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Gun Maintenance

The importance of a thorough knowledge of how to care for, clean, and preserve the machine gun cannot be overemphasized. Proper care, cleaning, and preservation determine whether this gun will shoot accurately and function properly when needed. The bore and chamber must be kept in perfect condition to ensure accurate fire. Because of the close fit of working surfaces and the high speed at which the gun operates, it is important that the receiver and moving parts be kept clean, well-lubricated and free of burrs, rust, dirt, or grease.

To ensure proper care of the machine gun, you must establish standard operating procedures concerning the frequency at which the gun is to be cleaned. This is normally done using the 3-M Systems MRCs. TM 9-1005-213-10 also provides maintenance instructions for this gun. Under combat conditions, it may be necessary to clean the gun where it is mounted, however, when possible, the gun should be disassembled, cleaned, and oiled in a clean, dry location where it is least exposed to moisture, dirt, and so on. Be particularly careful to remove all sand or dirt; it will act as an abrasive on moving parts, causing excessive wear, sluggish operation, or malfunction. Do not oil parts Excessively. Excessive oil solidifies and causes sluggish operation or complete failure.

Each gun should be cleaned as soon after firing as possible and each time it is taken to the field and returned. Under combat conditions, the gun should be cleaned and lightly oiled daily. Under ideal conditions, where the gun is not used and is stored in a clean, dry place, it may only be necessary to inspect, clean, and lubricate the gun once a week The threads on the gun barrels must be protected against being burred while handling and cleaning.

For more detailed information on the prescribed cleaning materials, lubricants, and rust preventives to be used in the .50-cal. BMG maintenance, refer to the Army'S FM 23-65 and TM 9-1005-213-10.


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