|This article, M396 Designated Marksman Rifle, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Battle rifle? Battle rifle?! Battle rifles can't penetrate armoured vehicles! This thing is a fucking cannon!"
- ―Anonymous Marksman
The M396 Designated Marksman Rifle is one of the most powerful infantry firearms utilised by the UNSC. Replacing the M395 DMR, the M396 is it's direct successor, sharing many components and design features. The rifle is heavier than most other infantry firearms, though using light composite metals and polymers reduced this weight. The rifle uses the massive 10.2x51mm round, which can cause horrendous damage on impact.
The Weapon is mainly designed as a Designated Marksman weapon, so a soldier on a squad based level can increase his squads effective range from 1000 metres to 1700 metres, a range usually associated with sniper rifles. The large round is incredibly potent, being capable of penetrating several enemy soldiers before coming to a stop. The weapon is most effective in burst and semi automatic fire, though full automatic fire is effective at close range, making mincemeat of whole squads in close quarters. Also, with the addition of specialist ammo, such as the the M640 X-HEAP, the M642 Incendiary round and the M643 High Explosive Incendiary Armour Piercing round allow it to become a mild anti-armour and anti-material rifle, capable of dealing damage to armour vehicles with armour under 60mm thick and destroying enemy equipment. The rifle is fitted with four accessory rails, allowing it to fit scopes, increasing its range and accuracy, range finders, bipods and grips.
The M396 DMR is closely modelled on its predecessor, the M395 DMR, sharing almost 70% of components, as well as sharing 50% of components with its cousin, the M397 Individual Automatic Rifle, allowing a degree of commonality. The rifle, as such, shares many characteristics with its predecessor, such as high accuracy and stability, above average recoil and devastating effects on armoured targets.
The gas operation action has a short stroke gas piston, located above the barrel. The gas piston has its own return spring. Gas system is designed for firing in adverse conditions. The machined bolt carrier rides inside the receiver on the two parallel titanium guide rods, with the single return spring placed above and between the guide rods. The typical rotating bolt has 7 lugs that locks into the titanium insert in the receiver, just behind the barrel breech. When fired, the bolt travels down the receiver rather than backwards to absorb recoil and direct it away from the shooter. It features full adjustable/removable front and rear day/night sights.
The heavy barrel features a 1:7 twist, and is cold hammer forged from heat resistant composites and is lined in chrome, to resist spoiling. The barrel is free floating, so it's accuracy can't be affected by warping to the external components.
"Don't try to go 'Spartan' with this gun and spray it everywhere. You'll end up with, at best a black eye from the scope kicking you in the eye, at worst, a broke arm. Or if your in a combat zone, death."
"At Helspont space port the Brutes were running amok in the streets below while we took the high ground with these babies. We were even taking down ghosts with these things!"
"The thing is so fucking heavy! Thank god they come with the option of bipods, it really helps in extended defence or marksman operations."