Browning (7.62 mm)

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The 7.62 mm Browning is an aircraft machine gun used on a large variety of American aircraft. Based on the M1919A4 variant of the machine gun, the aircraft version saw modifications to the design to keep weight at a minimum, such as a thinner barrel and receiver walls. The official terminology of the aircraft version of the Browning was .30 AN/M2 (not to be confused with the .50 AN/M2) and its elongated designation was Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .30, M2, Aircraft.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
BF2C-1  BF2C-1
CW-21  CW-21
F2A  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
Hawk  Hawk III
P-26  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · ○P-36C · P-36G
P-39  ▂P-39K-1 · P-39N-0
P-40  P-40C · H-81A-2
P-66  P-66
P-400  P-400
Twin-engine fighters  XF5F · YP-38
Strike aircraft  V-11 · V-12D (Defensive)
A-29  A-29
B-10  B-10B (Defensive)
B-17  B-17E (Defensive) · ▅B-17E (Defensive) · B-17E/L (Defensive)
B-18  B-18A (Defensive)
B-34  B-34
Martin 139  Martin 139WC (Defensive)
OS2U  OS2U-1 · OS2U-3
PBY-5  PBY-5 Catalina (Defensive) · PBY-5A Catalina (Defensive) · ▂PBY-5A Catalina (Defensive) · ▄Catalina Mk IIIa (Defensive) · ▄PBY-5A Late (Defensive)
SB2C  SB2C-1C (Defensive) · SB2C-4 (Defensive) · ▄SB2C-5 (Defensive)
SBD-3  SBD-3 (Defensive)
SOC-1  SOC-1
TBD-1  TBD-1 (Defensive)
TBF-1  TBF-1C (Defensive) · ▄Avenger Mk II (Defensive)
Attack helicopters  H-34 (Suspended) · ▄H-34 (Suspended)

General info

This machine gun is one of the most well-rounded plane-mounted rifle-calibre machine guns. Though not as deadly as its 12.7 mm sibling, this weapon is still a good asset in destroying your enemies with its characteristically large ammo reserve and high rate of fire. The accuracy of this gun is also to be admired, as it can still reliably hit a well-aimed shot at 700 metres of distance. The configuration of the firearm also allows it to be synchronized with a propeller, making the fuselage-mounted version very stable. The gun however is very limited by its calibre, with its AP rounds lacking in destructive power.

Available ammunition

  • Default: T · Ball · Ball · Ball · AP · I
  • Universal: T · AP · I
  • Tracers: AP · T · T · T · T
  • Stealth: AP · AP · AP · I · I
  • Default (turret): T · Ball · Ball · AP · I
  • Armoured targets (turret): T · AP · AP · AP · I

The Browning is equipped with a relatively basic set of belts, however (unlike on the British variants of this machine gun) the Tracer belt is not made up of incendiary rounds, making Stealth or Universal the superior option. It is recommended to research the belts for this weapon as soon as possible on fighters, as the default belt is mostly made up of the highly ineffective ball round which can leave the impression of shooting blanks.

Comparison with analogues

Comparable machine guns to Browning (7.62 mm)
Name Year of Creation Mass Rounds Per Minute Ammunition Feed Type
Browning (7.62 mm) 1919 14 kg 1,000 RPM 7.62 x 63 mm Belt
Type 92 navy (7.7 mm) 1932 8 kg 600 RPM 7.7 x 56 mm R Drum
Darne 1933 (7.5 mm) 1916 8.4 kg 1,350 RPM 7.5 x 54 mm MAS Belt
Breda-SAFAT (7.7 mm) 1935 12.5 kg 900 RPM 7.7 x 56 mm R Belt
MG 17 (7.92 mm) 1934 10.2 kg 1,200 RPM 7.92 x 57 mm Belt
ShKAS (7.62 mm) 1932 10.5 kg 1,800 RPM 7.62 x 54 mm R Belt
MAC 1934 (7.5 mm) 1934 10.7 kg 1,350 RPM 7.5 x 54 mm MAS Belt/Magazine

Usage in battles

The classic Browning machine gun is the most used rifle-calibre machine gun in War Thunder, with its FN-produced variations being used across many other nations. This desirability originates from its stable gun platform, high rate of fire and its widely adaptable nature. In combat this gun marks the exact middle of the road between individual bullet strength (for rifle-calibre rounds that is) and rate of fire, with it being a jack of all trades but a master of none. This makes the gun very versatile, being effective in various playstyles and situations. The outstanding feature of the gun is however the incendiary round, which is able to send even the toughest opponents into a burning descent. This round is however quite rarely used in the US ammunition belts, making it relatively weaker compared to its British counterpart. The gun is well-rounded for low-tier combat situations, with its large ammo count making it very forgiving to use. The gun does not jam very fast, however it is recommended to not overestimate this resistance and keep to firing medium bursts with minor intervals to let the guns cool down.

