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M247 GENERAL PURPOSE MACHINE GUN

   The M247 General Purpose Machine Gun, formally known as the Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M247, is a machine gun used extensively by the United Nations Space Command Defense Force.

Model: UNSC M247 General Purpose Machine Gun
Type: Fully automatic machine gun
Scale: Speeder
Skill: Vehicle Weapons: Machine Gun
Rate of Fire: Fully Automatic (See 'Autofire' below)
Ammo:
-Mounted Tripod: Ammo Drum (various ammo sizes)
--Light: 1,000 rounds
-Unmounted (Hand-carried): 200 rounds
-In-Game (Halo Videogame Series): Infinite Ammo
Cost:
-Weapon: 2,240 cR
-Ammo Drum (Light): 500 cR
Availability: 3, X
Range: 2-100/300/1,100
-Difficulty: Easy/Moderate/Difficult
Damage:
-Single Round: 2D
-Automatic: See 'Autofire' below)

GAME NOTES:

-MODIFICATIONS: The M247 GPMG uses the same standard ammunition type as many other firearms of the UNSC (7.62x51mm), especially the MA5 ICWS series.  These rounds therefor have the same base damage (4D character scale, 2D speeder scale).  BUT, as a heavier automatic support weapon, the M247 GPMG is able to unload more rounds per combat round, and therefor potentially do more damage.  When using Autofire rules, the Ammo Depletion is always +2, which grants +2 Bonus Damage, which is added to whatever is rolled for Ammo Depletion/Bonus Damage from the Autofire rules (see below).

-BLAST SHIELD: When mounted, this weapon usually has a blast shield, a thick metal plate to help protect the gunner when in use.  This grants a +1D armor protection bonus when having to take damage, as the gunner is usually an easier target.  If the weapon is ever removed from its mount and carried in use, this shield must be removed, as it will incur a -3D to the Firearms skill when using it while being carried.

-HEAVY: Operator's Speed is half (or less); Dodge is -4D, or can immediately drop the weapon to make a full dodge.

-VS ENERGY SHIELDS: When used against energy shields, such as those used by the Covenant, the Damage of most UNSC firearms is reduced by -1D in Semiautomatic, and automatic fire (below) only gets half the stacking pip bonus from all bullets spent in Ammo Depletion (either "Sustained Fire' or 'Short, Controlled Bursts').  Specifically, Autofire will grant the +1D for the first extra bullet (as the Fire-linking rules from Star Wars RPG Revised Edition), but then every TWO(2) bullets fired grants +1 pips.  This can still be damaging at close range, but beyond this, energy shields become a problem.  Stronger weapons may be required!

-AUTOFIRE: This weapon is designed for a fully automatic rate of fire, able to fire multiple shots by holding the trigger when operated and deliver more damage than a single round would produce.  There are two methods of using Autofire ("Sustained Fire" and "Short, Controlled Bursts", below), both of which require making ranged attack skill rolls at higher-than-normal range Difficulties than normally used for firing single rounds.  The result is more damage at the expense of ammunition and accuracy...
--SUSTAINED FIRE: This is when the user is trying to unleash as many bullets as possible for maximum possible damage against the target.  Make the skill roll for the ranged attack (Firearms skill); any Difficulty Level rolled above the set Range Difficulty level (easy for short/moderate for medium/difficult for long) causes Ammo Depletion of 1D rounds per +1 Difficulty rolled (+1 Difficulty = -1D Ammo Depletion from magazine).  EVERY extra bullet is used as per the Weapon Fire-Linking rules (as in Star Wars RPG Revised Edition by West End Games), with the first extra bullet adding +1D to Damage (making the Damage 5D+2 before adding more), and every extra bullet after that adding +1 pips (with ever 3 pips combining as 1D; for example, +6 pips equals +2D).  The cost of this is that while it is very effective in close quarters (no penalties at short range), it is less so at further ranges due to the weapon shaking itself from the recoil of firing multiple successive rounds (-2D at Medium Range, -4D at Long Range, but Ammo Depletion still adds 2D and 4D, respectively, for making the attempt).
   *SUMMARY:
    -Weapon skill roll at +1 Range Difficulty or more.
    -Ammo Depletion of 1, +1D rounds per +1 Range Difficulty rolled.
    -Damage is +1D (5D+2), +1 pip for every extra bullet used in Ammo Depletion (Fire-Linking rules).
    -Skill roll is -2D at Medium range/-4D at Long range; Ammo Depletion still +2D/+4D, respectively.
--SHORT, CONTROLLED BURSTS: Where sustained fire has less accuracy, firing in short, controlled bursts maintains some accuracy while still doing some extra damage than a single round would produce.  The user holds the weapon with both hands tightly against their shoulder, aligning their site along the body of the weapon for better 'line-of-sight' targeting, and squeeze the trigger to release limited bursts of rounds from the magazine.  The result is having more control over where the bullets go, without the extreme penalties at further ranges as with "Sustained Fire".  When making the weapon skill roll for a ranged attack, the Range Difficulty is increased by +1, and every shot has Ammo Depletion of 1+1D rounds (this ensures that at least two rounds will always be fired, "1" plus whatever is rolled on the "+1D").  The damage is figured as per the Weapon Fire-Linking rules (again, in Star Wars RPG Revised Edition), with the first extra bullet adding +1D to Damage (making the Damage 5D), and every extra bullet after that adding +1 pips (with ever 3 pips combining as 1D; for example, +6 pips equals +2D).  While this will cause less extra damage than Sustained Fire, it does grant a better chance to cause more damage at all ranges.  The extra damage will always be between 5D+2 to 7D+1 when using this rule.  
   BUT, if the user CANNOT roll the +1 Range Difficulty needed to hit a target at the given range with the burst, they either cause normal damage (if they rolled the normal Range Difficulty but no higher, with one bullet hitting out of the whole burst), or miss entirely (if they did not roll either Range Difficulty needed), but in any case, the Ammo Depletion remains the same at 1+1D rounds from the weapon's magazine.
   *SUMMARY:
    -Skill roll as normal for attacks.
    -Range Difficulties are +1 Level.
    -Ammo Depletion is 1+1D per attack (burst).
    -Damage is +1D (5D+2), +1 pip for every extra bullet used in Ammo Depletion (Fire-Linking rules).
    -No other penalties/bonuses except those from other sources (such as HUD/CNI, other equipment or situational modifiers).

