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Gun Data for the Day – Day 4

You love ’em, you miss ’em, you wish you could have one of your own.  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Browning M-2 .50 machine gun, or as it’s known to many, the Ma Deuce:

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2 Comments

  1. John in Philly

     /  June 11, 2015

    In the 90’s I was on the USS Bowen FF-1079 for a two week ACDUTRA and got a chance to fire the Browning. I remember you had to pull the charging handle twice, and the Gunners Mate would slap your hand away if you did not let go of the charging handle. Very low recoil and muzzle blast for the shooter, as the mount was welded to the deck, and had a shield on both sides of the barrel. Once you stepped to the side you could feel the muzzle blast on your chest. And for those who do not really believe that the heavy fifty caliber bullet can dig into the waves then come out the water at a surprisingly changed trajectory, watching the tracer path was a real eye opener.

    And watching the time of flight between bang and splash tells us why hitting high speed threats is best done with something like the CIWS.(Close in Weapons System)

    I did a lot of interesting things during my time in the Navy, but putting rounds through that big Browning wrapped the cool meter pin around the peg.

    The same cruise gave me a chance to watch the Mark 42 5″ gun being fired. Much slower rate of fire, and a bullet diameter hugely bigger than that of the Browning. If I remember right, the Mark 42 could fire up to forty rounds a minute although usually did not fire as fast as it could. I do not exactly recall how many times the gun went bang before the first splash, but there were several rounds in the air before the splash.

    From my perch on the signal bridge, the muzzle blast of the 5 inch gun was more of a thud than a bang.

    My last active duty ship was a WWII era destroyer, and it would have taken four gun tubes in two gun mounts, and a lot of men working very hard in very tight and dangerous quarters to equal the firing rate of that single barrel Mark 42, and oh yeah, after loading the rounds into the magazine the 42 had no humans handling ammuntion.

    Thank you for opening that memory door.

  2. Fun guns! 🙂 And DEFINITELY require an ammo monkey!

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