For fighters, its primary use is in destroying other fighters which at lower ranks have insufficient armour to stop it. You are most effective when aiming for the fuselage, as engine ignition and pilot-sniping are often faster than trying to rip off a wing. Bombers and rear-turreted strike aircraft are significantly harder to strike down because the lack of incendiary rounds can really hurt your performance and rear-turrets can pose a real threat if manually aimed by the enemy pilot.

The turreted version however is less effective, and needs precise aiming to be effective. It is only effective if aimed straight into a vital part of a plane and is usually ineffective beyond a range of 500 metres. It can take down planes if you play your cards well, but do not expect too much of its small calibre. Extensive usage is not recommended, as it leaves you flying in a straight line; wisely time your bursts so you won't hit any obstacle or get shot down.

It however is out-shined by its 12.7 mm M2 counterpart, which although lacking in rate of fire has per-bullet power that the Browning cannot match. It also lacks any effectiveness against tanks, whose armour will block all your rounds. Even very light roof armour effectively denies all damage, so the only vulnerable ground targets are SPGs, open-topped Tank Destroyers and unaware SPAA vehicles. This last target is however not recommended as most SPAA have the means to easily take you down.

Generally the Browning is a good machine gun to start learning to aim with, as it displays no large difference with any other gun of its calibre. It combines all aspects which make a good machine gun and turns it into a well-rounded and versatile option to learn the ropes with.

Pros and cons


  • Fast rate of fire
  • High ammo count
  • Able to destroy many of the early tier planes which are faced


  • Unable to penetrate tanks
  • Little power compared to M2 Browning (12.7 mm) and other high calibre machine guns
  • Ball ammo in the default belt is rather ineffective


The Browning Machine Gun, Cal .30, M2, Aircraft as it was designated is an aircraft variant of the Browning M1919A4. Starting out as a water-cooled machine gun used by the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, legendary gunsmith John Moses Browning, who designed the M1917, first built the air-cooled M1919 for use on tanks. With the aid of Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, a Belgian based firearms company, Browning's design was re-designed to arm American aircraft. Using the M1919A4 model as a base, the new .30 M2/AN was a widely adopted fixed and flexible machine gun. To reduce weight, the receiver wall and operating mechanism was made thinner and the barrel was also made lighter and thinner due to the natural air-cooling that operating an aircraft at high speeds would provide. The M2/AN was two-thirds the weight of the original M1919A4 as a result of the modifications while the lighter mechanism increased the rate of fire to 1,200-1,500 rpm compared to the M1919's 400-600 rpm. The higher rate of fire was required due the high speed opponents the gun would be used to shoot down. In the flexible configuration, the Browning was used in a twin mount configuration offering a combined cyclic rate of 2,400 rpm. The Brownings were used on both Army and Navy aircraft during World War II (hence the AN designation for the two services), but they were withdrawn starting in 1943 due to being obsolete against modern aircraft. As an aircraft machine gun, it was noted for wounding Japanese flying ace Saburō Sakai when he attempted to attack 8 SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers from behind.

An interesting footnote in the M2/AN's history is the M2 "Stinger" modification. First seeing use during the Bougainville Campaign in 1943, the "Stinger" were salvaged aircraft Brownings with bi-pods mounted that were later more extensively modified with a custom trigger, the buttstock from a M1 Garand rifle, and the bi-pod and rear sights of a M1918 BAR machine gun. The Marines would use this modification throughout the Pacific and it was at one recommended to replace the BAR, but the war ended shortly after. Marine Corporal Tony Stein received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions with a "Stinger" on Iwo Jima in 1945.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

Aircraft machine guns
7.62 mm  Browning · M134 Minigun
12.7 mm  GAU-19 · M2 Browning · M3 Browning
7.62 mm  MG3
7.92 mm  MG 15 · MG 17 · MG 81
12.7 mm  FN M3P
13 mm  MG 131
7.62 mm  DA · GShG-7.62 · PKT · PV-1 · ShKAS
12.7 mm  A-12.7 · Berezin UB · TKB-481 · YaK-B
7.62 mm  FN 60.30 · L8A1
7.7 mm  Browning · Lewis · Vickers E · Vickers K
7.7 mm  Te-1 · Type 89 · Type 89 'special' · Type 92 · Type 97 navy
7.92 mm  Type 1 · Type 98
12.7 mm  Ho-103 · Ho-104
13 mm  Type 2
13.2 mm  Type 3
12.7 mm  QJK99-12.7-1
7.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT · Lewis
7.92 mm  FN Browning
12.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT · FN M3M · Scotti
7.5 mm  Darne 1933 · Fabrique Nationale Mle 38 · FN Browning · MAC 1934 · MAC 1934T · Mle 33 · Mle 1923
7.62 mm  PKA
7.7 mm  FN-Browning M.36 No.3
8 mm  Ksp m/22 · Ksp m/22 Fh · Ksp m/22 Fv · Ksp m/22-37 R
12.7 mm  Akan m/39A · Akan m/40 · Akan m/45 · LKk/42
13.2 mm  Akan m/39 · Akan m/39A