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With a weight of 38 kg and a length of 165.6 cm, the M2 fired the .50 BMG (12.7x99) Cartridge, and had a cyclic rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute. It was fed by 110 round ammo belts that are usually kept in ammo boxes. The M2 also had a crew that could vary between two men to four men. The M2 has leaf-type iron sights and even was made to have several accessories including a tripod, the ability to switch barrels, and a flash surpressor.
Ever since its creation the "fifty cal" was used wherever US Army or its allies fought, and so far all attempts to replace it have failed. For comparison, the Soviet/Russian military has switched their 12.7 mm HMGs, from DShK to NSVT.
A modified version was adopted as the standard weapon for American aircraft. Fighters carried between four and eight in fixed installations in the wings and fuselage, while bombers used it in both turret and free swinging mounts. [N 1]
- ↑ Williams, A G. 2000. Page 153.
- Williams, Anthony G. Rapid Fire - The Development of Automatic Cannon, Heavy Machine Guns and their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air Forces. Airlife Publishing. 2000. ISBN 1-84037-122-6