M240 7.62mm Machine Gun
The Fabrique Nationale MAG-58 has been said to be one of the most reliable and most versatile weapons in the world. "MAG" stands for Mitrailleuse a' gaz, meaning General Purpose Machine Gun. In the late 1970s, the US Army adopted the weapon as a co-axial tank machine gun part of the development of the M1 Abrams main battle tank. Designated the M240, the weapon was eventually developed in a family of subvariants for a wide range of applications.
The air-cooled barrel is highly resistant thanks to the chromium plating of the bore and can be changed in a few seconds under battle conditions. Propellant gas is used to operate a breech mechanism with a toggle-activated locking lever under the bolt. The machine gunner's safety is totally guaranteed since the firing pin is an integral part of the slide and cannot operate prior to complete locking of the mechanism. furthermore, any incident due to cookoff is prevented by the open breech firing, which ensures that no cartridge is in the chamber after firing. Important features include: total reliability and ruggedness that can ignore both the violent impact experienced in armored vehicles and adverse conditions such as mud, rain, snow, sand and extreme temperatures; simplicity in firing and in field maintenance; flexible operation due to the adjustable firing rate; total reliability when fixed on rigid or soft mount; and good scaling of its mechanism.
The gun's action is similar to the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), albeit inverted and modified for a belt-feed, and incorporates the universally proven Browning durability, reliability and quality.
Since its adoption, members of the M240 family have replaced the M60 machine gun in the infantry role, mounted on vehicles, and mounted on helicopters, as well as the M73 and M219 co-axial tank machine guns. Members of the M240 family were used on the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) series, and a various other types.
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