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MA4[ edit ] However, by and large the most common variant of the series was the MA4. Production blueprints of the new variant were complete in late , and production soon followed. The driving force behind the development of this variant was the suffering reliability of the inch barrel of previous versions, which did not produce enough recoil to cycle the action reliably. The bull barrel was made much thicker and was lengthened to 24 inches like the M Various other small adjustments to the design were made, such as moving the front sight from the barrel jacket to the receiver, which made it easier to mount the gun on vehicles.
The design of the barrel jacket was changed to include circular holes instead of long slits of earlier models, and a recoil booster in the muzzle end improved reliability. The recoil buffer assembly was also a new addition to the design between A3 and A4 development, designed to reduce the impact of the bolt hitting the backplate.
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The MA4 was used in both fixed and flexible mounts, by infantry and on vehicles. It was also widely exported after World War II and continues to be used in small numbers around the world.
Two variants were developed specifically for vehicular use, the MA5, with an extended charging handle, and the MA4E1, a sub-variant of the MA4 refitted with an extended charging handle. MA6[ edit ] MA6 mounted on its bipod During the war it became clear to the US military that the M Browning Automatic Rifle , while portable, was utterly insufficient as a sustained fire weapon due to its fixed barrel and round magazine.
The MA4 was faster and cheaper to produce, but did not have the portability of a rifle to be easily deployed by infantry. Realising that producing an entirely new replacement machine gun would take years, the military decided that a stop-gap solution would be best, to adapt an already existing design.
The MA6 was an attempt at such a solution, to parallel the designs of the German MG 34 and MG 42 machine guns, each of which were portable for a squad weapon and were effective at sustained fire. The MA6 first saw combat service in the fall of It had a metal buttstock assembly that clamped to the backplate of the gun, and a front barrel bearing that incorporated both a muzzle booster and a bipod similar to that used on the M BAR rifle.
A lighter barrel than that of the MA4 was fitted, and a carry handle was attached to the barrel jacket to make it easier to carry. Previous designs could change the barrel, but it required field stripping the gun - the pistol grip back plate, bolt group and the trigger group all had to be removed before the barrel could finally be replaced, and this put the gun out of action for minutes, and risked losing and damaging parts in the field.
The MA6 muzzle device allowed the gun crew to replace the barrel from the front, an improvement, but still an awkward procedure compared to other machine guns of the day.
T66[ edit ] The MA6 was used by Springfield Armory in the late s and early s as a testbed for an interim general-purpose machine gun. It was rechambered for the experimental T65 series cartridges, culminating in with the T66 machine gun chambered for the T65E3 cartridge one of the forerunners to the 7.
It had a new barrel with a flash-hider attachment, a shorter action, and modified M1 disintegrating belt links to feed the new cartridge. It was deemed still too heavy for field use and was not adopted. It had a thinner barrel and receiver walls to keep down weight. A derivative of this weapon was built by Colt as the civilian market MG It was later replaced by the larger caliber — and is not to be confused with — the Browning Machine Gun, Cal.
World War II-era aircraft as the war progressed, lacked the massive "cooling collar" of the heavy barrel M2HB version, which is still in service with the ground forces of the U. It was essentially the Pattern belt-fed Colt—Browning machine gun with a few minor modifications for British use, such as firing from an open bolt , hence prohibiting their use for gun synchronization through a spinning propeller.
It was designed to fire hydraulically as a wing mounted machine gun but was also adopted as hand-fired mount for use in bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.
It had a rate of fire of 1, rounds per minute. Even after the introduction of autocannon as primary fighter armament.
For hand-held moveable mount use the Vickers K gun was preferred. Called the T33 it was fitted with a buttstock and bipod to allow for use without a tripod or other mount. A personally modified weapon of this type, using the butt stock from an M1 rifle, was used by Marine Corporal Tony Stein during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Stein would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.
M37[ edit ] In the late s and early s the US military was looking for an upgrade to the M that could feed from either side for use as an improved coaxial machine gun.
Saco-Lowell developed a model that had the driving spring attached to the back plate eliminating the need for a mainspring and driving rod protruding out the back of the bolt , a solenoid trigger for remote firing, a feed cover that could open from either side, a bolt with dual tracks that could feed from either side, and a reversible belt feed pawl, ejector, and feed chute.
The experimental T had a flat backplate? It was in regular service from until it was replaced by the M37E1 in the late s and the M73A1 in the early s. The M37 was used mostly on the M48 and M60 Patton medium tanks.
The M37F was a trial variant fitted with special sighting equipment. They were designed for interim use until the M73 machine gun could be fielded.
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The Navy had surplus machine guns left over from World War 2 and Korea, but they were chambered for the earlier. This was accomplished by replacing the barrel, bolt, and feed cover and adding a chamber bushing, a link-stripper, and a second belt-holding pawl to allow it to feed and fire the new cartridge.
The replacement barrels had "7. The US Navy, because of their narrower inventory of 7. The refurbished feed mechanism was left-hand feed only. It was different from the one in the M60 GPMG in that the open end of the belt had to be on top so it could be stripped out.
XXI of Finnish Air Force Belgian paratrooper vehicle The M pattern has been used in countries all over the world in a variety of forms and under a number of different designations. The Browning Mk 1 and Mk 2 were older-style Commonwealth designations for the. The post-war designations for these weapons was L3, and they were used by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia to designate the fixed A1 and flexible A2 versions of the MA4 in.
The A3 is the modified version of the A1, and the A4 is the modified version of the A2. The Canadians later adopted a separate designation for 7. An M derivative was manufactured in Belgium as the FN Manufactured in the late s. The Poles developed a copy of the Browning M chambered for 7. It shipped in a variety of calibers, including the basic. The MG Light Aircraft Machine Gun could be used in flexible- pintle-mounted , fixed- wing-mounted , or synchronized- through the propeller models.
The Fixed model had a backplate. It used a cable connected to an operating slide connected to a stud on the bolt to fire it; tension in the cable causes the trigger to activate and slack in the cable causes it to stop. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
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November Learn how and when to remove this template message The Browning M remains popular with civilian enthusiasts in the United States, though changes in to the National Firearms Act of the US Federal law regulating private ownership of machine guns prohibited the registration of new machine guns for sales to private citizens, thus freezing the number of "transferable" machine guns in private ownership.
The inflation of prices that followed, and the availability of parts from surplussed and scrapped machine guns, led to the development of semi-automatic versions of the Browning M Typically, these are built using a new right sideplate the portion legally considered the "firearm" under US law , which has a raised "island" protruding into the interior of the receiver.
This requires the use of a modified bolt, barrel extension and lock frame which have been designed to allow only semi-automatic firing.
The "island" prevents the insertion of unmodified full-automatic parts. A number of small gun companies have produced these "semi-auto machine guns" for commercial sales. Current and former users[ edit ].