Marine Corps Weapon Systems: M240

The M-240 is a fully automatic machine gun designed for a continuous high rate of fire to engage long range targets, as well as a great general-purpose weapon. Marines are first introduced to this weapon at the School of Infantry (SOI). The M-240 is the big brother of the M-249 SAW gun, delivering more energy with a higher caliber bullet to a specific target. It can be mounted on a bipod, tripod, aircraft, or a vehicle. Ammunition is fed into the weapon from a 100-round bandoleer containing a disintegrating metallic split-link belt. The M-240 also comes with a spare barrel that can be quickly replaced when the first one becomes too hot. Most combat units have many M-240's in the armory, and the Marines will test/train with them rigorously.

Characteristics of the M-240 Machine Gun

Belt-fed, air-cooled, gas-operated, fully automatic machine gun that fires from the open-bolt position.

  • Primary Function - Infantry support, armor, combat engineer, and field artillery units that require medium support fires
  • Length - 47.5 inches
  • Weight - 24 pounds (with bipod)
  • Muzzle Velocity - 2,800 FPS
  • Maximum Effective Range- 1,180 meters
  • Maximum Range- 3,725 meters
  • Rate of Fire:
    Cyclic - 650-950 RPM
    Rapid - 200 RPM
    Sustained - 100 RPM
  • Magazine Capacity - 100-round bandoleer containing a disintegrating metallic split-link belt

To learn more about the M-240 machine gun, please click here...

Marine Corps Weapons System

Reviewed by CH


Sergeant Hannah S. Jacobson, machine gunner with Weapons Company, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, provides close supporting fire for her squad while engaging targets with the M240B Medium Machine Gun during a Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity assessment at Range 107, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California on March 10, 2015.
—USMC photo by Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders

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