NEWS | May 28, 2021

Small Arms: How to Treat Your Weapon When It’s Hot

Soldier firing M2 machine gun
Photo by Sgt. Dustin Biven

All heat isn’t the same. You have to make slight adjustments to how you care for your weapon depending on the environment.
Here are some tips for the three (3) types of hot weather.       
Hot and Dry
  1. Clean your weapon often. Do it daily if possible.
  2. Remove excess oil from moving parts.
  3. Wipe excess oil from the exposed surfaces.
  4. Use barrel caps, keep dust covers closed and cover the weapon when possible.
  5. Use only the approved cleaning lubricant preservative (CLP).
Hot and Humid
  1. Clean your weapon frequently, daily if possible.
  2. Use a light coat of the approved CLP.
  3. Keep the weapon dry.
Hot, Humid and Salty
  1. Clean your weapon frequently, daily if possible.
  2. Inspect the weapon for corrosion.
  3. Use a light coat of the approved CLP.
  4. Keep the weapon dry and covered when possible.
Notice a trend here? No matter the environment you find yourself in, it’s wise to clean your assigned weapon(s) often, if not daily.
This advice goes for all small arms. Make sure to read the -10 TM for the weapon you’re responsible for and follow the guidance in the OPERATION UNDER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS section. There’s great information in there.
Here’s a list of operator TMs:
Weapon TM DATE
M2/M2A1 9-1005-213-10 Aug 17
M9 9-1005-317-10 Jun 16
M16/M4 9-1005-319-10 Aug 16, w/Ch 2, Apr 19
M17/M18 9-1005-470-10 Mar 19
M203 9-1010-221-10 Oct 11
M240 9-1005-313-10 Nov 02, w/Ch 7, Aug 10
M249 9-1005-201-10 May 19
M320 9-1010-232-10 Nov 08, w/Ch 1, Apr 12
MK19 9-1010-230-10 Aug 12
For those of you that have the MK19 use these cleaners MIL-PRF-680 Type II and MIL-PRF-372 (RBC). And these lubricants: rifle bore cleaner (RBC), lubricant, semi-fluid, automatic weapons with Teflon (LSA-T), lubricant, semi-fluid, automatic weapons (LSA), lubricating oil, arctic, weapons (LAW) and grease, molybdenum disulfide (GMD).

Follow these tips and your weapon will be there for you when you need it most.