|Gun, Machine, Caliber .30, Browning, M1919|
|Type|| Medium machine gun |
General-purpose machine gun (M1919A6)
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See users|
|Wars|| Banana Wars |
World War II
Indonesian National Revolution
First Indochina War
Bay of Pigs Invasion
Rhodesian Bush War
The Troubles in Northern Ireland
Nigerian Civil War
Somali Civil War
Laotian Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
First Libyan Civil War
Second Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
|Designer||John M. Browning|
|Manufacturer||Buffalo Arms Corporation |
Rock Island Arsenal
Saginaw Steering Gear division of General Motors
|Variants||A1; A2; A3; A4; A5; A6; M37 and AN/M2|
|Mass||31 lb (14 kg) (M1919A4)|
|Barrel length||24 in (610 mm)|
|Rate of fire||400–600 round/min (1200–1500 for AN/M2 variant)|
|Muzzle velocity||2,800 ft/s (850 m/s)|
|Effective firing range||1,500 yd (1,400 m) (maximum effective range)|
|Feed system||250-round belt|
The M1919 Browning is a .30 caliber medium machine gun that was widely used during the 20th century, especially during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The M1919 saw service as a light infantry, coaxial, mounted, aircraft, and anti-aircraft machine gun by the U.S. and many other countries. Many M1919s were rechambered for the new 7.62×51mm NATO round and remain in service to this day.
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge, 7.62×63mm in metric notation and called ".30 Gov't '06" by Winchester, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized; it remained in use until the early 1980s. The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet in inches. The "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted—1906. It replaced the .30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and .30-40 Krag cartridges. The .30-06 remained the U.S. Army's primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO and 5.56×45mm NATO, both of which remain in current U.S. and NATO service. It remains a very popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers.
A medium machine gun (MMG), in modern terms, usually refers to a belt-fed automatic firearm firing a full-power rifle cartridge.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The M1919 was an air-cooled development of the standard US machine gun of World War I, the John M. Browning-designed water-cooled M1917. The emergence of general-purpose machine guns in the 1950s pushed the M1919 into secondary roles in many cases, especially after the arrival of the M60 in US Army service. The United States Navy also converted many to 7.62mm NATO, and designated them Mk 21 Mod 0; they were commonly used on river craft in the 1960s and 1970s in Vietnam. Many NATO countries also converted their examples to 7.62, and these remained in service well into the 1990s, as well as up to the present day in some countries.
John Moses Browning was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms – many of which are still in use around the world. He made his first firearm at age 13 in his father's gun shop, and was awarded the first of his 128 firearm patents on October 7, 1879, at the age of 24. He is regarded as one of the most successful firearms designers of the 19th and 20th centuries, and pioneered the development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms.
The M1917 Browning machine gun is a heavy machine gun used by the United States armed forces in World War I, World War II, Korea; it has also been used by other nations. It was a crew served, belt-fed, water-cooled machine gun that served alongside the much lighter air-cooled Browning M1919. It was used at the battalion level, and often mounted on vehicles. There were two main iterations: the M1917, which was used in World War I and the M1917A1, which was used thereafter. The M1917, which was used on some aircraft as well as in a ground role, had a cyclic rate of 450 rounds per minute. The M1917A1 had a cyclic rate of 450 to 600 rounds per minute.
A general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) is an air-cooled, fully automatic weapon that can be adapted to light machine gun and medium machine gun roles. A GPMG weapon will typically feature a quick-change barrel, configuration for mounting on bipods, tripods, and vehicles as infantry support weapons, and calibered to fire full-powered rifle cartridges such as the 7.62×51mm NATO, 7.62×54mmR, 7.5×54mm French, 7.5×55mm Swiss, and 7.92×57mm Mauser.
A similar conversion of the M1917 also produced the larger M2 Machine Gun, using the same basic operating principles and layout but firing the much more powerful .50 caliber (12.7mm) ammunition. The M1919 is distinguished by its smaller size and the use of a holed jacket around the barrel used on most versions.
The M2 Machine Gun or Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun designed toward the end of World War I by John Browning. Its design is similar to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. The M2 uses the much larger and much more powerful .50 BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself. It has been referred to as "Ma Deuce", in reference to its M2 nomenclature. 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 M1919 originally fired the .30 cal M1906 (30-06) ball cartridge, and later the .30 caliber M2 ball cartridge, contained in a woven cloth belt, feeding from left to right. A metal M1 link was later adopted, forming a "disintegrating" belt.
