Author Topic: Stuff I worked on in the army.  (Read 665 times)

Big Frank

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Stuff I worked on in the army.
« on: April 07, 2024, 09:26:09 PM »
One of the machine guns I worked on in the army was the M240. No Bravo, Hotel, Lima or any other model designator. Just M240. It was nearly identical to the current M240C used in M1 tanks, but the Charlie model has been converted to right-hand feed. The ones we had were all left-hand feed like most single-feed machine guns, and the way most dual-feed machine guns are set up. The only other difference I see is that it has a Pic rail on the feed cover, like all  the other versions available today. The M1 tank was already in use in Europe when I was in the army, but the units I supported all had M60A3 tanks, and stateside they still had the old M60A1 tanks, without laser rangefinders and tank thermal sight (TTS). They had optical rangefinders, and visible/IR spotlights mounted on them to see at night. One of my roommates in Germany worked on the laser/TTS, I worked on both machine guns, and my other 2 roommates worked on everything else inside the tank turret. AFAIK there was never an egress kit to put stocks or optics on the M240 used in M60 series tanks, probably because the M240B with a stock, etc. wasn't adopted yet. The M1 tanks then had the same M68 105mm gun as the M60 tanks. It was a licensed version of the British L7 with a different breech IIRC. If you look up M68 Wikipedia will tell you all about it.

Another job that people in Armament Section had was Fire Control Instrument Repair. There were a few of them, and they work on all kinds of fussy stuff, like night vision goggles, and anything that helped to orient a person or plot a trajectory. One guy said he wanted to be a fireman when ho signed up, but ended up in Fire Control instead. He was goofy enough I almost believed him. There were a few Small Arms Repairmen, 2 Laser/TTS Repairmen including the guy I know in Bay City, and a bunch of Tank Turret repairmen. We didn't have any Artillery Repairmen because there wasn't any artillery on post.

Ohio Ordnance Works make a semi-auto version of the M240 called M240-SLR, if you're into belt-fed semi-autos. It's only $15,135.85. That would make a nice addition to a collection for anyone who already has the Ohio Ordnance Works semi-auto M2 .50BMG and semi-auto BAR. The M240 I'm used to has a stubby pistol grip you can't even hang onto with one finger, but you should never need to hang onto it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M240_machine_gun

https://www.oowinc.com/exclusives/semi-auto/m240-slr/
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2024, 05:54:04 PM »
I just saw this Ohio Ordnance Works, Inc 240P-SLR Conversion Kit for sale at Detroit Ammo Co. for $2784.99. It's compatible with M240 Bravo, and includes an M4-style collapsible stock, removable lightweight bipod and a foregrip, due to the new bottom Picatinny rail.

https://detroitammoco.com/product/oow-m240p-conversion-kit-for-slr

I'm working on the next weapon post, but first I have to make an image in Paint to explain something.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

alfsauve

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2024, 11:02:09 AM »
Quote
One guy said he wanted to be a fireman when ho signed up, but ended up in Fire Control instead.

I had made it clear I wanted to work on planes and when I got my orders in boot that I was going to be Fire Control I must have show the most horrible and shocked face as the TI lost it laughing.  I was majorly relieved when he finally informed me that Fire Control had to do with ready-aim-fire, not with things burning.  It comes from the Navy where they were controlling the firing of guns on a ship moving in three axis.
Will work for ammo
USAF MAC 437th MAW 1968-1972

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2024, 02:46:10 PM »
When I took the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), the guy at AFEES (Armed Forces Entry and Examination Station) Detroit who looked at my scores in all (10?) categories looked up at me and asked what I wanted to do in the army. I told him I wanted to be a gunsmith. He said they don't have gunsmiths in the army, they have have small arms repairmen. So I signed up for 4 years with my MOS guaranteed as 45B, small arms repairman. If you don't care what MOS you get, like cannon fodder, you could get your duty station guaranteed instead. But I wanted my JOB guaranteed, so I rolled the dice and took my chances on where. On my "dream sheet" I put down that I wanted to be stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, the home of the 4th Infantry Division and other smaller units, stateside. And for my overseas choice (anywhere outside CONUS, including Alaska and Hawaii) I picked Alaska. And instead of Colorado and Alaska, I got sent to Louisiana and Germany. Two strikes and I was ready to walk. ;) 

