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GPMG - General Purpose Machine Gun

The L7A2 GPMG, or 'GIMPY', is a 7.62x61mm belt-fed general purpose machine gun. The GPMG has been in service with the British military for decades.

The GPMG can be carried by foot soldiers and employed as a light machine gun (LMG), although it has largely been replaced by the lighter 5.56x45mm minimi in this role in most regiments. Not willing to give up the GPMG's stopping power for convenience, Paras and Royal Marines still lug the weapon around on foot patrols. A fold-out bipod is used to support the GPMG in the LMG role.

The GPMG is more commonly mounted on vehicles, helicopter, boats and in fixed positions. When mounted on a tripod, with stock removed, the GPMG is used in 'sustained fire' (SF) mode. In SF mode, the GPMG, with a 2-man crew, lays down 200 rounds-per-minute at ranges up to 1800 meters and, when fitted with a C2 sight, can engage targets not in direct line of sight.

UKSF, Paras and Royal Marines put the GPMG on their WMIK Land Rovers. The SAS have been known to have up to 3 GPMGs mounted on one vehicle. The 'beaten zone' suppressed by multiple GPMGs is phenomenal.

3 para with GPMG
A 3 PARA soldier armed with GPMG configured for personal carry - the bipod is folded beneath the barrel.
U.S. DoD photo

GPMG in SF mode
2-man British Army machine gun team operate a tripod-mounted GPMG in sustained fire (SF) mode.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Walter E. van Ochten, 118th MPAD TNARNG

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