Ohio Ordnance Works REAPR MG – The "Grim Reaper" from the USA prefers the .338 Norma Magnum caliber. Why?

The abbreviation REAPR stands for "Recoil Enhanced Automatic Precision Rifle", but in the USA it also has the colloquial meaning of "Reaper", the personification of death in the form of the Grim Reaper. The approximately 12-kg medium-weight machine gun with belt feed system from Ohio Ordnance in the recent, powerful long-range caliber .338 Norma Magnum with a theoretical rate of fire of 550 to 650 rounds per minute has an effective combat range of over 1,500 metres and a maximum range of around 6,700 metres. The recoil-operated gun with roller-delayed rotating bolt is based on a sheet steel receiver with a barrel that can be changed with one hand and is offered with a caliber conversion kit in 7.62x51 mm NATO (.308 Winchester).

With the Ohio Ordnance Works REAPR machine gun the belt can be fed from either the left or right side

The REAPR can be disassembled into its main components – receiver, barrel and handguard – in a matter of seconds without tools and transported in a backpack, making it ideal for discreet operations. Interesting design details include the belt feed tray (including charging handle), which can be positioned on the right or left side (and vice versa) without tools and can be pulled out to the side, allowing the cover to be opened. The laterally extendable cartridge feed tray was developed so that powerful optical sights can be mounted in combination with night vision/clip-on devices for long-range shooting. However, this additional equipment could protrude over the feed tray cover, meaning that it could no longer be opened with a conventional MG design. The ambidextrous grip with fire selector for semi-automatic and automatic fire can also be removed without tools and the buttstock, which is adjustable in length and height, can be folded to either the right or left side of the weapon. The conventional buttstock can be replaced with a double spade grip for vehicle use. In addition, the REAPR-MG is compatible with the standard U.S. armed forces mounts intended for the M240 and M249 MGs.

Technical details on the .338 Norma Magnum MG cartridge with HBPT Sierra bullet – Bullet weights and muzzle energy

In the .338 Norma Magnum cartridge, the 300-grain Sierra MatchKing HPBT bullet from a 24"/610 mm test barrel is accelerated to 823 m/s, which corresponds to a muzzle energy of 6,585 joules.

This powerful round saw the light of day as the wildcat cartridge for the long range shooting sport. In terms of ballistics, it is comparable to the older, no less potent .338 Lapua Magnum. However, its development was primarily concerned with being able to fire the 300-grain (19.4 gram) Sierra MatchKing HPBT Low Drag bullet with corresponding cartridge lengths from standard receivers/magazines. This bullet was not even on the market when the .338 Lapua Magnum was developed. The .338 Lapua Magnum was originally developed for the use of shorter bullets with weights of 250 grains (16.2 grams) and 285 grains (18.5 grams).

In 2008, the long-established ammunition manufacturer Norma from Sweden took on the long-range wildcat cartridge and manufactured it from 2009, so that it was also certified by the C.I.P. as the .338 Norma Magnum on 26 May 2010. SOCOM is known to have ordered weapons in that caliber, such as the SIG Sauer MG 338 or the Barrett MK22 Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR). The ASR, also known as the XM1162, is a multi-caliber rifle that can be chambered in .338 Norma Magnum, .300 Norma Magnum and 7.62x51 mm NATO.

With these technical features, the combination of machine gun and ammunition rightly bears its name "Grim Reaper", in our opinion.

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