m-2 50 cal failure rate?


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Eric F
May 14, 2009, 08:54 AM
At work yesterday, the Army was shooting 50 cals at the range from hummvees on the move, failure rate was 0 for the first group then they started going down like flies for the rest of the day.. Failure after failure. I asked a guy what was up he said they came from the armourer all tuned up but when you reload you have to reset the head space and the timing. Also these things get dirty easily then malfunction too. I thought they were built better than that.


So whats the deal here are these guns really that fussy or is it a case of folks just dont know how to use them?

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13Bravo
May 14, 2009, 09:18 AM
resetting the headspace and timing is not necessary after reload. I assume reload means removing the linked ammo from the tray, and clearing the chamber. Thats just crazy talk. The Ma Duece is finicky though. I'm having to seriously tune down my language here for whenever I speak of this weapon my mouth runs afoul more than usual. First the headspace has to be done correctly, then the timing set right. The links are easily damaged or kinked up. If you're trying to run old beat up ammo thats been laying around through it you have to first inspect the links, maybe dust them off and make sure they're lined up right. And finally, lots of CLP. Too little and she won't run, too much and she'll run just right. I work with this system everyday, though I'm by no means an expert, but by checking all of the above we are assured a sucessful trip to the test fire pit everytime we roll out.

psyopspec
May 14, 2009, 03:34 PM
If the guy who signed it out to me checked the headspace and timing, guess what the first thing I'm going to do is? If you said "check the headspace and timing," you are correct. Same as I would PMCS a perfectly good HMMWV, even though the motor pool Joe signing it out to me assures me everything is kosher. I think a lot of the failures with the M2 system come from lack of experience on the part of the end users. Some armorers also share blame. I can't count the number of times I've been assigned a weapon that was supposed to be cleaned and maintained only to find it unlubed and horribly fouled with carbon.

MarineOne
May 15, 2009, 03:25 AM
There is no reason to check headspace and timing on every reload, unless there is something wrong with the weapon. The only times you should do this is if you change the barrel, have broken the weapon down for cleaning, or it's coming out of Level A-Pack.

Why don't you have an armorer out on the range while this is happening?




Kris

poorfolks
May 15, 2009, 04:23 AM
my guess would be not enough lube. possibly using clp vs the thick white lube who's proper name eludes me.

Eric F
May 15, 2009, 07:10 AM
Why don't you have an armorer out on the range while this is happening?
I cant answer that I wasnt shooting I was there for the residual brush fires :D

usmc1371
May 15, 2009, 08:31 AM
I found it was mostly end user problems, there is just a touch of art to getting headspace and timing perfect so if you aren't "that guy" then don't mess with it. It it aint working find "that guy" and pay attention while he fixes it.

Way to much fix it till its broke going on.

Al Thompson
May 15, 2009, 10:03 AM
Sounds like a lube issue to me. Years ago we found that 30 weight oil worked better than CLP. Inexperianced troops? Hard to tell over the internet.

nicholst55
May 15, 2009, 10:08 AM
I inspect unit Arms Rooms and the weapons they contain for a living, and have been doing so for most of the past 35 years. I routinely find units without adequate headspace and timing gages, armorers who don't know what a ruptured case extractor is or what it's used for, improperly assembled, dry, rusty, dirty guns, etc. I try to impart the knowledge to correct these problems before I leave, but it's definitely an uphill battle.

Setting headspace and timing is, IMHO, too easy. I mean, it hasn't changed materially in over 50 years, yet troops still can't get it right! I'm going to risk alienating some folks here when I say that it all comes down to a lack of RTFM (read the freakin' manual), and training. NCOs need to insure that every single member of their squad, crew, or section knows how to set the headspace and timing, by the book. Insure that you have the BII (Basic Issue Items) for the gun, to include the -10 manual. If you're missing something, make sure that your armorer gets replacements. If he doesn't do his job, go up the chain until you talk to somebody who will get results.

Am I living in a fantasy world? Possibly. The thing to remember is that 'the system' won't work unless it's made to work. A well-maintained, properly timed and headspaced M2 will surprise you with it's reliability. S**t ammo doesn't do it's reliability any good, of course, and the Army is still using ammo from WWII. I guess you'll have to continue sorting that out before use, 13Bravo. Stay safe!

