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This article deals with the Browning primarily as an aircraft and naval weapon. See the article on Small Arms for further discussion of the Browning as an infantry weapon.
|AP or incendiary in 100-round
Weight of projectile
|2770 feet per second
845 meters per second
|Rate of fire
|1350 rounds per minute`
The Browning M1919 0.30 machine gun was a successful design when used in land warfare. It used a closed-bolt short recoil action and ammunition was fed from 100-round belts. Both air-cooled and water-cooled versions were manufactured, and the water-cooled version could fire continuously for hours. Those mounted on aircraft were invariably air-cooled since the slip stream provided a highly efficient flow of air.
The aircraft gun was copied during the 1930s,
under license or otherwise, by a number of countries in several
slightly different calibers. Of these, the most important was the
7.65mm version produced by the Fabrique
Nationale in Belgium. FN was able to push the rate of
1900 rounds per minute, but the barrel wear was excessive and the
rate of fire was retained. The British
produced a 0.303 caliber version
that initially suffered from serious "cooking-off" problems with
sensitive British cordite. This problem was solved by switching to
open bolt arrangement, and by 1939 the British had a very
expensive and complicated, weapon, the Browning M2 AN.
However, the aircraft gun became increasingly
ineffective as the war progressed, since its rifle-caliber round
not heavy enough to inflict substantial structural damage on
aircraft or to penetrate aircraft armor.
It was superceded by the Browning
machine gun by
Williams and Gustin (2003)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2009, 2016 by Kent G. Budge. Index
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