The Army continues to stock up on its workhorse general-purpose machine gun, the M240, awarding South Carolina-based FN a nine-figure contract this week. 

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, on June 8 issued the $92.1 million firm-fixed-price contract to procure M240 series machine gun variants and spare receivers from FN. The award period is for five years, running until 2026.

FN M240 GPMG firing
In its ground mount configuration, such as seen with the above paratrooper, the M240B/G has a 550 to 650 round-per-minute rate of fire when cyclic. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The U.S. variant of FN’s iconic MAG 58 belt-fed machine gun, the U.S. Army adopted the model in 7.62x5mm NATO in 1977 to replace the Vietnam-era M60 machine gun. Since then, the design has been adopted throughout the Department of Defense as well as the Coast Guard in both the pistol-gripped M240B/G and spade-gripped M240D/H variants for use by ground troops as well as on vehicles, ships, and aircraft.

FN M240 GPMG firing
When using spade grips and a thumb-activated trigger system, such as in the above Army CH-47 helicopter, the M240D/H series typically have a higher rate of fire, ranging from 650 to 950 rounds per minute. Also, note the rail-equipped feed cover.



Since 2011, the military has also been fielding smaller quantities of FN M240L variants that incorporate a redesigned collapsible buttstock assembly, polymer trigger guard, and shorter barrel to produce a lighter, more compact GPMG.

FN M240 GPMG firing
A shorter barrel and increased use of polymer drop approximately 5 pounds from the weight in the M240L series

FN established their Columbia, South Carolina, factory in mid-1980 and by January 1981 was making the M240 in America by Americans. 

FN M240 GPMG being made
The M240 is a staple on FN's line in South Carolina, often made by Vets. (Photo: Chris Eger/

We visited FN's operation in the Palmetto State back in 2019 and saw how the magic is made. Check out that factory tour, below: 


Banner image: Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment (Gimlets), 2 IBCT, 25th Infantry Division deployed to Kahuku Training Area Oahu, Hawaii, to conduct company evaluations in movement to contact, attack, and defense operations. (Photo by Pfc. Jessica Scott/U.S Army)

revolver barrel loading graphic