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Origins and Early History of the USMC M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

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Miles discusses the USMC M27 IAR, which first came on the scene in late 2010 when it was issued to five deploying units that would see if the new automatic rifle was to be as viable as claimed. This video covers some of the issues with the weapon system and some of the debate surrounding it, getting into as much detail as possible on camera through the experiences of Marine Infantrymen who actually carried it overseas and in combat.

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He begins by talking about the history behind the name of the weapon, and goes into why the M27 has a lot of controversies. First of all, the M27 came in with the premise of replacing the SAW — the M249 light machine gun. The SAW in itself had a lot of issues and Miles says it was nearing the end of its lifetime. So when the news was that the M27 would be replacing the SAW, Marines were confused because they were still using the latter. The M249 is still a staple in many platoons, so the M27 essentially just supplemented the SAW.

This issue then became bigger with the theory that the M27 was a back door replacement to circumvent difficulties in the Marine Corps with budgets and firearms, and so on. Another thing is that when the M27 came out, the Marines had just come out of Afghanistan, and there was an emphasis on the amount of combat the soldiers were partaking in. The SAW wasn’t helping during the Afghanistan war, as the terrain required 15 to 20-kilometer patrols and the weight of the gun was a burden. He explains this in detail.

Miles also describes the features of the M27 and goes into detail regarding how these work, and the issues surrounding performance in action with the Marines.

Today, the M27 has reached full issue within the Fleet Marine Force and Reserves, and might even be reaching a full force adoption if Marine Corps Systems Command can get the contracts and solicitations sorted.

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