NEWS | May 14, 2020

M2A1 Machine Gun: How to Install the Barrel Correctly

Spartans train on the M2 .50 cal
Photo by Spc. Jonathan Wallace
Here at PS, we like to remind Soldiers and other readers of the importance of doing things right.

History has shown that some Soldiers install the M2A1 barrel incorrectly. As a result, the barrel’s alignment pin shears off and the whole barrel has to be replaced. In some cases, the receiver is damaged as well. At over $1,200 a barrel and $13,000 a receiver, that burns through some serious money.
Fix that by following these easy steps to install the barrel correctly.
Barrel Installation
1. Raise the cover assembly all the way up. Ensure operating group is forward/closed. Grasp the retracting slide handle and pull it back slightly until you see the square of the barrel locking spring lug through the 3/8-in hole in the right side of the receiver.

2. Insert the barrel into the barrel support until the barrel alignment pin engages the camming slot.

3. Rotate the barrel clockwise and secure the alignment slot in the retention slot.

4. Release the retracting slide handle and allow the bolt to go forward.

5. Inspect the barrel and barrel extension to ensure the end of the barrel protrudes beyond the barrel extension threads.
6. Close the cover assembly.
7. Charge the weapon to ensure that the barrel moves back and forth freely.