Tactical Assault Gear has designed an M240 bag to help assistant gunners shoulder a spare barrel and up to 800 rounds of ammo more effectively. TAG officials displayed a prototype at Modern Day Marine 2011 at Quantico Marine Base.
Managing a cumbersome tripod, spare barrel and several hundred rounds of 7.62mm ammo has always been a challenge for AGs. The barrel is usually carried in a separate bag and ammo goes into a pack. TAG's M240 bag is designed so the AG can carry the barrel and ammo on his back like a pack when on short missions. It can also be attached to the top of a rucksack for longer patrols.
Units from the 82nd Airborne Division and the 75th Ranger Regiment helped with the initial design, said Terrence "Ty" Manns, director of TAG.
When they came to us, they said 'we want to get the ammo out of the rucksack,' Manns said.The bottom compartment of the bag is for ammo storage. It has removable dividers, much like photographers use to separate their gear. It also has a rigid flap to help keep the belted ammo from shifting around. The outside is covered with rows of PALs webbing for attaching personal gear or a hydration bladder.
The top compartment has plenty of room for a spare barrel. It also features a section of Kevlar material that can be used as a ground cloth for a hot barrel. The shoulder straps help to hold the barrel close to the body so it doesn't flop around, Manns said. The bottom of the bag also features a carrying handle so an AG can grab it quickly and haul it short distances.
TAG is working on a final design for the bag after receiving soldier feedback. That design, which will be ready by November, will allow the AG to separate the barrel and ammo compartments when necessary, Manns said. There will also be a separate bag for the tripod that can be strapped to the outside of the M240 bag.
Right now the M240 bag comes in Multicam, but it will be available in coyote brown and other colors.