M2 .50 Caliber Browning Machinegun · Ma Deuce
by Tim Davis

The .50 cal was originally developed in the last days of WWI, primarily as an anti-aircraft gun for frontline troops. The big gun was finally introduced in 1921. It has gone through only a few changes, such as the upgrade to a heavier barrel. The M2 is an excellent weapon against wheeled vehicles, light fortifications, and troops in the open. It also fires armor piercing rounds. It has been used successfully as an AA weapon, especially when used in pairs or fours. The heavy round is devastating to fixed wing or rotary aircraft. I enjoyed firing the M2 with its easy-to-use butterfly trigger.

A Ranger friend of mine told me how they used Ma Deuce dual .50's at troops in the open in Vietnam. Due to the slow rate of fire, dual .50's were much more effective.

.50cal Army Ranger Weapon


Primary Function Heavy Machinegun
Manufacturer Colt Industries, Marlin-Rockwell Corp.,
Springfield Arsenal and others
Caliber .50
Length 64.7 in
Weight 84.2 lbs
Effective Range 1400 m
Operation Recoil
Type of Fire Automatic
Muzzle Velocity 884 m/sec
Sight Front - blade
Rear - open U or aperture
Feed System 100 round metallic link belt
Cyclic Rate 400-500


M2 Army Ranger Weapon
Rangers training with the M2