|Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 6):|
I bet it was cool to fly through the city, unloading with a .50 cal, even if it was just blanks. HARD-ONS all around, females included.
Most likely 7.62 mm M-240H machine gun. Aerial gunnery with live rounds much fun, firing blanks kinda sucks. The blanks foul and make the gun just plain filthy. The 240 is much easier to clean than the M-60D, but still a pain in the ass after blanks. What I didn't like was firing blanks just before deployment, I wanted the gun clean and running at 100%, filling it up with carbon and making it nasty right before I really needed it did not make many crew chiefs very happy, myself included. Makes for a longer day to take care of the helicopter and then have to deal with an extra dirty weapon.
As fantastic as the .50 gun is, there are drawbacks. Heavy gun, very heavy ammo. Throw in high temps, altitude, blade erosion tape, add on armor for the aircraft, water, etc. After a while you really cut into what you can carry, even in the bad ass UH-60.
I talked to some mounted ground guys who actually liked the M-240 over the M-2 in close Iraqi urban streets. Quick to aim the gun, and a high rate of fire. Another story however....
Another plus of aerial gunnery "over there" is no need for that pain in the ass bag to capture brass and links. Most goes in the aircraft at the crew chiefs feet, but plenty makes it overboard....no problem.
Don't get me wrong, the M-2 and the M-3 are bad ass and rule the world, but the 240 is a damn fine gun!