The M2A1 .50 Machine Gun and Lightweight M240L

    M2A1 Machine Gun

    The Army was recently demoing the upgraded, and long-overdued, version of the M2 Browning machine gun. reports

    The M2 A1 is an upgrade to the M2 machine gun. It provides a quick-change barrel and fixed head space and timing to reduce Soldier errors and associated safety risks, according to a report prepared by the Small Arms Branch. The Army is also working on a lightweight .50-caliber machine gun to augment the M2 A1, Henthorn said.

    Also on demoed was the light-weight version of the M240, the M240L, which will be deployed next year …

    One of the weapons showcased was the M240L medium machine gun, a lighter alternative to the M240B machine gun. The M240L weighs 21-and-a-half pounds, six pounds lighter than the M240B.

    “Lightening Soldiers’ loads is a key element of what we want to do,” Henthorn said. “We are carrying a lot of weight downrange on missions because we want capability. Every pound we take off a guy is a pound he doesn’t have to carry up and down a hill.”

    Along with reduced weight, the branch is shortening the barrel and providing a collapsible butt stock for the M240 L, said Troy Harris, deputy chief of the small arms branch.

    Henthorn said Army-wide fielding could begin in 10 months.

    [ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!