The M1 link, was the U.S. military designation for a steel disintegrating link designed for the M1917 Browning machine gun and M1919 Browning machine gun, and the .30-06 Springfield cartridge that they fired. A single round would hold two links together, and more could be added to make up a belt of any quantity of rounds, though for the mounted machine guns of the time, a belt of 250 rounds was most commonly used. As was the trend with American belt-fed firearms, as opposed to Soviet designs, belts of ammunition feed into the gun from the left side to the right.
Loading was accomplished by inserting the pull tab on the ammunition belt from the left side of the gun - either metal links or metal tab on cloth belts - until the belt-holding pawl at the entrance of the feed way grabbed the belt and held it in place. The cocking handle was then pulled back with the palm of the hand facing up, and then released. This advanced the first round of the belt in front of the bolt for the extractor/ejector on the bolt to grab the first cartridge. The cocking handle was pulled and released a second time. This removed the first cartridge from the belt, advanced the next round into position to be grabbed and moved the first round down into the chamber of the barrel ready for firing.
As the bolt went into battery, the extractor grabbed the next round on the belt that was advanced and was resting in the feedway waiting to be loaded. Every time the gun fired a single shot, the gun performed the sequence of extracting and ejecting the spent round as the bolt came rearward, loading the next round to be fired into the barrel, advancing the belt, grabbing the next round in preparation for loading, then chambering it as the bolt came forward again under tension from the spring. If the trigger was held down, the gun would continue to fire in full automatic, repeating the sequence over and over until stopped.
The gun's original design was as a water-cooled machine gun (see the M1917 Browning machine gun). When it was decided to try to lighten the gun and make it air-cooled, its design as a gun that fires from the closed bolt created a potentially dangerous situation. If the gun was very hot from prolonged firing, the cartridge ready to be fired could be resting in a red hot barrel, causing the propellant in the cartridge to heat up to the point that it would ignite on its own without warning. With each further shot heating the barrel even more as this happened, the gun would continue to fire and become uncontrollable until the ammunition ran out, since the trigger was not what was causing the gun to fire in this situation. This is known as a cook-off, and was the reason gunners were taught to cock the gun with the palm facing up, so that in the event of a cook-off, their thumb wouldn't be dislocated by the reciprocating charge handle. Gunners were trained to manage the barrel heat by firing in controlled bursts of three to five rounds, with a delay between bursts to delay its heating. Most other machine gun designs would be fired in the same way, even though most feature quick change barrels and fire from an open bolt, two features that make air-cooled machine guns capable of sustained fire, and features that the M1919 design lacked.
When the gun was ready to fire, a round would be in the chamber and the bolt and barrel group would be locked together, with the locking block at the rear of the bolt. When the rear of the trigger was pivoted upwards by the operator, the front of the trigger tipped downward, pulling the sear out of engagement with the spring-loaded firing pin, allowing it to move forward and strike the primer of the cartridge.
As the assembly of bolt, barrel and barrel extension recoiled to the rear of the gun upon firing, the locking block was drawn out of engagement by a cam in the bottom of the gun's receiver. The recoiling barrel extension struck the "accelerator" assembly, a half-moon shaped spring-loaded piece of metal pivoting from the receiver below the bolt and behind the barrel extension. The tips of the accelerator's two curving fingers engaged the bottom of the bolt and caused it to move rapidly to the rear. The extractor-ejector was a mechanism that pivoted over the front of the bolt, with a claw that gripped the base of the next round in the belt. A camming track in the left side of the receiver caused this to move down as the bolt moved back, lowering the next round down on top of the fired case, pushing it straight down out of the extraction grooves of the bolt face through the ejection port. A spring in the feed tray cover pushed the extractor-ejector down onto the next round, so if the feed tray cover was opened, the extractor-ejector would be pulled upwards if the belt needed to be removed.
The belt feed lever was connected to the belt feeding pawl at the front end, had a cam pin at the rear end which ran through a track in the top of the bolt, and a pin in the feed tray cover acted as the pivot between the two ends. The rearward movement of the bolt caused the rear end of the feed lever to pull to the right, causing the feeding pawl at the other end to move left over the belt. The pawl would pull the belt further to the right as the bolt came forward again, also sending the loose M1 link of the previous round to be taken out of the belt to fly out the right side of the receiver. A recoil buffer tube extended from the back of the receiver to make the cycle of the bolt smoother than previous designs, to absorb some of the recoil of the bolt, and formed a place for the pistol grip to be installed.
