General Dynamics has finally unveiled their entry into the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon competition, officially confirming the longstanding rumors that their rifle would utilize a bullpup design. Unlike the Army’s existing M4 service rifle, which carries the magazine and chambers the round forward of the operator’s hand, a bullpup rifle handles those functions behind the operator’s hand, offering distinct advantages and disadvantages when compared to a more traditional rifle design.
The RM277 takes its name from the inch-equivalent of the new standard ammunition size the Army is looking to adopt: 6.8mm, which translates to .277 inches. General Dynamics’ service rifle and squad automatic weapon share an architecture, apparently utilizing the same basic feed design and layout. The squad automatic weapon variant, however, seems to carry a longer barrel. Both versions are shown in marketing pictures utilizing a Delta P designed suppressor. The suppressors utilize 3d printing in the production of their cans and are supposed to last the life of the weapon’s barrel, according to General Dynamics.
General Dynamics explained that the RM277 utilizes a “gas and recoil operated, impulse averaged, air cooled” system, with both iterations of the platform feeding through magazines. This may be a setback for the squad automatic weapon variant, as its competition from both Textron and SIG Sauer are belt fed.