The M240B: The Weapon of the Armed Forces

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: M240 machine gun, General purpose machine gun, United States Army
  • Pages : 2 (544 words )
  • Download(s) : 144
  • Published : July 29, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The M240B
Joseph Carlson

The M240B is belt-fed, gas operated medium machine gun that fires a 7.62x51mm NATO round. It weighs 27.6 pounds, has a length of 49.7 inches, (The barrel having a length of 24.8 inches) a width of 4.7 inches, a height of 10.4 inches, and has a maximum range of 3,725 meters. The maximum effective range of this weapon is 800 meters while mounted on a bipod, and 1,100 meters while mounted on a tripod. Rounds leaving the muzzle of the M240B have a velocity of 2,800 feet per second, and the weapon has a rate of fire of 750-950 rounds per minute. In the early 70s, it was becoming clear that even with constant improvements, the M73 and M219 tank machine guns were proving to be unreliable. The Army began the search for a weapons system to replace them on the battlefield. The M219 was put up against a variety of weapons, both domestic and foreign. These weapons included the M60E2, the German NG3, the French AAT NF1, the Canadian C1, the Belgian MAG-58, the British L7A2, and the Soviet PKM-T. All of these weapons fired the NATO standard 7.62mm round. By 1975 the contest had been narrowed down to two weapons; The M60E2, a weapon primarily used by the Marine Corps, and the MAG-58 produced by Fabrique Nationale. Reliability was going to be the deciding factor, the mean rounds between stoppage (MRBS), and the mean rounds between failure (MRBF) being the most examined area of testing. Only the MAG-58 met the standard with a MRBS of 2,962 rounds, and a MRFB of 6,442 rounds. (The M219 had a MRBS of 215 rounds, and a MRBF of 1,090 rounds.) In 1976, the coaxial variant was classified the M240. The first 10,000 were produced in Belgium, but Fabrique Nationale established a US manufacturing facility, FN manufacturing Inc, to handle the mass production of the weapon within the US. The M240 family became the standard machine gun for armored vehicle, being used on the M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicle, M1 Abrams main battle tank, and the LAV-25 light armored...
tracking img