M2HB (12.7 mm)

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M2HB (12.7 mm)
Weapon M2HB 12.7mm.jpg
General characteristics
12.7 mmCalibre
200 roundsBelt capacity
576 shots/minRate of fire
856 - 944 m/sMuzzle velocity
26 mm Maximum penetration
This page is about the M2HB (12.7 mm) mounted on ground vehicles. For the aircraft-mounted variant, see Browning M2 (12.7 mm). For other uses, see M2 (Disambiguation).

Description

The Browning M2HB is an American .50 cal (12.7 mm) heavy machine gun, it is a variant of the legendary Browning M2 machine gun. The M2 is by far the most ubiquitous machine gun in the game; the airborne Browning M2 is found somewhere in every nation's (apart from Italy's) aircraft tree, the ground based M2HB is found in every nation's tank tree, and the naval based AN-M2 is found in the US naval tree. Being a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun the M2HB has an okay amount of armour penetration, and higher damage output than medium and general purpose machine guns. This makes it much more effective at engaging weakly armoured enemy tanks, as well as aircraft.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

This machine gun is present on most America tanks, as well as on at least one tank from every other nation's ground vehicles tree.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
M4 Sherman  M4 · M4 Tipo IC · Firefly «Scorpion»
M4A1 Sherman  M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · ▄M4A1 · Sherman II
M4A2 Sherman  M4A2 · ▀M4 748 (a) · M4A2 (76) W · ▂M4A2
M4A3 Sherman  M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W · ▅M4A3 (76) W
M4A3E2 Sherman Jumbo  M4A3E2 (76) W · M4A3E2 · ▄M4A3E2 · Cobra King
M4A4 Sherman  Sherman Firefly
M8  M8 · M8 HMC · M8A1
M10 Wolverine  M10 GMC · ▄M10 GMC · Achilles · Achilles (65 Rg.)
M18 Hellcat  M18 GMC · M18 “Black Cat” · Super Hellcat
M24 Chaffee  M24 · M24 (TL) · ▅M24
M26 Pershing  M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1 · T26E1-1 · M26 "D.C.Ariete" · M26A1
T32  T32 · T32E1
M36 Jackson  M36 GMC · M36B1
M41 Walker Bulldog  M41A1 · ▅M41A1
M46/47 Patton  M46 · M46 “Tiger” · M47 · mKPz M47 G · M47 (105/55)
T95  T95 · T95E1
M1 Abrams  M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams
Type-74  Type 74 · Type 74G
Half-track  M13 MGMC · M15A1 CGMC · M16 MGMC
Other (USA)  M2A2 · M6A1 · T14 · T20 · T25 · T28 · T29
  T30 · T34 · T54E1 · T92 · M103 · M551 · Merkava Mk.1
Other (Britain)  T17E2 · Sho't Kal Dalet
Other (Japan)  ST-A1 · STB-1 · Type 60 ATM · Type 61 · Type 75 · Type 90
Other (Italy)  OF-40 Mk.2A · M113A1 (TOW)
Other (France)  AMX-30

General info

The M2HB is a fairly standard 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, with ok rate of fire and a good belt capacity.

Available shells

In it's most common role as a secondary (co-axial or pintle mounted) machine gun the M2HB can only be equipped with one ammo belt consisting of one Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T) bullet, followed by one Incendiary (I) bullet, followed by one Armour Piecing (AP) bullet, followed by another API-T bullet. The AP bullet has the most penetration at 26 mm maximum, followed by the API-T bullet with 23 mm maximum. The incendiary bullet has very poor penetration with a maximum penetration of 2 mm.

The M2HB is also used as the primary weapon on some vehicles (predominantly SPAA, but also tanks such as the M2A2). In these cases the M2HB can be equipped with a number of different ammo belts. While none of these belts contain a higher maximum penetration than the default belt (26 mm), they consist of different combinations of rounds.

The full belts are:

  • Default: Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T) - Incendiary (I) - Armour Piercing (AP) - Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T)
  • API (Primary Weapons Only): Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T) - Armour Piercing Incendiary (API) - Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T)
  • AP (Primary Weapons Only): Armour Piercing (AP) - Armour Piercing (AP) - Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T)
  • APIT (Primary Weapons Only): Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T)
  • Universal (M15A1 CGMC and M2A2 only): Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T) - Incendiary (I) - Armour Piercing (AP) - Armour Piercing Incendiary Tracer (API-T)
Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90°
10m 100m 500m 1,000m 1,450m 1,500m 2,000m 2,500m
API-T 23 22 16 10 N/A 6 5 3
I 2 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0 0
AP 26 25 19 12 N/A 7 4 3
API 23 22 16 10 N/A 6 5 3
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay

in m:

Fuse sensitivity

in mm:

Explosive Mass in g
(TNT equivalent):
Normalization At 30°
from horizontal:
Ricochet:
0% 50% 100%
API-T 887 0.0403 N/A N/A N/A  ??°  ??°  ??°  ??°
I 944 0.041 N/A N/A N/A  ??°  ??°  ??°  ??°
AP 856 0.046 N/A N/A N/A  ??°  ??°  ??°  ??°
API 887 0.0403 N/A N/A N/A  ??°  ??°  ??°  ??°

Comparison with analogues

The M2HB performs functionally identically to the M85 (12.7 mm) machine gun, the only other 12.7mm machine gun used by the Americans. Like the M85 it has a slightly lower rate of fire than other 12.7 mm machine guns, but has a larger belt capacity.

