XM556 Microgun Has 4X the Firepower of Belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapons

The XM556 Microgun is smaller and lighter than some current 5.56mm belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapons currently on the market but with 4x’s the firepower.

It has much less weight and a smaller footprint compared to the larger M134 electrically driven Gatling gun system. The lightest titanium version of the M134 still weighs about 41 pounds.

The XM556 can be used on vehicles like in place of the M134 and it could be carried by soldiers for short engagements where a lot of suppression fire was needed.

XM556 Microgun Specifications

Caliber:                                          5.56mm
Barrel Length:                                10" or 16"
Total Gun Weight:                             16 lbs*
Rate of Fire                                  2000/6000*
Total Length:                               Handheld 22" 
Total Height:                                       6" 
Total Width:                                        9"
Feed System:                    M-27 Linked Ammunition Belt
Fire Mode:                                  Full Auto Only
Power Requirement:                      24 Volts DC

27 thoughts on “XM556 Microgun Has 4X the Firepower of Belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapons”

  1. Except that your maths is so appallingly lame..

    1 Nato 5.56 round weighs 12.3 g and gun 8kg

    2000 rounds plus gun is only 32kg or about 60lbs

    the average solider carries around 80lbs of kit so is actually quit do-able without extra kit

  2. I would prefer a sniper rifle to this bullet volcano. I want to reach out and touch someone not introduce him to my little friend. Machismo is for idiots.

  3. The M16? Sure, it could. For home protection, I would recommend the carbine version, since the shorter barrel would cause less problems in a confined space. The civilian(AR15) version, with normal barrel also makes a fine hunting weapon, though I would prefer one chambered for .308 for deer hunting.
    It’s sort of funny, but the know nothing gun control bunch seem to think the AR15 couldn’t be used for hunting, because it would obliterate the prey. Well, it would be overkill for a rabbit, but most “deer rifles” use more powerful, larger caliber rounds than the typical AR15. I guess it goes to show you who should be believed on the issue.

  4. Military ammunition is particularly prone to completely passing through it’s target, since it is jacketed in a metal harder, and tougher than lead, usually copper, or steel, and does not transfer kinetic energy as well as non FMJ rounds. This is where the term “full metal jacket” originated.
    Full metal jacket ammunition is mandated by the Geneva convention, because it is much less lethal, and less likely to maim a target than soft lead bullets. It is considered to be more humane.
    Actually, the military version of the Winchester .308 is used in many assault rifles, and is considered under powered to be used in a infantry rifle. The WW2 US standard issue M1 Garand is chambered for a military version of the 30-06. The standard WW2 Soviet infantry rifle, the Mosin-Nagant uses a round similar to the 30-06, the 7.62x54R round. The garden variety M-14, an assault rifle, is chambered for a .308, and many M16s are chambered for it, particularly those used by the USMC. They have a “thing” about not being the same as the Army.

  5. Apparently there are a few full auto 0.22 Long Rifle weapons around. From what I’ve seen they are marketed not to military, but to law enforcement and prison guards.

    In addition to the advantages you mention, they have the added “civilian” advantage of reduced penetration. Much less chance of bullets going through a target and then killing a photogenic honor student in the next suburb.

    Given the resistance that was encountered trying to downsize from “full sized” .308 and .303 bullets to the Assault Rifle sized .270/.223/.177 I think there would be many people with issues going to a “rabbit rifle” .22

  6. Reportedly, ground pounders in Vietnam seldom used the fully automatic mode of the M16, preferring the single shot, or three round burst mode. They just could not carry enough ammunition to waste it on wild shots caused by recoil.
    Rifles mounted on vehicles, or static defenses were a different matter, and many barrels were ruined by full automatic fire.
    If the military really wanted a light, short barrelled, practical super high fire rate weapon for dismounted troops, it should be based on small caliber, non-rifle ammunition, like the .22 magnum round, or even the .22 long rifle rim fire round. Recoil would be much more manageable, ammunition would be cheap, and easy to come by, and you’d be able to carry lots of it.
    One bullet would not do a lot of damage as compared to the .223 nato round, but it would be like facing a shotgun, with a 500 yard range. It would really make a mess of anything not armored. No, it wouldn’t pierce modern body armor, but it would make a mess of the arms, legs, and heads of opponents, requiring the enemy to spend a lot of manpower evacuating them, or destroying the morale of troops by leaving wounded in the field.

