This chapter identifies some of the problems that cause the weapon to perform improperly. It also explains how to identify unserviceable parts, and how to destroy the M249 when authorized to do so.
A malfunction occurs when a mechanical failure causes the weapon to fire
improperly. Defective ammunition or improper operation by the automatic
rifleman is not considered a malfunction. If cleaning and or lubricating the
weapon does not fix the problem, then it is turned in to the unit armorer.
Table 4-1 shows malfunctions, their probable causes, and the corrective
Table 4-1. Malfunctions.
A stoppage is any interruption in the cycle of functioning caused by faulty
action of the weapon or faulty ammunition. Stoppages are classified by their
relationship to the cycle of functioning. Table 4-2 shows types of
interruptions or stoppages, their probable causes, and the corrective
Table 4-2. Stoppages.
Table 4-2. Stoppages (continued).
4-3. IMMEDIATE ACTION
Immediate action is action taken to reduce a stoppage without looking for
the cause. Immediate action should be taken in the event of a misfire or a
cookoff. A misfire is the failure of a chambered round to fire. Such failure
can be due to an ammunition defect or faulty firing mechanism. A cookoff
is the firing of a round by the heat of a hot barrel and not by the firing
mechanism. Cookoffs can be avoided by applying immediate action within
10 seconds of a failure to fire. The automatic rifleman keeps the AR on his
shoulder while performing immediate action procedures. If the M249 stops
firing, the following immediate actions are taken. (An effective memory aid
is POPP, which stands for Pull, Observe, Push, and Press.)
a. Pull and lock the cocking handle to the rear while observing the
ejection port to see if a cartridge case, belt link, or round is ejected.
Ensure that the bolt remains to the rear to prevent double feeding if a round
or cartridge case is not ejected.
b. If a cartridge case, belt link, or a round is ejected, push the cocking handle to its forward position, take aim on the target, and press the trigger. If the weapon does not fire, take remedial action. If a cartridge case, belt link, or round is not ejected, take remedial action.
If nothing is ejected and the barrel is hot (200 or more rounds fired in
less than 2 minutes), do not open the cover. Push the safety to the
right (red ring not visible), which places the weapon on safe. Keep the
weapon pointed downrange and remain clear for 15 minutes, then clear the
If nothing is ejected and the barrel is hot (200 or more rounds fired in less than 2 minutes), do not open the cover. Push the safety to the right (red ring not visible), which places the weapon on safe. Keep the weapon pointed downrange and remain clear for 15 minutes, then clear the weapon.
4-4. REMEDIAL ACTION
Remedial action is any action taken to determine the cause of a stoppage
and to restore the weapon to an operational condition. This action is taken
only after immediate action did not remedy the problem.
a. Cold Weapon Procedures. When a stoppage occurs with a cold
weapon and immediate action has failed, use the following procedures.
(1) While the weapon is on your shoulder, grasp the cocking handle with
the right hand, palm up, pull the cocking handle to the rear locking the
bolt. While holding the resistance on the cocking handle, move the
safety to SAFE and return the cocking handle.
(2) Place the weapon on the ground or away from your face and open the
feed cover, perform the five-point safety check. Reload and continue to fire.
(3) If it does not fire, clear the weapon and inspect it and the
b. Hot Weapon Procedures. If the stoppage occurs with a hot weapon (200 or more rounds in less than 2 minutes), move the safety to SAFE, wait 5 seconds (during training, let the weapon cool for 15 minutes), use the same procedures as outlined for cold weapon procedures.
Be careful in clearing the weapon when the barrel is hot, a round may
fire (cookoff) from the barrel's heat instead of by the firing
mechanism. During combat, wait 5 seconds because of the possibility of a
"hangfire" before applying remedial action. During training, wait 15
minutes before clearing a hot weapon and applying remedial action.
Be careful in clearing the weapon when the barrel is hot, a round may fire (cookoff) from the barrel's heat instead of by the firing mechanism. During combat, wait 5 seconds because of the possibility of a "hangfire" before applying remedial action. During training, wait 15 minutes before clearing a hot weapon and applying remedial action.
4-5. DESTRUCTION PROCEDURES
Destruction of any military weapon is only authorized as a last resort to
prevent enemy capture or use. This paragraph discusses the field-expedient
means of this destruction; it does not replace published policies. In combat
situations, the commander has the authority to destroy weapons, but he must
report this destruction through channels.
a. Disassemble the weapon as completely as time permits. Use the
barrel to destroy the bolt, operating rod group, bipod, sights (rear and
front), and receiver.
b. Bury the disassembled weapon or dump the parts into a stream, a sump, or a latrine.
c. Burn the weapon by placing an incendiary grenade on the receiver group over the bolt (with the cover feed mechanism assembly resting on the grenade) and detonating the grenade.
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