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Index L7 'Gimpy' General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)

After the Second World War the Belgian Mitrailleuse d’Appui General (MAG – General Purpose Machine Gun) was selected as the winning design to replace both the Vickers Heavy Machine Gun and Bren Light Machine Gun.

Built under licence at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield it was renamed 7.62mm L7A2 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), or 'Gimpy'.

The design uses piston and bolt derived from the proven Browning Automatic Rifle, with the belt feed mechanism being based on that of German wartime designs, providing for a reliable and robust weapon.

The GPMG can be used as both a Light Machine Gun, firing from the shoulder or in the sustained fire mode installed on a tripod. In the sustained role it is operated by a two-man team, in a specialist machine gun platoon to provide battalion-level fire support.

The Parachute Regiment has always been a major user of the GPMG and in operations from the Middle East, Northern Ireland through to the Falklands, Kosovo and Afghanistan the GPMG has provided over 50 years of service.

The newer 5.56mm Minimi Light Machine Gun has supplemented the Gimpy in the British Army, but the Parachute Regiment still carry the Gimpy on foot patrols in Afghanistan for its superior weight of fire, stopping power and range.

Statistics

Length: 1,232mm
Weight: 10.9Kg
Calibre: 7.62mm
Feed: Belt
Range: Bipod 800m, Tripod 1,400m
Rate of Fire: 1,000 RPM

by ParaData Editor

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