The Unstoppable M240 Machine Gun (FN MAG)

Alex C. and Patrick R. take a look at the rugged M240B, known by many names around the world such as the C6 by Canada, the FN MAG/MAG58 by countless militaries, and the L7 by the British. This unstoppable machine is truly a rugged, incredibly reliable, and remarkably fun to shoot.

**Permission was obtained from Carnik Con to use the QVC war footage**

And here is a bonus video we made showing you the the guts, field stripping and what makes the gun tick:

Many thanks to our translation team for translating the video subtitles. As usual, here is the english transcription …

So the other day I was watching TV, and on a QVC type network I saw where you could place an order for a 240 Bravo.

So I called the number and it was a pretty affordable price, so, here we are with the 240-Bravo, we’re going to see what it can do.

(rapid machine gun fire) Okay, so we’re gonna accuracy test the 240-Bravo.

Try and squeeze a single off here.

(gunshot fired) I’m totally kidding, I would never do that with a belt-fed machine gun.

(rapid machine gun fire) Accuracy by volume is also acceptable.

All right guys, we’re in kind of a gunner, assistant gunner setup, This is how you change the barrel on the M-240 Bravo.

There’s a little latch on the side you press, rotate the handle, and then pull the barrel right out.

Put it back in, insert your barrel, make sure it clicks seven times.

(clicking into place) Then the gunner prepares, lift the top cover, sweep the feed tray.

Good to go.

(rapid machine gun fire) Now that’s good machine gunning.

– That is awesome.

– All right guys, anyways, what we got at the ranch today, is a 240 Bravo.

Basically it’s an FN Mag that was improved a little bit by the U.S. Military.

Some of them have a heat shield, and a rail, some of them don’t, this one doesn’t.

I’ve heard from a lot of people who’ve been deployed, that the heat shield, you know, breaks and has some trouble, so a lot of ’em get discarded anyway.

But what’s cool about the FN Mag, the 240, I think the Canadians call it the C-6 or C-7 or something like that, the British call it the jimpie.

That’s kind of an affectionate name nickname to GPMG.

But, it’s like a Browning Automatic Rifle, it’s basically a BAR’s action flipped upside down and modified for belt feed, which is kind of cool.

So it is kind of a Browning design when you think about it and since it was a Belgian product and he worked in Belgium, it just kind of enhances that mystique.

But, what you basically do to operate the 240 since it fires from an open bolt, is, uh, of course you got a top cover since it is belt feed.

Pull your bolt to the rear, that’s when you put your belt in there, and you have ammo containers, you can feed from a large belt or one of these, these are affectionately called nut-sacks.

I actually don’t know the right word for ’em, I think everyone calls ’em nut-sacks, however crude that may be.

But, you’re gonna lift up your top cover, or sorry, feed tray.

There’s a small stud over on the left side of the receiver, flip the rounds in, and you’re ready to go.

– So, I got a bit of experience with the M-249 and I wasn’t too pleased with it.

I know a lot of soldiers out there had a lot of issue with it.

This, I think, is gonna run a little bit better.

(rapid machine gun fire) It’s like a sewing machine.

More bullets, more better.

– I can’t argue with that.

(rapid machine gun fire) So we have about 50 or 60 rounds left for the 240, and we’re gonna finish ’em off.

(rapid machine gun fire) I must say guys, this is a fantastic firearm to shoot.

I really enjoy it.

Awesome gun.

You know, it’s great that it’s in service with our militaries and our allies as well.

If you’d like to learn more about the 240 Bravo from a technical standpoint and seeing us field strip it and discuss it, click this link right here, and, uh, we’ll show you all that good stuff.

Anyways, this is Alex C. with at TFB TV, hit that subscribe button please, and we’ll keep the videos coming.

 



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Esh325

    A very well designed MG. The weight seems to be the biggest complaint I hear about it. They made the M240L to address that.

    • Patrick R.

