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SIG-Sauer MG338

Light Machine Gun (LMG)

United States | 2020

"The SIG MG338 was selected by US SOCOM to replace an aging stock of M240 and M2 Browning machine guns."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/13/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
United States Special Operations COMmand (US SOCOM) has introduced the SIG MG338 into its available inventory after a rigorous series of tests to prove the new design sound (safety certification was completed in 2020). The Light Machine Gun (LMG) system is chambered in the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge, giving it enhanced engagement ranges when compared to the in-service M240 while retaining lethality at-range. It succeeds an aging line of M240 Medium Machine Guns (MMGs) and M2 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) having been in service for decades while bringing with it many modern elements for the modern Warfighter.

The MG338 is a true machine gun in being belt-fed, this either from a hard or soft box set along the side of the receiver or under it. The charging handle sits along the side of the receiver within easy reach while the ejection port featured well-ahead of the handle. Controls are fully ambidextrous (with switchable feed tray and charging handle assembly), supporting both left- or right-handed shooters. The trigger loop is oversized to better accept a gloved hand. A carrying handle is featured near the free-floating barrel's entry point into the receiver for ease-of-transport and barrel-changing actions. The shoulder stock is skeletal in its design, reducing weight, and folds over the receiver by way of a hinged assembly, therefore reducing the overall length of the system and clearing the component when used in vehicle mounting.

Internally, the MG338 utilizes the proven short-stroke gas piston arrangement for driving the firing action. The gas cylinder sits under the barrel in the usual Western way. The barrel is suppressor-ready (utilizing SIG's own Next Generation Suppressor = NGS) for clandestine operations (taking the place of the standard, slotted brake) and the entire 24-inch assembly is of a quick-change design.

A section of Picatinny rail over the receiver allows for the installation of optics and aimers intended to accurized ranged fire in various light levels. SIG's own enhanced recoil mitigation system further reduces the muzzle climb and operator fatigue during the firing action resulting in a more accurate suppression weapon in full-automatic.

Whether vehicle-mounted on a trainable arm or fitted with its infantry-level folding bipod assembly, the weapon system can be used with equal lethality. Its twenty-pound weight allows an infantryman to carry the system when on-march. At 20 lb, the complete system is lighter than both the M240 and the M2 before it and can be mounted on the frames of light, medium, and heavy-class vehicles as well as helicopters. It manages a 2,000-meter range thanks to its design and cartridge of choice and is given a 600 rounds-per-minute capability.

The inherent modularity of the system allows the operator to convert the standard chambering to the widely-accepted 7.62x51 NATO standard rifle cartridge.

The American military has gone all-in on the SIG brand for its future needs in recent years, the MG338 joining the newly-minted M250 LMG, M5 assault carbine, and P320 pistol - all detailed in the Military Factory.

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January 2020 - US SOCOM completes its Safety Certification and procurement of the MG338 series. The package includes ammunition and suppressor components.

Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the SIG-Sauer MG338. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
The physical qualities of the SIG-Sauer MG338. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
Short-Stroke Gas Piston; Full-Automatic Fire.
.338 Norma Magnum
50-round disintegrating belt links.
Over-Receiver Optics and Aimers.
Notable series variants as part of the SIG-Sauer MG338 Light Machine Gun (LMG) family line.
MG338 - Base Series Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SIG-Sauer MG338. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): SIG-Sauer - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (SOCOM) ]
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Image of the SIG-Sauer MG338
Image from official SIG-Sauer marketing materials.

Going Further...
The SIG-Sauer MG338 Light Machine Gun (LMG) appears in the following collections:
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