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M240 Machine Gun, 7.62mm

The M240 machine gun is a versitile light machine gun fielded in a number of configurations for the U.S. military and, as the Fabrique Nationale MAG, by armies around the world. Its mechanism is a direct descendent of the time-proven M-1918 Browning Automatic Rifle and the cost-reduced design minimizes use of machined parts. Even though a relatively new weapon, this heritage makes the M240 extremely reliable and well suited for its many military roles.

M240 Machine Gun, tripod mounted, with Medium Weapon Thermal Sight (MWTS)
M240 Machine Gun, tripod mounted, with Medium Weapon Thermal Sight (MWTS).

Today in WW II: 15 Aug 1940 Peak day for Luftwaffe sorties against England, including bombing in the North of Britain. More 
15 Aug 1942 Operation Pedestal, a last ditch attempt to re-supply Malta and avoid surrender to a German blockade, succeeds as tanker SS Ohio and other convoy ships reach Grand Harbour port.
15 Aug 1943 In the Aleutians, US troops land on Kiska Island to retake it from the Japanese ([5-24 Aug].
15 Aug 1944 Operation Dragoon [aka Anvil] invasion of Southern France.
15 Aug 1945 Japanese surrender, remembered as VJ Day (Victory over Japan) in the U.K. [14 August east of the date line, 15 August in Japan].
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Characteristics of the M240 Machine Gun

After extensive operational and technical tests, the Army adopted the Fabrique Nationale MAG as the M240B 7.62mm medium machine gun, intended as a replacement for the M60 series machine guns. The M240 utilizes the 7.62mm NATO cartridge, same as the M60 machine gun and the M14 rifle. Used as a fixed machine gun, the M240 also replaced the M73/M219 7.62mm and the M85 .50 cal. tank machine guns.

The M240B is a ground mounted flexible variant of the M240/M240C/M240E1 coaxial/pintle mounted machine gun used on M2/M3 series Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the M1 series Abrams Main Battle Tank, and the U.S. Marine Corps LAV-series of Light Armored Vehicles. Another variant is equipped for aviation use as a door gun for rotary wing aircraft. This aviation version of the M240 will feature specific mounting configurations including ammunition storage, feeding, and collection designed specifically for aircraft use.

Machinegun, 7.62MM, M240 Series
Machinegun, 7.62MM, M240 Series.

While possessing many of the same basic characteristics as the M60 medium machine gun, the durability of the M240 system results in superior reliability and maintainability when compared to the M60. A similar version of the M240, the M240G, is the standard U.S. Marine Corps medium machine gun.

Specifications of the Machinegun, 7.62MM, M240 Series

Marine sights in with an M-240G machine gun, standing by to provide cover fire during a MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) Situational Training Exercise at Camp Lejeune, NC, on 17 August 1996 as part of Operation Cooperative Osprey '96
Marine sights in with an M-240G machine gun, standing by to provide cover fire during a MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) Situational Training Exercise at Camp Lejeune, NC, on 17 August 1996 as part of Operation Cooperative Osprey '96.

Caliber: 7.62 mm (.308 inches)
Weight: 27.6 lbs
Length: 47.5 inches (120.65 centimeters)
Effective Range: 1,100 meters
Maximum Range: 3,725 meters
Cyclic rate of fire: 650-950 rpm
Rapid rate of fire: 200 rpm
Sustained rate of fire: 100 rpm
Manufacturer: Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing, Inc.

M240G position, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, 29 Palms, CA
M240G position, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, 29 Palms, CA.

The Medium Machine Gun Tripod seen with the M240G is the MMGT(LW), a lightweight, man-packable, weapon mount and control that provides an accurate and repeatable means to aim and shift the fire of the M240G Medium Machine Gun (MMG). The MMGT(LW) consists of a tripod and a Traverse and Elevation (T&E) control mechanism.

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