counters quieter?
 

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