So in between strings at the monthly steel match in Escondido last Saturday, I got to chewing the fat with a Jar Head stationed out of Miramar, just north of me here in San Diego. I always love to talk to actual combat soldiers. It makes me like my job a little more, due to the fact that I don’t get shot at. All I have to worry about is keeping a nuclear propulsion plant running so that we don’t sink to the bottom and get crushed like the soda-can-bunsen-burner-ice-water science experiment we all did in school. No biggie. On the other hand, talking to “ground pounders” and “bullet sponges” as we in the Navy call them, I also get the feeling that I’m in the wrong branch sometimes. I like guns, I’m good with them, I feel like I could put that knowledge and experience to better use. Anywho, he brought up that the USMC was going away from the SAW to the new M27 IAR. He also said that they are a lot of fun and a helluva lot easier to lug around than its Belgium made counterpart. I did some more digging and was un-impressed at first. First glances showed that it looks like a beefed up AR, but in actuality it is a modified HK416. Of course it has a short stroke gas piston, because the Germans would never in a million years entertain thoughts of using a system that poops where it eats. Makes sense, I wouldn’t want my suppressive fire weapon to malfunction either, well any of my guns for that matter. They better Slipstream it just in case(http://crusaderweaponry.com/shop). I find it interesting that once again we see history repeating itself. What USGI guns do you think of when someone says World War II? You better have an M-1 Garand popping into your mind. That’s a given. What else though? M1911, M-1 carbine, Ma-Deuce, and oh yeah, the BAR. Another of John Moses Browning’s fantastic designs. Hmmm, a one man, magazine fed, heavy barrel, suppressive fire weapon. JMB had the right idea in his design, unfortunately it was still pretty heavy at darn near 16lbs. Enter modern polymers and improved aluminum and we can achieve what I think JMB was really after. Not to say that the BAR was a poor design, quite the contrary, it worked and worked well. Some of you may be thinking, “Not even close, the BAR fires the huge and powerful .30-06, it cannot be compared to this new M-27 IAR.” Well, think about it. What was the main cartridge issued to our infantry in WWI and WWII? .30-06 Fast forward to modern times and what is the answer? 5.56x45mm. So maybe it’s just a simple case of logistic concerns for having the same ammo for everyone that made JMB go with a .30-06 design. Who knows? In my humble opinion, I think the USMC is simply going back to a modern version of a battle proven weapon that was loved by many troops throughout our history.