8 Reasons Why Marines Love The M27 Rifle

8 Reasons Why Marines Love The M27 Rifle

Christian Wade


From an expert who knows.

Key point: It operates like the M4.

After reading the article, “The Marine Corps’ Rifle is Super Expensive – And No One Knows Why,” I spent a few days pondering my response. I have spent almost ten years working to improve the USMC infantry rifle, and I think this article gets it largely wrong about the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps was so impressed by the performance of the M27 in testing and the Marines’ confidence in it that he ordered Marine Corps Systems Command to purchase the Approved Acquisition Objective and fully field the weapon. There was no secret conspiracy to somehow subvert the JCIDS process or the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FARs) and cause the Heckler & Koch M27 IAR to become the USMC Service Rifle.

Here’s eight reasons that this is the rifle our Corps needs now, and at the right price:

1. The M27 operates (and appears to the enemy) just like the M4, allowing our current cradle-to-grave combat marksmanship training continuum to “plug-and-play” with all the weapons in the Fire Team.  Also, enemy snipers and other personnel may be less likely to identify the Automatic Rifleman — that’s a good thing.

2. The M27 has proven to be extremely durable when compared to the M16A4 and M4/M4A1.  For example, when using M855 ball, the M27 barrel and bolt may last over 35,000 rounds before requiring maintenance/replacement.  The M4 barrel and bolt (locking lugs) may last upwards of 10,000 rounds under extreme use before requiring replacement. Current (newest recipe) M855A1 cartridges reduce these endurance numbers, respectively.  The M27 has suffered some M855A1 teething issues. These issues were resolved in all the rifles.

3. The M27 has proven that it can sustain a round fired through a fully water-filled bore without damaging the weapon, and as important, the M27 can continue to fire without issue after this event.  The M16A4 and M4 have proven incapable of safely firing a round through a water-filled bore. A Reconnaissance Man might care about that and for that matter, the root of the word “Marines” has something to do with water.

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