.50-caliber machine gun: Wikis

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This article is about the .50 caliber M2 machine gun. For the .30-06 M2 machine gun, see M1919 Browning machine gun.
Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB
Machine gun M2 1.jpg
M2HB heavy machine gun on M3 tripod
Type Heavy machine gun
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service 1921
M2HB from 1933–present
Used by United States, and list of users
Wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian-Vietnamese War
Falklands War
South African Border War
United States invasion of Panama
Gulf War
Somali Civil War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Production history
Designed 1918[1]
Manufacturer Current: General Dynamics, Fabrique Nationale, US Ordnance, and Manroy Engineering

Former: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Company, High Standard Company, Savage Arms Corporation, Buffalo Arms Corporation, General Motors Corporation (Frigidaire, AC Spark Plug, Saginaw Steering, and Brown-Lipe-Chappin Divisions), Kelsey Hayes Wheel Company, Springfield Armory, Wayne Pump Company, ERMCO, and Ramo Manufacturing

Produced 1933–present (M2HB)
Specifications
Weight 38 kg (83.78 lb), 58 kg (127.87 lb) with tripod and T&E
Length 1,650 mm (65 in)
Barrel length 1,143 mm (45.0 in)

Cartridge .50 BMG
Action Short recoil-operated
Rate of fire 450-575 rounds/min (M2HB)
750–850 rounds/min (AN/M2)
1,200 rounds/min (AN/M3)
Muzzle velocity 2,910 feet per second (M33 Ball) (887.1 m/s)
Feed system Belt-fed (M2 or M9 links)

The M2 Machine Gun, Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun, or "Ma Deuce" is a heavy machine gun designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning. The M2 uses the .50 BMG cartridge, and is the source of its name (BMG standing for Browning Machine Gun). The M2 was nicknamed Ma Deuce by U.S. Military personnel or simply called "fifty-cal." in reference to its caliber. The design has had many specific designations; the official designation for the current infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly-armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications, and low-flying aircraft.

The Browning .50 caliber machine gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States from the 1920s to the present day. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, as well as during operations in Iraq in the 1990s and 2000s. It is the primary heavy machine gun of NATO countries, and has been used by many other countries as well. It is still in use today, with only a few modern improvements. With the exception of the M1911, the M2 has been in use longer than any other small arm in U.S. inventory. It was very similar in design to the smaller M1919 Browning machine gun. The M2 is currently manufactured by General Dynamics and Fabrique Nationale (FN) for the United States government. FN has been the manufacturer since John Browning worked for them in the 1910s and '20s to develop the machine gun.[2]

Contents

History

A variant without a water jacket, but with a thicker-walled, air-cooled barrel superseded the M2 (air-cooled barrels had already been used on variants for use on aircraft, but these quickly overheated in ground use). This new variant was then designated the M2 HB (HB for Heavy Barrel). The added mass and surface area of the new barrel compensated, somewhat, for the loss of water-cooling, while reducing bulk and weight (the M2 weighed 121 lb (55 kg), with water, whereas the M2 HB weighs 84 lb). Due to the long procedure for changing the barrel, an improved system was developed called QCB (quick change barrel). A lightweight version, weighing a mere 60 lb (27 kg) was also developed.[3]

Design details

The Browning M2 is an air-cooled, belt-fed machine gun. The M2 fires from a closed bolt, operated on the short recoil principle. The M2 fires the .50 BMG cartridge, which offers long range accuracy and good stopping power.

The M2 is a scaled-up version of John Browning's M1917 .30 caliber machine gun (even using the same timing gauges).

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Features

The M2 has varying cyclic rates of fire, depending upon the model. The M2HB (heavy barrel) air-cooled ground gun has a cyclic rate of 450-575 rounds per minute.[4] The early M2 water-cooled AA guns had a cyclic rate of around 450-600 rpm.[5] The AN/M2 aircraft gun has a cyclic rate of 750-850 rpm; this increases to 1,200 rpm or more for AN/M3 aircraft guns fitted with electric or mechanical feed boost mechanisms.[6] These maximum rates of fire are generally not achieved in use, as sustained fire at that rate will wear out the bore within a few thousand rounds, necessitating replacement. The M2HB's sustained rate of fire is considered to be anything less than 400 rounds per minute.

