The United States Marine Corps Rifle Creed represents the relationship between soldiers and their weapon. One part says, “My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.” Though it was written in World War II, its significance and meaning is still instilled in training today.
The U.S. Marine Corps uses a variety of firearms in its arsenal when carrying out missions. From rifles to sidearms to sniper rifles, each weapon contributes to the Marines fighting force’s effectiveness.
To identify the standard-issue guns of the U.S. Marine Corps, 24/7 Wall St. referenced a catalog of Marine firearms from Military Factory. We ordered these guns by the time they entered the service and included supplemental information regarding type of firearm, range, caliber, and manufacturer, also from Military Factory.
Most of the weapons that appear on this list are rifles, historically fitting with this branch of the military, considering the saying that “Every Marine is a rifleman” regardless of their military occupational specialty. Another notable fact about this arsenal is that the ammunition is interchangeable between a fair amount of these guns, namely the 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO rounds that can service multiple guns. (These are the 26 guns in the U.S. Army arsenal.)
One of the most commonly used rifles in the Marine Corps is the M4 Carbine. A compact variant of the M16A2 rifle, the M4 is a gas-operated, magazine-fed, select-fire weapon. Its reduced size makes it ideal for close-quarter battles. Despite this smaller size, the M4 does not compromise on range and accuracy. The gun is also highly modular allowing for the easy attachment of accessories to suit any combat scenario.
For close-quarter combat situations, the Marines also rely on the Benelli M1014. This semi-automatic shotgun is the first gas-operated shotgun made by Benelli. It fires 12-gauge shells, which have high stopping power at close range, and it has seen consistent combat action throughout the Global War on Terror, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle is one of the most recently adopted guns by the Marine Corps. The M27 is based on the Heckler & Koch HK416 platform and is a fairly accurate and highly modular firearm. Its 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, the same as the M4 and M16, provide a consistency in ammunition across platforms. (Also see, the guns used by the U.S. Green Berets.)
The Marines have acted as the vanguard force in every military conflict since the founding of the United States, according to the USMC Heritage, using handguns, rifles, shotguns, snipers, and more. Here is a look at the guns used by the U.S. Marine Corps.
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