      She is a heavy girl. Now that they have made it lighter with he Lima, it is one hell of a machine gun.

  • Wetcoaster

    C6 is correct. C7 is the AR rifle, C8 is the AR carbine, C9 is the Minimi. C14 is the PGW Timberwolf .338 sniper rifle, C15 is the McMillan Tac-50.

    Does your -240 have the adjustable gas regulator?

    • Yes, his does.

      • Miles

        Good
        Please do him a favor, even if the gun is a ‘postie’, and tell him that firing the gun on that setting (I’d bet he’s got the gas regulator on “3” since the ROF sounds like ~900-950) will greatly shorten the time he’ll be able to shoot it before the rivets loosen up, the bolt and op-rod gets worn and it’s unsafe to shoot.
        Of course, it is his gun, and he can shoot it however he pleases.

        • The setting is on 1. Did you not watch the companion video?

          • Miles

            Not at that time, but now I have. But, as seen in the first video, the gun’s cyclic is still very fast. A gas regulator set on “1” should keep a clean gun’s cyclic in the 600-650 RPM range.
            As stated in the second video, the gun has been fired quite extensively, so the question now becomes ‘When was the last time the port in the regulator was gaged?”
            There actually is a small pin gage to determine whether the port hole has eroded past serviceability.
            Understand that it may seem I’m a bit pedantic about this, but all I ever did for Uncle, active duty and civil service, was smallarms repair and inspection. Mainly my concern is warning about wearing a difficult to replace and expensive gun, even if it is a post sample, to the point where it’s unserviceable.

          • Ripley

            Probably the wear made it go surplus? But the gas block and barrel wear at the same rate, right? So a high regulator setting will wear both barrel and port until the barrel (and block) has to be scrapped.

          • milesfortis

            No the port in the gas block on the barrel is *huge*. I used a 1/8″ pin punch to knock out any carbon buildup. That’s what the regulator plug is for, to control how much of that gas actually gets to the piston on the op-rod.

    • Holdfast_II

      In Canadian service, the C6 directly replaced the old Browning .30 cal MG, so by comparison the C6 was a wonder of ergonomics. Canada skipped over the M60.

      • Wetcoaster

        Yup, the C5, I think it was? And then the Sterling SMG and FAL were the C1 SMG and C1 rifle with the HBAR/SAW FAL as the C2 and the Parker-Hale sniper rifles the C3. I’ve seen mention of frag grenades as C13

        Do the pistols have any C-designations associated with them? And what are the missing C10, C11, and C12?

        • Holdfast_II

          When I was in we just called the pistols “Brownings” – I think some still had sand from Juno beach at Normandy in them.

          The C10 was a semi auto versions of the C7 rifle (M-16A1.5), designed for training the cadets (like JROTC) to replace the FALs with .22 insert kits (which are actually tons of fun, if heavy), but I don’t think that they ever bought them.

  • Esh325

    FN’s website says the M240 B has a machined steel receiver, but with all those rivets, it clearly looks like stamp sheet metal. So which is it?

    • Machined. Definitely machined.

    • It uses machined plates and other components that are riveted together to assemble the receiver box. The receiver construction technique is sort of a throwback to the various belt-fed Brownings.

      • Miles

        Ya beat me to it.
        That method of manufacturing takes much less labor and machine tool time.

  • Aw man, you’re making me want a 240 now. Is yours transferrable or not?

  • Sianmink

    Unlike the M249 which is apparently a total PITA.

    • Guy

      Yeah, the 249 is garbage. Way too heavy, complicated, and annoying to clean for what it does. The 240 is hands down a better mg.

      • valorius

        We loved our M249s.

        Hmmm.

        • Miles

          My M249s were never unreliable. Of course, we didn’t mess around tinkering with them, if a part or assembly was questionable, it was replaced.
          As you mentioned below, the main problem is units letting their guns maintenance go to hell.
          We were always more than happy to maintain guns to as high a standard as possible.

          • Patrick R.