Except for the M1919A6, all other variants had to be mounted on a tripod or other type of mount to be used effectively. The tripod used by infantry allowed traverse and elevation. To aim the gun along its vertical axis, the adjustment screw needed to be operated. This allowed the gun to be pointed upwards or downwards, with free traverse to either side. The gun was aimed using iron sights, a small folding post at the front end of the receiver and a rear aperture sight on a sliding leaf with range graduations from 200 to 1,800 meters in 200 meter increments. When folded down, the aperture formed a notch that could be used to fire the gun immediately without flipping up the leaf. The rear sight also had windage adjustment with a dial on the right side.
As a company or battalion support weapon, the M1919 required at least a two-man machine gun team. But, in practice, four men were normally involved: the gunner (who fired the gun and when advancing carried the tripod and box of ammo), the assistant gunner (who helped feed the gun and carried it, and box of spare parts and tools), and two ammunition carriers.The original idea was to allow the gun to be more easily packed for transport, and featured a light barrel and bipod when first introduced as the M1919A1. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the gun was too heavy to be easily moved, while at the same time too light for sustained fire. This led to the M1919A2, which included a heavier barrel and tripod, and could be continuously fired for longer durations.
The M1919A4 weighed about 31 pounds (14 kg), and was ordinarily mounted on a lightweight, low-slung tripod for infantry use. Fixed vehicle mounts were also employed. It saw wide use in World War II mounted on jeeps, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and amphibious vehicles. The M1919A4 played a key role in the firepower of the World War II US Army. Each infantry company normally had a weapons platoon in addition to its other organic units. The presence of M1919A4 weapons in the weapons platoon gave company commanders additional automatic fire support at the company level, whether in the assault or on defense.
The A5 was an adaptation of the A4 with a forward mounting point to allow it to be mounted in tanks and armored cars. This, along with the M37 and the Browning M2 machine gun, was the most common secondary armament during World War II for the Allies.
Another version of the M1919A4, the M1919A6, was an attempt to make the weapon into a light machine gun by attaching a buttstock and lighter barrel—4 lb (1.8 kg) instead of 7 lb (3.2 kg). The A6 version was in fact heavier than the A4 without its tripod, at 32 lb (15 kg), though its bipod made for faster deployment and enabled the machine gun team to dispense with one man (the tripod bearer). The A6 version saw increasing service in the latter days of World War II and was used extensively in Korea. The A6 variant had a folding bipod mounted on the front of the gun, a sheet-metal buttstock, carrying handle, and a tapered barrel. While the modifications were intended to make the weapon more useful as a squad light machine gun, it was a stopgap solution, as the M1919A6 was heavier than the old Lewis gun of World War I, let alone the contemporary light machine guns of other nations.
The M1919A6 was an attempt to combine the portability and low profile of the M1918 BAR with the sustained firing capability of the M1919A4. The M1919A4 was given a lighter barrel, buttstock, pistol grip, carrying handle, flash suppressor, and bipod to achieve the conversion. Even though it was reliable, it proved impractical for combat. While the 31 lb M1919A4 had a crew of two or more to carry the gun and the 14 lb (6.4 kg) tripod, one M1919A6 gunner was expected to carry and deploy the 32.5 lb (14.7 kg) gun by himself.
During the Second World War, two additional variants of the M1919 were adopted by the US military. One version was the coaxial M37 variant, with the ability to feed from either the left or the right of the weapon. The M37 also featured an extended charging handle similar to those on the M1919A4E1 and A5. A trial variant fitted with special sighting equipment was designated M37F.
In the late 1950s, a M1919 designed for remote firing via a solenoid trigger was developed for use in the XM1/E1 armament subsystem was designated M37C. The US Navy later converted a number of M1919A4s to 7.62mm NATO chambering and designated them Mk 21 Mod 0; some of these weapons were employed in Vietnam in riverine warfare patrols.
From the 1960s until the 1990s, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used ground tripod and vehicle-mounted M1919A4 guns converted to 7.62 mm NATO on many of their armored vehicles and M3 personnel carriers. Israel developed a modified link for these guns due to feeding problems with the original US M1 link design. The improved Israeli link worked with .30 caliber, 7.62 mm NATO and 8×57 mm cartridges.