Twin M2HB .50 caliber machine gun during a Pre-aimed Calibration Fire (PACFIRE) exercise.

The M2 has a maximum range of 7.4 kilometers (4.55 miles), with a maximum effective range of 1.8 kilometers (1.2 miles) when fired from the M3 tripod. In its ground-portable, crew-served role as the M2HB, the gun itself weighs in at a hefty 84 pounds (38 kg), and the assembled M3 tripod another 44 pounds (20 kg). In this configuration, the V-shaped "butterfly" trigger is located at the very rear of the weapon, with a "spade handle" hand-grip on either side of it and the bolt release the center. The spade handles are gripped and the butterfly trigger is depressed with one or both thumbs. Recently new rear buffer assemblies have used squeeze triggers mounted to the hand grips, doing away with the butterfly triggers.

When the bolt release is locked down by the bolt latch release lock on the buffer tube sleeve, the gun functions in fully automatic mode. Conversely, the bolt release can be unlocked into the up position resulting in single-shot firing (the gunner must press the bolt latch release to send the bolt forward). Unlike virtually all other modern machine guns, it has no safety (although a sliding safety switch has recently been fielded to USMC armorers for installation on their weapons). Troops in the field have been known to add an improvised safety measure against accidental firing by slipping an expended shell casing under the butterfly trigger.[7]

Because the M2 was intentionally designed to be fit into many configurations, it can be adapted to feed from the left or right side of the weapon by exchanging the belt-holding pawls, and the front and rear cartridge stops (3-piece set to include link stripper), then reversing the bolt switch. You must also convert the top-cover belt feed slide assembly from left to right hand feed as well as the spring and plunger in the feed arm. This will take a well trained individual less that 2 minutes to perform.

The charging assembly may be changed from left to right hand charge. A right hand charging handle spring, lock wire and a little know how are all that are required to accomplish this. The weapon can be battle ready and easily interchanged if the weapon is fitted with a retracting slide assembly on both sides of the weapon system to eliminate the need to have the weapon taken in to accomplish this task.

Ammunition

There are several different types of ammunition used in the M2HB and AN aircraft guns. From World War II through the Vietnam War, the big Browning was used with standard ball, armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) rounds. All .50 ammunition designated "armor-piercing" was required to completely perforate 0.875" (22.2 mm) of hardened steel armor plate at a distance of 100 yards (91 m), and 0.75" (19 mm) at 547 yards (500 m).[8] The API and APIT rounds left a flash, report, and smoke on contact, useful in detecting strikes on enemy targets; they were primarily intended to incapacitate thin-skinned and lightly armored vehicles and aircraft, while igniting their fuel tanks.[9]

Current ammunition types include: M33 Ball (706.7 grain) for personnel and light material targets, M17 tracer, M8 API (622.5 grain), M20 API-T (619 grain), and M962 SLAP-T. The latter ammunition along with the M903 SLAP (Saboted Light Armor Penetrator) round can perforate 1.34 in (34 mm) of HHA (high hard armor, or face-hardened steel plate) at 500 meters, 0.91 in (23 mm) at 1,200 meters, and 0.75 in (19 mm) at 1,500 meters. This is achieved by using a .30 inch diameter tungsten penetrator. The SLAP-T adds a tracer charge to the base of the ammunition. This ammunition was type classified in 1993.[10][11]

When firing blanks, a large blank-firing adapter (BFA) must be used to keep the gas pressure high enough to allow the action to cycle. The adapter is very distinctive, attaching to the muzzle with three rods extending back to the base. The BFA can often be seen on M2s during peacetime operations.

Deployment

An M2 fired from a rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
A U.S. Marine mans a .50 caliber machine gun as part of a security force during an exercise

The M2 .50 Browning machine gun has been used for various roles:

