Machine Guns

L7A2 General Purpose Machinegun

Range: 800m (Light Role), 1,800m (Sustained Fire Role)
Muzzle Velocity: 538m/s
Length: 1.23m
Weight loaded: 13.85kg (gun + 50 rounds)
Belt Fed Rate of Fire: up to 750 rpm
Rate of Fire: Light Role 100 rpm
Rate of Fire: Sustained Fire Role 200 rpm

The General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) can be used in the light role but is more normally used in the sustained fire role, mounted on a tripod with the C2 optical sight unit. The weapon is operated by a two-man team and a number of weapons are normally grouped in a specialist machine gun platoon. The GPMG is used at Battalion level in the fire support role.

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Minimi Light Machinegun

Round: 5.56 x 45mm NATO
Weight: (empty) 5.72Kg 12.60Lb
Length: 30.50″ collapsed 35.75″
Extended Type of Fire: Full Automatic Firing Rate 750-1,000 rds/mn
Maximum Firing Range: 3725m 12,221 ft
Muzzle Velocity: 915M/sec 3,000ft/sec
Magazine Capacity: magazine or belt fed

The M-249 was selected as the US Army’s light machine gun in the mid 1980’s. It is a version of FN’s Minimi light machine gun currently in use by many other NATO nations. It is a lightweight, gas-operated weapon that can be either belt-fed or magazine fed. It is considered a reliable weapon and is designed for quick change of parts such as the barrel to minimise down time in a firefight (a very valid concern!). The SP (Special Purpose) variant was chosen for special operations and airborne groups to it’s compact size and suitability for airborne operations. The barrel is shortened, the buttstock is collapsible, and the carrying handle is removed, both shortening and lightening the weapon.

The M-249 is a light machine gun, a concept in which the gunner can carry more of a lighter round of ammo. It was also designed to compliment the M-16 by being able to use the same magazines as the M-16, although this causes the SAW to jam somewhat regularly. Using the 200 round ammunition box, the M-249 has a firing rate of 1,000 rounds a minute. Using belt-fed ammunition will slow the rate down to 750 rds/min due to the weight of the belt and the gun’s need to pull it into the weapon.

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The specs here are for a version of the Minimi used by the Americans but they’re the closet I can find so far.