With assistance from firearms engineers at Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, caliber M2 AN (Army-Navy) aircraft machine gun. The .30 in M2 AN Browning was widely adopted as both a fixed (offensive) and flexible (defensive) weapon on aircraft. Aircraft machine guns required light weight, firepower, and reliability, and achieving all three goals proved a difficult challenge, with the mandate for a closed bolt firing cycle to enable the gun to be safely and properly synchronized for fixed-mount, forward-aimed guns firing through a spinning propeller, a necessity on many single-engined fighter aircraft designs through to nearly the end of World War II. The receiver walls and operating components of the M2 were made thinner and lighter, and with air cooling provided by the speed of the aircraft, designers were able to reduce the barrel's weight and profile. As a result, the M2 weighed two-thirds that of the 1919A4, and the lightened mechanism gave it a rate of fire approaching 1,200 rpm (some variants could achieve 1,500 rpm), a necessity for engaging fast-moving aircraft. The M2's feed mechanism had to lift its own loaded belt out of the ammunition box and feed it into the gun, equivalent to a weight of 11 lb (5 kg). In Ordnance circles, the .30 M2 AN Browning had the reputation of being the most difficult-to-repair weapon in the entire US small arms inventory.Belgium, the Model 1919 was completely re-engineered into the .30
The M2 also appeared in a twin-mount version which paired two M2 guns with opposing feed chutes in one unit for operation by a single gunner, with a combined rate of fire of 2,400 rpm. All of the various .30 M2 models saw service in the early stages of World War II, but were phased out beginning in 1943, as hand-trained rifle-calibre defensive machine guns became obsolete for air warfare (the .50 in/12.7 mm M2 Browning and 20 mm Hispano HS.404 automatic cannon had replaced the .30 in as offensive air armament as well). The .30 in M2 aircraft gun was widely distributed to other US allies during and after World War II, and in British and Commonwealth service saw limited use as a vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft or anti-personnel machine gun.
The same basic weapon was also chambered for the British .303 round, and was used as a basic fighter aircraft gun in fighters such as the Supermarine Spitfire until the widespread introduction of the larger caliber Hispano-Suiza HS.404 cannon, and throughout the war in bombers — British night fighters like the Mosquito and Beaufighter used quartets of .303 Brownings in the nose, with four 20mm Hispano cannon in ventral fuselage mounts.
Similar versions for a variety of European calibers were delivered by the Belgian gun maker FN (Fabrique Nationale), notably German-standard 7.92×57mm Mauser which was widely used in Eastern Europe; and by Swedish gun maker Carl Gustaf SGF in 6.5×55mm and 8×63mm calibers.
Argentina used Colt-manufactured guns chambered for the standard Argentine 7.65×53mm cartridge.
The .303 variant equipped the Hawker Hurricanes delivered to Soviet Air Forces, during the Great Patriotic War. Soviet airmen compared them to their own, rapid-firing (at up to 1,800 rounds/min) ShKAS machine gun in terms of reliability: "But they often failed due to dust," recalled pilot Nikolai G. Golodnikov. "We tackled the problem gluing percale on all the machine-gun holes, and when you opened fire, bullets went right through. The machine guns became reliable then. They were of low efficiency when fired from distances of 150-300m."
The M1919 was manufactured during World War II by three different companies in the United States; Buffalo Arms Corporation, Rock Island Arsenal, and the Saginaw Steering Gear division of General Motors. In the UK, production was chiefly by BSA. Originally unit priced at $667 each, mass production lowered the price to $141.44. [ citation needed ]
The original M1919 was designed for use with tanks.The water-cooled M1917 was inappropriate due to weight and the vulnerability of the water jacket. Browning modified the M1917 to be air-cooled by making changes that included dropping the water jacket and using a heavier barrel.
In total, there were six variants of the basic M1919 machine gun.
The M1919A1 featured a lighter barrel and a bipod. It was distinguished from the "M1919" because it also had sights, which the M1919 did not.
The M1919A2 was another lightweight development specifically for mounted cavalry units, utilizing a shorter 18-inch barrel and a special tripod, though it could be fitted to either the M1917 or M2 tripods. This weapon was designed to allow greater mobility to cavalry units over the existing M1917 machine gun. The M1919A2 was introduced in 1922, and was used for a short period between World War I and World War II after the cavalry had converted from horses to wheeled and tracked vehicles.
