.338 Machine Gun from General Dynamics

According to their press release, brought to our attention by the Firearm Blog, General Dynamics has unveiled a new medium machine gun chambered in .338 Norma Magnum.

It looks like it is based on the FN MAG / M240 machine gun with a new fire control system, AR-14 pistol grip, M4-style stock and quad picatinny rails.

The .338 Norma Magnum’s performance is very similar to that of the much more popular .338 Lapua Magnum. The .338 NM has a slight advantage in that when loaded with a .300 grain Sierra HPBT MatchKing projectile, its overall length is shorter than the .338 LM loaded with the same bullet…

Read the article in its entirety.


About the Author

Kilgore & Call
Richard Kilgore and Jake Call have been writing on and off for Military.com for many years now. You can reach them at BreachBangClear.com or follow them on Instagram at @breachbangclear or Tumblr at http://the-mad-duo.tumblr.com/.
  • sam

    WOW if this is bought by the millitary think of the surpluss ammo you could get

  • Al T.

    Not the dreaded AR-14 (WTF?) and shooting .300 grain bullets. I mean heck, even a .22LR bullet weights 40 grains. Proof reading fail….

  • FormerSFMedic

    Holy ****! Can you imagine the devastating firepower this thing could put out?! Brings a whole new meaning to “bringin’ the hate”!

    BTW, I know the profane language I used will undoubtedly get censored once I post this. I just want to say…….that’s weak! The editors need to do something about that. It’s the whole reason readers like SOFREP. Because over there, it’s not censored as long as it’s used tastefully.

    • defensor fortissimo

      i know it makes me want to **** someones throat

  • Lance

    Awesome Idea too bad they didn’t make it .300 Win mag like the XM-2010. Too bad the army wont use them since Mag rounds are not a NATO round like 7.62mm are.

    • mpower6428

      putting the brass problem aside for a minute, from what i understand (which is limited) a round like the 300 win-mag is overbore (to damn hot) to use in an MG. you’d have to change barrels ever 50 to 100 rounds.

      in all honesty i think this is a gimmick. An MG using “advanced primer ignition” or some such idea, effectively doubles the complication and potential problems that will be encountered in the field. ie its gonna be much more “parts” intensive.

      we wont hear of this thing again after the next quarter.

  • d. kellogg

    This will in all likelihood become a SOCOM niche weapon (starting with helo pintles, maybe) until they report back how much they love it because it overmatches all those old bolt action rifles the insurgents have access to (and the occasional Dragunov),
    then groundpounders everywhere will cry for supplemental funds to get tese RFI’ed to the field ASAP.

    The article does explain why they opted for the Norma over the Lapua: it allows longer, better BC/aerodynamic bullets that keep more energy longer, in a more stable flight.
    A dedicated AP round, or even a multipurpose type like those Raufoss frag/incendiary rounds for the .50, should prove very interesting.

    GD ATP’s pdf fact sheet: http://www.gdatp.com/factsheets/A139_MMG.pdf

    Next step: minigun!

  • mpower6428

    take’er easy people, this aint gonna work.

  • sigmund

    How about just reintroducing the 30-06?

  • Ron

    Go with a belt less magnum case. Like the 338 LM . We already have 338 in sniper rifles now why make a logistic problem . The sniper could then get ammo from the machine gunner if and when he needed to in a pinch.
    Make the 338LM work in the machine gun. I’m not a fan of the belted mag case . There is no need for the belt. In some cases it was just a sales gimmick . Winchester has the 338 wsm with will out preform the Norma mag . Plus the ammo would be less costly.
    Well anyway t
    Thoughs are my thoughts for what thier worth. But look at the short mags and thier longer kin and you’ll see that the ballistics are very close. I shoot a 300 short mag and it do amything it’s big brother will do. 1000 yard shots are now problem with the 300 wsm.

    • Jarrad

      The Norma is not belted. The 338 WSM is not even close to the performance of the Norma. You can got to 2000+ yds with the Norma especially if the 300 bergers are used. The 338 norma is basically a 338LM optimized for the 300 grain match king

    • Jarrad

      Also there is no 338 WSM. The biggest WSM is the 325WSM. the only match bullet for that is a 200 grain match king

  • Why don’t you just go back to 30’06?

    • coolhand77

      from what I can tell, this round to the .338 LM is like the .308/7.62×51 NATO is to the .30-06. Basically shortened and tweaked for better belt feed geometry and more compact packing.

  • sniperpitbull

    Hmmm Help an old man out here. The .338 is a great sniper round. But wahtever it can do as an MG Round , the Ma Duece can do better- better range, knockdown power and if the 338 can be mounted on a hummvee, chopper, boat or track, the Deuce can likewise be mounted.

    Let’s go to the grunts. .. 300 grain bullet vs a 7.62/308 weighing anywhere from 150 to 174. That about a 2 to 1 ratio, if my three times waltzing through accounting 101 serves me correctly. two 7.62 bullets for one .338 bullet. 200 round belt versus 100 round belt.

    So you get a beeg bullet but less of them. And in a firefight you need ALL the bullets tht you can carry and then some.

    Which leads me to this-Who? and How many Grunts is it going to take to carry the gun? tripod? yes tripod! After 2 or 3 rounds on full auto these 300 grains are going to be flying all over the place. It’s a bit like shooting a .44Mag pistol: everyone’s “Dirty Harry” for the first two rounds. After that where the rest go is anybody’s guess.

