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Is there a difference in the T&E Assembly used with the M2 and M3 tripod? If so, how to quickly tell them apart?
 

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Absolutely there is. The opening for the traverse bar is wider for the M3 tripod. The .50 cal M3 will work with the .30 cal but due to the wider opening cannot be locked in place on the traverse bar. The .30 cal M2 cannot be used on the .50 cal tripod as the opening is too small. The parts of the T&Es cannot be interchanged either due to a different thread in the sleeve and elevating screw. Externally they look the same and many people have used a .50 cal with a .30 cal tripod with or without a spacer to fit better.

I believe the opening of the .30 M2 and also the M60 (M122) I about 3/4 inch and the .50 cal closer to an inch.

More information:

M2 T&E part numbers: Yoke B166489 or 6166489, Sleeve B195549 or 6195549.

M3 T&E part number Yoke 6166497 or B166497, Sleeve 6195550 or B195550

M60 (M122) Yoke 11010037 Sleeve 7793005
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great info, thanks. Didn't know the M60 yoke and sleeve were different from the M2, had assumed a M60 "H" adapter was affixed to an M2 yoke to make a M60 T&E.
 

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Great info, thanks. Didn't know the M60 yoke and sleeve were different from the M2, had assumed a M60 "H" adapter was affixed to an M2 yoke to make a M60 T&E.
Yes they are different as the M122 does not use the same removable pin that the M2 does. It uses a pin that is held in by a "C" clip and the pin was not supposed to be removed during normal use. The pin has neither the pull ring nor the chain to fasten it to the T&E. The T&E does not have the loop to fasten the chain. The pin and adapter were considered to be components of the T&E and not separate items so the whole thing got a new model designation as M122. While an M2 T&E could be used in lieu of the M122 I don't think that happened often as the military wanted new stuff for the M60. I used both the BMG 1919A6 and M60 in the service and I don't think I ever saw an M2 T&E used with the M60. All of our M60 tripods came with the guns and were new. However in the Army Reserve I once saw an M2 tripod hanging in another units arms cage. That was in about 2001. I could tell it was an M2 as it was painted OD and still had the brass data plate and I believe a 1944 date.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After examining several T&Es, I’ve noticed a difference in the operation of the traversing slide lock lever.

On the M60/M122 it rotates through 270 degrees, while on the M2 and M3 it only rotates 90 degrees.

Here’s a link to Numrich’s tripod parts diagram regarding terminology.

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufacturers/USMilitary-33541/MachineGuns-42384/M2Tripod-37210.htm?results=All

Some were missing the helical torsion spring and may have had maladjusted traversing slide lock screws. So I’m not 100% sure of the purpose, importance, and proper operation of the lock lever with torsion spring for the 270 versus 90 degree models with respect to capturing and/or clamping the sleeve on the traversing bar. Is the spring only important if retracting the traversing slide lock screw to fit the sleeve onto the tripod traversing bar, then enabling spring back for keeping the sleeve captive on the bar, or does it also function when clamping the sleeve to a fixed position on the bar? Can the traversing slide lock screw be adjusted for amount of protrusion?
 

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After examining several T&Es, I’ve noticed a difference in the operation of the traversing slide lock lever.

On the M60/M122 it rotates through 270 degrees, while on the M2 and M3 it only rotates 90 degrees.

Here’s a link to Numrich’s tripod parts diagram regarding terminology.

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufacturers/USMilitary-33541/MachineGuns-42384/M2Tripod-37210.htm?results=All

Some were missing the helical torsion spring and may have had maladjusted traversing slide lock screws. So I’m not 100% sure of the purpose, importance, and proper operation of the lock lever with torsion spring for the 270 versus 90 degree models with respect to capturing and/or clamping the sleeve on the traversing bar. Is the spring only important if retracting the traversing slide lock screw to fit the sleeve onto the tripod traversing bar, then enabling spring back for keeping the sleeve captive on the bar, or does it also function when clamping the sleeve to a fixed position on the bar? Can the traversing slide lock screw be adjusted for amount of protrusion?
In examination of the only T&E I have handy (an M122). Yes the traverse lock lever will lock the T&E in position and also lock the T&E to the bar. Turned to the right to lock left to unlock. Yes the screw can be adjusted as the lever has splines that correspond to the ones on the "screw traversing slide lock" and can be removed and reset , the screw can be turned in or out and the lever reinstalled to give more or less tension.
 
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