Weapons: Scopes Make Machine-gun More Lethal


July 14, 2009: The U.S. Marine Corps is spending $33 million to equip many of its M240B 7.62mm machine-gun with an optical scope from Trijicon. This firm supplies a wide range of rifle and machine-gun scopes for police and military customers. Trijicon has an 8x48 machine-gun scope that weighs less than half a pound and retails for $2,500. This scope has a red chevron aiming point, bullet drop compensator and two-eyes-open aiming capability. The sight does not need a battery and is waterproof. The marines will get 25 of these scopes within a year, and the rest within the next four years.

The M240 replaced the four decade old M60 machine-gun, and is more reliable and easier to use. It is effective against point targets out to 800 meters, and area targets out to 1,100 meters. The Trijicon scope will enable gunners to get more hits with the first burst. Otherwise, the first burst makes it clear how close the gunner is to the target, while the second burst is usually on target. But when the first burst misses, the enemy has time to dive for cover. Thus the scope makes the M240B much more lethal.

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