The M1919E1, commonly known as the M1919A3, was introduced in 1931 as an improved version of the M1919A2 for the infantry.
However, by and large the most common variant of the series was the M1919A4. Production blueprints of the new variant were complete in late 1936, and slow-scale production soon followed.The driving force behind the development of this variant was the suffering reliability of the 18-inch barrel of previous versions, which did not produce enough recoil to cycle the action reliably. The bull barrel was made much thicker and was lengthened to 24 inches like the M1917. Various other small adjustments to the design were made, such as moving the front sight from the barrel jacket to the receiver, which made it easier to mount the gun on vehicles. The design of the barrel jacket was changed to include circular holes instead of long slits of earlier models, and a recoil booster in the muzzle end improved reliability. The recoil buffer assembly was also a new addition to the design between A3 and A4 development, designed to reduce the impact of the bolt hitting the backplate.
The M1919A4 was used in both fixed and flexible mounts, by infantry and on vehicles. It was also widely exported after World War II and continues to be used in small numbers around the world. Two variants were developed specifically for vehicular use, the M1919A5, with an extended charging handle, and the M1919A4E1, a sub-variant of the M1919A4 refitted with an extended charging handle developed in the 1950s.
During the war it became clear to the US military that the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, while portable, was utterly insufficient as a sustained fire weapon due to its fixed barrel and 20-round magazine. The M1919A4 was faster and cheaper to produce, but did not have the portability of a rifle to be easily deployed by infantry. Realising that producing an entirely new replacement machine gun would take years, the military decided that a stop-gap solution would be best, to adapt an already existing design. The M1919A6 was an attempt at such a solution, to parallel the designs of the German MG 34 and MG 42 machine guns, each of which were portable for a squad weapon and were effective at sustained fire.
The M1919A6 first saw combat service in the fall of 1943. It had a metal buttstock assembly that clamped to the backplate of the gun, and a front barrel bearing that incorporated both a muzzle booster and a bipod similar to that used on the M1918 BAR rifle. A lighter barrel than that of the M1919A4 was fitted, and a carry handle was attached to the barrel jacket to make it easier to carry. Previous designs could change the barrel, but it required field stripping the gun - the pistol grip back plate, bolt group and the trigger group all had to be removed before the barrel could finally be replaced, and this put the gun out of action for minutes, and risked losing and damaging parts in the field. The M1919A6 muzzle device allowed the gun crew to replace the barrel from the front, an improvement, but still an awkward procedure compared to other machine guns of the day. The M1919A6 was a heavy (32 pounds (15 kg)) and awkward weapon in comparison with the MG34 (26 pounds (12 kg)) and MG42 (25 pounds (11 kg)) and was eventually replaced in US service by the M60 machine gun (23.15 pounds (10.50 kg)) in the 1960s.
The M1919A6 was used by Springfield Armory in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a testbed for an interim general-purpose machine gun. It was rechambered for the experimental T65 series cartridges, culminating in 1951 with the T66 machine gun chambered for the T65E3 cartridge (one of the forerunners to the 7.62mm NATO cartridge). It had a new barrel with a flash-hider attachment, a shorter action, and modified M1 disintegrating belt links to feed the new cartridge. It was deemed still too heavy for field use and was not adopted.
A specific aircraft version of the .30 caliber Model 1919A4 was manufactured by Browning as the .30 AN/M2. It had a thinner barrel and receiver walls to keep down weight. Compared to the M1919A4, the AN/M2 had a substantially higher rate of fire (1,200 to 1,500 rounds per minute). It was used on US aircraft early in World War II, but the lighter .30-caliber weapon was increasingly relegated to training duties as the war progressed. A derivative of this weapon was built by Colt as the civilian market MG40.
It was later replaced by the larger caliber — and is not to be confused with — the Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, Aircraft, with the smaller-calibre ordance bearing the official designation of "Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .30, M2, Aircraft." The .50 AN/M2 "light barrel" version, used in the majority of fixed and flexible/turreted mounts on U.S. World War II-era aircraft as the war progressed, lacked the massive "cooling collar" of the heavy barrel M2HB version, which is still in service with the ground forces of the U.S. military in the 21st century.
The AN/M2 was responsible for seriously wounding "one of the best Japanese fighter pilots of the war" and flying ace Saburō Sakai when he attacked eight SBD Dauntlesses from behind mistaking them for F4F Wildcat fighters.
