Browning (7.7 mm)

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The Browning (7.7 mm) is a Browning M1919 machine gun adapted to fire the British .303 round (7.7 mm) and is seen predominantly on British aircraft.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Boomerang  ▄Boomerang Mk I · ▄Boomerang Mk II
Gladiator  ▄Gladiator Mk I · ␗Gladiator Mk I · Gladiator Mk II · Gladiator Mk IIF · Sea Gladiator Mk I · Gladiator Mk IIS · Tuck's Gladiator Mk II
Hurricane  Hurricane Mk I/L · Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · ▄Hurricane Mk I/L · Sea Hurricane Mk IB · Hurricane Mk IIB/Trop
Seafire  Seafire LF Mk.III · ▄Seafire LF Mk.III · Seafire F Mk XVII
Spitfire Mk I-V  Spitfire Mk Ia · Spitfire Mk IIa · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire Mk IIb · Spitfire Mk Vb · Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · ▄Spitfire Mk Vb/trop
Spitfire Mk IX-XIV  Spitfire F Mk IX · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XIVc
Typhoon  Typhoon Mk Ia
Strike aircraft  Beaufighter Mk X · Beaufighter Mk 21 (Defensive) · Hurricane Mk IV · Mosquito FB Mk VI · Mosquito FB Mk XVIII · Mosquito FB.Mk.26
Beaufort  Beaufort Mk VIII (Defensive)
Blenheim  Blenheim Mk IV
Boston  ▄Boston Mk I
Halifax  Halifax B Mk IIIa (Defensive)
Hampden  Hampden Mk I · Hampden TB Mk I · ▂Hampden TB Mk I
Havoc  ▄Havoc Mk I
Hudson  ▄Hudson Mk V
Lancaster  Lancaster B Mk I (Defensive) · Lancaster B Mk III (Defensive) · Lancaster MR.7 (Defensive)
SB2U  SB2U-2
Stirling  Stirling B Mk I (Defensive) · Stirling B Mk III (Defensive)
Sunderland  Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V
V-156  V-156-B1
Wellington  Wellington Mk Ic (Defensive) · ▀Wellington Mk Ic (Defensive) · Wellington Mk Ic/L (Defensive) · Wellington Mk III (Defensive) · Wellington Mk X (Defensive)
Utility helicopters  Wessex HU Mk.5

Note that the SB2U-2, the single American plane armed with the Browning .303, has a unique gun with lower accuracy than the ones found on British planes.

General info

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Available ammunition

  • Default: T · AP · AP-I · Ball · I
  • Universal: T · AP · AP-I · AP-I · I
  • Tracers: I-T · AP-I · I-T · AP-I
  • Stealth: AP-I · AP-I · I

The British version of the Browning comes with a very potent incendiary round, which is capable of setting even the toughest adversary alight. The armour-piercing incendiary round shares this destructiveness, which is why the use of either Stealth or Tracer ammunition belts is recommended. Unlike the original American variant, the British Default belt is somewhat usable due to a lower amount of ball rounds, but researching the belts should still be a relatively high priority.

Comparison with analogues

The 7.7 mm Browning is similar in performance to the American 7.62 mm Browning.

Comparable machine guns to Browning (7.7 mm)
Name Year of Creation Mass Rounds Per Minute Ammunition Feed Type
Browning (7.7 mm) 1935 14 kg 1,000 RPM 7.7 x 56 mm Belt
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

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Pros and cons


  • High rate of fire
  • Tracer belts are composed entirely of incendiary bullets which are effective at setting fires
  • Has higher velocity, accuracy and is less prone to jamming than other LMGs such as the MG 15 and ShKAS
  • On planes with Hispano cannons and Browning machine guns, the .303 tracers can be used to aim the 20 mm shells


  • Pitiful damage against aircraft structures such as spars and skin (same as other LMGs)
  • High damage drop-off (same as other LMGs)
  • Poor stock belts with relatively high ball round content


The original main aircraft-mounted machine gun for Britain was the Vickers, a World War I design that was mostly unchanged from the guns used by the British Army Machine Gun Corps. In the inter-war period, the United States and the United Kingdom both evolved their aircraft designs and recognized it was better if newer aircraft mounted their machine guns on the wings instead of the fuselage. This change would necessitate using a new machine gun which the Air Ministry requested in 1930. In 1931, Colt Firearms in the United States, who collaborated with the Belgian company FN, presented their new aircraft variant of the M1919A4 Browning Machine Gun to the Air Ministry. The Air Ministry ordered their first 60 Brownings in 1936, but they required some changes to the design. The most significant change is the conversion to open bolt from the original closed bolt design. This change was done to reduce the risk the cordite propellant used in British ammunition would "cook off" or get so hot the gun would start firing on its own. The modification meant the guns could no be synchronized to fire through a propeller, but it was mostly irrelevant due to the switch to wing-mounts.

The Browning was first mounted on biplane fighters like the Gloster Gladiator or Hawker Fury, replacing the Vickers guns previously used, but it would more notably used on Britain's primary fighters of the war, the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. These new fighters had eight guns based on calculations made by Captain F.W. "Gunner" Hill, who concluded that eight guns each capable of 1,000 rounds per minute would be the optimal armament for future fighters in 1934. However, during the Battle of Britain in 1940, this configuration was found to be obsolete leading to the development of Hispano Mk.II cannon for these fighters to provide more firepower. These new cannon armed fighters did however, keep four of the outboard Brownings in place due to the outboard cannons freeze in the air. However, this problem would be fixed near the end of the war with the Hispano Mk.V which would lead to the Browning being phased out.

Along with their fighters, the .303 Browning was used in fixed mounts on the Fairey Fulmar naval reconnaissance aircraft and early models of their bombers such as the Bristol Blenheim, Fairey Battle, Handley Page Hampden, the American lend-lease Martin Maryland and Baltimore, Fairey Swordfish, American Lockheed Hudson and Douglas Boston, Blackburn Skua, and Bristol Beaufort. It was also used in electrically-operated turrets made by Boulton Paul and Nash & Thompson, and continued to see use in the fighter-bombers and night fighters of the de Havillard Mosquito aircraft even after it began getting phased for the Hispano cannons.Thanks to lend-lease, the USSR also get to use the .303 Brownings on the Hurricane Mk IIB and fighters of the Hurricane design. According to Soviet pilots, it was as reliable as their own ShKAS machine guns, but frequently failed when exposed to dust required cloth covers for the feeding and ejector port.



See also

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

External links

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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
7.92 mm  FN-Browning M.36 No.3 · FN-Browning M.36 No.4
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