How many Brownings?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms & Related Items' started by OHshooter, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. OHshooter

    OHshooter New Member

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    While watching the Military Channel the other night they were taking about the WW II fighters flown in the Pacific. They mentioned that 6000 of one model (I forget which one) US fighter were made and each plane had 6-.50 Cal Brownings in the wings, or 36,000 Brownings in just this one type fighter. Then when you consider that there were thousands of other fighters made, each of which had from 4 to 6+ guns in them, how many Brownings must have been made during the war?

    Add to this all of the bombers with ten or more .50s in them the total number must have been enormous.

    This is not even considering all of the .50 on tanks, half-tracks and other vehicles plus tripod mounts used by the ground troops.

    Does anyone have any idea how many Brownings were made from say 1940 to 1946?
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Can't say how many were made in total, but there are several variants of the M2 Browning. One was for aircraft and the other for tanks and the troops. While both were air cooled, the aircraft type had shorter and lighter barrels than their land based counterparts. If you want to keep looking for the answer, go to the bottom of our page and do a search using the following


    M2 .50

    You will come up with about 400,000 hits! Enjoy
  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    The answer is.......a whole sh*tload!

    Remember, there wasn't only the M2 Browning...the primary LMG was the .30 cal. Browning M1919 and the primary squad automatic weapon was the BAR.

    And......the M1911A1 was a "Browning" also!
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Nothing lives on and on and on as does JMB (BROWNING), as modern and up-to-date today as it was when he designed them!!!!!!!!

    :) :)
  5. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Close to 2 million!

    The "olive drab" web site says close to two million M-2 .50 cal machine guns were produced. That sounds like a high number, but consider:
    15,000 P51 with six guns per, 90,000
    15,000 P47 with 8 guns per, 120,000
    12,000 B-17 with 10 (13?) guns per, 120,000
    19,000 B-24 with 10 guns per, 190,000
    5,000+ B-25 with 6 or more guns per 30,000
    5,000 B-26 with 11 (?) guns per 55,000
    4,000 B-29 with 10 guns per 40,000
    7,000 A-20 with 8 (?) guns per 56,000
    2,500 A-26 with 6 (?) guns per 15,000
    9,000 P-38 with 4 guns per, 36,000
    8,000 F4F with 4 guns per, 32,000
    12,000 F6F with 6 guns per, 72,000

    This alone would add up to 856,000 M-2 .50 cal machine guns. And that is not counting guns on the P-39, P-40, P-63 and the spares for all these planes. And this is counting just the guns used by aircraft!

    The Army and Marines were allso big users of the M-2.
    50,000 M-4 Shermans with one gun per 50,000
    5,000 M-10 tank destroyers 5,000
    2,500 M-18 Hellcat tank destroyers 2,500
    5,000 M-24 Chaffe light tanks + 5,000
    ---------
    62,000
    150 M-2 .50 cal per infantry division 80 Divisions 12,000
    Last edited: May 21, 2005
  6. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    The Winchester Lever action was Browning's design, too! He is the MAN! He designed over 80 different guns that were produced. Good book on him.
    John M. Browning-American Gunmaker by John Browning & Curt Gentry . I bought it from Midway a year ago. Interesting reading :)
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Uh, you're also forgetting that at least one .50 was on MOST of the pre-war fighters, USAAC, Navy, and USMC, from the various P-12s, P-26s, P35s, and the F2/F3 series Grumman Biplanes, the F4Bs...and don't forget the F4F-4, the MOST delivered Wildcat had 6, as well as about half of the FM-2 Eastern Wildcats...

    Plus the F2A Buffalos...much less EVERY pre war bomber, tactical or Medium...heck, even though MOST were only produced in the hundreds, there were MANY different designs adopted...

    And the "add on packs" or theater chop jobs they put on the B-25s, A-20s, Australian Beaufighters, PB4Y privateers...most had anywhere from 4-10 guns ADDED to their normal complement, and even the Glass nosed versions had at least 4 fixed in the nose after 43 as factory standard.

    Plus it was the STANDARD small AA gun for all services as well until 43, so until the 20mm surpassed it in late 42 early 43, EVERY US warship had tons of them, both aircooled and watercooled...

    And don't forget PT boats, ALL the various landing craft, YPs, PCs, SCs, Minesweepers, tenders, Cutters, and other auxiliaries...

    And how about the quad AA mounts? Both towed and halftrack mounted...and oh yeah I almost forgot, EVERY halftrack, armored car, (not only US!) SP artillery, scout car, MOST Deuce and a halfs....

    Not BAD for a weapon designed in 1919 to just be an ANTI-TANK weapon....


    Canfield has an overall production number of 1,964,418 M-2s of all types, of which the bulk were aircraft guns. 347000+ were produced for infantry use.

    But his does NOT include the Model 1921 or 1921A1 .50 Brownings, which would add a few thousand more to the totals...


    And just for the record, 90% of all CIVILIAN casualties at Pearl Harbor were caused by spent .50 slugs "coming back down..." So I wonder JUST how many civilians got hit by ALL those .50 slugs expended 30000 feet over Germany raining down, much LESS the empty cases...

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