[SHOT 2016] Barrett M240 Light Weight

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At the Barrett display, the company had one of their experimental M240 Light Weight machine guns on display. The action and operating mechanism is the exact same as the FN Herstal 240 used around the world, however they’ve incorporated a number of features to make it shorter and lighter. The first being the receiver body with a number of cuts in it to reduce the overall weight. This consists of mainly cutting out a number of sections of the sides, while leaving various ribs to maintain strength. Then they have designed a new buttstock for the machine gun, similar to the new M240 buttstocks coming out in the military, this one has a hydraulic buffer, and is telescoping. They have a fluted barrel as well. The bipods are the M60 pattern bipods that fold out individually, while telescoping with teeth on the bottom of them. The handguard uses Keymod mounting at the 3, 6, 9 o’clock, while having a ribbed bit on the sides to help with maintaining a solid grip on the machine gun while carrying it.

Currently Barrett is still looking at military contracts for the machine gun, while not releasing it for the commercial side of the house. Something that I was concerned about, is that I was able to put the fire control group on Safe, while the bolt was still forward. If you are familiar with 240s, then you know that this shouldn’t be able to happen because when the bolt is pulled to the rear while a belt is on the feed tray, the safety disengages the sear, and the bolt will slam forward, picking up a round, thus firing it unintentionally. Now, the Barrett control group might be operating differently from the conventional 240 one, and I wasn’t able to fully disassemble it to see the difference.

UPDATE-

Barrett reached out to us and confirmed that the fire control group has dummy parts in it, because of SHOT shot firearms regulations. From Barrett-

the rifle systems we bring to show have been modified with dummy parts that don’t actually function the way a real one would.

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Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • plingr2

    and the weight?

    • Petto

      The new M240LW weighs 21 pounds and has an overall length of 44 inches.

      • Tritro29

        9.5kg’s for a product enhancement? What? The Current Issue M240L is 22 pounds.

        • Joe

          Titanium isn’t cheap. Barrett made a lighter weapon without resorting to Ti.

          • Tritro29

            They made something that FN wasn’t asked to do by the Military. They were asked for the same GPMG only lighter.

            If the US military wanted a non Ti Product there’s enough projects from FNH to go around. Including monobloc alloy receiver and fluted tube. The main issue I have with this is that Titanium for a company like Barret, might not be exactly cheaper or simply not possible to work with. That’s something FN has had no issues and the US can afford.

            Still compared to the lightest PKM in offer (UGM) or the lightest PKP there’s like a freaking solar system in between.

        • iksnilol

          I thought the current M240 was like 12 kg?

          • LCON

            M240B is about 27-28 pounds the Marines M240G was about 26 pounds.
            The FN FN240L shaves it down to 22 pounds changing the receiver to titanium There is another version supposedly the M240P which cuts the barrel back some to shave a bit more. But Titanium is very stiff, expensive and not as happy a material for a mounted MG.

            Barrett shaves weight by changing the manufacturing, The M240 is based of the FN Mag a product of the 1950’s by updating the manufacturer they managed to pull off a similar weight savings

      • Riot

        So it has nothing on the pkm

  • jcl

    What happened to the M60-esque version?

    • Ktdb

      Hopefully thrown back into hell where it looks like it came from.

      • brainy37

        Picked up by the Danish Army. All of the issues with the original M60 had been addressed with the new version. No more floating gas screw, no more bending the rail if you closed the receiver with the bolt forward, no more retainer spring falling off with the firing mechanism. On top of that it weighs in at 20.6 lbs with no titanium.

        SADefensejournal did a (MRBF) and (MRBS) test which are used during procurement testing and it out performed the M240.

        • Tritro29

          What outperformed the M240? Another M240? Or the M60E6? Because the data is a little different. The M60 tested by the SADJ had far more stoppages, but they attributed them mostly to faulty ammunition (they had 16 stoppages for the fine tuned version of the m60E6) While there was NO M240 present to test.

          In the Danish tests, there was also no 240 to test, the short list was the HK 121 and The Pig-E6.

        • jcl

          I’m not referring to M60E6, I’m talking about the version of M240LW with the pistol grip moved forward and buttstock shortened.

  • S N P

    I love how the receiver is just a solid piece of machined metal and not just riveted plates

  • USMC03Vet

    Now I can use my keymod bottle opener on the crew served.

  • Jess Johnson

    Re: Safety.. For SHOT, aren’t they required to remove the bolt or other FCG parts to render the gun safe?

    • hydepark

      I thought it was just the firing pin?

      • M.S.1

        That’s probably why he could put it on safe with the bolt forwards- probably had no internals to the FCG, for compliance.

  • FWIW: Here is Chris Barrett’s patent for the redesigned receiver. Instead of riveting multiple plates and attachments, the receiver is cast in two halves.

    https://www.google.com/patents/US7937877

  • Elvis

    The spacing on the keymod is wrong…

  • Just Say’in

    1. The standard M240 can be put on “safe” with the bolt forward, but yes the operator shouldn’t.
    2. Barret had this at last year’s SHOT, I held it myself and I believe you guys covered it. Have any improvements been made since then?

  • OCD_Weaponry

    Nicely done Barrett! I like that they reduced the weight of this gun. I can also think of three excellent competitors in this feild:

    #1 the Israeli NEGEV NG7 with semi auto capability WOW awesome gun
    #2 FN mk48-lighter version of m240 gp machine gun
    #3 Russian PKM

    • CommonSense23

      The MK48 is not a lighter version of the 240. Its based off the 46.

      • OCD_Weaponry

        you are correct. I should rewrite that comment it is “used as” a lighter weight alternative to the 240 firing the same 7.62x51mm NATO round and is also used in the same role as a medium machine gun. oops my bad

        • CommonSense23

          Its not used in the same role as the 240. The 240 is GPMG. The MK48 is light machine gun. The 240 is medium. The 48 is designed to be used and employed by only one person, with a emphasis on shoulder firing. Its not designed to fill a mounted or crew served role such as a 240.

          • OCD_Weaponry

            Tough cookie huh? Fires the same round, point towards enemy, is carried by soldiers into battle, can be mounted on whatever the hell the user wants it to be mounted on ie a truck, a helicopter, a moped….(light machine gun 5.56mm) (medium 7.62mm) (heavy .50 cal) catch my drift there pal. BTW usaully you shoulder a weapon so you can look down the sights at what your shooting at. Unless you are in a helicopter and you are using your thumbs to depress a firing mechanism as you are whipping the gun around and using tracers to guide your fire

          • CommonSense23

            When I mean shoulder fired I mean standing. The 48 was designed to replace the M60 for special operations roles. And good luck finding the mounts for mounting them to a truck or helicopter. Spent almost a decade with 240s and 48s and have yet to see one yet. The 240 and 48 are two different weapon systems that are designed for separate task, and they both suck if you try to swap the roles of them. The 240 is more accurate, better range, and last for longer before needing a rebuild. The 48 is lighter, shorter, and easier to wield standing. And was designed to meet the 7.62 role for light machine guns. Its why you don’t see 48s mounted. Cause sucks at it.

          • OCD_Weaponry

            so when used on a humvee, abrams tank, and helicopter the m240 is configured in such a manner that ONE person is responsible for using it and reloading it. Oh dang looks like I got you on that one oh snap.