|This article, M397 Individual Automatic Rifle, was written by Ajax 013. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "People complain about the lack of volume of fire from one of these things. But I tell you, when that suppressive fire is repeatedly hitting targets out to 700 metres at fully automatic, are you complaining?"
- ―Anonymous Army Serviceman
The M397 Individual Automatic Rifle is a UNSC rifle, designed for accurate, long range suppressing fire. It is typically used during conflicts and engagements when fire fights occur at longer than standard ranges. Its design is based on a heavily modified M395 Designated Marskman Rifle, since removed from service.
The M397 IAR is typically issued to automatic riflemen during operations when it is predicted the majority of engagements will occur at long range. While it will never replace the M122 LMG on deployment, it will augment and supplement it. Without a scope, it is accurate to 700 meters, an can maintain accuracy even under continuous fire. While it lacks the volume of fire that the M122 and M739C possesses, it is much more accurate out to range, aiming to suppress the enemy through accuracy rather than weight of fire. It is also smaller and lighter than these weapons.
The M397 carries the majority of outer and inner hard ware that its predecessor carried. It features a short stroke, gas operated system, firing from an open bolt, a ambidextrous magazine release, ambidextrous fire selector with safe, semi and automatic firing settings, a single Misriah rail running the length of the upper receiver, and one on the left and right side of it, as well as a rail underneath the barrel. The components It is fitted with a heavy, 26 inch, high quality cold hammer forged steel-chrome barrel with a moulded carbon fibre lining. This design reduce heat increase caused by continued rapid fire as well as fouling and increases service life. This barrel is entirely free floating, and has a heavy 1:7 twist, and features a quick detach capability so it can be swapped out once the barrel becomes to hot to fire accurately. The majority of the gun is constructed from polymers and composites, to keep the weight down, though there are some titanium alloy components. It features a recoiling bolt that travels downwards rather than backwards, reducing backwards recoil and creating a more comfortable weapon for continuous fire. It is usually fitted with a flash hider designed to reduce recoil, though can be exchanged for a suppressor or a different model.
It can be fitted with the standard magazine from a MA6A rifle, though it is usually issued with the larger 64 or 96 round magazines. The M397 is also usually deployed with a scope, usually a 4 times optical sight, and always deployed with a bipod, though may also be deployed with/or a foregrip.
The M397 can lay bursts of suppressing fire to incredibly high ranges, and has greatly reduced weight over average machine guns, which gives it a small advantage. It is rarely deployed in urban scenarios, but in conflicts where engagement ranges are expected to continuously occur over 500 metres, it will deployed, usually on a one for one basis, with every other fireteam swapping their M122 MG for a IAR.