OH-58D Kiowa Warrior

XM296 .50 Cal. (12.7mm) MACHINE GUN

The XM296 is a pod mounted, automatic, recoil-operated, link-belt fed, air-cooled machine gun. The weapon has a maximum rate of fire from 750-800 rounds per minute (500-650 rounds per minute desired). Ammunition is fed from the right side of the machine gun, to facilitate left-side applications on the OH-58D firing platform. The percussion-type primed ammunition is fired by actuating the gun-firing solenoid. The XM296 machine gun functions in the same manner as the M2 .50 cal. machine gun, except it is fired remotely using an electrical solenoid and does not contain the bolt latch which allows for single-shot operation.


The ginbal ring serves as the mechanical interface between the machine gun trunnion and the gun cradle. It provides 2-axis movement for machine gun boresight adjustments.

The XM296 Machine Gun consists of the following major functional assemblies:

Bolt group
Barrel buffer group
Barrel and barrel extension group
Cover group
Back plate assembly
Receiver and barrel jacket group


The bolt group is the major recoiling assembly in the weapon. During the firing of the weapon, the bolt group cocks the firing pin, extracts the cartridge case, actuates the belt feed lever to advance the ammunition belt, and chambers a new round of ammunition. The bolt is mounted within the center of the receiver.
Bolt Group


The barrel buffer group, housed in the buffer body, is composed of the buffer body assembly and the buffer assembly. During weapon operation the barrel buffer accomplishes the following functions: brings the barrel and barrel extension to rest (cushioning the shock, and holding them on recoil), transmits barrel and barrel extension recoil energy (through the accelerator, to speed-up the recoil of the bolt), returning the barrel and barrel extension to battery (by means of the buffer spring expanding assisted by the accelerator/counter-recoil), and coordinates the locking action of the barrel extension and bolt (through the accelerator action).
Barrel Buffer Group


The barrel and barrel extension group is mounted in the front end of the receiver. The barrel and barrel extension group is a recoiling component of the weapon. The front end of the barrel is supported by the recoil booster and rear end by the barrel extension. Barrel head spacing is accomplished by adjusting the barrel in or out of the barrel extension. The adjustments are retained by the barrel locking spring.
Barrel and Barrel Extension Group


The cover group, located on top of the weapon, is composed of the cover, belt feed slide group, cover extractor cam, cover extractor spring, and belt feed lever. The cover group pulls ammunition into the feedway and enables the extractor to pull rounds from the bolt.


The back plate assembly is mounted in the receiver side plate's groves. The back plate cushions the impact of the bolt and starts the bolt forward.
Back Plate Assembly and Cover Group


This group is comprised of the receiver and barrel jacket. The purpose of this group is to house the internal working parts of the gun and support the stationary parts.