The American military has seen heavy weapons come and go. Yet, some seem perennial. The M240 machine gun is one of those weapons that have stood the test of time. Weighing in at about 30 pounds, with a rate of fire ranging from 650 to 950 rounds per minute, the M240 can throw out a wall of lead and undoubtedly wreak havoc on those on the receiving end.
The M240 came into service with the U.S. military in 1977 and over the years, several variants have been developed. The M240 is an open bolt, gas-operated weapon, and shoots a 7.62 mm x 51 mm NATO round. It often serves as a crew-served weapon. It is commonly being mounted on boats, trucks, and aircraft, but can also be carried in the field and mounted on a bipod or tripod. The M240 is built by FN America, a subsidiary of FN Herstal.
The M240 has served in every major combat conflict since its inception. It has undoubtedly proved its worth for the Unites States and foreign militaries.
Battle of the Beasts
Generally speaking, the U.S. utilizes three different heavy weapons platforms: the M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun, the Gau-17 Minigun, and the M240. Each weapon has its role and purpose and excels in certain environments.