Soldier Loads and Opens Fire With a 7.62MM Machine Gun on an M73 Tank

Soldier Loads and Opens Fire With a 7.62MM Machine Gun on an M73 Tank

One of the most interesting aspects of tank life is how everything works. This includes a tank’s secondary weapon with its machine gun, which is exactly what this video is an introduction to. The primary weapon is a main gun, but it’s a machine gun that doubles as an additional offensive and defensive weapon. With this in mind, let’s jump right into taking a look at the machine gun’s operations and assembly.

7.62 NATO Cartridge

7.62 Bullet
The 7.62mm NATO cartridge is a very effective weapon in destroying enemy positions.

One of the most important things to know about this video is the type of ammunition used. In this case, it’s the 7.62mm NATO cartridge, which is roughly 2.015 inches in height.

Looking at the Weapon

Machine Gun View
The view of the machine gun shows where bullets are placed.

In this first view, you get a clear picture of the 7.62 machine gun inside the tank. You can see where ammunition is placed on the very top with the empty rectangular slot. It’s mounted to the left of the main gun mount.

Clearing the Weapon

Machine Gun Clearing
Clearing the weapon is an important first step.

As the video shows, you must clear the weapon before you do anything with the machine gun. To do so, you push the pin to open up the feed tray and then pull the charging handle to the rear. After these two steps, you can be certain the gun is “cleared.”

Go on Safe

Safety On
Putting the machine gun on “safe” ensures it won’t accidentally trigger.

Before proceeding further, you want to ensure the gun is registered as “safe” by switching this slide to the left. You will then see the “S” label indicating the weapon is considered “safe.” After verifying that no rounds are left in the chamber, the weapon can return to “fire.”

Ready to Load Weapon

Loading Weapon
The machine gun is ready to be loaded.

As the video indicates, after checking the weapon barrel, you are ready to load it. In this still shot, you can see the 7.62 ammunition is ready to be loaded for its protected covering.

Loading Ammunition

Loading Weapon Twice
The bullets need to be loaded face down.

One of the most important steps in this video is that the open side of the ammunition must be loaded face down. In this shot, you can see the “bottom” of the bullets where the ammunition handler points to the black clips, reminding you they should be face up.

Ammunition Slot

Weapon Loaded
With the weapon loaded, you can prepare to fire the weapon.

This still image with a more centered angle shows how the face-down ammunition is loaded into the machine gun. The ammunition fits almost exactly the size of the feeder that grabs it and runs it through while firing.

Rear View

Ready to Fire
This is a really great view of how the machine gun looks when ready.

With this rear view of the machine gun, you get a better sense of how the ammunition is fed into the machine gun. You can see that a chain of bullets is ready to be pulled into the weapon and fired for offensive and defensive purposes.

Spent Cartridges

Spent Cartridges
Spent cartridges are collected as soon as they are ejected from the gun.

While somewhat difficult to see in this still image, the spent cartridges are thrown out from the machine gun into the open slot on the right-hand side of the weapon. You can even see the faint shadow of a cartridge being pushed into the slot at the very top.

Firing the Weapon

Tank crew
The tank crew is responsible for firing the machine gun.

One of the crew members uses direct sighting to fire the weapon inside this tank. As there is no sighting on the weapon, the machine gunner must properly determine the angle of attack. Fortunately, it’s really easy as the machine gun can be pointed in the same direction as the main gun to hit its target.

Tank View

Machine gun placement
The placement of the machine gun makes it easy to line up and fire.

In this close-up view from the video, you can see that only a small portion of the machine gun barrel extends out of the tank. To better understand its placement, the left side of the image is the start of the large main gun barrel.

Watch the Full Video

Watch the full video
Watch the full video to see the machine gun in action.

The full video is the best way to understand how this machine gun works. It not only shows how to break down this weapon, but it also helps you understand why having this weapon makes tanks more effective.

To top