So those of you who don’t know what the M2HB, MG is, ask what the heck is that?  It’s “ma duce”, the M2 heavy barrel machine gun, the old reliable .50 cal. heavy duty machine gun.  introduce before WWII, by Browning the old girl has been around for over 100 years and earned he dues.  She has seen duty on every battle field and place of conflict since her introduction.  It’s a heavy reliable peice of equipment that has flown in airplane wings and bomber  planes, it has been on all large ships and small river boats.  Countless vehicles from trucks to tanks have proudly carried it into battle.  Carlos Hathaway, the famed Marine Corps sniper of Viet Nam, was even reported to have affixed a rifle scope onto one and made long range shots ( this was before the newer  .50 cal. sniper weapons,) The old girl still is in active service today in Iraq and Afghanistan.  like I say she has proved the worth and paid her dues.  

       Here are some stats on ‘ma duce”

     The M2Hb machine gun is a crew served offence and defence weapon, that is fed by a disintegrating metallic lin-belt,  By repositioning some of its components parts the gun can be fed from either side (making it possible to mount two side by side for close operation)  In some instances a quadruple mount has been used to create intense fire power.  It is also capable of single shot operation.  So here are the real stats

Length: 61.42 inches

Weight: Gun 84 pounds,    M3 Tripod mount: 44 pounds, Total 128 pounds

Bore Diameter: .50 inches

 Maximun effective range: 2000 meters

 Maximum range 4.22 miles

  Cycle rate of fire: 550 rounds per min.

Replacement cost: $14,002

        So what is this article about?  It seems like the old gal might be facing retirement, after more than one-hundred years in service.

     Reportable General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, is currently developing a new .50 cal. weapon that weighs almost one-half as much as the older model M2, with less recoil and improved accuracy.  The army is set to start test trials soon.  It is thought that the new model might start replacing the old “ma duce” by 2011.

     I don”t think there is a Marine alive that has ever heard “ma” open up with her old reliable deep throat-ed steady stutter, that did not love the sound of that deep tumm! tumm! tumm!  Of course we Marines know we will be the last to see “ma duce”  go.  We always get the hind tit, when something new is introduced.  So I predict the old gal will have a century and a half at least with us Mountain Climbers.

     I just started the book “Generation Kill”  Written by the reporter embedded with the First Recon Battalion Marines, in the Gulf war.  He mentioned the heavy machine gun firing explosive rounds.  This was new to me, we did not have them in my day in the mid-fifties.  I did some research and found  what they call a explosive round does not explode per-say.  What it is  , is called a SLAP round  (Sabot Light Armor Per icing).  A sabot  round is a .30 cal armor per-icing round encased in a Teflon coatting  making it a .50 cal  round.  This allows the round to traverse the barrel at a higher rate of speed gaining velosity  and a falter trajectory with the lighter bullet.  It is capable of penetrating 3/4 inch steel at 1,500 meters.  It will chew up masonry and concrete like it is exploding.




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