by David Crane
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The Dragon M50, or Dynamic Rate-Accelerated Gun for Opposition Neutralization M50, differentiates itself from a standard M2HB via:…
2) Being 14 lbs lighter in weight and 11 inches (11") shorter in length
3) Internal improvements to the weapon designed to improve both reliability and durability under adverse combat conditions and high round count.
DefenseReview got to examine the Dragon M50 .50 BMG heavy machine gun a bit at the company’s booth at the 2007 NDIA Small Arms Symposium, Exhibition and Firing Demo. The weapon looked good, but looks aren’t important. What is important is how it shoots. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to determine that, since we didn’t have enough time to do so at the firing demo portion of NDIA at Blackwater USA. On top of that, the weapon was set up at another firing range that was a good distance from the firing ranges that were set up for small arms.
While were at the CWA booth, we got to peruse the Cadex Inc. Solo Sight Mount, which we plan to write more about in a subsequent article. The Cadex Solo Sight Mount is basically a reciprocating weapon sight mount designed to attenuate/mitigate (i.e. reduce) the amount of shock to expensive weapon-mounted electro-optical sights (a.k.a. electro-optic sights) like thermal/IR (infrared) and night vision sights (a.k.a. image intensification sights a.k.a. I2 sights) by absorbing an advertised 88% of the weapon’s recoil. The Solo Sight Mount is pretty cool, and looks to be ideally suited for use on the Dragon M50, and any/all other heavy support weapons.
DefenseReview also noticed the Aimpoint MPS II Red Dot Sight attached to the Dragon M50, which is the same weapon sight that the LMO Twin-M240 machine gun mount sported at the firing demo. Aimpoint must be doing something right. The Aimpoint MPS3 Red Dot Sight appears to be the follow-on product to the MPS II.
Assuming that the gun performs as advertised, it would seem well-poised to compete in the same weapons niche as the FN M3M/GAU-21 .50 BMG/12.7×99 NATO heavy machine gun (itself a modified Browning M2HB), which FNH USA is currently manufacturing and marketing for combat rotorcraft (i.e. helicopters), ground vehicles (APCs, IFVs, HMMWVs, etc.), and watercraft (i.e. boats and ships). However, at present, FNH USA currently has a sole source contract with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps (USMC) for the M3M/GAU-21 (at least last time we checked).
It’ll be interesting to see how the CWA Dragon M50 and FNH M3M/GAU-21 stack up against each other. A side-by-side shoot test might just be in order–provided someone else springs for the ammo.
Company Contact Info:
Central Wisconsin Armory (CWA)
Director, Military and Law Enforcement Sales
200 A, Saint-Louis, Local 220
J3B 1Y1, Canada
Phone : 1-450-348-6774
Fax : 1-450-348-7157