- “The single-shot DMR fits somewhere between the sniper rifle and the battle rifle. It's deadly at range, but a quick trigger finger and careful aim assure that even at medium to short distances it packs a punch.”— Game Informer
The M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, more formally known as the Designated Marksman Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M392, and commonly known as the DMR, is a select-fire rifle used by the United Nations Space Command.
The M392 Designated Marksman Rifle is an air-cooled, magazine-fed, gas-operated select-fire bullpup rifle that fires 7.62×51mm ammunition from a fifteen round detachable box magazine; the weapon's design aesthetics resembles those of the BR55. The weapon has a fire mode selector switch above its grip and a mounted optic with 3x magnification. The M392 has an ambidextrous magazine release button located directly above its magazine well just behind the trigger, as well as ambidex-friendly safety & firing mode controls - however it does not feature an ambidextrous ejection port, making use by left-handed shooters extremely difficult if not outright impossible (as hot shell casings would be ejected directly into a left-hand shooter's face). In-universe, the 7.62x51mm ammunition is interchangeable with ammunition from both the MA5 series of Assault rifles and the majority of the UNSC's light machine guns (such as the M739 SAW or the turret-mounted machine gun used by the Scorpion).
The M392 DMR's intended battlefield application is as a medium- to long-range weapon like the BR55 battle rifle. It is primarily issued to experienced operators with proficient skill in shot placement and "controlled firing," as the recoil and newly introduced reticle bloom from multiple shots can throw off the user's aim. The best strategy is to pause after each shot, then fire again as soon as the reticle contracts enough to cover roughly half of the target; simply fire as quickly as possible when at using at extremely close range.
The DMR is an excellent sniping weapon. Landing headshots from vantage points is easy because its semi-automatic mode minimizes recoil. The DMR has the range of a Sniper Rifle and a higher accuracy and larger ammunition capacity than a Magnum (at the cost of reduced fire rate). The DMR kills a SPARTAN-III with full shields in four body shots and a headshot. The large size of Elites makes them easy pickings. The DMR is stealthier than the Sniper Rifle because the DMR leaves no trail of smoke.
The Designated Marksman Rifle is not without its drawbacks. Due to its semiautomatic fire rate, it is a substandard weapon in close quarters combat. Additionally, each magazine holds only 15 rounds, resulting in frequent reloads during which the user is vulnerable to attack. Finally, ammunition for the DMR is scarce, and the maximum carrying capacity is low at only four reserve magazines, making ammunition consumption a constant worry. A player can compensate for these disadvantages by carrying a close-in combat weapon (preferably with common ammunition), but will still need to watch his ammo meter carefully, especially if he or she favors long-range combat.
- It only takes five shots to take down a fully shielded SPARTAN-III in multiplayer, but takes 6 shots on Elite characters, provided the last shot is to the head.
- Combine this weapon with a Plasma Pistol and you have a versatile weapons package. The DMR can slay all non-shielded enemies with a headshot (2 for Grunt Ultras and 3, 4, and 7 to Brute Minors, Captains, and Chieftains respectively; this is due to their thick helmets) and the Plasma Pistol will neutralize the shields of Elites allowing you to down them with a headshot from a DMR. The only problem from these weapons is the inability to combat Hunters effectively, and the lack of an effective close-range attack. Another effective pairing is with the Grenade Launcher, as this has the same effect as a plasma pistol if it detonates nearby. However, if you use the grenade launcher, you can let it bounce off of a wall and surprise and finish off upcoming enemies.
- The DMR has exceptional accuracy at ranges where a Sniper Rifle would be most effective. So if you run out of Sniper ammo but still have your DMR, stay in your spot.
- The DMR was first featured in The Art of Halo 3 as a concept design for the Halo 3 Battle Rifle.
- Originally, the DMR had only 12 rounds per magazine. However, sometime after the Halo Reach beta, this was increased to 15 rounds per magazine.
- Subscribing to Bungie Pro will give the subscriber a DMR nameplate.
- In the Halo Reach Multiplayer Beta, the background color and numbers of the ammo indicator was green instead of blue in the final version.
- In the November 14, 2011 version of the ZB Slayer gametype in Halo: Reach, the bloom effect was neutralized. Also, it made the DMR a 4-shot kill weapon, similar to the Battle Rifle in Halo 2.
- BR55 Heavy Barrel Service Rifle (Halo 3)
- Type-31 Rifle (Halo: Reach, Covenant equivalent)
- M395 Designated Marksman Rifle (Halo 4)