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Full Auto G&A TV Military & Law Enforcement Rifles

At the Range: 240B General Purpose Machine Gun

by Guns & Ammo TV   |  March 31st, 2014 7

The 240B machine gun was developed as a general purpose weapon system, and is currently in use by several branches of the US Armed Forces.

Manufactured by FN Herstal, the 240B is an air-cooled, belt-fed, gas operated system that fires 7.62x51mm rounds from an open bolt. The gun is capable of firing 950 rounds-per-minute, and features a quick-change barrel system for swapping out hardware during heavy strings of fire.

The 240B machine gun replaced the venerable M60 as our general purpose machine gun. Adaptable for many different objectives, the 240B can be mounted to a bipod, tripod, aircraft or vehicle.

In this segment of Guns & Ammo TV on the Sportsman Channel, David Fortier travels to Ft. Benning, Ga., to take a closer look at the 240B general purpose machine gun.


  • Chris Dotson

    Every thing today seems to be going to .308 for the military machine guns. 950 rounds per minute from a single barrel. I bet that gets hot. The m134 went to 6 barrels to keep things cool and add more rounds per second. If you fire the M134 one minute at 2,800 per minute that equals only 467 rounds per minute per barrel. Less than half the 240B machine rifle rate of fire per barrel. With the longer barrel of the 240B. I know that it has an longer distance of fire. The Photo looks like an 30 inch barrel length for the 240B. The m134 has around 14 inches (2,800 rounds per minute).

  • Patk27

    Sooooo—– sort of a belt fed B.A.R.

  • William Gaskell

    Not very impressed at all as it appears a lot like the same old thinking on a different day.

  • Alan Trask

    It is better that the M60 how? Or different from the M60 how? Get a MG42 for effective machine gunning!

    • LJC

      The barrel changes appear to be much easier than on the M60, but it’s still a heavy sunofagun!

    • Alakar

      The M240 is better then the M60 in a myriad of ways.

      First is the locking action. The M240 uses the same locking as the BAR, just flipped upside down. It’s a much more robust action. The M60 used a rotating bolt attached to the operating rod in a cammed slot. I replaced dozens of op rods and bolts every year because the cam surfaces would deform and chip.

      Second, the M240 uses a long gas system, This means that the gas piston is attached to the operating rod and the op rod is attached to the bolt. While heavier then a short gas system, it has less parts and recoil is smoother. The M60 used a short gas system with a free floating piston. The piston hammers the end of the op rod to cycle. After awhile, the end of op rod starts to deform.

      Third, the M60 barrel, gas piston chamber and piston and bipod are all one piece meaning you carry two bipods and two gas pistons in addition to the barrel. There is also no handle on the M60 barrel meaning you need a glove to change a hot barrel. The M240B barrel is just the barrel and gas regulator. The bipod is attached to the receiver and the piston is attached to the op rod. There is also a handle attached to the barrel so changing it is much easier.

      Overall the M240 is built much more sturdy then the M60. The receiver is heavier gauge steel and uses heavier rivets. The shoulder stock and forend are also much more sturdy.

      Overall, the M240 is one of the best machine guns ever made. It’s the reason over 80 countries use it (MAG 58). The M60 was an okay machine gun, but not great. The only thing it really had over the Browning it replaced, was that it was lighter.

      • Alan Trask

        Thank you for the great, informative reply. Nuts and bolts v Gee, shiny new.

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