Place of origin
2012 - present
Plenty and lots
10.5 kg (23 lbs 2.377 oz)
1397 mm (55 inches)
609 mm (24 inches)
Rate of fire
900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Effective firing range
Maximum firing range
3,700 m (4,046 yd)
rear leaf and
The MG78A1 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) is a gas-operated, locked-breech, air-cooled, belt-fed, sustained fire, sub-.30 calibre medium machine gun firing from the open-bolt position. It is chambered in the 7mm-08 Remington cartridge that is based on the .308 Winchester case necked down to accept a slimline 7 mm (.284 calibre) bullet. This chambering offers superior ballistic performance with a high ballistic coefficient bullet that delivers a flatter trajectory, moderate recoil for higher accuracy and lower muzzle blast, at a significant weight reduction in ammunition allowing more rounds to be carried per infantryman. The MG78A1 has applications including infantry ground mounting (on bipod or tripod), pintle/cradle and pedestal mountings with spade grips, as coaxial armament on armoured vehicles, and remote weapon stations.
The MG78A1 is built on the short stroke gas operated rotating bolt operating system of the MG70B Universal Machine Gun platform. The weapon fires from the open bolt position in full automatic mode only. Its gas cylinder is located below the barrel, and operates the short stroke gas piston to drive a bolt carrier and rotating bolt. The bolt group, gas system and regulator are made from AISI 8620 chrome-plated alloy steel, and the breech and free-floating barrel from AISA 4140 chrome-moly high tensile steel that is double lapped and chrome lined for durability. A precision cast Stellite (high carbon cobalt alloy) liner is press-fitted into the chamber and rifling to further enhance wear resistance to extend barrel life. The receiver, M240-style buttstock, G500-style pistol grip/trigger guard and fore-end are made from high strength/heat resistant GF/PA-6 polyamide thermoplastics, which is moulded over a stamped and welded sheet-metal AISA 1018 low carbon steel reinforcement frame in the case of the receiver.
Linked ammunition can be fed from either 50 round loose belts that assemble together using a cartridge as an interlink to provide a continuous feed, or a nylon bandolier for 100 rounds clipped under the receiver for better handling characteristics. A high reliability single-stage feed mechanism strips rounds from M13-type push-through belt links to feed ammunition with a two-stage belt pull. The complete cycle of operation (feeding, chambering, locking, firing, unlocking, extracting, ejecting, and cocking) is performed from the open-bolt position for maximum cooling of the action. An adjustable gas regulator permits the cyclic rate to be varied at 650, 850 and 1,200 rpm to improve controllability, accuracy and barrel life during sustained firing, and provide additional power to overcome fouling in harsh conditions such as mud and dirt.
Features and improvements include: ambidextrous safety/selector levers, a folding bipod attached to the gas block, a tripod/pintle mounting lug, Stellite lined bore and breech for enhanced accuracy and service life, fixed head space and timing to allow fast barrel changes, an air-cooled quick-change barrel (QCB) assembly with integral carrying handle gas system, MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny accessory rails on the receiver feed tray cover for mounting sights, a straight line recoil path with the operating rod running directly to a spring-powered buffer system mounted in the fixed M240-style buttstock to reduce felt recoil, enlarged shell deflector and ejection ports with protective dust covers, an extended ventilated hand guard with forward rails, and a BE Meyers three port open-end flash hider that eliminates 93% of muzzle flash.
- Standard version chambered in the 7mm-08 Remington cartridge.
- Export variant chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge.
Etoile Arcture Ground Forces: provides the basis of fire at the platoon and company level.
Cartridge: 7mm-08 Remington
Action: gas operated, piston driven, short stroke
Locking: rotary bolt w/ 4 radial lugs
Weight: 11.5 kg fully loaded
Overall length: 1397 mm
Barrel length: 609 mm
Rifling: three lands and grooves, right hand twist, 1 turn in 241 mm
Muzzle device: three port open-end flash hider
Feed type: 100-round M13-style disintegrating metallic split-linked belt, nylon pouch-like drum magazine
Sights: rear leaf and hooded front post, day optics, etc
Muzzle velocity: 900 m/s
Effective range: 800 m vs point targets, 1,500 m vs area targets,
Maximum range: 3,700 m
Fire control: drop-in replaceable trigger group, ambidextrous selector levers
Rate of fire: 50-100 rpm practical, 650-1,200 rpm cyclic
Trigger pull: single-stage Match, non-adjustable 29.35 N pull
Unit replacement cost: US$1,500
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