Monday, September 24, 2012

Fabrique National Herztal M240B General Purpose Machine Gun

According to the U.S. Field Manual 22.68, the M240B is a general-purpose machine gun that  can be mounted on a bipod, tripod, aircraft, or vehicle. It is a belt-fed, air-cooled, gas-operated, fully automatic machine gun that fires from the open bolt position.

The US manual also describes the M240 as follows: "Ammunition is fed into the weapon from a 100-round bandoleer containing a disintegrating metallic split-link belt. The gas from firing one round provides the energy for firing the next round. Thus, the gun functions automatically as long as it is supplied with ammunition and the trigger is held to the rear. As the gun is fired, the belt links separate and are ejected from the side. Empty cases are ejected from the bottom of the gun. A spare barrel is issued with each M240B, and barrels can be changed quickly as the weapon has a fixed head space. However, barrels from different weapons should not be interchanged. The bore of the barrel is chromium plated, reducing barrel wear to a minimum".
In the Philippine Army, the M240B is currently used by the SOCOM troopers, Mechanized Infantry Units, and, the Markmanship Training Unit's Machinegun Team. The M240B is the most preferred competition machinegun among the ASEAN countries due to its accuracy and durability.
In 2005, I coached the MG Team after its poor showings in the past AARM competitions. Being the implementor of the training program, I wanted to 'level up' our performance. I did not want to repeat the poor showing of Team Philippines when I was a member of the Shooting Team in the 1990's during which we were using the Cal 5.56mm Ultimax SAW, and we ended up among those who are in the bottom pages of the match results.

I personally led the team in their training activities, pushing them to their limits. I introduced some marksmanship coaching methodologies which were used in the sniper training. I required them to analylze their shots, assess their performance and record their shooting data on a DOPE book. Most importantly, I demanded self-discipline, team spirit and camaraderie among the shooters.

Since I also supervised the training of the other teams (Rifle, Pistol and Carbine), I enlisted the help of a competent marksmanship instructor, SSg Jun Bacud, my former teammate in the Rifle Team. He served as Team Captain of the MG Team during the competition.

This is the sample course of fire of the Machine Gun matches during the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet. I took this video recently during one of their practices in Camp O'Donnell, Tarlac.

The members of the MG Team proudly pose with their trophies after the AARM 2005 competition.
Because of their excellent performance, Team Philippines got the Overall lead in the medal/trophy tally during the AARM 2005.

This year, the MG Team will compete in the same 'battlegrounds' where we grabbed all those medals and trophies in 2005.
Salamat Datang, Brunei Darussalam!

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