U.S. Marine Corps Rifle?

Okay, this is for a story I want to write, but it’s a factual question…

What’s the name/model of the rifle U.S. Marines use… And if they were doing something close-quarters like room-to-room, do they switch to a different weapon, like a smg or mp? Or do they pretty much always use the regular rifle? (On action videos it looks like an M-16.)

The videos are instructive to tactics. Lots of use of grenades. I would not want to be defending a building against Marines.

I don’t know the statistics these days as I’m long retired, but before I retired the military across basically all the branches was pushing for the M4 to replace the M16 in many situations. But in my time, the M16A2 was by far the most commonly fielded weapon by infantrymen with some usage of the M4 in certain roles. I believe the USMC is probably in a similar place now, with most of them using M16 (probably the M16A4 variant at this point) but M4 being used in some roles.

The M4 actually replace a submachine gun, so no you wouldn’t normally see any regular soldiers in the U.S. military using submachine guns. The rounds they fire would not have enough penetrative ability versus modern body armor and that’s essentially what the M4 is designed to be all about, small and maneuverable but with much more stopping power and penetration than a submachine gun.

That being said keep in mind that unconventional units across all four branches often use weapons totally different from what I just said, so I wouldn’t be shocked to hear reports of Marine Special Operations Capable units utilizing submachine guns especially if they were involved in highly specialist type operations where they might be going into a tight building with lots of interior walls to grab a high value target or something.

The USMC uses the M16A4 as its standard issue assault rifle.

Cool, and thanks!

Current issue for USMC “Designated Marksmen” aka snipers is the M40A5. It’s a modified version of the Remington 700 bolt action rifle. There are older versions floating around the Corps that are being upgraded to A5 when they cycle through Quantico for overhaul.

Useful to know; I was thinking of close-quarters urban combat – room clearing – but such operations might have a sniper handy to watch over the combat, to cover windows from a distance, etc. Thanks!

For room clearing, a shorter weapon would be probably be preferable. An M-4 over an M-16A4. Or even an SMG might be better. Some units might be permitted to use non-standard weapons in that situation. Maybe something from the Heckler & Koch MP-5 family.

Sure, but only the most elite units probably have an armory that they can pick or choose from depending on the mission.

Your average jarhead line infantryman gets issued an M16A4 and that’s his weapon, whether he’s fighting at 400 meters or 4.

Aren’t snipers typically battalion-level assets? Meaning that whether they’re covering you would depend on what the lt. colonel decides? I thought room clearing was more of a fireteam/squad /platoon level action so a sniper might help but would be unlikely to support a particular small unit.

Also, I thought designated marksmen and snipers were alike but still different. A designated marksman being a halfway measure between an ordinary rifleman and a sniper. I thought they tended to have semi-automatic rifles rather than bolt-action rifles like the M40.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_marksman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_marksman_rifle
The USMC would mainly use the M16 and the M4 for room clearing.
It has quite a few M4s even if it’s not the main rifle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_carbine#History

Add in some M27s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M27_Infantry_Automatic_Rifle) and some M249s. If I remember correctly, every fireteam also has a grenade launcher which could be useful if you’re careful. I remember seeing footage of (Russian, I believe) soldiers opening doors with grenade launchers.

That’s what I love about the SDMB: knowledgeable people! All of this is wonderful fodder for my story. Since it’s fiction, I can have an elite unit if I want. (Obviously, I want to try to “suspend disbelief,” so realistic details are best.)

Thank you!

Shotguns are also commonly used to open doors. As are explosives likes detcord. They’re mainly brought to facilitate movement but they could be used against the enemy.

If you want them to be an elite unit of Marines, you can make them this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Force_Recon

or this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Marine_Corps_Forces_Special_Operations_Command