FN Herstal has announced a prototype for the newest variant of the MK 48 machine gun. The Mod 2 variant is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The prototype is styled as the FN MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM.
Debuted at the 2019 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa May 18-23, the machine gun is part of FN’s response to USSOCOM’s qualification of the caliber last year. If civilian shooters had any reservations about the acceptance and longevity of the 6.5 Creedmoor, this should dispel them.
The FN MK 48 Mod 0, adopted as a USSOCOM program of record in 2003, was developed from FN Herstal’s 7.62x51mm FN MINIMI at the military’s request for a compact and easily-maneuverable machine gun in a heavier caliber.
The prototype FN MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM features the latest upgrades for FN’s series of light and medium machine guns, including
- an adjustable stock for length of pull and cheek height;
- improved, locking charging handle;
- improved, double-notched sear;
- improved handguard with 3-, 6- and 9-o’clock positions with improved bipod; and,
- more robust feed tray latch, ensuring the feed tray cover locks into place during reloads.
Once development is complete, existing MK 48 Mod 1 models can be configured at the armorer level to the Mod 2 variant, or another chambering, with the addition of the upgrade kit and barrel conversion.
The improvements to the MK 48 Mod 0 were also incorporated into the M249 series and is in service with USSOCOM as the MK 46 5.56x45mm machine gun. In addition, FN also holds current USSOCOM contracts for the MK 17 7.62-caliber carbine and MK 20 SSR precision rifle.
For TTAGers who’ve handled the Mod 1 or other machine guns, do you think the 6.5 CM has the horses to replace the 7.62 round in range and downrange effectiveness?