M2 Browning machine gun
The Browning .50 Caliber M2 Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun designed in 1918 by John Browning. The design was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1921 and is still in service today. It has a variety of nicknames derived from its caliber including "Ma Deuce", "fifty BMG", "fifty cal", or even just "fifty".
There were different versions of the weapon for aircraft and ground use. The ground version was the M2-HB (HB for Heavy Barrel). The aircraft version was used in fixed and flexible installations and differed from the M2-HB by its higher rate of fire, lighter weight and shorter barrel length which gave it a slight reduction in muzzle velocity.
During World War II, the M2 guns were produced by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Company, High Standard Company, Savage Arms Corporation, Buffalo Arms Corporation, Frigidaire, AC Spark Plug, Brown-Lipe-Chappin, Saginaw Division of General Motors Corporation, and the Kelsey Hayes Wheel Company. The initial cost of the Browning M2 machine gun was $750.00. Production ceased temporarily at the end of World War II. A total of about 2 million M2's were built with about 23 percent of these being M2-HB's.
In Aces High, the M2 is found on nearly every American aircraft as well as some British ones. The M2-HB is used on a number of different ground vehicles as well as the PT Boat.
- The Machine Gun, Vol 5, George Chinn, 1987.