  7. If this weapon fires 5.56 nato rounds(.223 round the classic M16 is chambered for), the barrels are much too short to allow maximum muzzle velocity. Chances are, not all of the powder has reacted before the bullet leaves the muzzle. It’s sort of like firing centerfire rifle ammunition from a pistol.
    The garden variety M16 has a barrel length of 20″, even the carbine version’s length is 14.5. The muzzle velocity of the garden variety rifle is 3300 fps, the carbine is 2900. The full length barrel yields about 30% more kinetic energy, longer range, and better accuracy.

  8. Comparing a 5.56mm caliber, 10″ barrel (XM556)
    to a 7.62×51mm NATO caliber, 22″ barrel (M134 Minigun)

    Yep, definitely the apt comparison!
    Same damage, same penetration, same accuracy…

  9. I served in the military and I know the guns. I also know that ordinary machineguns keep shooting well past 500 rounds. It’s just very detrimental to rifling durability and thus unacceptable in peacetime training unless the barrels are worn-out already anyway.

    See Pecheneg, for example. A PKM successor for dismounted use with a fixed barrel. A 2nd barrel adds a lot of weight to the MG team.

    To mount what’s effectively spare barrels on the gun makes the gun very unwieldy, very front heavy and tires arms and torso muscles much more than carrying it at a belt-mounted container. Moreover, even a water-cooled barrel is a more weight-efficient solution than three or more barrels.

    Proper infantry tactics don’t require suppressive fires for long duration; even machineguns do mere bursts for suppressive effect. The unreliability of suppression efforts does necessitate exploitation of concealment for most movements anyway. So a barrel meant for 500+ rounds in a few minutes as Pecheneg’s does the trick.

  10. I don’t know… If you have ever used a machine gun, you know that the barrel will be glowing red after 150 – 200 rounds. I burned my hand on one a long time ago after going through a belt or two and then having to re-locate in a hurry. Multiple barrels is an advantage. You have to carry the spares anyway so they may as well be mounted permanently. I agree the ROF is far too high. Better to hit the target with fewer rounds.
    I remember preferring turning down rate of fire to a minimum even with old single barrel weapons for suppressive fire. It’s scary enough anyway to be on the receiving end of machine gun fire.

  11. 1) I spelled it correctly.
    2) You didn’t point out anything of substance. But by doing so you fulfilled my prediction.

  12. You just did…while simultaneously claiming that you didn’t.

    As if that will make your rant somehow invisible or something. Did you go to the Ocasio-Cortez School of Non-Critical Thinking or what?

  13. Think I’d prefer the “Masterson Assault Cannon” from the Bureau 13 novels. Backpack ammo store and an articulated arm to the gun so that the weight and recoil are transferred to your torso. Ammo feeds through the arm.

  14. XM133 and XM214 are the appropriate comparisons, not M134. The Gatling concept is obsolete as a whole, though. It certainly makes no sense in dismounted use. The rate of fire is too high and with ROF reduced to 600…1500 rpm you have no advantage over existing LMG designs other than more barrels installed. The current trend is to install high quality fixed barrels and give up the decades-old solution of quick change barrels, so there’s no appreciation for multiple barrels.

    A mounted gun should have a much better penetration and effective range than 5.56NATO offers.

  15. It looks like something you’d put on a Boston Dynamics unflippable mule. Pre-press trigger to first click for the mule to let you guide it to whatever position you want to fire the gun from.

  16. The weapon for the much needed Sentry Gun is at hand. I hope no one here needs to google that one. 🙂

  17. 16 lbs gun weight, 160 lbs ammunition weight. Few soldiers will be carrying that until Boston Dynamics makes a roboraptor or something and THAT can be armed with this thing.

  18. A machinegun designed to be fired from the hip.
    So, completely optimized for Hollywood. I suppose that’s a market.

  19. This thing will literally never be carried by dismounted troops. Beyond the absurd ergonomics, its rate of fire is far, far, far too high. The challenge for most SAWs is to get a ROF in the 450-500 range.

  20. Need combat robots every 500 feet on the border with one of these things and plenty of belt-fed ammo.

    Oh, and put them under a sign that says, “Solicitar asilo aquí”

    American-Sovereignty hating whackjobs shall commence their rage fest in response to this in 5..4..3..2..

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