The GPMG has been the main support weapon of the British Army for many years. Like any other weapon it has a dedicated cleaning kit to allow it to be maintained. This is stored in a nylon wallet that secures with three poppers and has a shoulder strap:This opens out to reveal a large number of individual pockets that each component fits into:The contents of this wallet are set out below (click to open a larger image):The largest tool in the set is the cylinder cleaning tool:This particular tool is dated 1977:And predates the wallet itself by thirty years, the wallet being manufactured in 2007:The GPMG manual sets out the cleaning instruction for the weapon in various climates, these are for temperate conditions:
- Ensure that the weapon is unloaded and stripped as taught.
- Assemble the chamber cleaning brush to the rod and clean out the chamber.
- Clean the barrel, using the pullthrough fitted with a piece of flannelette size 100 mm by 50 mm. The pullthrough should always be inserted from the chamber end of the barrel.
- Inspect both the chamber and the barrel to ensure that they are clean. To do this hold the barrel up towards the light about 150 mm away from the head, muzzle to the eye; keep both eyes open and follow the bands and grooves throughout their length.
- If necessary clean the barrel again. If, after a thorough cleaning, the barrel does not appear to be clean or there is something unusual apparent, show it to an NCO.
- Wrap a piece of flannelette size 100 mm by 150 mm around the cylinder brush, join the brush to the rod and clean out the cylinder from the front end.
- Dry clean the remainder of the gun.
Once the gun has been dry cleaned and inspected by the commander, the gun is to be lubricated as follows:
- Barrel. Oil the barrel using OX 24, the pullthrough and a piece of flannelette size 100 mm by 38 mm.
- Cylinder. Oil using a piece of flannelette size 100 mm by 100 mm inserted in the eyelet of the two piece rod.
- Flash Eliminator. Oil with 0X 24.
- Oil the rest of the gun with an oily rag.
- Once lubricated and inspected by the commander, the gun is to be assembled and the recoil mechanism tested. To ensure correct functioning, the gas regulator is to be adjusted correctly so that the gun has sufficient gas to operate reliably but not so much that the gun vibrates unduly. If the gas setting is not known, turn the regulator anti-clockwise six clicks.
- Clean and check all spare parts and cleaning tools, repack.