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The MA5 series of weapons is used throughout the Halo series by the USNC ground forces. It is currently used in 3 main configurations, the MA5B, the MA5C and the MA5K. The MA5 is a bullpop (magazine behind trigger), fully automatic assault rifle with the magazine fitting neatly inside the weapon itself. The electronic suite on the back of the rifle shows the number of rounds remaining in the clip and a small navigational compass that can be used to find waypoints and objectives with ease.
The MAC5 Assault Rifle fires 7.62 x 51 FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds from a 32-round magazine that is housed in the underside of the butt of the gun. It is located just behind the weapon's pistol grip meaning that the MA5C is referred to as a Bullpop weapon. The weapon has a 60.7 cm long rifled barrel with an overall length of 88 cm. There are a number of different attachments available for the MA5 series such as Flash Lights and Silencers. There is a digital display on the top of the weapon which can display the number of rounds remaining in the magazine and a compass that points to a major land mass or key locations. There is a safety on the handle of the weapon and a power button for the flashlight just behind the grip close to the trigger.
The MA5B is predominately used in Halo: Combat Evolved
and Halo Wars
by Marine forces. It features a 60 round clip but suffers from serious accuracy problems. While firing this weapon on automatic it is quite possible that the first shot will hit a direct bull's eye and the next shot will harmless hit the dirt a dozen feet away from the intended target, for this reason firing in short bursts can dramatically improve combat performance although it still cannot be relied upon for medium range combat. The main use of the MA5B is the killing of unshielded foes and close range combat, it only takes a few shots to drop a Grunt or a Jackal and at close range the MA5B is capable of killing the toughest Elites. The MA5B is also proven to be very effective at killing Flood Forms at close range and is an acceptable replacement to the M90 Shotgun
in those situations.
The MA5C replaced the MA5B as the standard infantry combat weapon by the time the events of Halo 3
occur. The MA5C is designed as a much more balanced weapon featuring increased accuracy and effective range at the cost of firing rate and ammo capacity (reduced from 60 rounds to 32 rounds). Effectively this means that the MA5C is still useful as a close quarters weapon but is now far better at killing enemies at range then the MA5B ever was. The electronics suite situated in the rear sight of the weapon also shows the direction of objectives and waypoints. The biggest disadvantage of the MA5C is the high rate of fire, low accuracy and low magazine capacity mean that killing a shielded foe can take up to 90% of the clip which means that it might be necessary to reload after every kill making the user very vulnerable in close quarters combat.
This cut down variant of the MA5B is only used by Special forces within the Halo universe and has not yet appeared in any of the Halo games. The weapon is lighter, quieter and smaller than other versions of the MA5 series and looks like a cross between the MA5B and the BR55 Battle Rifle although the MA5K functions like the rest of the MA5 series, as an automatic Assault Rifle.
The Assault Rifle as it appears in Halo Reach. It is slightly more accurate than the Halo 3 variant, but more or less plays the same role as the Assault Rifle in Halo 3.
- According to Robert McLees, the designer of the MA5B he hadn't heard of the FN2000 until three months after Halo shipped, the FN2000 is very similar in appearance to the MA5 series.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved the compass on the MA5B actually points to the nearby Gas Giant Threshold which can be seen in the sky, this acts as a North during the game.
- All pre-release screenshots of the MAC5 for Halo 3 used the Battle Rifle reload animations as placeholders.
- The new MA5C has a compass that points towards the objective in each mission.
- On the butt of the MA5C, a small Marathon Symbol can be found. It is also found on the left side of the weapon just below the charging handle.
- The MA5C actually has no bonus damage for achieving a headshot meaning that aiming at the body of a target can actually cause more damage as more hits are made.
- In Halo 3 there is an "on" button on the side of the Rifle.
- In Halo 3, when a Marine fires this weapon, the amount of rounds on the display does not change.
- In Fable 2, it is possible to get a version of the Assault rifle called 'Hal's rifle' after downloading the 'Knothole island' DLC.