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Sig Sauer and the U.S. Army: A Match Made in Heaven?

Sig Sauer and the U.S. Army: A Match Made in Heaven?

Charlie Gao

Technology,

The details you want.

Key point: Sig may be planning to build a family of “next generation” machine guns on the basis of the SLMAG design.

Sig Sauer, Inc. appears to be going all in on military contracts, following their recent success with the M17 pistol, SURG upper receiver, and limited usage of the Sig MCX. However, their latest design, the Sig SLMAG, is their first attempt at making a proper machine gun, going past the rifles and pistols they are known for. While the Swiss SIG made several machine guns, including the mildly successful MG 710-3, it’s unlikely that any of the design expertise was passed on to Sig Sauer, Inc as the American “branch” was originally set up only as a distributor for pistols.

The SLMAG takes aim at a SOCOM contract that aims to bridge the gap between 7.62x51mm NATO machine guns and larger .50 cal machine guns with the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge. .50 cal machine guns provide better energy on target at range and superior ballistics, but are generally tethered to heavy tripods or vehicles. 7.62x51mm machine guns are lighter, but generally are considered to be effective only to 800 meters on a point target. In contrast, .338 Norma Magnum machine guns are said to be usable on point targets past 1900m, according to marketing videos.

Prior to Sig’s announcement of the SLMAG, General Dynamic’s LWMMG was the only .338 Norma Magnum in an advanced stage of development. The SLMAG takes aim squarely at the LWMMG, coming in at four pounds lighter and featuring an advanced recoiling barrel mechanism. The SLMAG’s barrel visibly recoils during its firing cycle, which could be a significant difference in taming the stout recoil of the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge.

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