  • A medium infantry support weapon
  • As an anti-aircraft (AA) gun in some ships; up to six M2 guns could be mounted on the same turret.
  • As an anti-aircraft gun on the ground. The original water-cooled version of the M2 was used on a tall AA tripod or vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft weapon on a sturdy pedestal mount. In later variants, twin and quadruple M2HB Brownings were used, such as the M45 Quadmount used on the US M16 half-track carrier. Twin or quad-mount .50 M2 guns normally used alternating left-hand and right-hand feed.
  • Primary or secondary weapon on an armored fighting vehicle.
  • Primary or secondary weapon on a naval patrol boat.
  • Spotting for the primary weapon on some armored fighting vehicles.
  • Secondary weapon for anti-boat defense on large naval vessels (corvettes, frigates, destroyers, cruisers, etc).
  • Coaxial gun or independent mounting in some tanks.
  • Fixed-mounted primary armament in World War II-era U.S. aircraft such as the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, and the Korean-era U.S. F-86 Sabre.
  • Fixed or flexible-mounted defensive armament in World War II-era bombers such as the B-17 Flying Fortress, and B-24 Liberator.
  • A M2 modified to fire single shots and hold a scope was used by Carlos Hathcock as a sniper weapon during the Vietnam War, proving the .50 caliber round's usefulness as an effective anti-personnel/anti-material round. Carlos Hathcock used his modified M2 to create the record for the longest sniper kill, a record that stood until the current War in Afghanistan.

United States

At the outbreak of the Second World War the United States had versions of the M2 in service as fixed aircraft guns, anti-aircraft defensive guns (on aircraft, ships, or boats), infantry (tripod-mounted) guns, and as dual purpose anti-aircraft and anti-vehicular weapons on vehicles.[12][13]

A U.S. soldier in Normandy stands guard with the M2HB installed on a dual-purpose mounting.

The .50 AN/M2 light-barrel aircraft Browning was used in planes had a rate of fire of approximately 800 rounds per minute, and was used singly or in groups of up to eight guns for aircraft ranging from the P-47 Thunderbolt to the B-25 Mitchell bomber.

In the dual-purpose vehicle mount, the M2HB (heavy barrel) proved extremely effective in U.S. service: the Browning's .50 caliber AP and API rounds could easily penetrate the engine block or fuel tanks of a German Bf 109 fighter attacking at low altitude,[14] or perforate the hull plates and fuel tanks of a German half-track or light armored car.[8][15][16] While the dual-purpose mounting was undeniably useful, it did normally require the operator to stand when using the M2 in a ground role, exposing him to return fire.[17] Units in the field often modified the mountings on their vehicles, especially tanks and tank destroyers, to provide more operator protection in the anti-vehicular and anti-personnel role.[18] The weapon was particularly hated by the Germans, whose attacks against otherwise helpless stalled motor convoys were frequently broken up by .50 caliber machine gun fire.[19][20]

Besides vehicle-mounted weapons, the heavy weapons companies in a WWII Army infantry battalion or regiment were each issued one M2 Browning with tripod (ground) mount.[21] Mounted on a heavily-sandbagged tripod, the M2HB proved very useful in either a defensive role or to interdict or block road intersections from use by German infantry and motorized forces.[22] The hammering of a heavy Browning could usually be relied upon to put a German infantry company face-down in the dirt.[23] There are numerous instances of the M2 Browning being used against enemy personnel, particularly infantry assaults[24] or for interdiction or elimination of enemy artillery observers or snipers at distances too great for ordinary infantry weapons.[25][26][27]

A quadruple mount of four .50 M2HB guns with a single gunner situated behind an armored housing was used by U.S. AA battalions in either a towed trailer or mounted in a half-track carrier (M16 AA half-track). With 200 rounds per gun in a powered tracking mount, the guns proved very effective against low-flying aircraft. Towards the end of the war, as Luftwaffe attacks grew more infrequent, the quad .50 (nicknamed the Meat Chopper) was increasingly used in an anti-personnel role, similarly to the more powerful German 20mm Flakvierling. Snipers firing from trees were engaged by the quad gunner at trunk level - the weapon would cut down and destroy the entire tree, and the sniper with it.[23][28]

M16 .50 AA Quad aka the 'Meat Chopper'

The M2HB was not widely used in the Pacific campaign, due to several factors, including weight, the inherent nature of infantry jungle combat, and because road intersections were usually easily outflanked.[29] However, it was used by fast-moving motorized forces in the Philippines to destroy Japanese blocking units on the advance to Manila.[22] The quad mount .50 was also used to destroy Japanese emplacements.[28]

The M2HB saw service in both Korea and Vietnam. In 2003, during the Iraq War, U.S. Army SFC Paul Ray Smith used his M2HB mounted on an M113 armored personnel carrier to kill twenty to fifty enemy who were attacking a U.S. Army outpost, saving an aid station from being overrun and allowing wounded soldiers to be evacuated,[30] SFC Smith gave his life to save his fellow soldiers and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Commonwealth forces

