February 2nd, 2018

No More M4 — USMC Adopts H&K M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
Photo by USMC, public domain.

The U.S. Marine Corps will be adopting a new rifle to replace the M4 select-fire carbine. Designated the M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle), the new rifle is based on Heckler & Koch’s HK416, which looks like an AR, but runs with an internal gas piston system. The HK416 has been used by the German Army and some USA Special Operations units. This change-over has been in the works for some time, but the “protest period” has concluded, so now it is official.

The adoption of the M27 was announced at SHOT Show 2018. GunsAmerica reports: “H&K has officially received the contract for the USMC to replace the M4 carbines. The H&K model selected is the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, a derivative of the famous H&K 416″. The U.S. Marine Corps initially planned to purchase 6,500 M27s to replace a portion of the M249 light machine guns employed by automatic riflemen within Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions. In December 2017, the Marine Corps revealed a decision to equip every Marine in an infantry squad with the M27, so this is a major change. (Source: Wikipedia.com.)

According to Wikipedia: “The M27 is a lightweight, magazine-fed 5.56mm, select-fire weapon based on the Heckler & Koch HK416. It features a gas-operated, short-stroke piston action with a rotating bolt and a free-floating barrel. The handguard has four MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails for use with accessories and optics. The simpler gas-piston rifle system reduces the amount of time it takes to resolve malfunctions on the IAR compared with the M249 light machine gun.”

USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
CLICK HERE for full-screen M27 Photo by Heckler & Koch.

As deployed, early versions of the IAR have done well in combat: “The IAR was initially fielded in December 2010. 1st Battalion 3rd Marines were deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 with 84 IARs. Former SAW gunners initially did not like the M27, but appreciated it as time went on. It weighed 9 lb. loaded, compared to 22 lb. for an M249 — a significant difference when on 5-hour long missions. It also blended in with standard M16-style service rifles, making it difficult for enemy forces to identify the machine gunner. Marines issued with the M27 [report] it is friendlier to troops [than the M249] due to its cleaner, lightweight system having fewer moving parts and jams. IAR gunners consider the rifle-grade accuracy to be a huge improvement over the SAW, despite the loss of sustained firing.” (Source: Wikipedia.com.)

Heckler & Koch Expands American Production Center in Georgia
Heckler & Koch operates a production center in the state of Georgia, not far from Fort Benning. A $28.5 million expansion, started in 2017, is adding a new 50,000-square-foot factory in the Corporate Ridge Business Park. “HK’s new U.S. factory will make use of advanced manufacturing technologies and will be staffed by German and American engineers and technicians,” said Francisco Hidalgo, CEO of HK USA. GunsAmerica notes: “H&K USA will be designing and building guns directly for the U.S. market in the USA now. Now, we can look forward to weapons built specific to the U.S. market. [We] can’t wait to see the first one stamped ‘Made in Georgia’.” It is unknown when H&K will start delivering American-made M27s to the USMC.

Permalink New Product, News 15 Comments »
September 6th, 2016

AR-Style .22 LR Rimfire Rifles are Fun and Affordable

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Smith Wesson M&P 15-22

For pure shooting fun it’s hard to beat a semi-auto .22 LR. While Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular semi-auto .22 LR rifle, manufacturers are now offering AR-style self-loading rimfire rifles. These rimfire versions of the AR-15 are excellent training tools for 3-Gun and service rifle shooters. You can practice with less expensive rimfire ammo, and save wear and tear on your centerfire ARs. Rimfire AR clones also work great for Rimfire Tactical Matches.

AR-Style .22 LR Rimfire Rifles

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
Smith & Wesson’s 15-22 is a nice little rifle. The M&P 15-22 is designed and built as a true .22 LR semi-auto from the ground up, with ergonomics (and most controls) identical to a centerfire M&P 15 rifle. These rimfire AR clones are very affordable. For example, right now CDNN Sports is offering the M&P 15-22 (black/tan camo version) for just $299.99. (If that deal has expired by the time you read this, find other deals with the SlickGuns.com search engine.)

