Destruction Procedures

The decision to destroy the gun to prevent its capture and use by the enemy is a command decision. It will be ordered and carried out only on authority delegated by the major unit commander.

• Destroy the machine gun and mount only when they are subject to capture or abandonment. Destruction must be as complete as circumstances permit.

• Lacking time for complete destruction, destroy the parts essential to operation of the gun, beginning with those parts most difficult for the enemy to duplicate.

• Destroy the same parts of each gun to prevent the reconstruction of a complete gun from several damaged guns.

The following methods may be used to destroy specific components of the MG.

a. Gun. Field strip the gun. Use the barrel as a sledge. Raise the cover and smash the cover forward and down toward the barrel support. Smash the backplate group. Remove the firing pin from the bolt; place the striker in the hole in the face of the bolt and bend it until broken. Remove the barrel buffer tube lock assembly from the barrel buffer body group and bend and deform it. Smash and bend the breech lock depressors. Place the barrel extension in the rear of the receiver with the barrel extension shank protruding; knock off the shank by striking it with the barrel from the side. Deform and crack the receiver by striking it with the barrel at the sideplate corners nearest the feedway. Smash the extractor.

b. Tripod Mount, M3. Leave the pintle on the tripod by removing the pintle bolt from the gun. Use the barrel as a sledge. Strike the sides of the pintle and deform it. Fold the trail legs and turn the mount over. Stand on the folded trail legs and knock off the pintle latch (pintle lock release cam). Smash the elevating mechanism with the barrel. If possible, smash the rear legs to prevent unfolding.

c. Antiaircraft Mount, M63. Remove the sideplate trigger control mechanism from its container or the gun, and deform it by using the barrel. Lock the cradle and yoke assembly in the horizontal position and beat the trigger frame assembly and cradle until they are bent down along the elevator assembly. Strike the elevator from the side with the barrel until it is bent so that the elevator will not rotate in the base.

d. Spare Parts. Destroy the bolt, barrel extension, firing pins, and barrel buffer groups. Break or deform all other parts.

e. Ammunition. When time permits and material is available, destroy ammunition by burning. Unpack all ammunition from boxes or cartons, stack the ammunition in a heap and, using flammable material available, ignite and take cover immediately.

f. Burning. To destroy the gun by burning, place a thermite grenade in the receiver on the bolt (with the cover resting on the grenade) and fire the grenade. (This method may require the use of more than one grenade.) Remove the backplate group, place a thermite grenade in the rear of the receiver and fire the grenade.

g. Disposal. Bury in suitable holes, or dump parts into streams, mud, snow, sumps, latrines, or scatter the parts over a wide area.

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