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Know the BFA difference.

Gunners now have a barrel choice for the M249 machine gun: the standard barrel and the newer short barrel.

But when it comes to the blank firing attachment (BFA), there is no choice. If you fire the standard barrel, you must use the standard barrel BFA, NSN 1005-21-9128997. It's red and screws in the barrel.

If you fire the short barrel, you must use the short barrel BFA, NSN 1005-01-5370491. It's yellow and clamps on the barrel.

Using the M249 standard barrel BFA with the short barrel increases the unlocking velocity of the bolt when it leaves the barrel socket. This increased velocity can damage the receiver's inner rail, which means your M249 is finished.

If you've already fired blanks through the short barrel with the standard barrel BFA, your armorer needs to check the inner rail for cracks. See Page WP 0023-3-5 in TM 9-1005-201-23&P (Apr 13) for directions.

Good news if you need the short barrel BFA. You can get it free issue by using single code M, fund code GA, and project code IUO. That will save your unit $75.

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Title Annotation:M249 Machine Gun ...; blank firing attachment
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2014
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