            Mine were pretty unreliable. It was likely the same reason no one in my units liked the m9 as well. While it was a combat arms unit, we were air defense. Keeping the trucks running and launchers maintained were more of a focus instead of small arms repair. Flawed logic, but that was the way it was.

          • valorius

            AD units and the like tend to have less small arms training and familiarity as well, which probably exacerbates the situation. I’m kind of surprised you guys had SAWs at all.

            Were you on Linebackers? I got to fire a PIVADS Vulcan 20mm once at a range detail. (every once in a while volunteering works out well, lol

            Anyway, yeah….it was AWESOME!!!!!

          • Patrick R.

            I was on the Patriot.

            We had m9, m16a2, m203, m249, m2, and the mk19. Keep in mind that I never wore ACU, BDU and DCU only at that time. Hell, the interceptor vests were a new thing at that point.

          • valorius

            I’ve only ever seen an interceptor vest in pictures. When i first joined we had the Vietnam era ballistic vests, even at permanent party.

            When we got the PASGT’s we felt invincible. LOL.

          • Patrick R.

            I was there for the transition out of the PASGT vests. Same thing though, we felt invincible.

          • buzzman1

            Hope you got to shoot it at night.

          • valorius

            Almost, it was dusk. Ear to ear grin. 🙂

          • buzzman1

            I got to see 2 of them fire at the NTC during the day and at night. I didnt het to shoot one but I had the distinction of out shooting both of them during an AA exercise. After the company and the 2 Vulcans expended about 20,000 rounds tring to hit the remote contolled aircraft I shot it down with 2 shots. Easier to hit than a dove with a 12 gauge. I know it was me because everyone was out of ammo. That was one of my 4 best shots I ever made.

          • valorius

            You hit it with a shotgun? lol…PULL!

          • buzzman1

            Nope. I was using a borrowed M-16A1. I was really good with an A1. My next best shot was a standing unsupported 400 meter shot with a borrowed M-16 without changing the sights.2 shots to knock the traget down. now a days I don’t think I could see a target at 400 meters. 🙂

          • mosinman

            was that because of age and round count? or were they relatively new at the time?

          • Patrick R.

            I am sure it had everything to do with both factors. They were pretty well used when I had my time with them.

          • mosinman

            makes sense to me. only so much maintenance you can do to a worn out weapon

          • milesfortis

            That’s correct, and each weapon system TM has a section of maintenance expenditure limits, which when reached results in the weapon being ‘coded out’ and a replacement ordered.
            I always wondered why units waited so long for higher maintenance to inspect their weapons. The .mil has a specific method for replacing all those ‘worn out’ weapons and it’s actually not all that complicated.

  • valorius

    While the M240 is an excellent weapon, it is just way too heavy IMO.

    They really need to re-design the thing with more aluminum alloy or composites, or even titanium.

    If they could get it about 15% lighter it would really be great.

    • They have. Its called the 240L and uses titanium.

      • valorius

        Ive never seen or handled one.

        Guess ive got something new to google.

        • Just Sayin…

          Barrett had a couple at SHOT, about 21 lbs if I remember correctly. Amazing 30% weight reduction.

          • valorius

            “Impressive. Most impressive.”

  • Bal256

    I don’t think the 249 is a terrible gun by design. I think its problem is that the weapons themselves are probably older than most of the troops its issued to, and its been beat to $#!t. Because it was also meant to be carried around, they couldn’t make it as robust as the 240. At the very least, by now, they’ve probably phased out most of the M16A2s. Meanwhile, there are 249s that are probably held together using duct tape, 550 cord, and patriotism.

    • Guy

      I agree to a point. The M9 has this problem- it’s actually a decent pistol, but the ones in inventory are beat to hell so guys think they suck. The 240 was meant to be carried around though, just like the 249, yet is far more robust. Partly because they are new(ish) compared to the 249s, and partly because the 240 is just a better, simpler design.
      Actually most of the 249s I’ve used had brand new parts- collapsible stock, short barrels, new top-cover with rails, new grips, and some new internals. I get what you’re saying but I think the guns short comings have to do with its crappy design more than its age.

