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Marksmanship, the ability to shoot accurately and service targets with the minimum expenditure of ammunition, has always been part of the Marine Corps ethos. The adoption of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle over the older M249 Squad Automatic Weapon marks a return to that ethos across the service at the small unit level. More accurate and capable of accomplishing its mission with fewer expended rounds, the M27 is now being considered as the front-line rifle not only for a handful of squad members but across the Corps’ front line units.
“America! Ahhhhh!” roars Chief Warrant Officer Christian Wade as he unloads with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle — and not with any of that wimpy “pew, pew, pew” slow and steady squeeze stuff. The 2nd Marine Division gunner goes full auto in his latest fact or fiction video, before pausing to ask: “Is that really necessary?”
Last week, the U.S. Marine Corps released a Request for Information to manufacturers enquiring about their capacity to produce 11,000 more M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles. This stoked rumors that the Marine Corps is looking to replace its M4s with the M27, which were first sparked last November when 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines was equipped with the M27 instead of the M4 during pre-deployment exercises as an experiment.