Browning M2HB .50 machine gun

This item is HIRE ONLY for use by a recognised Film, TV, Commercials or Theatre production company.




The Browning M2HB (HB – Heavy Barrel) .50 machine gun is a heavy machine gun designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning. It is very similar in design to Browning’s earlier M1919 Browning machine gun which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge.

The M2 uses the larger and much more powerful .50BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself (BMG standing for Browning Machine Gun). It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications and low-flying aircraft.

The M2 has an effective range of 2,000 yds and a maximum effective range of 2,200 yds when fired from its M3 tripod. The gun itself weighs in at a hefty 84 pounds (38 kg), and the assembled M3 tripod another 44 pounds (20 kg).

Rates of fire, depend upon the model. The M2HB air-cooled ground gun has a cyclic rate of 450-575 rounds per minute whilst the M2 aircraft gun with its lighter and shorter barrel has a cyclic rate of 750–850 rpm.

The Browning .50 caliber machine gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States from the 1920s to the present. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and during operations more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The M2 has been in use longer than any other small arm in the U.S. inventory except the 45ACP Colt 1911 pistol… also designed by John Browning.

The M2 is manufactured in the United States by for use by the United States government and FN Herstal has manufactured the M2 machine gun since the 1930s.

After a gap of over 30 years, British forces had the M2 again after ex-Argentine models from the Falklands conflict in 1982 were acquired and since then, M2s for British forces are now manufactured in the UK by Manroy Engineering.

Helpful Info

Regarding dates and period correctness, this item is appropriate for US and allied forces of WWII, Post War, NATO and many peacekeeping troops up to the present day.

Filmset notes

The ‘Point Five Oh’ is a formidable weapon. Even with blanks this gun has a considerable presence and a big impact when firing.  Often vehicle mounted, time must be allowed by production for correct mounting and setting up for this large MG to work well.