      • Lance

        Both right. Though many M-16A2s are used in CONUS for training and for Basic Training recruits. Navy and USCG still many use them as well. As for the M-9 thats true poor Army training that lead to none lubbing the slide ruined many of them hence Beretta still making a ton of them now for the

        military.

        Saw was a dumb idea if you want belt fed a .30 cal is worlds better than a .22 belt fed. USMC solved this with the M-27 IAR.

        • valorius

          The idea was for all weapons at the squad level to use the same ammo.

          And i can tell you this, humping a saw is far more pleasant than humping an M60 or M240.

        • buzzman1

          I remember the marine general talking about how inaccurate the 249 was and thats why they needed to get rid of it. The guys an idiot. The US doctrinal use of MG’s has always been to use them as area weapons and not as pinpoint engagement weapons. Probably a financial stake in the M-27 deal. They could have saved mony and converted som of there rifles back into full auto.

          • valorius

            Youre right, a machine gun’s beaten zone is what makes it such an effective area suppression fire weapon. It’s not supposed to shoot like a rifle, that would defeat the whole purpose.

      • Wetcoaster

        That’s true for a lot of sidearms too since they are (justifiably) last in line for replacement. The Browning Hi-Powers in Canadian inventory are WW2 production. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Brit Hi-Powers are in the same boat. US 1911s pre-M9 probably had the same issues.

        • idahoguy101

          The good old M1911A1 weren’t so good, after decades of use and abuse. They’d almost always fire. But hitting your target was an issue!

      • valorius

        All i can tell ya is that when they were new, back in the late 80’s into the 90’s they really worked well.

        And much, much lighter than an M-60. We really coveted our M249s.

        Time has a way of turning everything into a steaming pile of crap though (looking down at my old infantry knees, lol)

      • Tom Currie

        How are the M249’s so much older than the M240B when the M240B was fielded in 1977 and the M249 in 1984?

        The M249 is more abused than the M240B — and it was designed for less rigorous use even though that simply isn’t what happens in the field.

        • The M240 co-axial machinegun was adopted in the 1970s for use in armored vehicles. The US Army didn’t adopt the M240B for infantry use until nearly 20 years later.

    • valorius

      Yeah when I was in they were awesome. (except for the crappy magazine feed which never worked right) They were also brand new.

      Our M16A2s were also brand new and tack drivers. A moron could qual expert with one (and many did, lmao).

      • Miles

        When I was on active duty at Ft Lewis, the 9th ID fielded M16A2s. Just like you, when we went to qualify with them the first time, it was like shooting a laser.

      • buzzman1

        Val it was the aluminum mags that caused the problem, They work fine with steel mags.

      • idahoguy101

        My experience with an M16A2 came after being issued beat to snot M16’s. The M16A2 was a major improvement. Except for the burst feature. A mechanical solution to a training problem.

      • BuzzKillington

        I take offense to that! I’m a moron……and I qualified expert : (

        I think the range officer was impressed when I was in basic. We were using Vietnam Era M16’s with the triangular handguards. They were always short stroking, and during a string of fire I took a shot that failed to fully return the bolt at the end of the cycle. I went to shoot a followup and got nothing. I rotated the gun 45 degrees counter clockwise to observe the ejection port, and right then the range office began walk up to me and already had his arm outstretched to solve the malfunction we were both observing (but he wasn’t sure I understood). I just smacked the forward assist (first and only time I’ve ever had to utilize it) and continued on before he could reach me. I think I saw a half nod of surprised approval out of the corner of my eye, but it was basic so I didn’t want to turn and give him a sarcastic cocky wink, despite how cool and relaxed the range officers were in comparison to the instructors.

