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General Dynamics XM806 (LW50MG)

Prototype Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) (2009)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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The General Dynamics XM806 competed unsuccessfully to replace the long-running Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun series.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/12/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The XM806 was initially developed as a "lightweight" heavy-class, belt-fed machine gun for the United States Army as possible replacement for the legendary Browning M2 heavy machine gun line. The program was headed by General Dynamics and given the long-form designation of "Lightweight .50 Caliber Machine Gun" (LW50MG). The new weapon followed the abandoned XM312 which, itself, was intended as a replacement for the venerable Browning M2. The XM806 was developed along these same lines before the program was cancelled in full in July of 2012.

The XM806 weighed some 40lbs sans its tripod assembly and featured a recoil-operated, belt-fed (m9 belts) action chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge. Its rate-of-fire was 265 rounds-per-minute and the weapon could achieve a sustained rate of 40 rounds-per-minute if pressed. A specially-designed M145 optic system was supported though iron sights were standard. The optics could be fitted across a span of Picatinny rail seated over the receiver. The charging handle was set to the right side of the rectangular receiver with a barrel change handle along the left. Barrel-changing was a requirement of such air-cooled weapons, lest they fracture or deform due to the generated heat of each successive shot. The muzzle was capped by a conical flash suppressor and actuation of the weapon was through traditional spade-type grips at the rear.
While the XM806 was evolving into a promising battlefield system, it program delays and ultimate disinterest led to its cancellation. In turn, the US Army furthered the M2A1 mark for the Browning M2 line which brought about use of a Quick-Change Barrel (QCB), reduced muzzle flash and other refinements over the original, long-running weapon. It was expected that some 45,000 M2s were to be "modernized" to the new M2A1 standard.


Service Year

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United States


Prototype Heavy Machine Gun (HMG)

General Dynamics - USA
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
1,562 mm
61.50 in
Empty Wgt
39.68 lb
18.00 kg

Iron Sights; Optional M145 Machine Gun Optic Scope


Recoil-Operated; Belt-Fed

(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


.50 BMG

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 12.7mm / .50BMG machine gun / rifle round
Rounds / Feed

265 Belt
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.

XM806 - Base Developmental Series Designation
LW50MG ("Lightweight .50 Caliber Machine Gun") - Alternative Designation.

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