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Coast Guard Wants Precision Machine Guns

by Matt Cox on April 8, 2014

The Coast Guard wants to make its deck-mounted machine guns accurate enough for crowded American harbors.

To do that, Coast Guard gunners need a weapon mount that’s stable enough to turn an M240 machine gun – a weapon designed to kill area targets on the battlefield – into a precision tool capable of putting every round on target.

“We are trying to identify a system that will help our operators out there … do a better job,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeffery Lusk, a weapon specialist with the office of Specialized Capabilities. “We are trying to minimize the amount of collateral damage.”

Crew-served weapons fire 400–650 rounds per minute, Lusk said, explaining that “gunners are putting of out those rounds in a very constrained environment” such as New York Harbor or San Francisco Bay.

The Coast Guard hopes to find the solution in a commercially-available mount, Lusk said, who added that the service might be able to start testing by 2016.

Coast Guard officials are evaluating Navy, stabilized mount programs, but they are “designed for warfighter, not necessarily the law enforcement officer,” Lusk said.

“Everything that we shoot has to be on target,” Lusk said. “We need more precision.”

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