Browning M2HB 0.50 Cal
Heavy Machine Gun
.50 Calibre Browning Machine Gun is carried by all R.A.N. Surface
Combatants. It is a robust and capable weapon and is used in a variety
of roles such as close in AA Support and against light surface targets
at close range. It is ideal for providing covering fire for boarding
BROWNING M2HB is quite simply one of the greatest machine guns ever
designed, being efficient and very effective; easy to use and to maintain;
and as suitable for installation in a tank turret as on aground tripod
or an aircraft.
Further, it has been in front- line service for five decades and there
is a large range of widely available ammunitton. Like all weapons,
the design started with the cartridge. When the United States Army
arrived in France in 1917 it found a need for a machine gun firing
a larger round than that used in contemporary rifles, which was required
not only for use against troops but also for new tasks such as attacking
tanks, balloons, and aircraft: It proved impossible to convert any
US weapon to take the 0.43in (I 1mm) round then being tested b'y the
French, but at that point the US Army happened to capture some new
Mauser anti-tank rifles with their ammunition.The excellence of the
round was quickly recognized and a new United States O.5O" cartridge
was rapidly developed along the same lines.
the same time John Browning, one of the most famous gunsmiths in history,
was called in to develop a weapon to take this new round, which resulted
in the M1921AI machine gun.The design was refined in the early 1930s
which led to the M2, but this was limited by barrel life, and a new,
much sturdier barrel was quickly produced, resulting in the definitive
M2HB (HB = heavy barrel).
The M2HB has seen service in fixed-wing aircraft; helicopters; a multitude
of trucks and field cars such as jeeps. Land Rovers, fast strike vehicles
and HMMWVs;as well as APCs and tanks. It has been manufactured in
vast numbers and is still widely used, since its O.5O" high velocity
round has both considerable range, greater carrying capacity than
the 5.56mm rounds now used in rifles and light machine guns, as well
as great accuracy since it is highly resistant to wind drift.
ammunition is widely available, having been manufactured in some 30
countries, and is still in production in at least 10 of them.There
is also a vast range of natures (ie, different types) with some countries
still devoting research effort to producing new 0.50 caliber rounds.
of the most recent of these developments was the Saboted Light Armor
Penetrator (SLAP) round developed by the US Marine Corps in the middle
and late 1980s. This uses a sub-caliber (0.30in [7.62mm]) tungsten
carbide penetrator carried in a 0.50in (12.7mm) sabot, which breaks
away as the round exits from the muzzle.This results in the penetrator
having a much increased velocity (3,985ft/s [l,215m/s] compared to
2,900ft/s [883m/s]) giving it a very flat trajectory, thus enhancing
both hit probability and armor penetration. SLAP rounds were used
with great success during their operational debut in Operation Desert
Storm in 1991.
ammunition is completely interoperable with M2 machine guns, but requires
one of the new type of chrome-plated, stellite-lined barrels. Upgrade
kits are also being marketed, mostly concentrating on quick-change,
longer-life barrels fitted with noise suppressors. Indeed, the only
challenge of any significance to the M2HB is coming from the new heavy
cannon, such as the McDonnell Douglas ASP 30mm,although these are
very much larger and considerably heavier.
TYPE; Heavy machine gun.
DIMENSIONS: Length overall - 65.2in (1,656mm);
barrel - 45in (1,143mm).
WEIGHT: Empty - 841b (38.15kg).
CARTRIDGE: 0.50 Browning (12.7 x 99mm).
FEED: Short recoil; disintegrating link
RIFLING: 8 grooves, right hand.
MUZZLE VELOCITY: Standard rounds - 2,900ft/s
(883m/s); SLAP rounds'- 3,985ft/s (1,215m/s).
RATE OF FIRE: 485-635rpm
MAXIMIUM EFFECTIVE RANGE: Standard rounds
- 2,600yd (2,380m); SLAP rounds - 1,640yd (1,500m).