Commonwealth use of the M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun (known as the .5 Browning in British and Commonwealth service) was limited in the Second World War, though from 1942 it was standard armament on US-built AFVs provided under lend-lease such as the M4 Sherman, M7 Priest, M8 Greyhound, or M10 Wolverine variously used by British, Canadian, Australian, South African and New Zealand units. Nevertheless, the heavy Browning's effectiveness was praised by many British and Commonwealth soldiers in infantry, armored, and ordnance branches.[31][32] Many commanders thought the .50 Browning the best weapon in its class, certainly the best of the American weapons, including the M1 Garand and carbine.[32][33] In North Africa, after Commonwealth units began to obtain sufficient parts, manuals, gauges, and ammunition for the new weapon, the .50 Browning was increasingly used, eventually replacing the 15 mm Besa,[32] but in Italy was often deleted from top turret mountings because the mount exposed the operator to low branches and enemy fire.[34] Some SAS units used the aircraft (AN/M2) version of the gun, while turret-mounted .5 Brownings were used later in the war in such aircraft as the Lancaster bomber.

After the Second World War, the .50 Browning continued to see action in Korea and other theaters, in aircraft, tripod (ground), ground AA (hip-ring), and vehicle mounts. One of its most notable actions in a ground role was in a fierce battle with a nine-man SAS team at the Battle of Mirbat in Oman in July 1972, where the heavy Browning and its API ammunition was used to help repulse an assault by 250 Yemeni Adoo guerrillas, though the more famous weapon from the battle is a 25 pounder gun.[35]

.50 caliber Brownings were installed along with a .30 caliber in the compact one-man turrets on M113 APCs used by the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in South Vietnam.

M2 as a sniper rifle

The M2 machine gun has also been used as a long-range sniper rifle, when equipped with a telescopic sight. Soldiers during the Korean War used scoped M2s in the role of a sniper rifle, but the practice was most notably used by US Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock during the Vietnam War. Using an Unertl telescopic sight and a mounting bracket of his own design, Hathcock could quickly convert the M2 into a sniper rifle, using the traversing-and-elevating (T & E) mechanism attached to the tripod to assist in aiming at stationary targets. When firing semi-automatically, Hathcock accurately hit man-size targets beyond 2000 yards—twice the range of a standard-caliber sniper rifle of the time (a .30-06 Winchester Model 70). In fact, Hathcock set the record for the longest confirmed kill at 2,250 m (2,460 yd), a record which stood until 2002.[36][37]

Variants and derivatives

M2 variants

An M2HB in the French Foreign Legion's 2nd Infantry Regiment during an exercise
An M2HB

The basic M2 was deployed in US service in a number of subvariants, all with separate complete designations as per the US Army system. The basic designation as mentioned in the introduction is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, with others as described below.

The development of the M1921 water-cooled machine gun which led to the M2, meant that the initial M2s were in fact water-cooled. These weapons were designated Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, Water-Cooled, Flexible. There was no fixed water-cooled version.

Improved air-cooled heavy barrel versions came in three subtypes. The basic infantry model, Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible, a fixed developed for use on the M6 Heavy Tank designated Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Fixed, and a "turret type" whereby "Flexible" M2s were modified slightly for use in tank turrets. The subvariant designation Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Turret was only used for manufacturing, supply, and administration identification and separation from flexible M2s.

A number of additional subvariants were developed after the end of the Second World War. The Caliber .50 Machine Gun, Browning, M2, Heavy Barrel, M48 Turret Type was developed for the commander's cupola on the M48 Patton tank. The cupola mount on the M48-A3 was thoroughly disliked by most tankers, as it proved unreliable in service.[38] A cupola-mounted M2 was later adopted for the commander's position on the M1 Abrams tanks. Three subvariants were also developed for use by the US Navy on a variety of ships and watercraft. These included the Caliber .50 Machine Gun, Browning, M2, Heavy Barrel, Soft Mount (Navy) and the Caliber .50 Machine Gun, Browning, M2, Heavy Barrel, Fixed Type (Navy). The fixed types fire from a solenoid trigger and come in left or right hand feed variants for use on the Mk 56 Mod 0 dual mount and other mounts.

