Capping barrel damage.
One of the biggest problems with the M2 machine gun is that its barrel threads get so banged up that you can't screw in the barrel. Then your only action is to get a new $800 barrel.
You had a good suggestion on Page N3 in PS 563 (Oct 99) about using an old AOAP bottle to protect the threads. We've Found a canteen cap also provides good protection, dust push out the center section of the cap with a punch and screw the cap all the way on the barrel.
If you don't have spare caps, get them From your local military clothing store or order them with NSN 8465-00-930-2077. They cost less than $2.
Editor's note: If you armorers missed the AOAP bottle suggestion, it was to cut the bottle in half an inch below the threads. Then just screw the bottle on the threads. The AOAP bottle or canteen cap will both help protect the threads. Keep the bottle or cap on the barrel as much as possible.
But it's also important that you not dump heavy items on the barrels during storage or transport or let barrels roll around in the back of a truck. Tie them down or block them in. Never leave a barrel standing on end where it can take a fall and damage the threads. And make sure your gunners know not to throw the barrels around or bang them against things.
M240 Machine Gun Cover Replaced
If you need a cover for your M240 machine gun, don't use the NSN listed in TM 9-1005-31323&P (15 Apt 05). It's obsolete. Use NSN 1005-01-432-9538, which brings the M240B optical cover. The cover will be used for all versions of the M240 (except the M240C) and can take care of any sight attached to the M240 feed tray cover.
Contractors, 5th Special Forces
Ft Campbell, KY