The AN/M2 was subject to field modifications by marines in the Pacific Theater during World War II and used on the ground as a light machine gun. These were salvaged from crashed and disabled aircraft and fitted with a bipod (spade grips still attached). Later more extensive modifications led to six being fitted with a custom trigger, M1 carbine buttstock, BAR bipod, and BAR rear sights to allow for use without a tripod or other mount.The resulting weapon was a belt-fed, 40 inch long, 25 lb. gun and fired three times as fast as the M1919A6's of the day. The Stinger was recommended as a replacement for the BAR in squads however the war ended just six months later.
A famous example of their use was a personally modified weapon of this type, used by Marine Corporal Tony Stein during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Stein would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. It had a rate of fire in excess of 1,200 rpm and was nicknamed the "Stinger." Barrel overheating and lack of control were the cause of its demise.
Flygplankulspruta m/22, ksp m/22 for short was a Swedish variant of the .30 AN/M2 aircraft machine gun.The name literally translates to airplane machine gun m/22. It was originally used by the Swedish army's aviation branch but moved over to the Swedish air force when it was formed in 1926. The first guns delivered were built by Colt but Sweden later got a license produce the weapon. The ksp m/22 stayed in active service all the way to 1957, although by then only in a gunpod for ground strafing.
Originally the ksp m/22 was chambered in 6.5x55 mm but in 1932 almost all guns where re chambered to 8x63 mm.
The Browning was adopted by the Royal Air Force as a replacement for the .303 Vickers and manufactured by Vickers Armstrong and BSA to fire the British .303 inch (7.7 mm) round and named Browning .303 Mk II in British Service. It was essentially the 1930 Pattern belt-fed Colt–Browning machine gun with a few minor modifications for British use, such as firing from an open bolt, hence prohibiting their use for gun synchronization through a spinning propeller. It was designed to fire hydraulically as a wing mounted machine gun but was also adopted as hand-fired mount for use in bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. It had a rate of fire of 1,150 rounds per minute.The licence was issued to the BSA by July 1935.
The Browning .303 was used on the RAF's 'eight-gun fighters' the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and as a turret gun in the Boulton Paul Defiant, and in the Handley Page Halifax, Short Stirling, Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster bombers, and the Short Sunderland flying boat installed in various Boulton Paul or Nash & Thompson turrets. Even after the introduction of autocannon as primary fighter armament .303s were retained as supplementary weapons on many aircraft including later versions of the Spitfire, as well as fighter-bomber and night fighter versions of the de Havilland Mosquito, among others.
For hand-held moveable mount use the Vickers K gun was preferred.
There is pictorial evidence of the .303 Browning being placed on improvised bipods for ground use during the early campaigns in Burma and Malaysia.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s the US military was looking for an upgrade to the M1919 that could feed from either side for use as an improved coaxial machine gun. Saco-Lowell developed a model that had the driving spring attached to the back plate (eliminating the need for a mainspring and driving rod protruding out the back of the bolt), a solenoid trigger for remote firing, a feed cover that could open from either side, a bolt with dual tracks that could feed from either side, and a reversible belt feed pawl, ejector, and feed chute. The experimental T151 had a flat backplate (?), the T152 had spade grips and a "butterfly" trigger like the M2HB, and the T153 had a pistol grip and back-up trigger like the M1919A4 and an extended charging handle similar to those on the M1919A5. The T153 was adopted as the M37 and was produced by SACO-Lowell and Rock Island Arsenal from 1955 to 1957. It was in regular service from 1955 until it was replaced by the M37E1 in the late 1960s and the M73A1 in the early 1970s.
The M37 was used mostly on the M48 and M60 Patton medium tanks. The M37F was a trial variant fitted with special sighting equipment. The M37C was a variant without a sight bracket designed for use in aircraft armament (like the skid-mounted XM1/E1 helicopter armament subsystem).
The M37E1 was a M37 machine gun converted by Rock Island Arsenal and Springfield Armory to chamber the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge and feed the M13 disintegrating belt. They were designed for interim use until the M73 machine gun could be fielded.The M37E1 was to be standardized as the M37A1 but development of the improved M73A1 precluded this.