M2 E-50 (M2E50)

A long overdue upgrade program for existing infantry M2HBs and other M2s currently in U.S. Army service, the E50 provides a: Quick Change Barrel (QCB) capability, a rail accessory mount, an improved flash hider and a manual safety.

The E50 designation initially appeared to be within the bounds of the normal U.S. Army designation system. However, it later turned out that the term was in fact a developmental project that stands for Enhanced 50, as in enhanced .50 caliber machine gun. Developed primarily as a conversion kit for existing weapons, it is likely that new production machine guns will be built to this standard. In later U.S. Army briefings, this variant has been referenced as the M2E2 or M2A1.

Aircraft guns

AN/M2 and AN/M3

U.S. Marines man pintle-mounted M2HB machine guns

The M2 machine gun was widely used during World War II and in later postwar conflicts as a remote or flexible aircraft gun. For fixed (offensive) or flexible (defensive) guns used in aircraft, a dedicated M2 version was developed called the .50 Browning AN/M2. The AN/M2 had a cyclic rate of 750–850 rounds per minute, with the ability to be fired from a electrically-operated remote-mount solenoid trigger when installed as a fixed gun. Cooled by the aircraft's slip-stream, the air-cooled AN/M2 was fitted with a substantially lighter barrel, which also had the effect of increasing the rate of fire. The official designation for this weapon was Browning Machine Gun, Aircraft, Cal. .50, AN/M2 (Fixed) or (Flexible). During World War II, a faster-firing .50-inch aircraft Browning was developed, the AN/M3, using a mechanical or electrically-boosted feed mechanism to increase the rate of fire to around 1,200 rounds per minute. The AN/M3 was widely used in Korea on such planes as the F-86 Sabre and in Vietnam in the XM14/SUU-12/A gun pod, and currently in the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano.

The XM296/M296 is a further development of the AN/M2 machine gun for remote firing applications, and is currently only used in an armament system for the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter. The M296 differs from previous remote firing variants in that it has adjustable maximum firing rate (500–850 rpm), while lacking a bolt latch (allowing single-shot operation).[39] As an air-cooled aircraft gun used aboard a relatively slow rotary-wing aircraft, the M296 has a burst restriction rate of 50 rounds per minute; combat firing which exceeds this limit mandates a ten-minute cooling period to avoid malfunctions due to overheating.[40]

M2 machine gun demonstration for George W. Bush in 2002

XM213/M213, XM218, GAU-15/A, GAU-16/A, and GAU-18/A

The XM213/M213 was a modernization and adaptation of existing .50 caliber AN/M2s in inventory for use as a pintle mounted door gun on helicopters using the M59 armament subsystem.

The GAU-15/A, formerly identified as the XM218, is a lightweight member of the M2/M3 family. The GAU-16/A was an improved GAU-15/A with modified grip and sight assemblies for similar applications. Both of these weapons were used as a part of the A/A49E-11 armament subsystem (also known as the Defensive Armament System).

The GAU-18/A, is a lightweight variant of the M2/M3, and is used on the USAF's MH-53 Pave Low and HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters. These weapons do not use the heavy barrel, and are typically set up as left-hand feed, right-hand charging weapons, but on the HH-60 Pavehawks that use the EGMS (External Gun Mount System) all weapons are set up as right hand charge but vary between left and right hand feed depending on what side of the aircraft it is on. In this configuration the gun is fitted with a chute adapter attached to its left hand feed pawl bracket. Thus, the weapon can receive ammunition through a feed chute system connected to internally-mounted or externally-mounted ammunition cans. Originally designed to accommodate 1,700 rounds, these cans have since been modified due to space constraints, and now hold about half that amount with the external cans of the EGMS system holding 600 rounds each. However, many aerial gunners find the chute system cumbersome, and opt to install a bracket accommodating the 100-round cans instead. The GAU-18/A began to be supplanted by the GAU-21/A in 2006.

GAU-21/A and M3P

The FN produced M3 series is also in U.S. military service in two versions. The fixed remote firing version, the FN M3P, is used by the U.S. Army on the Avenger Air Defense System. The M3M flexible machine gun has been adopted by the USAF and the USN under the designation GAU-21/A for use on helicopters.

