MA5C assault rifle

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MA5C assault rifle
Production overview


Misriah Armory[1]

Model series:

MA5 series[1]


Bullpup assault rifle


1686.00 cR[2]



  • (o/a): 34.6 inches (88 cm)[2][Note 1]
  • (barrel): 24 inches (61 cm)[2]


  • (empty): 3.8 kilograms (8.4 lb)[2]
  • (loaded): 4.1 kilograms (9.0 lb)[2]

Ammunition type:

7.62×51mm Full Metal Jacket[2][1]

Feed system:

32 round box magazine[2]


Short-stroke, gas-operated, rotating-bolt

Rate of fire:

Muzzle velocity:

905 m/s (2970 ft/s)[2]

Effective range:

300 metres[2]

Service history

In service:

Human-Covenant War
Post-Covenant War conflicts

The Romeo Echo Mike Foxtrot’s decision to mechanically reduce the MA5C’s magazine capacity by nearly half is pretty frustrating; even if their data was showing that jamming because of loss of spring strength was becoming an issue.

The MA5C Individual Combat Weapon System, abbreviated MA5C ICWS and commonly known as the MA5C assault rifle, is a standard-issue service rifle for the UNSC Marine Corps and the Navy. Produced by Misriah Armory as part of its MA5 Series, the MA5C is an improvement on the MA5B Individual Combat Weapon System.[2]


The MA5C assault rifle is an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, fully-automatic bullpup rifle that fires 32 rounds of 7.62×51mm ammunition. It possesses a built-in ammunition indicator and compass for orientation.[2] However, it features no in-built optical magnification.[1]

The MA5C rifle has received technical, as well as physical improvements over the MA5B assault rifle that include: a heavier barrel with a 1 in 7 twist; a redesigned cowling to house the electronics suite that reduces weight and increases portability of weapon; and a redesigned handguard which is sturdier and provides a more positive grip. The magazine capacity has been reduced to 32 rounds from the original 60 in the MA5B, and the rifle's range and accuracy has been substantially improved over its predecessor, making it a more formidable assault rifle.[2] While widespread in usage, the weapon lacks the component modularity and upgrades of its successor models.[1]

A downside to the MA5C was the lack of a secondary weapon system,[2] however by December 2553 the weapon was able to use a M301 grenade launcher.[3]


The MA5C has been in service with the UNSC as early as 2526.[4] The MA5C became one of the most prominent rifles used by the UNSC during the closing days of the Human-Covenant War, and was heavily used by Marine forces during the Battle for Earth and the Ark Conflict.[5][1] By 2557, the MA5C had been largely replaced by the MA5D assault rifle,[6] although it continued to see usage by reserve units scattered abroad.[1]



The MA5C in both offensive and suppressive situations remains the Marine Corps' most reliable weapon. When fired in short bursts the MA5C can be effective at hitting targets at longer ranges, and the rifle's armor penetrating ability makes it key for handling even the toughest of infantry. The MA5C is effective at killing armored infantry at short-to-medium range and its high rate of fire allows its user to spray an area with suppression fire in defensive situations. At close range, the MA5C is arguably deadlier than the M7/Caseless Submachine Gun, as the firepower is approximately equal. The MA5C also provides the user with an ammo count on its digital readout, as well a compass pointing toward the arbitrary magnetic "north" position. In the hands of someone who can control their trigger finger, the MA5C becomes a deadly weapon in close-quarter situations.


The MA5C's main disadvantage is that it is horribly inaccurate when fired in full-automatic. Although substantially more accurate than the MA5B, it is still too inaccurate for use at longer ranges, which makes the user an easy target for long range weapons - at long range a high ratio of misses to hits is likely, especially if the target is moving. The magazine can run out very quickly in fully automatic fire, and it has relatively low power per round compared to many other weapons; an engagement with numerous and/or particularly resilient enemies will likely require the user to reload a few times, leaving them open to counter-fire. It should be used as a secondary weapon for shorter ranges, paired with a long range weapon like the battle rifle or Covenant Carbine.

Changes from the MA5B in Halo: Combat Evolved to MA5C in Halo 3[edit]

  • Different firing sound.
  • Increased maximum magazines.
  • Decreased magazine capacity down from 60 rounds to 32.
  • Increased range and increased damage per round.
  • Decreased rate of fire and a faster reload time.
  • Decreased projectile speed.

Changes from Halo 3 to Halo 3: ODST[edit]

  • Firing sound is amplified.

Non-canon and dubious canon appearances[edit]

Silver Timeline[edit]

HTV-SilverTeam logo.png
This article contains information about the Silver Timeline, and is not a part of the established Halo canon.

MA5C assault rifles were used by Silver Team and other UNSC personnel in battles against the Covenant.[7] John-117's MA5C was stylized with a "117" on the side of the barrel.[8]

During Operation: DEFIANT GLASS, John-117 used an MA5C against attacking Sangheili forces before ultimately discarding the weapon in favor of a more effective machine gun turret. Rather than opting to retrieve his gun, John left the assault rifle abandoned in the base when he left,[9] likely because there was only one bullet left in it.[8]

During the Battle of Eridanus II, John was given an assault rifle by a Marine as he had yet to replace the one that he had discarded on Madrigal. While driving a Warthog, John placed the weapon on the passenger's seat and left it there when he left the vehicle to help Kai-125.[10]

After returning to her father's outpost, Kwan Ha discovered John's discarded assault rifle half-hidden under a truck. Kwan used the gun to detonate the Sky Pipe, killing Vinsher Grath and all of his forces. Kwan subsequently kept the weapon for herself.[8]



  • 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.


  • All pre-release public pictures of the MA5C in first person showed BR55 animations as placeholders before the final animations were in place in the final game.
  • In the Halo 3 Beta, the charging handle of the MA5C had an animation. However, this is not present in Halo 3.
  • The green button on the MA5C is a power on/off switch for the weapon's flashlight, which is never used in game by playable characters.
  • When tested, each individual round of the MA5C actually does slightly more damage than the BR55HB SR. However, this is offset by the MA5C's lower accuracy at mid-long range and the fact that it has no headshot bonus.
  • The remastered MA5B in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary uses the MA5C's model.[11]
  • In Fable 2, the MA5C can be obtained in the Knothole Island expansion pack. It is called "Hal's Rifle".
  • The 1/7 barrel twist rate is not optimal for the ammunition the MA5C uses; this would generally cause the projectile to become very unstable (and thus, more inaccurate) as it travels through the air. 7.62×51mm rounds are usually fired through barrels with a 1/10, 1/11, or 1/12 twist.


  • The MA5C's reload animation depicts the player character pushing the charging handle forward after reloading, though realistically he would need only to pull the handle back slightly before it launched forward by itself. Also, the character is seen "riding" the charging handle with his finger as it slides forward. This can cause malfunctions in modern weapons, as riding the charging handle while the bolt carrier goes forward can prevent the bolt from going fully into battery.
  • The Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition) incorrectly states that the MA5C has a reduced magazine size of twenty-four rounds despite the adjacent image showing the ammunition counter of an MA5C which contains thirty-two rounds.
  • Halo: The Essential Visual Guide incorrectly states that the MA5 series does not appear in Halo 3: ODST despite the MA5C's presence.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ In the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), the MA5C's length is contradictingly listed on page 163 as 38.9 inches (98.8 cm).