XM806 .50 Machine Gun

Saw this at the General Dynamics booth at the 2010 SHOT Show:

XM806 .50 Machine Gun at 2010 SHOT Show

XM806 .50 Machine Gun at 2010 SHOT Show

Weight 40 pounds (weapon only), 62 pounds (ground mount system)
Recoil 325 pounds
Dispersion Less than 1.1 mils, one sigma radius
Range Lethal and suppressive out to 2,000 meters
Ammunition .50 caliber (M33 ball, M8 & MK211 API, M903 SLAP)
Feed System Belt feed, M9 link (compatible with M2 feed system), Left hand feed, right hand eject of cases and links
Rate of Fire 265 shots per minute (cyclic), 40 shots per minute (sustained)
Reliability 6,000 MRBF (threshold) / 10,000 MRBF (objective)
Dimension 8.3Wx7.3Hx64.5L max. inches (56.7L charged)
Environmental Operationally insensitive to conditions
Applications Two-man portable emplaced with no sandbags, Unmatched vehicle mount options for a .50 caliber weapon
Safety Fires from open bolt position


  1. feh, Cheytac neuters ther stuff for legal civvie sales.

    Besides, I hear the .416 Barrett has much better ballistics.

  2. So………….you picked up a bunch of ’em for all your loyal readers…………right?

    On a more serious note………that’s an pretty slow cyclic rate. I always thought 500 RPM was chuggin’…….if you’re shooting at large (vehicle size or bigger) or area targets, I guess it’s OK………….

    From what little I’ve read, the 408 CheyTac and 416 Barrett are fairly similar. I’d have to go with the Barrett if I was fixin to have a serious exchange of views (as opposed to just target plinking) with anyone. I’d want one of the semi auto platforms.

  3. I had the same thought. That sounds Mark 19 slow. Maybe necessary because it is so light – less than half a normal .50 cal.

  4. wasn’t the slow rate of fire the deal killer for the last M2 replacement? That one was light too, so how is this going to fit the bill?

  5. This is the last one — XM806 is the XM312 reconfigured to fire M2-linked ammunition. Set aside that the Army never had a requirement for the previous weapon to begin with, what killed it were (1) reliability, (2) rate of fire, (3) ammo incompatibility, and (4) lack of an operational employment plan that supports a lightweight .50.

    XM806 fixes problem (3), and improves on (1) somewhat (6000 MRBF is Mk19-reliable, but no where near M2-reliable), but doesn’t address (2) or (4). Propoents will argue that (2) doesn’t matter … if you are slower but more accurate, that’s better, right? That of course ignores that fact that MGs kill by beaten zone, and in part are needed to suppress the enemy to gain fire superiority. If you want slower & more accurate, might as well go all the way and pick up an M107.

    (4) is the real deal killer. A lighter .50 by itslf means nothing, because the ammo isn’t any lighter. The Army doesn’t ground maneuver dismounted .50s, and still couldn’t with an Xm806 because to carry the weight of enough ammo to make a difference in a fight takes a larger team than is practical over any distance. So the weapon remains vehicle mounted to tie to its ammo train — at which point the weapon weight doesn’t matter. If you want to dismoun from the vehicle temproarily, light weight is nice, but you can do that for short distances (say up to 200m) with an M2 anyway. So in essetnce you have a weapon whose weight matters if you want to dismount for a distance of 200m, but not more than 400m away. Pretty niche requirement to buy a whole new weapon for.

    Lighter recoil is a good reason for the weapon, because it would enabel lighter, smaller remote weapons station for lighter vehicles. but if that’s what the service needs, then the requirement isn’t for a lightweight .50 but for a lightweight remote weapons station. That requirement would be better served by a weapon purpose-designed to be fire remotely (which XM806 isn’t at this point.)

    1. “The Army doesn’t ground maneuver dismounted .50s”

      The USMC sure does. The 7th Marine Regiment Infiltrated / MARCHED into Kuwait the week before the ground officially started in 1991.

      I was training with them when they got the word and saw their Radio Operators looking at all their stuff, deciding what to carry. The only thing that made them feel better was talking about the machine gunners. As soon as the shooting started, they were calling for ammo and food. (I got them the food).

  6. Oh, and rate of fire is pretty comparable to Mk19. It’s driven by the impulse-averaging recoil mitigation system, in which the bolt is constantly in motion and never fully halts in battery. That system cuts recoil forces, which enables the weapon to get by at much lighter weight, but has to trade rate of fire to work.

    This effort has only survived because GD has been successful at getting Congressionally-directed funds to support the weapon — essentially as a result of GD lobbying Congress to have the government give them money to develop something the government didn’t ask for that they can then sell to the government.

  7. Well since that’s the case, I say we purchase 100,000 of them. We can store them next to the Chauchat machine guns from world war one.

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