Never saw an M73 or M219 but the M60A1RISE that I served on first, had (1979)a F.N. Belgium built M240 that was one great little MG.
The later F.N. USA ones(On M1's and M1A1's) seemed to be less reliable, but maybe those had been used and abused before I got to use them.
I remember the transition from the M219 to the M240 very well and all I can say is wow what a difference that was it is a awesome machine gun. I have fired thousands of rounds thru it and I can only remember having one malfunction and I blamed that on the ammo, the brass neck of the round breaking off in the chamber.It is so good they replaced the M60 machine gun with the M240.Charles, I had mine when they first came into service also, they were new. I dont like hearing that they have become less reliable do you think they were in bad shape as in wore out or do you think the American made one's are not as good as the Belgium ones?My son is over in Iraq and he just showed me a picture of his squad's 240 on Skype today, get to talk to him and see him at the same time that is pretty cool wish we had computers in our day. I will get his feed back about the reliability
I am from the days of the M73 coax. It was very finicky but a good loader went a long way to keep it working. We had it on both our M60's and M60A1's. Don't remember what the coas was on our Sheridans. Fortunately all I had to deal with was an M2 .50 cal laying on its side in the TC cupola (M60). The M85 .50 cal (M60A1) was a big improvement. Very reliable, easy to load, and accurate.