FN America displays machine gun for special operators

Todd South talks to Shawn Malloy of FN America about the FN MK 48 MOD 1 machine gun, their latest offering for military and law enforcement. (Dustin Diaz, Todd South/Staff)

An upgraded version of the mainstay of machine gun power in the Army’s dismounted formations just got a few new tweaks.

The FN Mk 48 Mod 2 was on display at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.

The Mk 48 itself was a project begun in 2002 to find ways to improve the Army’s 7.62mm M240 machine gun.

The new version has a buttstock adjustable to five settings that can shorten down for transport and quickly push out for the right fit. It has a wheel adjuster rather than the push-button style on the M4 carbine.

That buttstock also has an adjustable cheek weld or comb to give the shooter a better eye level for optics use.

In addition, feed claws on the feed tray were added to eliminate the age-old belt-fed ammo problem of the first round not seating and then not firing, a problem that required another cycling to get going.

The gun also got a new charging handle that has a release button to give it more purchase when racking, and FN has beefed up the feed tray cover to better hold it up vertically when loading so it doesn’t smack down on the shooter, especially when holding heavier optics.

The machine gun now includes 3-, 6-, and 9-inch rails for mounting lasers, range finders or a vertical grip.

A double notch sear adds another safety layer to help prevent a “runaway gun scenario.”