The M3P is currently being used to upgrade the US Army's OH-58D; replacing the M2 and XM296 .50 cal. machine guns for the aircraft.[41]

Users

The M2 family has been widely used abroad, primarily in its basic infantry configuration. A brief listing of designations for M2 family weapons follows:

Country NATO Member Designation Description
Afghanistan Afghanistan No M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning Heavy Machine Gun
Argentina Argentina No M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Australia Australia No M2HB-QCB[42]
Austria Austria No üsMG M2 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Belgium Belgium Yes FN M2HB-QCB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun, used as infantry weapon, IFV mounted gun and as tank's AA gun
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina No
Brazil Brazil No Mtr .50 M2 HB "BROWNING" 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Bulgaria Bulgaria Yes Mtr .50 M2HB "BROWNING" 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Cambodia Cambodia No M2, M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Canada Canada Yes FN M2HB-QCB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Chile Chile No FN M2HB-QCB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
ColombiaColombia No
Croatia Croatia Yes
CyprusCyprus No
Denmark Denmark Yes M/50 TMG 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
? 12.7 x 99 mm FNH M3M machine gun[43]
Egypt Egypt No Known as "DOBSH" 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun, used as Crew served infantry weapon, on M113, on YPR-765IFV, on some HMMWV and as tank's Commander's/AA gun
El Salvador El Salvador No
Estonia Estonia Yes M2HB QCB
Finland Finland No Known as 12,7 RSKK 2005 or 12,7 ITKK M2 and only operated on Patria AMV vehicles.
France France Yes MIT-12,7, MIT-12,7 CRC (QCB) 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB or FN QCB
Germany Germany Yes MG50-1, M3M 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB or M3M machine gun
Greece Greece Yes
India India No M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun in limited quantities
Iran Iran[44] No
Iraq Iraq No
Israel Israel No מק"כ ("MAKACH") 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun, used as infantry weapon, on M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, Nammer IFV, on some HMMWV, on tank as external coaxial gun and on patrol boats of Israeli Navy
Republic of Ireland Ireland No Infantry Support, HMG & Air Defence.
Italy Italy Yes Browning M2 12.7 mm 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Japan Japan No 12.7 mm重機関銃M2 (Licensed by Sumitomo Heavy Industries) 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun, used as IFV mounted gun and as tank's coaxial gun
Lithuania Lithuania Yes M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun in limited quantities
Lebanon Lebanon No Mounted on MUTT and M-113 vehicles, including some MBT's. Also used by infantry.
Malaysia Malaysia No 50.5 mm M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Malta Malta No M2 Browning .50 HMG
Mexico Mexico No M-2 HB,
M-2 E-50 Licence produced by SEDENA
12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB Machine gun mounted on military vehicles
Netherlands The Netherlands Yes MIT-12,7, MIT-12,7 CRC (QCB) 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB or FN QCB
New Zealand New Zealand No M2HB 0.50 cal heavy machine gun
Norway Norway Yes 12,7 Mitraliøse 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Philippines The Philippines No M2HB 0.50 cal heavy machine gun
Poland Poland Yes M2HB-QCB Used by Polish special forces
Portugal Portugal Yes Metralhadora 12,7 mm Browning m/55 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Romania Romania Yes M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Serbia Serbia No Teški mitraljez M2 Used alongside M87 heavy machine gun.
Singapore Singapore No 12.7 mm M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun (replaced by the newer CIS 50MG firing the same cartridges of the M2HB).
South Africa South Africa No M2HB (Licensed by ARAM (Pty) Ltd) 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
South Korea South Korea No K6 modified 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB QCB machine gun (manufactured by S&T Dynamics)
Spain Spain Yes Ametralladora Pesada M-2 HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Slovenia Slovenian Army Yes FN M2HB-QCB 12.7 × 99mm M2HB machine gun; used by infantry and mounted on vehicles
