The Browning M1919 was a .30 calibre light machine gun
family widely used during the 20th century. It was used
as a light infantry, coaxial, mounted, aircraft, and
anti-aircraft machine gun by the U.S. and many other
countries, especially during World War II, the Korean
War, and the Vietnam War. Although it began to be
superseded by newer designs in the later half of the
century (such as by the M60 machine gun), it remained in
use in many NATO countries and elsewhere for much
As an infantry weapon, it was usually crew operated by 2
soldiers: the gunner, who carried the tripod and
ammunition; and the assistant gunner, who carried the
weapon, spare parts, and sometimes more ammunition and
when in action, fed the ammunition belts into the gun to
ensure smooth entry of each round in the belt,
decreasing the chance of the weapon jamming.
The original idea was to allow the gun to be more easily
packed for transport, and featured a light barrel and
bipod when first introduced as the M1919A1.
Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the gun was
too heavy to be easily moved, while at the same time too
light for sustained fire. This led to the M1919A2, which
included a heavier barrel and tripod, and could be
continuously fired for longer durations.
The M1919A4 weighed about 31 pounds (14 kg), and usually
was mounted on a tripod (for infantry use), or from a
fixed mount. It saw wide use in World War II mounted on
such vehicles as: jeeps, tanks, and ships.
The A5 was an adaptation of the A4 with a forward
mounting point to allow it to be mounted in tanks and
armoured cars. This, along with the M37 and the Browning
M2 machine gun, was the most common secondary armament
during WWII for the Allies.
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