Military Wiki

This is a list of weapons used by the United States Marine Corps:

Weapons used

The basic infantry weapon of the United States Marine Corps is the M16 assault rifle family, with a majority of Marines being equipped with the M16A4 service rifle, or more recently the M4 carbine—a compact variant. Suppressive fire is provided by the M249 SAW, which is being replaced by the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, and the M240G machine gun, at the squad and company levels respectively. In addition, indirect fire is provided by the M203 grenade launcher in fireteams, M224 60 mm mortar in companies, and M252 81 mm mortar in battalions. The M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun and MK19 automatic grenade launcher (40 mm) are available for use by dismounted infantry, though they are more commonly vehicle-mounted. Precision fire is provided by the M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle, which is being replaced by the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System and M40A3 and A5 sniper rifle bolt action sniper rifle.[1]

The Marine Corps uses a variety of direct-fire rockets and missiles to provide infantry with an offensive and defensive anti-armor capability. The SMAW and AT4 are unguided rockets that can destroy armor and fixed defenses (e.g. bunkers) at ranges up to 500 meters. The Predator SRAW, FGM-148 Javelin and BGM-71 TOW are anti-tank guided missiles; all three can utilize top-attack profiles to avoid heavy frontal armor. The Predator is a short-range fire-and-forget weapon; the Javelin and TOW are heavier missiles effective past 2,000 meters that give infantry an offensive capability against armor.[2]

Marines are capable of deploying non-lethal weaponry as the situation dictates. Part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit earning the Special Operations Capable designator requires a company-sized unit capable of riot control.

Some older weapons are used for ceremonial purposes, such as the Silent Drill Platoon's M1 Garands, or the use of the M101 howitzer for gun salutes.

Active use


Bladed weapons



Assault Rifles & Carbines

Marine aiming a loaded M16A4 rifle with EOTech optic

A U.S. Marine armed with an M16A4 rifle and ITL MARS sight in 2004.

  • M16 rifle - M16A4 variant in use
  • M4 carbine - Carbine-length variant of the M16A4 with collapsible stock.
  • M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle - Support weapon based on the HK 416 (itself a piston-driven M4) using a free-floating heavy barrel, being issued as a replacement for the M249.

Designated Marksman Rifles

Sniper Rifles

  • Mk 11 Mod 0 - 7.62x51mm marksmen rifle based on the M16 direct impingement gas system.
  • M40 rifle - M40A3 and M40A5 variants in use as sniper rifles.
  • Barrett M82 - in use as the M82A3 and M107 variants. The M82A3 being an upgraded M82A1A, and the M107 being a variant made in response to requirements issued for an anti-materiel rifle.

Submachine gun


Machine Guns

In the foreground, a HMMWV, with a MTVR in the background. Both vehicles have M2 machineguns mounted and U.S. Marines firing them.

Vehicle-mounted M2 .50 caliber machine guns in May 2005.

  • M2HB - heavy machine gun chambered in .50 BMG used primarily as a secondary weapon on the M1 Abrams and other vehicles.
  • M240G - 7.62x51mm medium machine gun used primarily on lighter vehicles and helicopters.
  • M249 - 5.56x45mm light machine gun, being phased out in favor of the M27 IAR.

Hand Grenades

Grenade Launchers


Marines gather around a M777 howitzer, while the smoke from a recently fired round lingers

M777 155mm howitzer


Missile Launchers

a TOW missile leaves the tube of a HMMWV-mounted launcher

HMMWV-mounted BGM-71 TOW



view from inside a helicopter out a door to a corwded tarmac

UH-1N with GAU-16/A door-mounted machinegun

an closeup of the armament of an attack helicoper

AH-1W with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rockets

a guided bomb

GBU-12 500lb. bomb



Marine emplaces a claymore mine


a night vision goggle with attached head mount


Testing/Limited Use

a Marine handles a grenade launcher

M32 Multiple shot Grenade Launcher test model

A U.S. Marine Corps Military Police Special Reaction Team using the MP5-N in February 2004.

Marines with MARSOC, Force Reconnaissance, and MEU(SOC)s occasionally use specialized weapons that the rest of the fleet does not. In addition, some weapons are tested and evaluated in select units before acceptance and large-scale adoption. In a few cases, older weapons are brought out of retirement for limited use.


Bladed weapons
bayonet and sheath

M6 bayonet with sheath

M1911A1 pistol

M1911A1 pistol

Rifles, Carbines, & Muskets
black&white photograph of an early M16 rifle

early M16 model rifle

M1 Garand

M1 Garand rifle

Submachine guns
M1A1 Thompson

M1A1 Thompson submachinegun

Machine guns
M60 machinegun

M60 7.62mm machinegun

Explosives & Launchers
M79 grenade launcher

M79 grenade launcher

U.S. Marines fire blank rounds from a M101 howitzer at a ceremony

The U.S. Marine Corps still uses the M101, although for ceremonial purposes only. Here, U.S. Marines are seen firing off a M101 during a ceremony in March 2005.


See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
  1. "M40A1 Sniper Rifle". USMC Fact File. U.S. Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-02-25. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  2. "Tube Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire Guided (TOW) Missile Weapon System". USMC Fact File. U.S. Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  3. USMC Officer's Guidebook Seventh Edition
  4. "U.S. Marines Add to M9A1 Inventory". Law & Order Magazine. November 1, 2006. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  5. Tendas, Pierangelo. "Beretta M9-A1". Armi & Tiro. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  7. "Jane's international defense review: IDR". Jane's Information Group. 2003. 
  8. Piedmont, John P.; Charles P. Neimeyer (2010). DET One: U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Special Operations Command Detachment, 2003-2006 U.S. Marines in the Global War on Terrorism. Government Printing Office. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-16-085219-0. 

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