M240 Machine Gun History & Facts

M240 Machine Gun History & Facts

The M240 Machine Gun is one of the most used weapons in wars, it was manufactured in the 70s for the US Military, although it is not very light, it quickly became one of the favorite weapons of the American military, due to the confidence that gives them a weapon that can be fired a lot of times without any fault, such as jamming or crossing.

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The operation of the M-240 is based on the feeding of the bullets through a tape that disintegrates when used, and also works with different models of cartridges, this machine gun is designed and manufactured by the Belgian arms company Herstal.

After many competitions and tests, the US Military through a project to acquire 7.62 mm weapons, which had the functionality of mounting on tanks and other vehicles, selected the M240 Machine Gun to replace the M60 they had so far, this weapon uses gas in its operation and air for cooling, can be used on a front support accessory called bipod or tripod, and is used in aircraft, ships, and land vehicles.

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M-240 operation

To make the one of this machine gun, the bolt is placed in the front position, the rounds are loaded in the feeding block, then the cover that closes the feeding tray is closed, the loading handle is taken back and the bolt is also blocked in the back.

The machine gun is fired in a position with the bolt open, so this bolt must be kept back and will move forward only when a round is fired. The bolt moves around the static firing pin, so it avoids the need for a hammer.

The operator controls the firing speed with three gas regulator settings, the first allows the machine gun to cycle between 650 and 750 shots in a minute, the second cycles between 750 and 850 shots in a minute and the third cycles between 850 and 950 shots in a minute.

The high reliability that these procedures provide to the operators of this weapon is what has made it more popular and for these reasons it is not only used by the army, but also by the marines, and by several special units and elite teams from other forces, both American and from other countries.


Technical characteristics of the M-240

  • Automatic gas operation
  •  Food
  • OTAN standard disintegrating tape
  • 7.62×51 mm OTAN cartridge
  • Length of 1.23 m
  • Width of 12 cm
  • High of 26 cm
  • Standard 1.13 m cannon
  • Short canyon of 0.55 m
  • Weight of 10.1 kg
  • Caliber 7.62 mm
  • Maximum effective range of 1,100 m on tripod
  • Maximum range of 3,725 m
  • 900 m burned out tracer
  • Fire rate of 550 to 650 shots in a minute
  • 853 m/s output speed

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Facts about the M240 Machine Gun

  • This machine gun in 1977 was selected by the US Military as a coaxial tank machine gun, and over the years it was implemented for other functions, starting its use on vehicles.
  • Adopted by the Marines for use on LAV vehicles25
  • Used in the Wars of:
  • Persian Gulf in the years 1990 and 1991
  • Afghanistan from the year 2001
  • Iraq since 2003
  • Syria in 2011
  • Civilian of Iraq since 2013

Written by: RosaCastellanos

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