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New bipod tested for shooting stability

Sep 3, 2009

By Vince Little, The Bayonet

FORT BENNING, Ga. -- Fort Benning's Maneuver Battle Lab evaluated handling of a lightweight adjustable bipod for the M-240B medium machine gun Aug. 24-28 to determine whether the new attachment provides an effective platform for stable fire.

Sixteen Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, fired the weapon on Malone 4 and 5, hauled it over obstacle courses at the McKenna Urban Operations Complex and participated in movement exercises at Buckner Range.

Rusty Schulten, project officer for the Maneuver Battle Lab's Soldier team, said the current M-240 B bipod does not have adjustable legs capable of leveling the weapon on uneven terrain. The lightweight adjustable bipod features legs similar to the M-240 H machine gun - with an exposable spike at the collapsed-leg position - and can be deployed using one hand, he said.

"It stows in the same position as the standard bipod and folds rearward," Schulten said.

Staff Sgt. LaTrevius White said the bipod currently in use will swivel, affecting the weapon's balance. The lightweight adjustable version handles more easily, he said.

"It has potential (and) seems pretty durable," he said. "It's easy to use and looks like it can take a beating. The new bipod gives you more options as far as configuring ... The taller guys can adjust better because it adapts more to their body type."

Schulten said the Maneuver Battle Lab collected data, while Chris Carstens - a research psychologist with the Human Research and Engineering Directorate - received Soldier feedback. The M-240B's product manager will use the assessment to confirm Soldier acceptance of the bipod design and gather information for any needed changes prior to fielding.

If shown to be effective, the lightweight adjustable bipod could be delivered to the field sometime next year, he said.

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