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

NRA reviewer Colon Noir tested the M&P 15-22 and was impressed: “This gun is unbelievably fun to shoot. There is virtually no recoil. The non-existent recoil makes shooting fast a breeze. Yeah, the magazine is a little quirky… but in the grand scheme of things, this gun feels like a full-out AR-15. The M&P 15-22 makes for a great training companion. I would place this gun in the ‘Fun Box’ — it’s reliable enough that you can have a fun time shooting. I’m picking one up, because it’s guns like these that make you truly realize how fun shooting is.”

Here’s a Video Review of the M&P 15-22 by the NRA’s Colin Noir

Hechler & Koch (Walther) HK 416
H&K offers the HK 416 D145RS, a dedicated .22 LR rimfire rifle. Engineered and built in Germany by Carl Walther, the HK 416 D145RS features a match-grade precision barrel, metal upper and lower receivers, retractable stock, and machined rail interface system with on-rail iron sights.

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

These Walther-made HK rimfire rifles (which employ a blow-back action) are accurate and reliable. They are also reasonably priced. Right now CDNN Sports is selling the HK 416 D145RS 22LR for just $379.99. Elsewhere it sells for $550.00 or more. One purchaser writes: “Great .22. I have had this gun a couple of months and have put about 500 rounds of 5 different brands of ammo through it. Not one FTE. I have shot other brands that can’t get through one 30-round mag without a failure. [The 416] is a little pricey compared to the competition but you get what you pay for.”

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
September 29th, 2015

.22 LR Rimfire AR Clones — Major FUN Factor

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Smith Wesson M&P 15-22

For pure shooting fun it’s hard to beat a semi-auto .22 LR. While Ruger’s 10/22 is the most popular semi-auto .22 LR rifle, manufacturers are now offering AR-style self-loading rimfire rifles. These rimfire versions of the AR-15 are excellent training tools for 3-Gun and service rifle shooters. You can practice with less expensive rimfire ammo, and save wear and tear on your centerfire ARs. Rimfire AR clones also work great for Rimfire Tactical Matches.

AR-Style .22 LR Rimfire Rifles

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
Smith & Wesson’s 15-22 is a nice little rifle. The M&P 15-22 is designed and built as a true .22 LR semi-auto from the ground up, with ergonomics (and most controls) identical to a centerfire M&P 15 rifle. These rimfire AR clones are very affordable. For example, right now BudsGunShop.com is offering the M&P 15-22 (black version) for just $358.44. (If that deal has expired by the time you read this, find other deals with the SlickGuns.com search engine.)

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

NRA reviewer Colon Noir tested the M&P 15-22 and was impressed: “This gun is unbelievably fun to shoot. There is virtually no recoil. The non-existent recoil makes shooting fast a breeze. Yeah, the magazine is a little quirky… but in the grand scheme of things, this gun feels like a full-out AR-15. The M&P 15-22 makes for a great training companion. I would place this gun in the ‘Fun Box’ — it’s reliable enough that you can have a fun time shooting. I’m picking one up, because it’s guns like these that make you truly realize how fun shooting is.”

Here’s a Video Review of the M&P 15-22 by the NRA’s Colin Noir

Hechler & Koch (Walther) HK 416
H&K offers the HK 416 D145RS, a dedicated .22 LR rimfire rifle. Engineered and built in Germany by Carl Walther, the HK 416 D145RS features a match-grade precision barrel, metal upper and lower receivers, retractable stock, and machined rail interface system with on-rail iron sights.

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

These Walther-made HK rimfire rifles (which employ a blow-back action) are accurate and reliable. They are also reasonably priced. Many vendors offer the HK 416 for under $550.00. One purchaser writes: “Great .22. I have had this gun a couple of months and have put about 500 rounds of 5 different brands of ammo through it. Not one FTE. I have shot other brands that can’t get through one 30-round mag without a failure. [The 416] is a little pricey compared to the competition but you get what you pay for.”

