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NEWS | March 21, 2022

M2/M2A1 Machine Guns: Ammo for Training on Short Range

Don’t let limited space to fire the M2/M2A1 machine gun stop your unit from training. With an impact area of only 700 meters, short-range training ammunition (SRTA) is an available solution. You can order SRTA under DODICs A602 and A603.
M860 tracer and M858 ball
M860 tracer and M858 ball
Here’s what you need to know before firing M2/M2A1 SRTA ammo:
  • The M3 recoil amplifier barrel assembly (RABA), NSN 1005-01-323-5406, must be installed prior to using the ammo. If the M3 RABA isn’t installed, there won’t be enough recoil energy to cycle the M2/M2A1. Refer to TM 9-1005-203-13&P (Oct 09) for installation instructions.
  • When using the M3 RABA on the M2/M2A1, you must headspace and time the weapon. Refer to TM 9-1005-213-10 (Aug 17) for the following tasks.
    • Adjust Headspace: Flex and M48
    • Timing Adjustment for Flex and M48
    • Safety/Functions Check for Fixed M48 and M2/M2A1
  • If your unit has M2A1 machine guns, you’ll need to order the legacy M2 headspace/timing gage, NSN 5220-00-35-1217. M2A1 operators will also need to be trained on proper headspace and timing procedures. Refer to TM 9-1005-213-10 (Aug 17) for the following tasks.
    • Adjust Headspace: Flex and M48
    • Timing Adjustment for Flex and M48
    • Safety/Functions Check for Fixed M48 and M2/M2A1
  • You must install the associated discriminator, NSN 1005-01-216-7051 (left-hand feed), or NSN 3040-01-213-2401 (right-hand feed), in place of the front cartridge guide when preparing to fire SRTA. Once the discriminator is installed, you can’t fire standard ammo.

    Never mix standard .50-cal ammo and SRTA in the same belt. And make sure only M858 ball or M860 tracer rounds are in the linked belt.

    Also, look for dented, deformed or loose projectiles. Firing damaged ammo or damaged SRTA can injure people and damage weapons.     
SRTA is as lethal as standard ammo. Don’t use SRTA for multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES), paintball or force-on-force training. SRTA is strictly for firing at inanimate, non-human targets.
Don’t relax range safety procedures when firing SRTA. It may be fired on a shorter range, but it still packs a punch.

Heed this WARNING: the shorter distance doesn’t reduce the noise, explosive hazard or the potential for injury or death. Make sure you wear eye and hearing protection, and practice normal safety rules when firing SRTA.
Look to your local training support center (TSC) to get the M3 RABA. If you need more than TSC has, use TM 9-1005-203-13&P (Oct 09) and order what you need.
Information regarding the M3 RABA is not available in the M2/M2A1’s TM 9-1005-213-10 (Aug 17). The M3 has its own TM, TM 9-1005-203-13&P (Oct 09). You can find it HERE.
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