Browning M1919 .30 calibre Light Machine Gun

Browning M1919 30 calibre Light Machine Gun

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 Although it began to be superseded by newer designs in the later half of the century (such as by the M60 machine gun), it remained in use in many NATO countries and elsewhere for much longer.

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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