Developments in US Marine and Army firepower


Might be old news, but these bits were new to me -


So they choose HK over Colt. Let’s see about this hobby’s US figures in the future then.

I can only remember E&S and DAM releasing a M27. Both quite nice, but DAM put a 416 print on their M27. Still no changes after a couple of their releases. Is this actually legitimate or a just wrong?


I believe that M27 is the designation for the IAR, but H&K having won the selection trials, uses the 416 as the base, and they appear to include the factory lower, with stamp/stencil, albeit without the “416” (unless that is on the other side?).


For all intents and purposes it is still a 416 with a different barrel, optic and a bipod. Much in the same way with the M38 DMR which is the same underlying system repurposed with some changes…

Personally I don’t see the point of replacing a belt-fed weapon capable of sustained m249 suppressive fire with a magazine based one. It seems like they are trying to account for that by giving everyone a full auto rifle and pretending they have somehow solved that problem. In retrospect the whole program just seems like a justification to get HK416’s in place like the Navy cool bros were running around with.


Some of this seems to be an “all things to all people” concept, with the M27 replacing M4s in the Marine rifle squads, as well as the M249 SAW in some cases. The riflemen will have a bunch of mags, theoretically standing in for belted ammo SAW pouches. At less than half the weight of the SAW, they are supposed to equalize mobility issues, as well as making the AR guys less identifiable. The M27s are supposed to benefit from the ACOG’s better field of view, being capable of both sustained and precise fire, at longer ranges.
Also, the Marines are juggling issues with magazines, which has made life interesting for Magpul.

How that will turn out, time will tell.

In a way, it is almost like the concepts of the DMR and sustained fire squad weapons are being sought in a package that includes some similarities to the old BAR.

I’d suspect that engagements at longer ranges, with M4s up against AKs and 7.62mm light machine guns, also have motivated the changes. Friends have related the tactics of bad guys in Iraq engaging them on roadways, from the superior range of their weapons. In one case, the American unit had added extra captured 7.62 weapons to their vehicles, for just such occurences.

As far as the M38, here’s some interesting takes by users, in the USMC:


That is exactly what I think it is. They used the program criteria for the IAR to sneak in a replacement for the M4/16 rifles. Otherwise I don’t think you would see them get an option as expensive as the 416 standard across the force. The SAW is definitely on the way out, and Marsoc isn’t adopting the M27, so I’m sure we’ll see them sneak in a new belt fed option under a new program.


I googled now tons of M27s and believe, that they have the M27 mark on the left side of their lower receiver. I only witnessed 416D once or twice, but might be an inaccuracy due to Airsoft.


I followed suit, and see what you mean. The intertwining of 1:6, airsoft, and real world weapons makes for interesting situations. One operator told me how his team was unable to find a better plate carrier, before an early redeployment, because airsofters had cleaned out the distributor (that got fixed pretty quickly). There’s also the incidence of ebay and other sellers offering airsoft-grade optics and components as useable on real weapons.
Keeps things interesting.


What the hell :laughing:

Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to find the proper manufacturer of attachments, because so many replicant airsoft products show up on your google search.
But if they, like you say, produce airsoft sights etc that are suited for “real” use, maybe we will see an airsoft 1:6 part soon, that got adopted by a real unit or so.


That happens often when the tactical nylon guys leave everything for commercial sale. Usually most are smart enough to either restrict sales to MIL/LE or price the commercial variants at a very high premium. Availability can be problematic. It’s not unheard of to see airsoft chest rigs/plate carriers in use with deployed troops. This brand ( has had some of their gear in use with deployed Seals and I’ve seen other brands that make uniforms have their stuff in use with deployed troops.

As for optics, stocks, and rails getting used on real weapons I usually have a chuckle about that. You can get away with some things like vertical grips and such but I shake my head when I hear of people picking up things like optics or rails at gun shows thinking they are getting the real item. Some of the replicas are very well made, but optics no chance and most rails you wouldn’t want to mount. Most of the replicas are readily identifiable as such. A lot of that stuff ends up being used by indigenous forces in the middle east, the Iraqi ISOF are particularly well known for using airsoft stuff as they want to emulate the US units they work with. It also isn’t ITAR controlled so that stuff flows freely across borders.

Magpul used to have a line of airsoft specific gear via their PTS division that was very well made, but that stuff, and knock offs of it, ended up in the military supply chain and they had to scrap that idea. Other brands sell the exact same product through their airsoft brand/division as a way of getting around ITAR. If it is for a firearm it is ITAR controlled in the US. If you take the exact same product and call it airsoft it magically becomes exempt.