        But don’t take my reminiscence as a sign of my capitulation. I don’t need YOU, you smug SOB, reminding me about my moronic and maniacal self. Pshhh. >: (

        • valorius

          LMAO!

          I remember the first tim i was qualifying (M16A2), after the told us to lock and load and watch our lanes, i took the extra step of seating the rounds in the mag on my helmet, and that quick the damn first pop up at 25m popped up and down before i could even react!!! Grrrr. I missed the next one too getting situated, then nailed the next 38 in a row.

          When they were new M16A2’s were like death rays. You just couldnt miss.

          Then i got to permanent party and we were still using M16A1s. What a night and day difference in capabilities between the two.

  • Riot

    L7? L7? What is this L7 you speak off

    Oh you mean the gimpy :p

    • L7 105mm is what I immediately thing of when I hear the term, hahah.

      • Riot

        Hey I’d take one of them in a heartbeat.

  • valorius

    More ammo is always good. 😀

  • Lance

    Nice video love the simplicity and the fact John Browning serves again in the MAGs overall design. That is not a “B” in a M-240B the B has M-60 style hand guards, the USMC G or Golf version is like this with a totally exposed barrel. Nice, Though for a grunt a prefer the M-60.

    • Lance, this is a B with the heat shield and rail system removed.

  • Just Sayin’….

    Are you missing the spring on your charging handle or did you guys forget to lock it forward? Mine doesn’t rattle around like that.

  • Patrick R.

    Take your guess good sir, would love to hear what tipped you off.

    • Joel K

      I would say the main thing is how you “rack the bolt” using a underhand grip. And also when alex is closing the top cover, you can see from miles away he haven’t been handling a mg much. Excuse me for my terrible english.

      • Patrick R.

        Yep. Alex does have a lot of time on a MG, just not as much time on a belt fed as I do.

      • Indeed. I am definitely self taught, and Patrick’s knowledge comes in handy quite often.

  • Uniform223

    I read some where the 240 is just a BAR actions upside down and modified to accept belt fed.

    I wonder how the 240 would stake up with the M60E5?

  • dbkt

    I dont know if its been said but you guys need to check the locking stud on your cocking handle, its jumping all over the show

    • Patrick R.

      It is being addressed.

  • Anton Gray Basson

    I have uncles that used the R1 and MAG 58 on the border, when the R1 died the MAG kept going everybody was happy to have one on hand but nobody wanted to carry it.

  • mosinman

    of course you can shoot away all that ammo weight!

  • Tassiebush

    No idea what the correct name for the “nut sack” is but it seems “ball bag” would retain the pun and be an even more appropriate name :p

  • avconsumer2

    Had the pleasure of humping a Bravo fairly recently. My full auto of choice thus far. (not that my heavy mg experience is extensive)

  • JPS

    This video is basically useless bc no one has a 240, so this becomes more of a video saying “I’m cool bc I have a belt feed full auto and too much 7.62 NATO. Same goes for the 240 field strip video…Not to sound redundant but if no one has it, why do we need to see how to take it apart? I would rather see videos like the one busting the no need for extractor comment, that one is awesome!

    • Porty1119

      “No one has a 240”

      Any FFL holder with the proper permitting can acquire a new 240 from FN as a “dealer sample”. At a glance, the cost of doing so is actually not unreasonable- $500/year on top of the very modest fees for the FFL. I was a bit surprised when I looked at the dollar amounts. It appears to be cheaper to just get the FFL than to deal with $10,000 guns. Of course, there are inspections an bureaucratic hoops to jump through. But, it’s something until we can fix the NFA.

      • JPS

        No one refers to the 99.999% of gun owners. Granted there are always the one offs but let’s be serious, no one has one of these. You can replace the gun in the video with any full auto and the content is basically the same. Plus, unless you are independently wealthy, most people aren’t going to shoot full auto with the more expensive 7.62 nato.