Usage in battles

Unlike lower calibre machine guns the M2HB has enough penetration to be able to penetrate the armour of lightly armoured tanks (or the side / rear armour of some more heavily armoured tanks, bullets can also sometimes make it through armour holes such as the turret ring, or mg port of tanks, injuring crew members. Like all other machine guns it can be used for incapacitating exposed crew members, as well as marking enemy vehicles and obscuring the view of enemy players (shooting at their gun sight). It also does more damage to enemy aircraft than lower calibre machine guns, and is usually mounted on top of the turret, making aiming at aircraft much easier than with a co-axial gun. Clearing trees and bushes is another use.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Enough penetration to damage some enemy vehicles
  • Good belt capacity
  • Rate of fire is average
  • 3/4 (75%) rounds in the belt have good penetration


Cons:

  • Slower rate of fire than Soviet 12.7 mm machine guns

History

The M2HB is an American .50 cal heavy machine gun, cambering the .50 BMG (12.7×99 mm NATO) round; it is the "Heavy Barrel" version of the legendary Browning M2 series of machine guns. Machine guns used in the First World War tended to be of rifle calibre, however towards the end of the war it became apparent that larger calibre weapons were needed in order to defeat armoured vehicles and aircraft. In mid 1917 John Browning set about redesigning his M1917 machine gun (the same weapon the .30 cal M1919 was developed from), to chamber a .50 cal (12.7 mm) round. The new weapon was tested in October 1918 and was found to have poor rate of fire and inadequate penetration, as well as being heavy and hard to control. Further development work to improve the weapon's short comings resulted in the M1921, a .50 cal water-cooled machine gun, which entered testing 1921.

The M1921 entered service with the US Army and Navy in 1929. The weapon was very heavy at 121 lb (55 kg) and concerns were raised about it's suitability for the role due to it's extreme weight and the rapid overheating of the air-cooled version. After John Browning's death in 1926 work on the M1921 continued with a slightly improved M1921A1 version entering service in 1930. The M1921 was re-engineered with a new receiver design, and in 1933 it entered service as the M2 Browning.

The initial Browning M2s shared the same water-cooled barrel as the M1921 (and thus the same heavy weight of 55 kg). Like the M1921 the M2 proved to overheat rapidly without water cooling and so the M2HB (HB standing for "Heavy Barrel") was developed. The M2HB had a thicker and heavier barrel to help dissipate heat, as well as featuring the weapon's iconic short perforated barrel support and carry handle. Despite featuring a heavier barrel, the ditching of the water cooling system meant that the weight of the weapon could be reduced down to 84 lb (38 kg).

The M2 family saw widespread usage by the Allies in WW2 being mounted on armoured (un-armoured) vehicles, aircraft and ships; the M2 was also supplied with a tripod to infantry. The M2HB was pintle mounted on tanks and other armoured vehicles, as well as on jeeps and trucks; it was also mounted on tripods for use by infantry. After the war a plan was made to replace the M2 with the M85, however the new weapon proved to be extremely unreliable and was withdrawn from service (ironically being replaced by the M2). Although the M2 Browning is mostly no longer used on aircraft (being replaced by the M3 and the by larger calibre cannons), the M2HB remains in service to this day with a wide range of nations. It is used on armoured vehicles, boats and by infantry. From 2010 the US army began replacing the M2HB with the upgraded M2A1 version, featuring a quick change barrel a flash suppressor, and other improvements, the upgrade process is still ongoing with the plan being for all 54,000 of the army's M2 Browning machine guns to eventually be upgraded to M2A1 spec.

The Browning M2 remains the most produced heavy machine gun of all time with over 3,000,000 being built.

Media

An excellent addition to the article would be a video guide, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

External links


Britain and USA anti-aircraft guns
7.92 mm  BESA
12.7 mm  Browning M2HB
20 mm  Oerlikon Mk.II · M168
30 mm  HSS-831L
35 mm  Oerlikon KDA
37 mm  M1A2
40 mm  Bofors

Tank machine guns
USA  7.62 mm: M1919A4 · M37 · M60D · M73 · M240
  12.7 mm: M2HB · M85 · M8C
Germany  7.62 mm: MG 3A1 · FN MAG 60-40
  7.92 mm: MG 13 Dreyse · MG 34 · MG 42 · vz.37
USSR  7.62 mm: DT · Maxim · SGMT · PKT · RP-46
  12.7 mm: DK · DShK · NSVT
  14.5 mm: KPVT
Britain  7.62 mm: L3A1 · L8A1 · L8A2 · L37A1 · L37A2 · L94A1
  7.7 mm: Vickers
  7.92 mm: BESA
  12.7 mm: L21A1
Japan  6.5 mm: Type 91
  7.62 mm: Type 74
  7.7 mm: Type 97
  12.7 mm: Type 60 (B)
Italy  7.62 mm Beretta MG 42/59
  8 mm: Breda Mod. 38
France  7.5 mm: MAC 31 · AAT-52
  7.62 mm: AAN-F1