Sweden Sweden No Tksp 12,7 (Licensed by Bofors) 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Switzerland Switzerland No Mg 64 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2 HB machine gun
Republic of China Republic Of China (Taiwan) No Browning Caliber .50 M2, M2HB
FN M2HB-QCB
T90
Thailand Thailand No ปืนกล 93 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
Turkey Turkey Yes Browning 12.7 mm M2, M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2 HB machine gun
United Kingdom United Kingdom Yes L2A1 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun
L6, L6A1 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2 HB machine gun; ranging gun for the L7 105 mm tank gun on the Centurion tank
L11, L11A1 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun; ranging gun
L21A1 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine gun; ranging gun for the 120 mm tank gun on the Chieftain tank
L111A1[45])
United States United States Yes Browning Caliber .50 M2, M2HB Browning Caliber .50 M2 Heavy Barrel machine gun
Uruguay Uruguay No Browning Caliber .50 M2, M2HB
Vietnam Vietnam No M2, M2HB 12.7 × 99 mm Browning M2HB machine guns captured from the French, captured from American forces and taken over from the Army of the Republic of Vietnam after the Vietnam War, supplied by the Soviet Union from left-over Soviet lend-lease stockpiles itself supplied by the US to the Soviet Union during WWII and supplied from various other routes and means.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun
  2. ^ M2HB-QCB product information, FN Herstal, http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=249&backPID=306&productID=61&pid_product=233&pidList=306&categorySelector=2&detail=, retrieved 2009-11-26 
  3. ^ "Skylighters, The Web Site of the 225th AAA Searchlight Battalion: AAA Weapons in Focus - The M2 .50-Caliber Machine Gun". Skylighters.org. http://www.skylighters.org/history/mgs/. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  4. ^ Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), pp. 310-311: the official rate during WWII was 450-575 rpm, but it was extremely rare to encounter a M2HB that exceeded 550 rpm.
  5. ^ DiGiulian, Tony, USA 0.50"/90 (12.7 mm) M2 Browning Machine Gun (2007) Article
  6. ^ Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), pp. 310-311
  7. ^ Crew Served Weapons lesson plan
  8. ^ a b Barnes, Frank C., Cartridges of the World, U.S. Army .50 BMG Cartridge Specifications, DBI Books (1989), ISBN 0873490339, p.432
  9. ^ Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), pp. 311-312
  10. ^ M903 Caliber .50 Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP), M962 Saboted Light Armor, GlobalSecurity.org
  11. ^ Caliber .50 Cartridges, GlobalSecurity.org
  12. ^ Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), p. 225
  13. ^ George, John B., Shots Fired In Anger, NRA Press (1981), p. 404: By World War II, the M2HB had been designated as a dual-purpose anti-aircraft and anti-vehicular weapon for motorized, armored, and infantry divisions; the designation "anti-vehicular" included thin-skinned and lightly armored vehicles, as it was already recognized by 1940 that the .50 M2 AP round would not be useful against modern medium or heavy tanks.
  14. ^ Bird, James, Recollections of James R. Bird, A Battery, 160th F.A., 45th Inf. Div., Article
  15. ^ Green, Michael, and Green, Gladys, Weapons of Patton's Armies, Zenith Imprint Press (2000), ISBN 0760308217, 9780760308219, p. 34
  16. ^ Bishop, Chris, The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. (2002), ISBN 1586637622, 9781586637620, p. 86
  17. ^ Green, Michael, and Green, Gladys, Weapons of Patton's Armies, Zenith Imprint Press (2000), ISBN 0760308217, 9780760308219, pp. 32-34
  18. ^ Yeide, 2004. p. 185
  19. ^ Burgett, Donald, Seven Roads To Hell, Dell Publishing (1999), ISBN 0440236274, p. 129
  20. ^ Jarymowycz, Roman J., Tank Tactics: From Normandy to Lorraine, Lynne Rienner Publishers (2001), ISBN 1555879500, 9781555879501, p. 212
  21. ^ Rush, Robert S., GI: The US Infantryman in World War II, Osprey Publishing Ltd. (2003), ISBN 1841767395, p. 33
  22. ^ a b Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), pp. 225, 311-312
  23. ^ a b Henry, Mark R., The US Army in World War II (2): The Mediterranean, Osprey Publishing (2000), ISBN 1841760854, 9781841760858, p. 20
  24. ^ Abramski, Anthony V. (Pfc.), Eyewitness Account of Pfc. Anthony V. Abramski, Citation In Support Of Congressional Medal of Honor Award to 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy at Holtzwihr, France, 26 January 1945
