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Posted: 12/1/2007 3:47:40 PM EDT
Ma Deuce Still Going Strong
29-Nov-2007

Built since the 1920s, the reliable, powerful, air-cooled .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning Machine Gun (aka. "Ma Deuce") is still one of the world's most effective heavy machine guns.

It can be carried by a team of soldiers, or mounted on vehicles and aircraft.

Despite its age, its combination of reliability, durability, and kick-butt firepower has made it one of the most requested weapons in the Iraqi theater of war, and it remains popular around the world.

Modern alternatives like FN's M3M/GAU-21 have been introduced, and the XM307/312 remains a future possibility, but the M2 remains, as one of our correspondents put it, "the mounted lance of the US cavalry."

The USA has even had to ramp up .50 cal ammunition production, in order to keep up.

Ma Deuce: the M2 Heavy Machine Gun

The M2HB crew-served 12.7mm/ .50 cal machine gun features a rate of fire of 450-600 rounds per minute, a maximum effective range of 2,000 yards (1,830m), and a maximum range of 7,440 Yards (6,800m). Muzzle velocity with M33 is 2,910 Feet Per Second (890 Meters Per Second). As has become standard in modern machine guns, it is air-cooled and belt fed. The complete gun weighs 84 pounds (38.2 kg), not counting any tripods or mounts, with a barrel weight of 24 Pounds (10.88 kg).

The M2's slow rate of fire is not necessarily a disadvantage. Though it limits the gun's anti-air effectiveness, it makes the weapon more controllable against ground targets – and has even led to combat situations where the M2 has been successfully employed in one-shot sniper mode using a telescopic sight. Discovery of the M2 sniper option is widely credited to legendary USMC sniper Carlos "White Feather" Hathcock in Vietnam.

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products developed the M2E2 version after 25 years of experience manufacturing the M2HB machine gun for the U.S. Department of Defense. The enhanced M2E2 provides new features and design improvements, including a quick-change barrel system, flash hider, and and a manual trigger block safety.

Contracts

Unless otherwise indicated, all contract are issued by the The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command at Rock Island, IL to General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products Inc. in Burlington, VT.

Nov 26/07: A $36.6 million firm-fixed price contract to purchase 3,048 M2 machine guns for foreign military sales. The work will be carried out at the company's Saco, Maine, facility for completion by June 30, 2009. Army Public Affairs can be reached at (703) 692-2000. (W52H09-07-C-0125).

July 27/07: A $26 million firm-fixed-price contract for M2 Machine Guns. Work will be performed in Saco, Maine, and is expected to be complete by Feb. 28, 2009. This was a sole source contract initiated on April 11, 2007 (W52H09-07-C-0125).

July 27/07: A $5.1 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for M2 Receiver Cartridges. Work will be performed in Saco, Maine, and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2008. There were 2 bids solicited on March 23, 2006, and 2 bids were received (W52H09-06-C-0155).

Jan 18/07: GDATP announces a $6.9 million contract modification from U.S. Army TACOM in Rock Island, IL to produce M2HB Machine Guns. This option modifies a contract originally awarded in October 2006, bringing the total contract value to date to $27.5 million.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:48:14 PM EDT
[#1]
Can't argue with perfection.

ETA:  Well, you could.....but you'd just sound like a retard.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 3:59:00 PM EDT
[#2]
I've said it before and I'll say it again: John Moses Browning was a freakin' genius.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:01:29 PM EDT
[#3]
I thought FN was making the M-3, lighter weight, higher rate of fire, version for the US as well.

Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:11:05 PM EDT
[#4]
The sheer number of M2 variants used on WWII aircraft is impressive, every P47 had 8, every P51, F6F and F4U had 6, every B17, B24 and B29 +12, medium bombers like the B25, B26 and A26 +10 (Some B25 variants had 10 forward firing concentrated in the nose).  There must have been hundreds of thousands, if not millions made in WWII just for AC use.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:12:17 PM EDT
[#5]
I only got to shoot it once in MCT...  I got a stiffy.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:13:28 PM EDT
[#6]
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:17:07 PM EDT
[#7]
Love the Ma Deuce.  The 240 was probably my favorite, but nothing gives you the feeling of power that the .50 does.  
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:18:29 PM EDT
[#8]
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:19:09 PM EDT
[#9]
Ma Duce sat atop the tank.  When Ma Duce spoke, people listened.  I'll never forget that chest-thumping rhythm.  Some songs remind me of it on occasion.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:29:52 PM EDT
[#10]

Nov 26/07: A $36.6 million firm-fixed price contract to purchase 3,048 M2 machine guns for foreign military sales. The work will be carried out at the company's Saco, Maine, facility for completion by June 30, 2009. Army Public Affairs can be reached at (703) 692-2000. (W52H09-07-C-0125).


At just a hair over $12,000 each they'd better be sending a LOT of spare parts to go with it.

With that many being built, I have to wonder how many are built "off the books" by employees in the back room somewhere "one peice at a time" so to speak. I bet there are a couple M2s hidden in Sarco basements and barns.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:33:30 PM EDT
[#11]
Ours ended up jamming on us a lot.  Whenever we left the wire, we opted to have both guntrucks outfitted with 240G's...
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:43:48 PM EDT
[#12]

Quoted:
Ours ended up jamming on us a lot.  Whenever we left the wire, we opted to have both guntrucks outfitted with 240G's...


Blasphemy, yours was probably a victim of sabotage.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 4:45:00 PM EDT
[#13]
Surefire makes a big ole friggin light for it as well!
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 9:50:55 PM EDT
[#14]
Smith makes a Vortex for them now.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 10:03:30 PM EDT
[#15]
Another gift from Saint Moses; one of the patron saints of all great weapons.







THANK YOU.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 10:20:38 PM EDT
[#16]
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 4:55:53 AM EDT
[#17]

Quoted:
Ours ended up jamming on us a lot.  Whenever we left the wire, we opted to have both guntrucks outfitted with 240G's...


I bet if you had .15 cents worth of headspace they would of run great
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 5:09:13 AM EDT
[#18]
God Bless John Moses Browning.
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