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review 1 Comment »
October 31st, 2013

Affordable .22 LR Rimfire Options for AR Fans

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion BrownellsAR-platform rifles are fun to shoot, but .223 Rem centerfire ammo can get expensive if you put a lot of rounds downrange. Dedicated .22 LR uppers let you do live-fire training with more affordable rimfire ammo while retaining the weight, balance, and feel of your AR-platform rifle. You use your regular lower, so the ergonomics and grip feel the same. Likewise, the trigger group is the same, so you don’t need to adapt to a different trigger pull. With these .22 LR upper conversions you can shoot reactive targets at relatively close range, with less noise and recoil. (But remember that rimfire bullets can ricochet, so always shoot at a safe distance and always wear eye and ear protection).

Dedicated .22 LR Rimfire Uppers for AR-Platform Rifles
A number of companies offer dedicated .22 LR rimfire uppers that work with any standard AR15-platform lower. Brownells carries dedicated .22 LR AR uppers starting at $419.99. Brownells offers flat-top AR uppers, allowing you to easily mount the aiming system (iron sights or optics) of your choice. Brownells offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all products it sells, including .22 LR uppers.

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

AR-Style .22LR Rimfire Rifles (Complete Guns)
Another option is to purchase a complete AR-style rimfire rifle chambered for the .22 LR cartridge. This option may be more affordable than you think. Right now Impact Guns is selling the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 with 16″ barrel for just $509.99 (marked down from $649.99). It’s a nice little rifle. The M&P 15-22 is designed and built as a true .22 LR semi-auto from the ground up, with ergonomics (and most operating controls) identical to a centerfire M&P 15 rifle. Here’s the black and tan version:

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

H&K offers the HK 416 D145RS, a dedicated .22 LR rimfire rifle. Engineered and built in Germany by Carl Walther, the HK 416 D145RS features a match-grade precision barrel, metal upper and lower receivers, retractable stock, and machined rail interface system with on-rail iron sights. These HK rimfire rifles (which employ a blow-back action) are accurate and reliable. Current ‘street price’ is around $660.00. One purchaser writes: “Great .22. I have had this gun a couple of months and have put about 500 rounds of 5 different brands of ammo through it. Not one FTE. I have shot other brands that can’t get through one 30-round mag without a failure. [The 416] is a little pricey compared to the competition but you get what you pay for.”

AR15 AR .22 LR rimfire conversion Brownells

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
October 12th, 2011

Marines Replace M249 SAW with M27 IAR (HK416)

The U.S. Marine Corps. has ordered $23.6 million worth of gas-piston M27 full-auto rifles from Heckler & Koch to replace aging M249 SAW machine guns. Designated the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), the Marines’ new 11.62-lb weapon is a heavy-barrel variant of the highly successful Heckler & Koch HK416 used by military, law enforcement, and special operations units in the U.S. and throughout the world. The HK416 is basically an AR15 that HK “fixed” with a gas piston assembly and other tweaks to improve reliability, particularly during full-auto fire.

The M27 IAR replaces the heavier, M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) which has been used by the Marines in infantry squads since the mid-1980s in the automatic rifle role. Both weapons fire the 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridge. The Marines plan to have one M27 IAR per four-man fire team, with three M27 IARs per squad, 28 per company and more than 4,000 across the entire Corps. The M27 IAR is already being used in combat in Afghanistan. CLICK HERE for M27 combat photos

Marine Corps M27 IAR

The five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract calls for possible delivery orders up to $23,600,000 for the production, delivery, and associated support of the Marines’ Infantry Automatic Rifle program. The Marine Corps approved the full production and fielding of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle during the summer of 2011.

The M27 contract has drawn fire because critics say the M27 IAR is simply a “more reliable M16/M4″ that lacks key features required by any practical squad automatic weapon — belt-feeding, and interchangeable barrels. With belt-fed ammo and interchangeable barrels, an automatic weapon can produce large volumes of fire, over a sustained period, to pin down the enemy. An M27 operator must change box magazines every 30 rounds. On the other hand, the M27 IAR is about half the weight of the M249, and that seems to have been a key factor in the Marine Corps’ decision to replace the M249 SAW. Marine spokesman Major Joseph Plenzler declared: “The fielding of the IAR will significantly enhance the ability of our infantrymen to … reduce their fighting load and provide them a more ergonomic and accurate weapons system that can keep up during the assault.”

Permalink New Product, News 11 Comments »