Number One Browning 50 caliber machine gun after 90
by Jack Corbett
Number One Browning 50 caliber machine gun after 90 years is still going strong due to its power, reliability, and versatility.
Imagine the prototypal 1827 infantryman's weapon still being used 90 years later in the trench warfare of World War I of 1917. The gun would have been a flint lock muzzle loading smooth bore musket, firing four shots a minute and accurate out to only fifty yards and it would have been competing against machine guns and bolt action repeating high powered rifles. So at this rate you'd expect a weapon designed during World War I to be just as hopelessly outmoded nearly ninety years later on the 21st century battlefield.
Until you examine the legacy of its designer, John Browning, that is. Browning's 45 automatic pistol that was adopted by the U.S. Armed forces in 1911, now nearly 100 years old, is still the quintessential sidearm of armed professionals worldwide, the finest defensive close quarter combat handgun the world has ever known. The Browning automatic rifle first used during World War I was still giving an excellent account of itself more than fifty years later in Vietnam while etching a permanent spot for itself on the battlefields of World War I and Korea along with its stable mate, the Browning 1919 30 caliber machine gun. Today, practically ninety years later, the heavy 50 caliber machine gun still plays a prominent role in the armed forces of over twenty nations, including the U.S. If there is any question about John Browning being a man ahead of his time consider that the 50 caliber was much more than a tripod mounted belt fed machine gun used for hosing down enemy soldiers. Browning's 50 caliber machine guns were mounted in the wings and noses of fighter aircraft to be used for shooting down enemy planes and ground targets. The 50 cal provided the defensive armament for U.S. World War II bombers. It was used as secondary armament for tanks while being mounted in practically every ground vehicle imaginable, used on PT boats and other naval vessels, and employed in an ground to air anti aircraft role making it one of the most versatile weapons of all time.
The awesome stopping power of the 50 cal's 700 grain bullet can best be put in perspective by considering that one of the most powerful elephant guns, the .577 Nitro Express, could be relied upon by professional ivory hunters to knock an elephant out with a single shot to the skull whether the brain was hit or not, and that just one bullet from the 50 caliber machine gun churns out twice the muzzle energy of the .577 Nitro Express.
About the Model
Her name is Carmen
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