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MA37 Assault Rifle
MA37 Individual Combat Weapon System
Production information

Misriah Armory


MA37 (MA5 in the UNSC Navy and Marine Corps)


Bullpup assault rifle


1392.00 cR

Technical specifications

96.4 centimeters

Magazine Size

32 rounds

Fire Mode


  • Semi-automatic
  • Automatic
Ammunition Type

7.62x51mm NATO


Gas-operated short-stroke piston, closed rotating bolt

Rate of Fire

550 rounds per minute


Approximately 0.95 milliradians


Maximum Effective Range: 600 meters
Optimum Range: 200 meters or less


The MA37 Individual Combat Weapon System, more formally known as the Individual Combat Weapon System, Caliber 7.62 mm, MA37, or as the MA5 by the naval services, was a long-serving assault rifle used by the military branches of the United Nations Space Command.

Development & Service History

Designed as the MA5 Individual Combat Weapon System starting in the early 25th century, the MA37 was created to replace the aging MA3 and MA4-series rifles, and was designed with reliability in mind. With political theorists beginning to predict fractures in society forming as mankind expanded its borders ever further from Earth, design efforts were primarily focused around making this new rifle better able to tolerate combat usage in the harsh conditions found on developing colonies. The overall design of the rifle was made considerably more robust compared to the MA3 or MA4, with the barrel, gas piston system, and action all enclosed within a robust yet lightweight aluminum alloy and polymer casing. The magazine well was recessed heavily into the lower receiver, making the end of the magazine sit mostly flush with the grip and stock, preventing dirt and grime from infiltrating the receiver assembly through the magazine well. Simplistic overall construction and operation ensured that the new rifle would have loose tolerances across the board.

The UNSC Army was the first to adopt the new MA5 rifle, which they classified as the MA37, in 2437. The Marine Corps quickly followed suit in 2438, with the Navy adopting it as well later the same year (with both branches maintaining the MA5 designation), and finally the Air Force adopted the MA5 in 2440, once again as the MA37.

The weapon served admirably in all branches of the UNSC military until the early 26th century, when the Marine Corps and Navy began replacing it with updated versions of the MA5 design. Still, the Army and Air Force continued to stand behind their MA37 rifles, however, citing comparable performance to its successor models and lower cost per unit. The Army and Air Force would continue to field the MA37 as their primary service rifle throughout the course of the Human-Covenant War.

In 2554 all branches of the UNSC military adopted the MA5D as their primary service rifle as part of standardization efforts conducted by UNSC HIGHCOM. As such, both the Army and Air Force began phasing out the weapon in favor of the MA5D, which they classified as the MA54. By October 2558, the original MA5 had been mostly shelved as a reserve weapon, with the Air Force maintaining the largest number of rifles still in the hands of active troops.

Design Details

ReachSchematic - AR

MA5 schematic.

The MA5 Individual Combat Weapon System was a bullpup, air-cooled, selective-fire, gas-operated assault rifle chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO. The weapon was robust and somewhat bulky, lending to the weapon's legendary ruggedness. It relied on a short-stroke gas piston system to operate the weapon's rotating bolt mechanism, keeping the operating mechanism itself relatively clean due to the nature of the design venting gas far away from the bolt, making the MA5 easier to keep clean than some other gas-operated rifle designs.

In its standard military-issue configuration, the MA5 was equipped with a rail-mounted Misriah M43-3 electronics suite set by default to display the amount of ammunition remaining in the weapon's current magazine as well as rudimentary navigational data, as well as a bulky Hannibal Weapon Systems KF606 flash hider, manufactured under license at Misriah plants. The weapon also came equipped with a LiteTex SLP-700 tactical weapon light, capable of emitting over seven hundred lumens of white light as well as infrared light only. The M43-3 electronics suite could be removed to allow the attachment of optics, however a rail riser was required to lift the optics over the bulky barrel shroud. For this reason, the MA5 included a rail riser as a standard component, and this was stored in the forward handgrip alongside the weapon's disassembly toolkit. For access to these accessories, the handgrip featured tool-free removal by way of several captive thumbscrews.

The MA5 utilized a thirty inch cold hammer forged chrome-moly vanadium steel barrel with a one in seven inch twist, phosphate finish, and chrome-lined bore and chamber. The fairly deep rifling of the barrel and chrome lining was somewhat detrimental to accuracy due to heavier bullet distortion and slightly less consistency in the rifling pattern, but it also lasted longer and was easier to clean, further contributing to the MA5's reliability.

The MA5 featured a spring-loaded dust cover to keep dust and grime out of the weapon's action when not in use. Cycling the weapon automatically opened the cover, to prevent operator error from causing failure to eject malfunctions due to forgetting to open the cover. For ease of use by both right and left-handed operators, the MA5 featured an ambidextrous safety, fire selector, and magazine release, and the ejection port and charging handle were designed to be easily swapped to the opposite side, although changing the ejection port required swapping the standard cheek comb for a left-handed version, but the bolt could simply be flipped over to change ejection from right to left or vice-versa.

Unlike later MA5 models, the original MA5 did not feature an underside rail for attaching underslung accessories such as grenade launchers, shotguns, or forward vertical grips. Misriah quickly introduced the specialized M866 Grenade Launcher attachment to help rectify this, although this attachment made the weapon bulky and awkward to handle. Side rails could be easily added to the weapon, however, thanks to cheap, first-party aftermarket attachments, allowing for infrared modules and other such accessories to be added onto the side of the weapon.




UNSC Remarks

"This design's over a hundred years old, y'know? You'd think they'd've replaced this shit by now with one of the newer models like the Marines have. Then again, the goddamn Scorpion's over twice as old, so I guess it could be worse. Oh well, I guess that's how the old saying goes: if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
―An anonymous UNSC Army trooper.
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