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Thread: M2 .50-Cal Machine Gun Headspace and Timing

  1. #1
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    Default M2 .50-Cal Machine Gun Headspace and Timing

    The U.S. Army is coming up with a product improvement to the M2 .50-cal that eliminates the headspace and timing gauge. A description of the upgrade is on this link.
    Last edited by Pete; 03-25-2011 at 11:00.

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    You tease. What link? Nick

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    If you put your cursor over the words "this link" it will appear. Perhaps Jeff needs to tweak the software so links will be underlined. Here's the URL:

    http://peosoldier.armylive.dodlive.mil/2011/01/03/m2a1/

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    After more than 30 years I can still remember how to head space a .50. This is a solution in search of a problem! Browning's genius was again displayed when he designed the M2 and a simple way to check the head space after a barrel change. So we are going to spend lots of money rather than train people properly and make sure they maintain their weapons properly. The Army tried this type of system with their M85 .50 cal. The M85 was a total failure and everybody reverted to the good old M2. As a former Armor officer ask me what I would rather have.

    Bill

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    I had two periods of instruction on how to set headspace and timing, one in MOS 13B OSUT and the other in OCS 1977-78, when I was in the Army. In each case the instructional pitch was, "Gather around and listen up" while an NCO showed how it is done, but in neither case was there actual hands-on for individual students. I wouldn't feel competent at it until until I'd actually done it four or five times to an instructor's satisfaction. The problem with training the task is that it's instructor-intensive, one-on-one. It could be done as concurrent training, like at the rifle range for the guys who aren't firing. Instead of waiting around for their turn to shoot they could stop at stations for headspace and timing, first aid, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical, etc.
    Last edited by Pete; 03-25-2011 at 02:09.

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    Typical US government, if it isn't broken it will be when they get done. How did the military manage with out this for over 70yrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    If you put your cursor over the words "this link" it will appear. Perhaps Jeff needs to tweak the software so links will be underlined. Here's the URL:

    http://peosoldier.armylive.dodlive.mil/2011/01/03/m2a1/
    I started underlining my links, you can do both.
    Phillip McGregor (OFC)
    "I am neither a fire arms nor a ballistics expert, but I was a combat infantry officer in the Great War, and I absolutely know that the bullet from an infantry rifle has to be able to shoot through things." General Douglas MacArthur

  8. #8
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    Excellent modification. Barrel change will be much like that of the 20mm in WWII. Quick and easy!

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    Default Fabrique Nationale Herstal

    Fabrique Nationale Herstal is said to have come up with a version of the Browning .50-caliber MG some years ago that has fixed headspace that doesn't require being checked with the gauge. The upgrade the U.S. is implementing is our own version. On another forum a German guy said the U.S. should have bought the FN Herstal version. A lot has been said about how costly the "military-industrial complex" is, but if a nation wants designers and manufacturers with expertise in making military systems a bit of money has to be regularly spent to keep those engineers and corporations in business, just in case they're urgently needed for the survival of the nation.

  10. #10
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    Yup, this has been around for years. it's the old 'Not invented here" syndrome Remember the Lewis gun? Invented here, made in Belgium and the U.K. but what did we fight WW1 with? The Chauchat
    Why? because the then chief or ordnance HATED Col. Lewis
    Why did we go with the M14 instead of the FAL? Col Studler "fixed" the tests. Oh yeah, the story was that the M14 could be made on the same machinery as the M1. No, it couidn't.
    Now, I suppose the M60 worked most of the time, but it used the same op rod and bolt system as the lewis gun, The buttstock of the mg42, and unfortunately a single lift belt feed instead of the double lift of the german gun.
    And what's wrong with a quick change barrel on the .50 browning? Less time to change barrels and you don't have to worry about losing the gage.
    Last edited by John Sukey; 03-25-2011 at 09:55.

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