DRZinn
May 15, 2009, 12:12 PM
Headspace and timing are NOT difficult to check if you have a gauge, and in my experience are usually already on when you screw the barrel in and back it out two clicks.

test drive
May 15, 2009, 02:46 PM
yes head space and timing and lots a slick-um is the jest of it. but remember, these things have been around sinse the end of ww1. there are very few new ones (if any) made. most are verry old guns with "parts"
raplaced as needed

Eric F
May 15, 2009, 10:41 PM
Ok folks I found out the problem. They were shooting training rounds. Blue cases with plastic bullets. Way low power and probably didnt have enough umph to cycle the guns properly.

SquirrelNuts
May 15, 2009, 11:06 PM
They are stout weapons...heavy suckers!

johncantiusgarand
May 16, 2009, 03:10 AM
Ok folks I found out the problem. They were shooting training rounds. Blue cases with plastic bullets. Way low power and probably didnt have enough umph to cycle the guns properly.

Yeah, those are a pain. There is a lighter barrel that you use with those so that the total weight of the recoiling parts is less. But even with that, it just BARELY recoils enough to cycle properly. And I doubt anyone was applying any lube after the first group went through; that's why the performance just got worse and worse.

SquirrelNuts
May 16, 2009, 03:31 AM
The recoil spring is stout and WILL go through a brick wall if it is compress when you remove the butterfly trigger and you happen to set it out of place. The "Jesus pin" is hefty too.

Wes Janson
May 16, 2009, 12:09 PM
Anyone who can't figure out how to set the headspace and timing probably shouldn't be behind one anyways...

TEDDY
May 16, 2009, 10:12 PM
the 50s I had were aircraft and worked fine but we had no "training ammo".if the 50 was iffy it would never had been on an aircraft in combat.ours were on patrol bomers and scout observation.[kingfisher and PBM]and F6 fighters.
I still have my manual.

Rockwell1
May 16, 2009, 11:57 PM
I inspect unit Arms Rooms and the weapons they contain for a living, and have been doing so for most of the past 35 years.

Then perhaps you can explain why , even though the -10 for the M-16A2 specifically says the weapon should be stored with a light coat of CLP and that if it's properly lubed it WILL be a little dirty even after it's cleaned, every armorer ( I ever met) in the United States Army insists that the weapons be stored bone dry and immaculate.

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread

alsaqr
May 17, 2009, 12:06 AM
Sounds like a lube problem.

Failure to properly set headspace in timing is a serious thing. For many years I was the senior firing range advisor to the Saudis. Every year we had several guys hurt from failure to properly set headspace and timing. One soldier bled to death when a fragment of the cartridge case hit his femoral artery.

By the time of the first Gulf War many Saudi units had quick change barrel kits for the M2. Those kits were installed by FN. Time required to install the kit is about 30 minutes per gun and two barrels. The QCB kit eliminates the requirement to set headspace and timing. Chartered Industries of Singapore and a Spanish company also made QCB kits for the Ma Deuce.

Not sure why the US Army refused to buy the QCB kit.

http://archville.by.ru/guns/m2.htm

The FN link:

http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/products/firearms/family.asp?fid=FNF016&gid=FNG008

chauncey
May 17, 2009, 01:14 AM
M2's and M240's always ran well, in my experience.

Mk19's and M249's were an altogether different story...frustrating!

datruth
May 17, 2009, 01:55 AM
Im the armorer for my unit(army) i have always loved weapons but crew serves are a horse of another color, I have had three fifties go down while at the range(training) and was completely my fault for lack of education on my part, but now knowing most of the in's and out's of the deuce, and being better educated I will NEVER let a weapon, deuce, m16/m4 or any other crew serve leave my arms room without being in working order. When the M2 is properly maintained and well lubricated it will run but anything man made and handled by soldiers can and will get broke, including the big fifty. The white substance other than clp is LSA, i've made it my pledge to keep my weapons peacetime and wartime ready because,they are one in the same, you train like you fight, and you sweat in training so you dont bleed in battle.hooah;)

Rock185
May 17, 2009, 03:10 PM
I was assigned to Armor and used an M-2 rather extensively in 1969 and early 1970 on the Central Highlands of Viet Nam. It was not functional when I received the M48A3 tank it was attached to, and I scrounged up parts and essentially built the gun. In using that same M-2 for a year under rather adverse conditions, I never had a failure to function of any kind. I never saw or heard of anybody else in the unit having a malfunction with the M-2. I never had any doubt the gun would function and it never let me down. In fact, the M-2 functioned just as well as our issued 1911A1s, that is: 0 failures.

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