Browning M2HB .50 Cal Heavy Machinegun




Browning M2HB 0.50 Cal

Heavy Machine Gun




The .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 parties.


THE 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.


At 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.


The 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.


One 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 ) 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 compared to 2,900ft/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.


SLAP 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.






ORIGIN: United States.
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 belt.
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).