Army to convert Browning M2 to M2A1

In June the US Army began upgrading their .50 cal M2 heavy machine guns to the slightly improved M2A1 variant. The M2A1 allows the operator to replace the barrel without have adjust headspace and timing. reports …

Bonner said this is the first major change to the M2 weapon system since the machine gun was fielded in the 1930s.

This fiscal year, the Small Arms Repair Facility expects to overhaul 1,700 M2 machine guns. An additional 3,600 are planned for fiscal year 2012 and the program is slated to continue for several more years.

“This is a lot of good work for the small arms facility,” said Bonner. “This work is going to last for several years.”

Approval for the conversion program included a pilot overhaul and conversion in February and March. In June, the first of the 1,700 weapons for fiscal year 11 were inducted.

In almost 80 years of service, John Moses Browning’s M2 has remained virtually unchanged.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • howlingcoyote

    I guess they must be plannig to go to Texas to hunt wild hogs with these guns!

  • Kyle

    Just makes it easier for the enlisted man, which is even better.

  • William C.

    Only now did they just get around to this upgrade? Sure took them long enough.

  • gunslinger

    why do i feel the need to make a “Sons of Guns ‘Gamechanger'” comment here?

  • Lance

    No head spacing the better with scope mounts the M-2 will solder on for hopefully another 100 years.

  • For Pete’s sake, there have been add-on kits for Ma Deuce available for 30 years that would do this, and they just now wake up to it?!

  • cy

    Just want to thank you for not refering to the M2 as “Ma Deuce” in the article. It’s a fifty cal or a M2. No one I met in the military called it anything else.

  • charles222

    It’s because doing this just isn’t that hard. It’s somewhat confusing your first time, but it gets simpler when you’ve done it every day for 365 days, mysteriously enough.

  • Ted N(not the Nuge)

    We only got an actual safety for it in.. ’09, IIRC. I’m aviation, so we’re probably at the bottom of the list for small arms improvements, but still… It’s just a simple cross block underneath the butterfly triggers. Change is slow in the Army, that’s for sure.

  • charles222

    Uh, I had the safety in Baghdad in 2005 on my Humvee and it certainly wasn’t a new item then. Then again, most transport birds I’ve rode on had M60s until pretty recently. :p

  • charles222

    edit: The M2 also has an internal safety of sorts; not cocking the bolt for a second time=no firing.

  • andyinsdca

    What am I going to do with the headspace and timing gauge I err….acquired from my time in the National Guard then?