I bet I wouldn't have felt sick from the heat and complained about the humidity every day if I was in Alaska. And I wouldn't have to put up with scorpions, black widow, brown recluse, and a couple other poisonous spiders, and all 4 types of venomous snakes in the U.S. crawling around, either. I think I mentioned before that Louisiana is one of only a few states that has rattlesnakes, cottonmouths (water moccasins), copperheads, and coral snakes (American cobras). That's 3 pit vipers with vasculotoxic venom that causes vascular endothelial damage and hemolysis, the rupturing of red blood cells, and 1 snake with a a potent neurotoxin that causes slurred speech, double vision, and muscular paralysis eventually leading to respiratory failure and death. When I die, I know I'm going to heaven because I already went to hell in 1980 and left there at the end of 1981.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2024, 06:21:32 PM »
Okay, after sleeping with a splint on my right wrist, my carpal tunnel syndrome has calmed down enough for me to post this.

I was trained on, but never actually saw M73/M73A1/M219 machine guns after I left Aberdeen Proving Ground. I remember the stupid thing biting my finger. It was the only weapon I didn't troubleshoot and repair on my first attempt. I had to try again, then got it. I may have mentioned before, this thing I never worked on after that ruined my perfect record in Advanced Individual training (AIT). A'ight. The M73/219 in all its variation was considered a POS by nearly everyone, like a KelTec Craptastic Jamomatic. ;D  One of my Platoon Leaders in Germany, a Chief Warrant Officer CW4 (or CW3, I can't remember which) said they had them in Vietnam and he liked it. And some people like the KelTec PMR30. ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M73_machine_gun

Wikipedia says, "The M73 suffered from numerous malfunctions and was prone to jamming. An improved M73E1 was eventually developed in 1970 with a simplified ejection system, being type classified as the Machine Gun, 7.62-MM, M73A1. In 1972, it was decided that this weapon was sufficiently different from its predecessor and was redesignated Machine Gun, 7.62-MM, M219. These weapons were eventually replaced by the M60E2 and M240 machine gun, and vehicles still in service using the M73 series were refitted with these weapons." But my sometimes questionable memory tells me the M219 was yet another improvement over the M73A1. Either way, it was the 3rd version, and they multiplied 73 x 3 to come up with 219, thus version 3 of the M73 became the M219. Do the math, I'm not kidding.

Here are the M60E2 machine gun, intended for co-axial use, with a really long gas tube extension. That was one of the options to replace the M219, before they were both replaced by the M240. And there was also an M60B, used in helicopters in the 1960s and 1970s, unmounted. And an M60C, used in fixed mounts in aircraft in the 1960s and 1970s, electrically fired and hydraulically charged. And there were other potential options to replace the M73 and M219. Here are weapons evaluated in 1974 for M73/M219 replacement.

"The M73 and M219 are 7.62 mm NATO caliber machine guns designed for tank use. It is no longer in use by NATO countries. They were used on the M48 Patton and M60 Patton MBT series (including the M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle), as well as the MBT-70 prototype vehicles, and on the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance / Airborne Assault Vehicle (AR/AAV). They were also used in a twin mount in the turret of the V-100 Commando (M706) light armored car during the Vietnam War.

Designed primarily as a coaxial machine gun by the Rock Island Arsenal and produced by General Electric, the M73 was developed as a replacement for the M1919A4E1, M1919A5, and M37 machine guns that continued to serve in the immediate post-World War II environment.

The Machine Gun, 7.62-MM, M73 was officially adopted in 1959. It is an air-cooled, recoil-operated machine gun, but also using cartridge gases to boost recoil. Though designed as a simplified alternative to the M1919 series, it is of almost identical weight. The weapon is fitted with a quick-change barrel, pull-chain charging assembly, and can be made to feed from the left or the right hand side (though the left-hand feed is more common).

An attempt to make the M73 useful as a flexible infantry gun saw the weapon fitted with sights and a pistol grip trigger as the Machine Gun, 7.62-MM, M73C. Equally unpopular, very few of these weapons were produced. Sources claim that it saw limited use in Vietnam.


Variants included:

  M73 - Adopted in 1959.

  M73C - Flexible infantry variant with sights and pistol grip. Concept development. Never entered service. Used a special tripod, the XM132. It was a standard M2 mount for the .30 cal. Browning M1919A4 with an adapter to fit the M73C.