  25. ^ Wolfe, Clarence B., I Kept My Word, AuthorHouse Press (2006), ISBN 1425969518, 9781425969516, p. 68
  26. ^ The United States Army in World War II, Ch. XXI: Artillery & Armored Units in the ETO, Washington, D.C.: Historical Division, U.S. Army (1993), p. 645
  27. ^ Jarymowycz, Roman J., Tank Tactics: From Normandy to Lorraine, Lynne Rienner Publishers (2001), ISBN 1555879500, 9781555879501, p. 212: The M2HB fitted to tanks and M3 half-tracks was frequently employed against German rearguard forces including snipers and anti-tank teams, often firing into locations merely suspected of hiding such forces (so-called speculative fire).
  28. ^ a b AAA Weapons of the U.S. Army, Part I: The "Quad 50" Machine Gun Mount, 225th AAA Searchlight Battalion (Skylighters) Article
  29. ^ George, John B., Shots Fired In Anger, NRA Press (1981), p. 404
  30. ^ Schmitt, Eric, Medal of Honor to Be Awarded to Soldier Killed in Iraq, a First, New York Times, 30 March 2005
  31. ^ Shore, C. (Capt.), With British Snipers to the Reich, Boulder: Lancer Militaria, p. 197-198
  32. ^ a b c Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), p. 35, 145
  33. ^ Shore, C. (Capt.), With British Snipers to the Reich, Boulder: Lancer Militaria, p. 197-198: They especially liked the "hell's brew" of AP, API, and APIT ammunition.
  34. ^ Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), p. 153: The New Zealand and South African divisions in particular loved the big Browning, and were frequently encountered trading for spare parts and gauges.
  35. ^ Kennedy, Michael Paul, Soldier I: SAS, London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1990), ISBN 0747507503
  36. ^ "Sniper Rifles". GlobalSecurity. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/sniper.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-24. "When a 24-year old Marine sharpshooter named Carlos Norman Hathcock II chalked up the farthest recorded kill in the history of sniping—2,500 yards (1.42 miles, a distance greater than 22 football fields) in February 1967, he fired a Browning M2 .50 Cal. Machine Gun." 
  37. ^ Sgt. Grit (2006). "Marine Corps Sniper Carlos N. Hathcock II". http://www.grunt.com/scuttlebutt/corps-stories/heroes/carloshathcock.asp. Retrieved 2008-03-24. "Viet Cong shot dead by a round fired from a scope-mounted Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine gun at the unbelievable range of 2,500 yards (2,300 m)." 
  38. ^ Zumbro, Ralph, Tank Sergeant, Presidio Press (1986), p. 92
  39. ^ M296 .50 cal. (12.7 mm) Machine Gun Article
  40. ^ M296 .50 cal. (12.7 mm) Machine Gun
  41. ^ 6-6 Cavalry aircrews field new Kiowa Warrior weapons system. US Army.
  42. ^ "Light Calibre Weapons". Adi-limited.com. http://www.adi-limited.com/default.asp?page=141. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  43. ^ Combat Support Wing (december 2007). "Eskadrille 615 støtter Søværnet [Squadron 615 aids the Navy]" (in Danish). Mjølner: 5. http://forsvaret.dk/CSW/Mjoelner/Documents/Mjoelner%20december%202007.pdf. 
  44. ^ Jones, Richard (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009-2010. Jane's Information Group. pp. 897. ISBN 0710628692. 
  45. ^ "Manroy Website". Manroy.co.uk. http://manroy.co.uk/manroy/. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 

References

  • Dunlap, Roy F. (1948). Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press, OCLC 6081851
  • George, John B. (1981). Shots Fired In Anger, NRA Press, ISBN 093599842X
  • Gresham, John D. (December 2001). “Weapons”. Military Heritage. Volume 3, No. 3: 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 (John Browning’s (M2) .50-caliber).
  • Hogg, Ian. (2001). The American Arsenal. Ian Hogg, ed. London, UK: Greenhill Books, ISBN 9781853674709
  • MCWP 3-15.1: Machine Guns and Machine Gun Gunnery USMC (requires client certificate). Alternative via scribd
  • Yeide, Harry. (2004). The Tank Killers. Havertown, Penn.: Casemate, ISBN 9781932033267
  • Zaloga, Steven J. (2002). M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car 1941–91. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, ISBN 9781841764689

External links

Records
Preceded by
'
Longest confirmed combat sniper-shot kill
1967–2002
1.42 mi (2,286 m)
using .50 BMG by Carlos Hathcock
Succeeded by
Canadian Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW) .50

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