Tactical Tailor

USSOCOM Small Arms Update – 2019

In the wake of United States Special Operations Command’s Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is the Hyper Enabled Operator concept. PEO SOF Warrior is applying that as Lethal Integrated Operator. They want to ensure the integration of individual data across the full battlespace for application where needed. We are finally at the point, due to sensors and communications infrastructure, to actualize the “every Soldier as a sensor” concept from the early 2000s. Operators will be able to leverage one another’s point of view, and unique access to items and targets of interest, in order to improve decision making, lethality and survivability.

On the kinetic side of Operator lethality, SOCOM is moving quickly forward with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge adopted last year.

They have commenced on a Mid-Range Gas Gun – Sniper OTA through SOFWERX. Intended as a replacement for the SCAR MK20, numerous companies have submitted weapons. A shoot-off to cull the herd is coming later this summer. The requirement is simple. With each of three guns, shoot a sub-1 MOA group of five rounds.

In a similar vein, discussions continue with industry for a Lightweight Assault Machine Gun in both 5.56mm and 6.5 CM.

SOCOM is also interested in a Personal Defense Weapon for use by Naval Special Warfare. This is a kit consisting of upper receiver group and buttstock which will adapt the M4A1 into a concealable 300 BLK weapon. A 5.56mm capability for training is also desired. The PDW Kit is required to work with existing SOCOM issue 7.62mm suppressors.

As we mentioned earlier, SOCOM is moving out on the 338 Norma Mag Lightweight Machine Gun Medium with a Combat Evaluation of SIG’s SL-MAG to be conducted by MARSOC. To facilitate this test event, SOCOM is certifying a Machine Gun cartridge in 338 NM.

The Barrett MRAD was selected earlier this year as SOCOM’s Advanced Sniper Rifle. Calibers can be swapped by the Operator from 7.62mm NATO, 300 NM and 338 NM. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force have expressed interest in fielding ASR as their next sniper Rifle.

USSOCOM also has a handgun Suppressor requirement which they plan on satisfying in FY22. No further information was provided on this effort aside from that it will replace the current MK27 Suppressor.

*Capability photos are representative and not necessarily the actual item which will be procured.

22 Responses to “USSOCOM Small Arms Update – 2019”

  1. Ton E says:

    USSOCOM is looking to replace the MK20? You hear that!? It’s the sound of SCAR fan boys collectively screaming in pain!

    • Ed says:

      I love it!! Let them whine and scream like a bunch of stuck pigs. NSW shelved the MK20s a few years back. It was ridiculous, A SASS that nearly weighs 20lbs with all accessories, can’t hold zero, the “bolt” is massive, resembles a machine-gun/belt fed bolt/piston. How the FN SCAR and subsequent MK20 made it into SOCOM in the first place is a ridiculous in and of it self. I’d like to know which newly retired guy’s from 2000-2005/6 were the insiders at FN and their contacts at SOCOM. The collective way NSWG-2 leadership handled complaints about the MK20 in 2014-16 raises a lot of questions as well. A Lot of Team guys bought their own OBRs and PredatAr’s, they will outperform a MK20 or SCAR-H everyday! Lighter, more accurate and probably less expensive.

      FN, stick to belt-feds and M4’s (mind your own lane!)


      • Ton E says:

        It’s all coming together why FN is offering the Mk20 commercially now lol.

        • Chuck Covington says:

          I was wondering this myself when I first saw it at SHOT. I immediately wanted one but then I looked at the price…..

  2. AbnMedOps says:

    Gotta be careful of too many calibers, too many logistic hassles, especially during the (years?) of transition, and while working with allies and conventional forces. I see a big. complex fight in a 3rd world urban setting, with SOF guy rolling up to a supporting Mech Inf unit and asking “Hey Brother, spare a couple cans of .338 Norma?” “Norman? Who’s Norman?”

    Or maybe we will have Just-In-Time drone resupply in place by then.

    • Jeff G says:

      Already happening with MK262, SOF does not have ammo issues, in fact resupply comes faster from SOF internally than reaching out to regular Army units.

    • 4077 Something says:

      During transition there may be some glitches. However, the SIG LMG-M is caliber switchable (dual caliber?). It can be swapped out from .338 to 7.62 in the field. It doesn’t need to go to the rear to be done. So if the SOF guy can’t find Norman it’s no problem!

  3. Jeff G says:

    6.5 Grendel would be a better choice over 300BLK for the PDW

    • charlie says:

      it really wouldn’t. The whole point of 300 BLK is you can run subsonic or supersonic ammo on the same gun without any adjustments in a very short barrel.

      Furthermore 6.5 would require a bolt change, and a reduction of magazine capacity.

      • Brando says:

        This guy shoots-heavy-mass-bullets-subsonic-s

      • Howard says:

        I have very little experience with .300 BO AR15s, but I keep hearing about people having to swap buffers. I know in my SIG Rattler I have to switch the gas system lever when swapping between Subs and Supers.
        I’ve seen a few people claim the ability to switch between them easily, but I see more people and companies that say otherwise.

      • Chuck Covington says:

        BINGO! This is exactly why 300 BLK was developed.

    • SSD says:

      6.5 Grendel is DOA within DoD.

    • 4077 Something says:

      Too many parts issues. The beauty of the .300 BLK is you can use the same AR/M4?5.56 bolt and magazines with out a loss of ammo capacity.

  4. mark says:

    Is SOCOM looking into Knights LAMG for their new ‘Assault Machine Gun’ purchase? Seems like thats tailor made for the program – right down to the name.

    • Chuck Covington says:

      The SIG LMG-M in 338 Norma Magnum is in the running. I had a chance to shoot it at SHOT range day this year. I still can’t wipe the grin off my face! It’s a caliber swappable (338 NM & 7.62) game changer.

  5. Sommerbiwak says:

    That muzzle brake on the MRGG photo looks like “fun” for your neighbour.

  6. Jeff S says:

    The MRGG-S in the Power Point looks like a LaRue PredatOBR..

  7. Jason says:

    What is the “current Mk27 suppressor “?