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A Better Ammo Delivery System: The New Balanced Ammunition Delivery System

By George E. Kontis, PE

A new ammunition bag called the “Balanced Ammunition Delivery System” (BADS) is poised to revolutionize combat deployment of the MAG58 (US M240) and MG3 machine guns. Although these machine guns have been around for more than 60 years, there has never been a good way to feed them because they eject fired cases from the bottom. Feeding solutions have been limited to ammunition boxes hung far out on the left side of the gun to avoid impact with ejected fired cases. The offset load makes the gun unwieldy and difficult to control. It’s not unlike trying to steer a small boat with all the passengers sitting on one side and continually shifting their weight. These unwieldy bags have never been user friendly, so the best solution to date has been to provide the machine gunner with an assistant to hand feed in the linked belts.

Like ammunition boxes of the past, the BADS connects to the machine gun’s box mounting features located on the left side of the weapon, but the similarities end there. Unlike the old boxes, the BADS cradles the ammunition directly under the ejection port. From a weapon handling standpoint, it’s an ideal location for the 100 to 125 rounds of linked ammunition as the weight is located precisely on the gun’s center of gravity. Fired cases and links impact the top of the BADS but are directed out and to the right by a metal deflector plate located above the stored ammunition. Older ammunition boxes were never very popular because they continually jabbed the shooter’s mid-section which made the gun uncomfortable to carry and maneuver, but the underslung BADS does not have this problem.

“Why has it taken so long to develop an ammunition box with the weight of the ammunition along the gun’s CG,” you ask? It’s primarily because bottom ejecting guns are very fussy about anything blocking the path of ejected brass and links. Whenever the bottom of the machine gun gets close to the ground, a rock or the deck of...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N9 (November 2017)
and was posted online on September 22, 2017

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