  M73A1/M219 - Developed in 1970 as an improved version with simplified ejection mechanism attempting to reduce chronic jamming. Redesignated in 1972 as the M219

Here it is compared to the M37, The Ultimate Improved Browning 1919. It's WAY shorter.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlOIpRZTi5I
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #5 on: Today at 08:06:21 PM »

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2024, 06:29:49 PM »
The M73/M219 was mounted in tanks by its barrel bearing, rather than its receiver like any normal machine gun. That made barrel changes a lot easier, and the guns were also very easy to switch between left-hand and right-hand feed. What really made the M73 such a turd was its complicated cycle of operation. First of all this thing had a rammer, unlike a normal gun, and secondly it had complicated levers in it. When the empty case was extracted, it was swung backward and down 180 degrees, like the illustration I made. Then the backward case hit the ejector on the bottom of the gun. If you're wondering WTF?, join the crowd.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2024, 06:34:44 PM »
The M73 was improved by completely eliminating 1 of the levers, and adding an ejector to the bottom of the feed tray, so the case extracted and was knocked out the bottom of the receiver.
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2024, 06:41:52 PM »
Not many guns have there operation improved by s**t-canning half of the working parts, but the M73 was no ordinary gun. It was a product of a U.S. government arsenal.

You know what twice as bad as an M73? TWO M73s!

Numb-nuts Gun Parts has several parts available for these pieces of crap, in case anyone actually bought one.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=m73
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2024, 06:45:21 PM »
Now, if anyone asks you what looks like a small bread box with a barrel, and shoots belts of 7.62mm ammo, SOMETIMES, you know the answer.  :)

And if you're asking, "What's a breadbox?", ask an old person.  ;D

And if you ever have the displeasure of shooting one of these works of fart, get used to the word STOPPAGES!
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

Big Frank

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Re: Stuff I worked on in the army.
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2024, 07:50:31 PM »
The M60 machine gun had these variants:

    T161: The M60's developmental designation before it was type-classified in the 1950s.
    M60: The basic model, type-classified in 1957.
    M60E1: An improved variant that did not enter production. The primary difference was the handle fixed to the barrel and the removal of the gas cylinder and bipod from the barrel assembly.
    M60E2: Used in vehicles as a coaxial machine gun; electrically fired.
    M60B: Used in helicopters in the 1960s and 1970s; unmounted.
    M60C: Used in fixed mounts in aircraft in the 1960s and 1970s; electrically fired and hydraulically charged.
    M60D: Replaced the M60B; a pintle-mounted variant used especially in armament subsystem for helicopters, but also some other roles.
    M60E3: An updated, lightweight variant adopted in the 1980s.
    M60E4 (Mk 43 Mod 0/1): An improved variant of the 1990s that looks similar to the M60E3, but has many improvements. It has subvariants of its own and is also used by the U.S. Navy (as the Mk 43 Mod 0/1). The Mk 43 Mod 1 is a specialized variant with additions such as extra rails for mounting accessories.
    M60E6: A lightened and improved variant of the M60E4.

The M60E6 machine gun was adopted by the Danish Army, designated as the LMG M/60 with C79 LMG Optic. The shoulder thing that goes up (not a barrel shroud) ;D  is shaped different than what many of us are used to seeing on M60s. Although I never even saw most of those variants, I did work on the original M60, and the M60D which had Ma Deuce-style spade grips on the rear. Those were used on helicopters, including 2 at the shoulder windows of the CH-47 Chinook (S**thook), as well as 1 on the rear ramp which was fired from a prone position, or sitting with your legs danging out the back. With a weight of 23 pounds, compared to the M16A1 at 6.37 pounds unloaded, without magazine and sling, no one I knew ever wanted to be issued the M60. It was like carrying 3+ rifles all at the same time. The M16A1, BTW, weighed an ounce less that the M4 carbine with it's 5.5" shorter barrel and lightweight, collapsible stock, 6.43 lb empty, 7.75 lb with 30 rounds loaded magazine and sling.

The M60D shown is an old model with the stamped steel, "skeletonized" bipod base, which was soon replaced with the more robust casting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M60_machine_gun
""It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency." - George Washington. Letter to Alexander Hamilton, Friday, May 02, 1783

THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE - A. E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

 

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