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Weapons: Makeover For Ma Deuce
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August 10, 2009: Since 1921, the .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine-gun  has served the U.S. military essentially unchanged right up to the present day. A testament to its designerÂ’s genius, numerous attempts at a replacement have fallen short, especially in recent years.

However, the weapon is not without its shortcomings. One of the most annoying and time consuming fixes occurs when changing out the barrel. Upon fitting, the operator must adjust the headspace and timing in order to ensure proper function. This is a sometimes fatal flaw, as when engaged in battle, soldier is exposed to enemy fire for several minutes

Enter the M2-E2. This latest upgrade significantly increases the effectiveness of the standard .50 caliber design without altering the operating system. Most importantly, changing barrels has been reduced from several minutes to mere seconds

The ArmyÂ’s Maneuver Battle Lab recently conducted testing at Fort Benning, Georgia allowing soldiers to conduct live fire exercises with both the standard weapon and the enhanced version. Times were taken to judge the barrel change feature and feedback recorded from troops

Other aspects of the M2-E2 are a four pronged flash hider, a common barrel thread that simplifies logistics and allows conversion of existing M2 barrels to the Quick Change feature, a removable barrel handle, patented J-slot retention system for aligning barrels, closed bolt with manual trigger safety, and a picatinney rail on the receiver for optics.

Testing in hot and cold environments is underway with a fielding date yet to be determined. -- Mike Perry

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YelliChink       8/10/2009 11:37:02 PM
M2QCB has been around for long time. When I was in Taiwanese army, I have operated those made by Fabrique Nationale.  Those are definitely much easier to operate than old M2HB which requires use of one piece of timing/locking gauge every time the barrel is swapped. Funny it gets so long for the US to adopt this.
 
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aki009    M2HB QCB   8/13/2009 2:05:07 AM

M2QCB has been around for long time. When I was in Taiwanese army, I have operated those made by Fabrique Nationale.  Those are definitely much easier to operate than old M2HB which requires use of one piece of timing/locking gauge every time the barrel is swapped. Funny it gets so long for the US to adopt this.

I think the US Army has a problem with warehouses full of the older style guns and barrels. I wouldn't be surprised if the bean counters had degreed that headspace shall be measured (or guessed at) with every barrel change until the stores start to run out of barrels...
 
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WarNerd       8/13/2009 3:09:50 AM


M2QCB has been around for long time. When I was in Taiwanese army, I have operated those made by Fabrique Nationale.  Those are definitely much easier to operate than old M2HB which requires use of one piece of timing/locking gauge every time the barrel is swapped. Funny it gets so long for the US to adopt this.

I think the US Army has a problem with warehouses full of the older style guns and barrels. I wouldn't be surprised if the bean counters had degreed that headspace shall be measured (or guessed at) with every barrel change until the stores start to run out of barrels...

You are correct, except that we are finally moving from 'has' to 'had', hence the willingness to make the necessary changes.
 
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