        • So we should stop covering fully automatic firearms or anything uncommon? Surely you can’t be serious; This is “The Firearm Blog” and we cover anything and everything firearm related. Ever watch Top Gear or pick up Car and Driver? I can’t afford a new Porsche Turbo S, but damn if I don’t love reading about the technology that that makes it a spectacular machine or seeing it in action on a screen in my living room.

          • JPS

            I didn’t say don’t cover full auto. I just don’t see any value in that video because it seems like it’s basically two regular guys are messing around. I may be tainted from the Texas Hog gun video using a Mac-10 to kill a Hog from 300 yards.

          • It is a video of two guys messing around. Bit of entertainment with some good information peppered in to entertain and showcase a very awesome weapon system.

      • milesfortis

        Well, with a M240, even a current dealer sample, you’re dealing with a gun that is right near that $10K mark, or so said the print out from the AMDF.
        But you do make a valid point.
        Transferable mgs are now getting in the cost range where getting a FFL, C3 SOT and buying post samples is an interesting, and cost effective idea.

    • Tassiebush

      I don’t even live in US but I still really enjoy these topics. Fact is that the average working US citizen can jump through a bunch of hoops, prioritize spending specifically on something like this (admittedly at expense of other things) and own one. It’s not in everyone’s reach but it’s possible for many who are keen enough even if not independently wealthy. No different than a hobby like 4x4ing.

  • tbreezie

    Anybody else catch the charging handle walking out on that last string of fire?

    • milesfortis

      No big deal, all it probably means is that the – replaceable – detent on the charging handle is worn.

  • roguetechie

    The 240L is a poor replacement for the original. Or at least the version that got chosen. It has a much shorter service life and way higher price tag than ordinary 240’s. I’m not sure how much service life the Barrett 240L design lost, but I’d be inclined to bet that even if it has less receiver life than the version they bought it’d probably still be a much better buy!

    • n0truscotsman

      It makes NO sense to me to use an expensive and strategic material like titanium for a LMG when you can either
      a.) machine out an existing steel receiver to make it lighter (a la barret).
      b.) use a stamped steel receiver (did anybody think to do this with the 240?)

      • roguetechie

        NTS…

        Exactly my thinking man! Although, there’s strong indicators that a viable and very cost effective way of turning extremely plentiful titanium dioxide into plain old titanium suitable for use in high grade alloys fast enough to significantly crash the current price of titanium.

        However, there’s also some very affordable and promising nanotreatments for steel that potentially increase it’s strength 1200%. Also in steel you have flash bainite and super bainite respectively. Imagine for a second using the super bainite hole punching process and then doing a flash bainite heat treat. Now dump saab style ceramic spheres that they want to armor structures with between layers of your steel plate with the holes offset. Interesting right?

        Finally we have stainless magnesium which should be fine for things like missiles and rockets even now. (Cyanide outgassing on impact just isn’t that big of an issue when you build missiles out of it right?)

        Maybe titanium will eventually be an OK solution for manpack machine guns, but it’s sure as hell not at the current juncture! And really several of my other options I listed above actually make a way better case for the Barrett version.

  • buzzman1

    Guess you didnt shoot one of the 240s that didnt have the recoil buffer on it. If you had you’d never say anything that silly. Picture getting hit 3-6 times by the hardest hitting -06 you’ve ever shot every time you fire a short burst. Its a damned good weapon.

    Havent fired a 249 since 1987 but I can tell you the weapon that the euro armies have is much better system than the one the US has. The army screwed it up to make it better.

    • valorius

      “The army screwed it up to make it better.”

      The US military does a lot of that.

  • buzzman1

    It was to ensure that the saw had ammo to fire when the ran out of linked ammo.

    I had an LTC that was an Infantry Plt leader in Vietnam. His M-60’s ran out off ammo during during a protracted firefight so when he called for resupply he screwed up and said I need a lot of 762 and didnt specify linked as he thought it was obvious what he meant. They brought in loose rounds and he had to task 3 soldiers to reload the links for the rest of the day.