- - - - - - - - - -

DESIGN DETAILS

   The M247 General Purpose Machine Gun is usually placed near defensive positions in and around UNSC bases and fortifications. It is evidently chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO standard cartridge. There are several variants of the M247 GMPG:
1 - Fixed: This variant of the turret has a slab of armor plating to protect the operator from incoming fire, and is used as a defensive weapon by the UNSC Marine Corps.
2 - Portable: This variant is man-portable and is equipped with a folding tripod or bipod for rapid relocation and setup in the field. To lighten the load, the protective plate is removed.
3 - Pelican-mounted: This variant is secured via a mount hanging from the ceiling of the Pelican's troop bay.
4 - Elephant-mounted: This variant is mounted on M312 Heavy Recovery Vehicles. It can only be operated only when the Elephant is in lockdown mode.
5 - M247T Medium Machine Gun: This variant is equipped on the M808B Main Battle Tank as either a coaxial-mounted or pintle-mounted anti-infantry weapon. It was also mounted on the Grizzly tanks created by Sergeant John Forge.  (See these vehicle entries for details)
6 - M247H Heavy Machine Gun: The M247H is a heavier variant of the M247 GPMG used by the UNSC Army. It is mounted on UH-144 Falcons in addition to serving as a stationary infantry weapon.  (See separate entry)

ADVANTAGES (mostly in the videogames)

   The M247 is a very effective weapon against enemy infantry and light vehicles. The weapon's tracer rounds are far less visible than the projectiles of the Covenant's analogues, the Type-42 and Type-52 Directed Energy Support Weapons. While the 7.62x51mm round it uses is effective against armor and flesh, unlike plasma-based weaponry it is not particularly effective against shields. Despite this, the M247's high volume of fire makes it a very potent weapon.

   In-game, the location of impact of the M247 on a target does not affect the damage inflicted. Therefore, a target shot in the legs would take the same amount of damage as it would take if shot in the chest. The M247 can take down enemy targets through sustained fire: a target that is unshielded can take only two or three rounds before dying, while a fully shielded target can survive seven or eight. A target with a fully charged overshield can take eighteen rounds before being killed, or three seconds. This is not a problem, as the high volume of fire will make short work of any foe.

DISADVANTAGES (mostly in the videogames)

   As is the case with the Covenant's plasma cannons, the M247's gunner is extremely exposed to enemy fire and will invariably become a high-value target to be taken out. A single hit by a rocket launcher, a round from a Scorpion tank's main gun, or a well placed plasma grenade will destroy the turret and kill the gunner. A hit from a Wraith or an M68 Gauss Cannon will also completely deplete the gunner's shields, leaving said individual vulnerable to a follow-up shot.

   The M247 cannot be detatched from its mounting, and so can only be used from a stationary position.

   While it is useful against enemies in light vehicles, this is not a weapon to use when faced with enemy armor, as the rounds will have little effect on a Scorpion tank or a Wraith, unless the target is hit with sustained fire for about seven seconds. Therefore, it is highly advisable to immediately flee from the turret when confronted with a tank.

   In contrast to the Halo 2 incarnation of the Shade, the M247's gunner is completely exposed to enemy fire and very vulnerable to snipers and other scoped weapons. Furthermore, the M247 can only traverse 180 degrees, so a wise gunner will recruit an ally to watch their flanks and rear. Also, while this machine gun is capable of firing over long distances, its accuracy is drastically reduced at extreme ranges. Furthermore, it is harder to zero-in at targets beyond ?standard? visible range, even with a spotter guiding the gunner's aim. That said, a good two person team can overcome this to a large degree, although the lack of accuracy is still problematic.

TRIVIA
-This weapon shares a very similar name to the real-world Belgian M249 and M240 machine guns, as well as sharing a similar design and combat role.
-In the Halo 3 Beta, the packaging of the M247 can be found in the map High Ground.

OTHER INFO (Videogame series)

Production Information:
-Model: M247 General Purpose Machine Gun
-Type: Turret
Technical Specifications:
-Size:
--Portable: 156cm
--Mounted: 154.5cm
-Damage Per Hit: Medium
-Magazine Size: Unlimited (Mounted)
-Maximum Ammunition:
--Mounted: Unlimited
--Unmounted: 200 (Estimated)
-Fire Mode: Fully Automatic
-Ammunition Type: 7.62x51mm NATO caliber rounds
-Rate of Fire: About 600 rpm
-Accuracy: Short to Medium
-Range: Long (1,100m)
-Eras: Human-Covenant War
-Affiliation: United Nations Space Command


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