The increasing American involvement in Vietnam created a demand for small arms, especially the new M60 machine gun. The Navy had surplus machine guns left over from World War 2 and Korea, but they were chambered for the earlier .30-06 Springfield cartridge rather than the new standard 7.62mm NATO cartridge. The Mk 21 Mod 0 was a US Navy conversion of the .30 M1919A4 to fire the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. This was accomplished by replacing the barrel, bolt, and feed cover and adding a chamber bushing, a link-stripper, and a second belt-holding pawl to allow it to feed and fire the new cartridge.Spacer blocks were added to the front and back of the feedway to guide the shorter round and block the use of the longer .30-06 Springfield ammunition. A six-inch flash hider was also added to the barrel to reduce the muzzle flash.
The conversions were performed from 1966 through 1967 at Naval Ordnance Station Louisville.Modified M1919A4s had the designation "Machine Gun, 7.62mm / Mk 21 Mod 0" stamped on the receiver sideplate in 1/4-inch lettering. The replacement barrels had "7.62mm NATO-G" stamped on them in 1/8-inch letters to differentiate them from M1919A4 or M60 barrels; the letter G indicated it used a grooved barrel bushing.
It used the standard 7.62mm NATO M13 link "strip-out" disintegrating link,in which the bolt pushes the round out of the bottom of the two-part link and then forwards into the breech. The old M1 link "pull-out" disintegrating links, which are pulled backwards out of the one-piece link by the extractor towards the bolt and then forwards into the breech, wouldn't feed through the new mechanism. The M1 links, which were designed for the longer and thinner .30-06 Springfield, would also be too narrow to fit the shorter and thicker 7.62mm NATO round. The US Navy, because of their narrower inventory of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, used linked belts of either 7.62mm M80 Ball or a 4:1 ratio mix of 7.62mm M80 Ball and 7.62mm M62 Tracer.
The refurbished feed mechanism was left-hand feed only. It was different from the one in the M60 GPMG in that the open end of the belt had to be on top so it could be stripped out.To prepare the ammo, gunners had to take out both of the 100-round belts from an M19A1 ammo can, had to link them both together, and then loaded the resultant 200-round belt back into the M19A1 can upside-down so it would feed correctly.
The M1919 pattern has been used in countries all over the world in a variety of forms and under a number of different designations.
Colt produced a derivative of the M2 aircraft machine gun, the Colt MG40. It shipped in a variety of calibers, including the basic .30-06 Springfield and popular 7mm Spanish Mauser, and was available in left- or right-hand feed.
The MG40-2 Light Aircraft Machine Gun could be used in flexible- (pintle-mounted), fixed- (wing-mounted), or synchronized- (through the propeller) models. The Flexible mount machine gun came with grips and a "butterfly" trigger plate like the standard ground model. The Fixed model had a backplate. It used a cable connected to an operating slide connected to a stud on the bolt to fire it; tension in the cable causes the trigger to activate and slack in the cable causes it to stop. The synchronized variant of the Fixed model had a trigger motor for through-propeller, gun synchronizing needs.
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The Browning M1919 remains popular with civilian enthusiasts in the United States, though changes in 1986 to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (the US Federal law regulating private ownership of machine guns) prohibited the registration of new machine guns for sales to private citizens, thus freezing the number of "transferable" machine guns in private ownership. The inflation of prices that followed, and the availability of parts from surplussed and scrapped machine guns, led to the development of semi-automatic versions of the Browning M1919. Typically, these are built using a new right sideplate (the portion legally considered the "firearm" under US law), which has a raised "island" protruding into the interior of the receiver. This requires the use of a modified bolt, barrel extension and lock frame which have been designed to allow only semi-automatic firing. The "island" prevents the insertion of unmodified full-automatic parts. A number of small gun companies have produced these "semi-auto machine guns" for commercial sales. The fairly simple modifications necessary to convert M1919 parts to the semi-automatic version, and the relatively easy process of riveting used in the assembly of the Browning machine gun's receiver, have also made it a popular gun for hobbyists to build at home.
Similar "semi-auto machine guns" have been built using parts from other Browning pattern machine guns, to include the AN/M2 aircraft gun and FN30, and variations that never saw military use such as extremely short (8") barreled guns.
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm designed to fire rifle cartridges in rapid succession from an ammunition belt or magazine for the purpose of suppressive fire. Not all fully automatic firearms are machine guns. Submachine guns, rifles, assault rifles, battle rifles, shotguns, pistols or cannons may be capable of fully automatic fire, but are not designed for sustained fire. As a class of military rapid-fire guns, machine guns are fully automatic weapons designed to be used as support weapons and generally used when attached to a mount- or fired from the ground on a bipod or tripod. Many machine guns also use belt feeding and open bolt operation, features not normally found on rifles.
