M2 Browning

The M2 machine gun or Browning .50 caliber machine gun (informally, "Ma Deuce"[10][11]) is a heavy machine gun that was designed near the end of World War I by John Browning. While similar to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge, the M2 uses Browning's larger and more powerful .50 BMG (12.7 mm) cartridge. The design has had many designations; the official U.S. military 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.

Browning machine gun, cal. .50, M2, HB
M2E2 with a quick change barrel and tripod
TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1933–present
Used bySee Users
WarsWorld War II
Indonesian National Revolution
Korean War
First Indochina War
Suez Crisis
Vietnam War
Colombian Armed Conflict
Dominican Civil War[1]
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
Falklands War
Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Just Cause
Persian Gulf War
Rwandan Civil War[2]
Somali Civil War
Yugoslav Wars
Operation Uphold Democracy
War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)[3]
Iraq War
Syrian Civil War (2011–present)
War in Iraq (2013–2017)[4]
Yemeni Civil War (2014–present)
Russo-Ukrainian War[5]
Production history
DesignerJohn M. Browning
Produced1921–present (M2HB/M2A1)
No. built3 million[6]
  • 38 kg (84 lb)
    28 kg (62 lb) (AN/M2)
  • 58 kg (128 lb) with tripod and traverse and elevation mechanism (T&E)
Length1,654 mm (65.1 in)
1,429 mm (56.3 in) (AN/M2)
Barrel length1,143 mm (45.0 in)
910 mm (35.8 in) (AN/M2)

Cartridge.50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
ActionShort recoil-operated
Rate of fire
  • 450–600 rounds/min (M2HB)[7][8]
  • 750–850 rounds/min (AN/M2)
  • 1,200–1,300 rounds/min (AN/M3)[9]
Muzzle velocity2,910 ft/s (890 m/s) for M33 ball
Effective firing range1,800 m (2,000 yd)[7]
Maximum firing range7,400 m (8,100 yd)
Feed systemBelt-fed (M2 or M9 links)

The gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States since the 1930s. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Soviet–Afghan War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan. It is the primary heavy machine gun of NATO countries and has been used by many other countries as well. U.S. forces have used the M2 longer than any other firearm except the .45 ACP M1911 pistol, which was also designed by John Browning.

The current M2HB (heavy barrel) is manufactured in the U.S. by General Dynamics[12] Ohio Ordnance Works,[13] and U.S. Ordnance[14] for sale to the U.S. government and to allies via Foreign Military Sales. Foreign manufacturers such as FN Herstal produce it under licence.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article M2 Browning, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.