Recently our friends at TheFirearmBlog reported on the possibility of the United States Marine Corps selecting the HK 416 as their new service rifle. This was after Military.com reported U.S. Marines testing the HK 416 at the Air-Ground Combat Center in Twenty-Nine Palms, California under the designation of M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle).
The Marines, like the rest of the U.S. Military have been going through what seems to be a perpetual selection process for both a new service rifle as well as a new service pistol. Previously we reported on the selection of the Glock 19 for Marines Special Operations (MARSOC) forces, and now we’ll examine the possibility of the U.S. Marines fielding the Heckler & Koch 416 and at what level.
The HK 416 is not new to the U.S. Military. Several Special Operations units, including Delta Force and SEAL’s, have deployed the rifle in various capacities during the last decade. In fact, Delta Force selected the HK 416 as their standard rifle back in 2004 after testing showed the HK piston-driven action had fewer stoppages and failures than the AR-15/M-16 with gas-impingement system; as well as, reducing the failure rate of parts.