War Thunder Wiki
War Thunder Wiki
AN/M3 Browning Machine Gun
Nation United States
Classification Machine Gun
Caliber .50-cal (12.7mm)
Rate of Fire 1200 rounds/min
Muzzle Velocity 890 m/s
One Second Burst Mass 0.87 kg
Reload Speed {{{Reload}}} sec

The AN/M2 Browning Machine Gun is easily the most common weapon on American Aircraft, both as an offensive weapon found on fighter aircraft as well as studding the various gun ports and turrets located on bomber aircraft.  Going by numbers alone, the M2 Machine Gun is a contender (along with the Berezin UB) for the title of "most powerful machine gun" currently featured, causing far more damage than the similar-sized Breda-SAFAT or Ho-103 machine guns.  These machine guns are commonly featured in batteries of 4-8, usually wing mounted with some exceptions, and generously provisioned with ammunition.  These factors combine to create a weapon that is absolutely devastating at close ranges, but still capable of engaging at longer ranges without having worry about ammunition running out.

The AN/M3 Browning Machine Gun is essentially the same weapon but increases rate of fire from approximately 800 rounds / minute to around 1200, mulitplying firepower by a factor of 1.5.

Ammunition Available

Found on

  • Linked list of aircraft featuring the weapon system (note whether offensive or defensive armament)

Operational History

The M2 Machine Gun or Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning. It is very similar in design to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun , which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. The M2 uses the much larger and much more powerful .50 BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself (BMG standing for Browning Machine Gun). The M2 has been referred to as "Ma Deuce", as a GI phonetic slang or "the fifty" in reference to its caliber.

The M2 machine gun was widely used during World War II and in later postwar conflicts as a remote or flexible aircraft gun. For fixed (offensive) or flexible (defensive) guns used in aircraft, a dedicated M2 version was developed called the .50 Browning AN/M2. The "AN" stands for "Army/Navy", since the gun was developed jointly for use by both services (unusual for the time, when the delineations between the Army and Navy were much stricter, and relations between armed services were often cool, if not outright hostile). The AN/M2 had a cyclic rate of 750–850 rounds per minute, with the ability to be fired from an electrically operated remote-mount solenoid trigger when installed as a fixed gun. Cooled by the aircraft's slip-stream, the air-cooled AN/M2 was fitted with a substantially lighter 36-inch (91 cm) length barrel, lightening the complete unit to 61 pounds (28 kg), which also had the effect of increasing the rate of fire. The official designation for this weapon was Browning Machine Gun, Aircraft, Cal. .50, AN/M2 (Fixed) or (Flexible).

During World War II, a faster-firing Browning was developed for aircraft use. The AN/M3 features a mechanical or electrically boosted feed mechanism to increase the rate of fire to around 1,200 rounds per minute. The AN/M3 was used in Korea on the F-86 Sabre , F-84 Thunderjet and F-80 Shooting Star , and in Vietnam in the XM14/SUU-12/A gun pod.

The Browning .50 caliber machine gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States from the 1930s to the present. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, and during the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan in the 2000s and 2010s. It is the primary heavy machine gun of NATO countries, and has been used by many other countries. The M2 has been in use longer than any other small arm in U.S. inventory except the .45 ACP M1911 pistol, also designed by John Browning.