The Marine Corps Systems Command is currently in Phase 2 of upgrading 3,600 of its M2 .50 caliber machine guns to the M2A1 configuration. The upgraded M2A1 will increase performance and lethality. The improvements include a new flash suppressor which can reduce the weapon’s night signature by 95%, a new quick change barrel, fixed headspace and timing, and a trigger block safety. The upgrade kit, specifically the quick change barrel, will help reduce downtime. The new Vortex flash suppressor promises to reduce white-out conditions, enabling Marines to use night vision devices while operating the upgraded M2A1.New Smith Enterprise Vortex® Flash Eliminator for the M2A1 .50 CAL Machine Gun
Marine Corps Systems Command is equipping Marines with the updated M2A1 .50-caliber machine gun, increasing Marines’ survivability and lethality on the battlefield.
The M2A1 is an upgrade to the legacy M2 machine gun currently used by Marines across the Corps. The updated M2A1 is easier and safer to use due to three major changes: a quick-change barrel, fixed headspace and timing, and a flash hider that reduces the weapon’s signature by 95 percent at night, according to a recent Marine Corps Systems Command press release.
“M2s are the most reliable heavy machine gun,” said Maj. Harry Thompson, team lead for General Purpose Weapons at MCSC. “The improved M2A1 makes Marines more lethal because they’re able to get rounds down range quicker. Marines will have better mobility because of the fixed headspace and timing—it’s much quicker to move the gun from position to position and put it back into action. Because they’re less exposed, Marines will have better survivability too.”
Source: Marine Corps Systems Command