Belt (firearm)


Belt (firearm)

A belt is a device that holds cartridges adjacent to each other in a single row for feeding into a firearm, typically a machine gun. The belt itself only serves to link the cartridges together so that they may be fired in a uniform manner; it does not perform the feeding of the firearm.

In general, the belt is either permanently linked, fed through the weapon, and subsequently pushed out the other side of the chamber, or the links themselves "disintegrate", or break apart after firing, as the cartridges are integral to the design of the belt. The latter is called a "disintegrating belt". The main advantage of the non-disintegrating belt is that it is much easier to refill. The advantages of the disintegrating belt are that it is lighter and the expended links do not dangle from the other side of the gun.

Belts are useful in that long sequences of ammunition can be run through a weapon with little to no interaction from the individual firing it. As machine guns in the 20th century evolved with higher rates of fire, the traditional sprung magazine was found to be insufficient for two reasons: first, a magazine of reasonable size (typically 70 rounds or fewer) would require too-frequent changing during sustained fire. Secondly, the spring used to feed cartridges often cannot deliver them quickly enough to match the weapon's firing rate and this would result in jams.

Belts are often stored in a transportation box, which can be attached under the firearm. This allows mobile infantry troops equipped with light and medium machine guns to carry a large amount of ammunition with ease of transportation that would not be allowed by a loose belt.

The FN MINIMI/M249 SAW, a light machine gun in use by the U.S. and other NATO forces, and the IMI Negev, used by the IDF, are unusual in that they can be fed interchangeably by belt or 30-round magazine. However, the latter is used only in an emergency due to the aforementioned problems.

The downside to belts are that their reload times exceed that of magazines and clips.

ee also

* Magazine
* Clip
* Stripper clip
* Bandolier
* Judas belt


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Belt — can refer to the following objects: *Belt (clothing), a part of clothing worn around the waist to hold trousers up or as a fashion accessory. *Police duty belt, a belt worn by police officers, which holds all the equipment they need to conduct… …   Wikipedia

  • Firearm — A firearm is a tool that projects either single or multiple projectiles at high velocity through a controlled explosion. The firing is achieved by the gases produced through rapid, confined burning of a propellant. This process of rapid burning… …   Wikipedia

  • Police duty belt — The duty belt of a British police officer, with Hiatts Speedcuffs, handcuff keys and CS spray visible …   Wikipedia

  • Multiple barrel firearm — U.S. Special Warfare combatant craft crewmen use an M134 multiple barrel machine gun to lay down suppressing fire during a practice hot extraction of forces on a beach. A Multiple barrel firearm is a firearm of any type with more than one barrel …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Upham Memorial Cavalry Champions Belt — The Charles Upham Memorial Cavalry Champions Belt is a rifle target shooting competition for as issued service rifles. It is New Zealand s second oldest sporting competition, dating back to 1872.[citation needed] The competition is hosted by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Cartridge belt — Cartridge Car tridge (k[aum]r tr[i^]j), n. [Formerly cartrage, corrupted fr. F. cartouche. See {Cartouch}.] (Mil.) A complete charge for a firearm, contained in, or held together by, a case, capsule, or shell of metal, pasteboard, or other… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nazi belt buckle pistol — The belt buckle pistol was an experimental German World War II firearm consisting of two 7.65 mm barrels and lockwork concealed within a Nazi Party belt buckle. The barrels were 2 long and the wearer needed to get very close to their victim. A… …   Wikipedia

  • Shot belt — Shot Shot, n.; pl. {Shot}or {Shots}. [OE. shot, schot, AS. gesceot a missile; akin to D. schot a shot, shoot, G. schuss, geschoss a missile, Icel. skot a throwing, a javelin, and E. shoot, v.t. [root]159. See {Shoot}, and cf. {Shot} a share.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Magazine (firearms) — Not to be confused with Magazine (artillery). A staggered column 9x19mm pistol box magazine; the top image shows the magazine loaded and ready for use while the lower image shows it unloaded and disassembled A magazine is an ammunition storage… …   Wikipedia

  • 7.62 mm Cugir heavy machine gun — Infobox Weapon name= The 7.62 mm heavy machine gun caption= origin=flagcountry|Romania type=Machine Gun is ranged= Yes used by= Romanian Land Forces weight= convert|7.8|kg|abbr=on cartridge= 7.62 x 54R mm action= Gas operated rate= 650 rds/min… …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.