Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are continuing to hound the Corps over its selection of German company Heckler & Koch to produce the Corps’ newest automatic rifle, the M27 IAR, but that hasn’t slowed the Marines’ effort to field the M38.
The M38 is a marksman version of the M27 IAR, born out of the lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan for the need to hit enemy targets at 600 meters. The rifle is being fielded to one designated marksman per infantry squad, but has come under criticism from the Marine sniper community who view the weapon as inadequate for the role it is designated for.
But issues from the Capitol Hill and grumblings from within the Corps have not slowed the Corps’ from issuing the rifle.
Fielding of the M38 squad-designated marksman rifle already has been completed for all three Marine Expeditionary Forces, or MEF, and 216 rifles have been requested for Marine Forces Reserve, according to Barbara Hamby, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command.