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The M2 Machine Gun or Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning. Its design is similar to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. The M2 uses the much larger and much more powerful .50 BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself . It has been referred to as "Ma Deuce", in reference to its M2 nomenclature. The design has had many specific designations; the official designation for the current infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications and low-flying aircraft. The M2 machine gun has been produced longer than any other machine gun.

Browning M2 "Ma Deuce"
M2HB heavy machine gun
Type Heavy machine gun
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1933–present
Used by See Users
Wars World War II
Korean War
First Indochina War
Suez Crisis
Portuguese Colonial War
Vietnam War
Six-Day War
Iran-Iraq war
Yom Kippur War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian-Vietnamese War
Falklands War
South African Border War
Invasion of Grenada
Bougainville Civil War
Invasion of Panama
Persian Gulf War
Somali Civil War
Yugoslav Wars
Kosovo War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Mexican Drug War
Syrian Civil War
Production history
Designer John M. Browning
Designed 1918
Manufacturer Current: General Dynamics, Fabrique Nationale, U.S. Ordnance, and Manroy Engineering (UK)
Former: Sabre Defence Industries, Colt's Patent Fire Arms Company, High Standard Company, Savage Arms Corporation, Buffalo Arms Corporation, General Motors Corporation (Frigidaire, AC Spark Plug, Saginaw Steering, and Brown-Lipe-Chappin Divisions), Kelsey Hayes Wheel Company, Springfield Armory, Wayne Pump Company, ERMCO, and Ramo Manufacturing, Rock Island Arsenal
Produced 1921 – present (M2HB)
Number built 3 million
Specifications
Weight 38 kg (83.78 lb)
58 kg (127.87 lb) with tripod and T&E
Length 1,654 mm (65.1 in)
Barrel length 1,143 mm (45.0 in)

Cartridge .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Action Short recoil-operated
Rate of fire 450-600 rounds/min (M2HB)
750–850 rounds/min (AN/M2)
1,200-1,300 rounds/min (AN/M3)
Muzzle velocity 2,910 ft/s (890 m/s) for M33 ball
Effective firing range 1,800 m (2,000 yd)
Maximum firing range 2,500 m (2,700 yd)
Feed system Belt-fed (M2 or M9 links)

The M2 Machine Gun or Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning. Its design is similar to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. The M2 uses the much larger and much more powerful .50 BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself (BMG standing for Browning Machine Gun). It has been referred to as "Ma Deuce", in reference to its M2 nomenclature. The design has had many specific designations; the official designation for the current infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications and low-flying aircraft. The M2 machine gun has been produced longer than any other machine gun.

The Browning .50 caliber machine gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States from the 1930s to the present. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan in the 2000s and 2010s. It is the primary heavy machine gun of NATO countries, and has been used by many other countries as well. The M2 has been in use longer than any other firearm in U.S. inventory except the .45 ACP M1911 pistol, also designed by John Browning.

The current M2HB is manufactured in the U.S. by General Dynamics and U.S. Ordnance for use by the U.S. government, and for allies via Foreign Military Sales, as well as foreign manufacturers such as FN Herstal.

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