The MG 42 is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general-purpose machine gun designed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II. It was intended to replace the earlier MG 34, which was more expensive and took much longer to produce, but both weapons were produced until the end of the war.
The Bren gun, usually called simply the Bren, are a series of light machine guns (LMG) made by Britain in the 1930s and used in various roles until 1992. While best known for its role as the British and Commonwealth forces' primary infantry LMG in World War II, it was also used in the Korean War and saw service throughout the latter half of the 20th century, including the 1982 Falklands War. Although fitted with a bipod, it could also be mounted on a tripod or vehicle-mounted.
The .50 Browning Machine Gun is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. The cartridge itself has been made in many variants: multiple generations of regular ball, tracer, armor-piercing (AP), incendiary, and saboted sub-caliber rounds. The rounds intended for machine guns are made into a continuous belt using metallic links.
The Negev is a 5.56×45mm NATO light machine gun developed by the Israeli firearm manufacturer, Israel Weapon Industries (IWI).
The M60, officially the United States Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M60, is a family of American general-purpose machine guns firing 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges from a disintegrating belt of M13 links. There are several types of ammunition approved for use in the M60, including ball, tracer, and armor-piercing rounds.
The M240, officially the Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M240, is the US military designation for the FN MAG a family of belt-fed, gas-operated medium machine guns that chamber the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge.
The FN Minimi is a Belgian 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW developed by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Herstal by Ernest Vervier. First introduced in the late 1970s, it is now in service in more than 75 countries. The weapon is currently manufactured at the FN facility in Herstal and their U.S. subsidiary FN Manufacturing LLC.
The FN MAG is a Belgian 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale (FN) by Ernest Vervier. It has been used by more than 80 countries, and it has been made under licence in several countries, including Argentina, Canada, Egypt, India and the United Kingdom.
The PK, is a 7.62×54mmR general-purpose machine gun designed in the Soviet Union and currently in production in Russia. The original PK machine gun was introduced in 1961 and then the improved PKM in 1969 to replace the SGM and RP-46 machine guns in Soviet service. It remains in use as a front-line infantry and vehicle-mounted weapon with Russia's armed forces. The PK has been exported extensively and produced in several other countries under license.
The MG 3 is a German general-purpose machine gun chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. The weapon's design is derived from the World War II era MG 42 universal machine gun that fired the 7.92×57mm Mauser round.
A heavy machine gun or HMG is a class of machine gun implying greater characteristics than general purpose or medium machine guns.
The Mark 48, or Mk 48 is a lightweight belt-fed machine gun, firing 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges from a disintegrating belt of ammunition.
The HK21 is a German 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, developed in 1961 by small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch and based on the G3 battle rifle. The weapon is in use with the armed forces of several Asian, African and Latin American countries. It was also license-manufactured by Fábrica de Braço de Prata in Portugal as the m/968 and in Mexico by SEDENA as the MG21. In the German military (Bundeswehr) and the federal police (Bundespolizei) it is designated "G8".
The Colt–Browning M1895, nicknamed "potato digger" because of its unusual operating mechanism, is an air-cooled, belt-fed, gas-operated machine gun that fires from a closed bolt with a cyclic rate of 450 rounds per minute. Based on a John Browning and Matthew S. Browning design dating to 1889, it was the first successful gas-operated machine gun to enter service.
The SIG MG 710-3 is a Swiss 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) designed and manufactured by SIG - Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft. The weapon was developed as a commercial venture primarily for export, since the Swiss Army had already adopted the 7.5 mm MG 51 GPMG, produced by the federal arms factory W+F.
The Ameli is a 5.56mm light machine gun designed for the Spanish Army by the nationally owned and operated Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales (CETME) small arms research institute.
The Colt Machine Gun or CMG was an open bolt belt-fed machine gun that fires 5.56×45mm cartridges designed by Colt Manufacturing Company in 1965. Colt hastily developed the CMG-1 to complement the CAR-15, a Colt branding of the M16 rifle, so that Colt might offer both of them as an alternative to the Stoner 63 weapons system. It failed to achieve any sales, and was replaced by the Colt CMG-2, which also failed to achieve any sales. The CMG-3 was a 7.62×51mm NATO version that failed as well.
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