About a year ago, SOCOM announced that the Special Operations Forces would be upgrading their range capabilities by switching to the 6.5 mm Creedmoor caliber. This decision, the command stated, came after extensive testing.

SOCOM adopted a Barrett Sniper system that would replace their 7.62 mm sniper rifles with the 6.5 mm Creedmoor. The 6.5mm Creedmoor according to SOCOM, will double the hit probability at1,000-meters range, increases the effective range by half, reduces wind drift and has less recoil than the standard 7.62 mm.

Now at SOFIC (Special Operations Forces Industry Conference) in Tampa this week, FN America is unveiling their latest prototype machinegun to also increase their effective range as well.

According to a release by the company, the prototype FN MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM features the latest upgrades for FN’s series of light and medium machine guns:

  • A new, improved saddle for mounting lasers and lights
  • 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 an improved bipod
  • A more robust feed tray latch, ensuring the feed tray cover locks into place during reloads.

The company released a statement that said once the development is complete, existing MK 48 Mod 1 models, chambered for 7.62mm can be configured at the armorer level to the Mod 2 variant or newest caliber with the addition of the upgrade kit and barrel conversion.

The 7.62mm version has been in use by SOCOM since 2003 and the new 6.5mm Creedmoor version has about the same recoil as a 5.56mm. However, the 7.62mm version had some drawbacks including:

  • Losing accuracy after prolonged firing
  • Overheating
  • Carbon build-up which led to misfires unless cleaned frequently

If you are in Tampastan this week and would like to see the newest MK 48 Mod 2 6.5CM or FN’s other military firearms, conference attendees can drop in for a visit at booth 804 at the 2019 SOFIC Conference or visit fnamerica.com.

But it looks like that Special Operations Forces are getting upgrades to their machineguns and capabilities when using both them and their sniper systems. And this is with having to carry less weight and without sustaining any more recoil. A win-win for the operators.

Photo: FN America