    So we have one Marine Carrying the gun, one for the tripod and everyone else carrying a 100 round belt-another 40-50pounds added to the 200 pounds of lightweight gear already being lugged about.

    And the upside to thid gun is…. Anyone? Beulher? anyone? Why it’s “Cool” And as we all know “Cool” is what you need on the battle field whether the battle field is the desert, mountains or the urban core.

    You’re going to need a platoon to lug this gun, gear and ammo about to to the work that a 240 can do.

    And no doubt our new combat troops, the ladies, will easlile have no problem lugging thee gun and accessories and their own gear about.

    It may be lots of things but this “cool” gun isn’t for the grunts unless they’re all 6’4″ and 230 lbs. The guys who are pushing this toy are clueless about grunt warfare-even the asymetrical warfare of today.

    This is a nice toy, a “cool” toy and no doubt GD wants to make and sell this en masse to DoD. And then design a weapons system/carrier around this gun.

    But the Bottom Line is this: We’re Broke! We’re letting goog guys and women go, cutting their careers short, mothballing good weapons systems, cancelling the purchasing of others. And GD is pimping this toy? We’d be better off with a “revised” 240 or the M-60. Those two coupled with the Ma Deuce suit our needs quite well.

    Granted the .338 is “cool” and “cool counts.” But it’s a nexpensive toy that we cant afford and what we have works really well for all of our needs. Note to GD-Stick to building subs and A/C engines.

    That’s how I see it as I sit on my fonr porch, campaign cover on my head, in my rocki’ chair, boondockers on, cutoff utlities, USMC T Shirt, a good cigar, kindle and my Winchester ’97 across my lap.

    Fight hard youngsters, fight smart and don’t get slicked by some snake-oil salesman selling “cool” That goes for you new female grunts (welcome to the most elite club in america or the World- We Grunts!

  • Buzz

    The round is almost 8.6 mm which reminesent of the MG34s 7.92×57mm (hitlers buzzsaw). After WW2 the round was considered to powerful (probably BS) and the MG was reintroduced using the nato 7.62. As usefull as the round would be the 7.62 is to ingrained into the military supply system to every be displaced.

    • Database

      the MG42 was nicknamed “Hittler’s Buzzsaw” not the MG34. The MG42 had a significantly higher rate of fire compared to the MG34. THE MG42 was capable of up 1500 rounds per minute, the max on the MG34 was 900.

  • d. kellogg

    From Mr Anthony Williams’ website discussion:

    “- ballistic drop similar to .50 ball at 1500m
    – defeats Level III body armour at 1000m
    – delivers 4x the energy of 7.62mm at 1000m
    – can maintain 10 minutes of continuous suppressive fire (50-100 rpm) without a barrel change
    – very quick-change barrel (the carrying handle is on the barrel)
    – quickly strips down into a few parts
    – will fit on any M240 mounting (doesn’t need a soft mount – the mechanism has its own, built in)
    – the gun mechanism is called Short Recoil Impulse Averaging: it uses gas operation, but the barrel group recoils in the receiver and fires as it is moving forwards, giving a very smooth recoil push rather than a series of sharp kicks
    – forward-stripping link specially designed: normal load 50-round soft pouch
    – weight of gun plus one minute’s worth of ammo (500 rounds) = 105 lbs, compared with similar load for M240 (800 rounds) = 100 lbs.
    – GD working on polymer-cased ammo to reduce the weight. ”

    Considerably lighter than any .50-cal HMG, both ammo and gun,
    but longer range and heavier-hitting than any .30-class guns out there (rifles, MGs), without the .50’s associated bulk/weight..

    I guess wait-and-see is the thing here: see if even a single Spec Ops service (anywhere worldwide) shows even slightest interest, and if so, what their field experience reveals.

  • sigmund

    .338 is still an anti-personnel round.

    For heavy point shooting take the IAR approach and issue a .50 cal Barrett in lieu of a M240B.

  • Marc

    Because it was loaded wth better powders, shortened to get rid of air space in the case and named “7.62×51 mm”. .338 NM blows it out of the water and into orbit.

  • snp

    .300 grain bullets, you could wear tinfoil as body armor…

  • Parakitteh
  • most of the opinions are from people that have not been in the type of combat we have been involved in during current times. the enemy may have a rifle that is not an effective cartridge for the distances they are shooting from BUT it keeps a unit suppressed, less mobil, reduces the area to cover, they get lucky w/ a hit once in awhile, etc., we also spray the hill for the same reasons. the additional 5-7 lbs. of weight that each individual carry’s is slight and well worth a round that will reach out(maybe we could toss the individual radio that no one is allowed to talk on) and hit an enemy. all of the magnums(.300, .338lp, .338nm) are so close in ballistics that arguing one or the other is moot. we require weapons in each squad that will do a better job than the current inventory. for general information we have been using the .300 win. mag in MTU and long range competion for many years and it works well, just has not made any newworthy fame. .338nm ammo is considerably cheaper than .50, is MUCH less heavier to hump, considerably better accuracy, less ammo will be wasted etc. WE NEED THIS ROUND.

  • guest

    Hell….add lasers to it and mount it on a shark.