BLUF: Don’t forget about the M3P machine gun during PMCS and pay attention to where you step when getting in the Avenger.
This article initially appeared in PS 718 (Sep 12), pp. 44-45.
Dishing up preventive maintenance (PM) often is the best revenge against the forces that can stop the Avenger in its tracks. For instance…
Give M3P Machine Gun Attention
Since it’s usually fired only quarterly, it’s often forgotten. At least monthly, go to the arms room and give the M3P a complete PMCS. Keep it lubed with TW-25B. If the M3P is going to be in storage, it’s OK to give all its parts (except the bolt face) a heavy coat of TW-25B. *However, be sure to wipe clean and reapply a new coat of TW-25B before firing again.
When you do mount the M3P, don’t use slip joint pliers to install its cable. They damage the connector. Use needle-nose pliers.
If you need new M3P gages, order them with NSN 5280-13-116-6359. Remember, the gages need to be calibrated yearly by TMDE.
And don’t forget to track how many rounds the M3P fires. After 1,250 rounds, it needs to be completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and lubed.
Tiptoe Through the Turret
Every gunner knows the Avenger’s turret is so cramped you practically have to step outside to change your mind. So when you climb in and out of the turret, be careful where you put your feet. Too many gunner’s hand stations and other turret components get KOed by feet every year.
Climb in the turret by putting your left foot on the step on the left side of the turret and then your right foot on the left side of the seat. Climb out by reversing that. Don’t do it any other way.
Left foot on step…Right foot on left side of seat
Don’t toss things in the turret or use it for storage. Duffle bags and rifles bounce around and break stuff like the sight mounts and *the new tactical consoles screens.
Tossing equipment in turret can break things like gunner’s hand station
Do ECU/PPU PM PDQ
The unit’s W103 cable can vibrate loose during operation. If it gets too loose, it can become a fire hazard. Feel the cable for looseness during your WEEKLY and BEFORE PMCS and tighten it with a strap wrench if necessary.
Feel W103 cable for looseness and tighten if necessary
: This article has been edited lightly to bring it current. The information following an asterisk (*) has been added.