M2 Browning

heavy machine gun

The M2 Machine Gun, or Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun. It was nicknamed Ma Deuce by US troops or simply called "fifty-cal." due to its caliber.

Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB
M2HB machine gun
TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service1921
M2HB from 1933–present
Used byUnited States, and several others
WarsWorld War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cambodian Civil War, Falklands War, Desert Storm, Somali Civil War, Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, South African Border War
Production history
Produced1933–present (M2HB)
Mass38 kg (84 lb), 58 kg (128 lb) with tripod and T&E
Length1650 mm (65 in)
Barrel length1143 mm (45 in)

Cartridge.50 BMG
ActionShort recoil-operated
Rate of fire450–600 rounds/min (M2HB)
750–850 rounds/min (M2 aircraft gun)
Muzzle velocity2,910 feet per second (M33 Ball) (887.1 m/s)
Feed systemBelt-fed (M2 or M9 links)

John Moses Browning (1855–1926) of Ogden, Utah, was the inventor. His military arms were considered to be outstanding. German Field Marshal Hermann Göring said, "If the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) had the Browning .50-caliber, the Battle of Britain would have turned out differently".

Browning began work on the .50-caliber machine gun in July 1917 and it was introduced in 1918. It was a belt-fed, automatic weapon that came in both air-cooled and water-cooled versions. The gun was capable of single-shot or fully automatic fire. The U.S. Army, Army Air Forces, and Navy all adopted it immediately.

The Browning .50 caliber machine gun has been used as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft by the United States from the 1920s to the present day. It was 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. It is still in use today, with only a few modern improvements. Right now, it is the longest serving machine gun in the US military.