Operation And Functioning

This chapter explains the operation of the MG. It discusses the loading, unloading, and clearing procedures, and the cycle of functioning of the weapon. When training the cycle of functioning using dummy ammunition, it is imperative that all safety procedures be followed.

The overall operation of the MG includes how to load, unload, and clear the weapon. During the weapon's operation, it is mandatory that all ammunition be free of dirt and corrosion, that the ammunition be properly linked, and that the double-linked end be at the top of the ammunition can.

* 3-2. LOADING PROCEDURES

Trainers must ensure that the weapon functions correctly and that proper headspace and timing have been set before loading. When loading in either mode, the ammunition is fed into the MG in the same manner (Figure 3-1). Ensure that the bolt is forward and the cover is closed. Insert the double-loop end of the ammunition belt into the feedway until the first round is engaged by the belt-holding pawl. Figure 3-2 shows the correct position of the bolt latch in the single-shot or automatic mode.

Figure 3-1. Inserting ammunition.

a. Single-Shot Mode. When engaging targets at ranges greater than 1,100 meters, using the single-shot mode (firing one round at a time) allows the gunner to deliver well-aimed fire on the target. To load in the single-shot mode--

(1) Keep the bolt-latch release unlocked in the up position and release it manually for each round.

(2) Jerk the retracting slide handle to the rear and lock it in position. Return the retracting slide handle to the forward position and then release the bolt by pressing the bolt latch release. The gun is now half-loaded.

(3) To complete loading, jerk the retracting slide handle to the rear and lock it in position. Return the retracting slide handle to the forward position. Press the bolt latch release. When the bolt goes forward for the second time, the gun is loaded.

b. Automatic Mode. To load in the automatic mode--

(1) Lock the bolt-latch release down with the bolt- latch release lock.

(2) Jerk the retracting slide handle to the rear and release it. The gun is now half-loaded.

(3) To complete loading, jerk the retracting slide handle to the rear a second time and release it. When the bolt goes forward for the second time, the gun is loaded.

Figure 3-2. Firing modes.

* 3-3. UNLOADING PROCEDURES

To unload the MG, the gunner must first ensure that the weapon is in the single-shot mode. The cover is then lifted and the assistant gunner removes the ammunition belt from the feedway. The bolt is then locked to the rear. If a round is chambered, it will release, unfired, when the bolt locks to the rear. Once the bolt is locked to the rear, the chamber and

T-slot are examined to ensure that they are not holding rounds. In darkness, this must be done by feeling the areas. After the examination has been done (during training), a wooden block is inserted in the receiver between the bolt and the rear of the barrel, extending above and below the receiver about one inch. Then a cleaning rod is inserted in the muzzle end of the barrel and pushed through the bore until it can be seen in the receiver. Remove the rod, the gun is now clear (Figure 3-3).

* 3-4. CYCLE OF FUNCTIONING

The cycle of functioning is broken down into basic steps: feeding, chambering, locking, firing, unlocking, extracting, ejecting, and cocking. Some of these steps may occur at the same time.

a. Feeding. Feeding is the act of placing a cartridge in the receiver, approximately in back of the barrel, ready for chambering. When the bolt is fully forward and the top is closed, the ammunition belt is held in the feedway by the belt-holding pawl (Figure 3-4).

(1) As the bolt is moved to the rear, the belted ammunition is moved over and then held in a stationary position by the belt-holding pawl. At the same time, the belt-feed pawl rides up and over the link, holding the first round in place. When the bolt is all the way to the rear, the belt-feed slide moves out far enough to allow the belt-feed pawl spring to force the pawl up between the first and second rounds (Figure 3-5).

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