Venerable 50 cal Ma deuce Heavy Machine Gun

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Venerable 50 cal Ma deuce Heavy Machine Gun

Post by Sakobav » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:16 am ... n-the-war/

I was once shooting on marine base shooting range and they were firing Ma Deuce in next range 1 KM away atleast; every time they let out a burst it would startle me and that distinct dum dum noise .. this HMG is still being used all over ...

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Re: Venerable 50 cal Ma deuce Heavy Machine Gun

Post by timmy » Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:40 am

Thanks for an interesting article! The 50 BMG is certainly a survivor, and has outlasted many similar caliber weapons. The 50 BMG is a weapon that has truly stood the test of time.

It is interesting to compare the 30-06 round to the 50 BMG round side by side. One looks like a scaled-up version of the other.

The article's mention of the German WW1 anti-tank rifle is interesting. This concept was carried forward by the British in WW2 as the .55 caliber anti-tank "Boys Rifle"

Both the Germans (Mg 151) and Japanese (Ho 103, Type 1, and Type 3) used ~.50 caliber aircraft weapons. The Germans designed a similarly sized 20mm round for theirs, and adapted it to the Mg 151, which became the 151/20 cannon.

("Cannon" is a weapon that fires an exploding shell, as opposed to a "Machine Gun" which does not use exploding shells.)

Even before the end of WW2, the need for something larger than .50 weapons was identified. For the most part, the Americans made do with the 50 BMG, while other nations went to 20mm guns, due to increasing combat ranges and the size and toughness of newer aircraft. The British, in their attempt to add firepower, even went to mounting 12 .303s in Hurricanes, but ultimately solved their problems by using a version of the Hispano Suiza HS404 autocannon, designed by the famous engineer Marc Birkigt (His Hispano Suiza automobiles were as fine as any other car made anywhere by anybody!). The Americans also used a version of the British gun, the M2 (notably in the P38 Lightning fighter), but the American-made versions were never reliable weapons.

My opinion would be that the HS404 really "THE aircraft gun" of WW2.

Of note, Browning also designed a 37mm cannon, the M4, used as the nose gun of the P39 Airacobra fighter. Famous US fighter pilot and breaker of the sound barrier Chuck Yeager said that shooting this cannon at the enemy was like throwing grapefruit at it, due to the M4's low muzzle velocity and arcing trajectory.

The 50 BMG, however, has soldiered on in a number of other battlefield uses, as the article says, and looks to continue its service for many more years. I expect that the time will come, when it surpasses the SMLE and Mosin Nagant M91 at some point.

Interesting stuff!
“The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” - Maya Angelou

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