More on the Leupold CQBSS M2 Browning Mount

Jason sent me another photo of the Leupold CQBSS M2 Browning Mount. Some of those who commented on my previous post about it were, as I was before, skeptical of the utility of a sniper scope on a heavy machine gun. The armchair Commandant in me thinks that the Corps’ plan is to enable troops to accuracy engage targets at a much longer range than they are presently able to do so.

In 1967 sniper legend Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock set the record for the longest combat kill,2,500 yards, using a M2 Browning with a custom-build scope mount. This record remained unbroken until 2002.

[ Many thanks to TenPoundMonkey for photos and info. ]

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.


  • William C.

    I can understand the utility of mounting a scope or aimpoint on the Browning .50 cal. But isn’t that mount a bit overkill?

    • Unlike a sniper, a gunner probably does not have the time to click adjust the elevation on his scope. This mount allow the gunner to quickly dial in the estimated distance.

    • kris moore

      I can attest to the accuracy of a good M2. In my 9 years I shot quite a few and as a armorer test fired and ran several hundred through thousands and thousands or rounds or live fire.

      With a relatively tight gun with a good barrel it was easy to walk rounds out to human sized targets at long ranges and stay on the money.

      considering it is to be used for equipment and materials as per the Geneva convention a magnified optic and a good crew could be very useful.

      • Ty

        The Geneva convention says nothing about using .50 cal against human targets. I used to be a Bradley gunner and we trained in the use of 25mm HE against human targets if they were outside the effective range of the 7.62mm coax. 800 meters was tracer burnout, I seem to remember.

        Tank commanders have M2’s on a pintle. There is no possible way that if the tank is being charged by men on foot that the TC can’t shoot back at them.

        There are anti-personnel 120mm tank rounds as well. Not to mention 155mm howitzers using HE are intended for soft targets.

        The Geneva convention only regulates shotguns and expanding bullets (hollowpoint) as far as anti-personnel ammunition. Seems kind of funny if you can use hellfire missiles to kill a man but not buckshot. But those are the laws of land warfare.

      • John Doe

        You can shoot at people with a .50 cal, just not with explosive ammunition, except the Raufoss (which is VERY messy).

      • Nater

        You’re not supposed to shoot people with HEIAP and other non-FMJ .50 BMG rounds if you can avoid it. There are many allowances built into the regulations. For example, if you’re a sniper engaged in anti-materiel activity, you’re not required to change from Mk 211 to M33.

  • 18D

    I just don’t understand why they bought a $5,000 scope with a 1.1x setting, only to spend countless more $ on special mount and Eotech HWS.

    • Mainly because a 1.1 scope is still a scope with parallax issues and really needing one-eye shooting. It’s not at all like using a 1x unmagnified optic.

      A red dot / aimpoint/ eotech is true 1X – faster, more forgiving of head position, etc.

      • 18D

        That’s exactly my point Jason. They could have got a cheaper scope for half the price, and then mounted the Eotech combo. Why pay lots of $ for a feature you’re not going to use anyway?

    • subase

      Perhaps the scope is more shock resistant. It’s CQB feature may indicate an increased shock resistance, good enough to sustain a .50 cal on fully automatic.

      • 18D

        Doubtful that’s the reason. Leupold is not a high end scope manufacturer. There are many other scopes out there that can take a pounding and still cost less than this scope. The Marines essentially wasted precious defense budget dollars.


    I agree that it doesn’t seem designed for this purpose. Why do you need expensive MIL adjusted scope with exposed turrets on something you are going to set and forget? Maybe we just needed to issue another contract to Leopold and this was already developed.

  • Lance

    A bit BIG but the use of a scope and EO tech would be helpful.

  • jamesvini

    old hathcock has got a biography out. it makes for an interesting read. sorry i forget the name of it.

    • John Doe

      There are many biographies of Gunny Hathcock, but a favorite is the only titled “Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills”.

      • jamesvini

        Yes that is the one! thanks!

  • Joe Schmoe

    Another case of the Marine Corp wasting money for no reason.

    Why not get the Israeli RCWS which also allows for manual control if needed/wanted? This Leopold/EOTech system exposes the gunner to an insane degree.

    • Nater

      I’d just go with the Elcan SprecterHR/SpecterOS 4x combination. It’s smaller, less complicated, probably more durable, and might be more expensive.

      Remote weapons stations are generally hideously expensive.

  • Shooter

    Would everyone who doesn’t know a damn thing about the laws covering ground warfare just please shut up and stop rehashing incorrect and irrelevant information about the subject?

    My instinctive response upon seeing the picture above is to cringe in horror at the sheer volume of useless bolt-on crap. Someone, somewhere in procurement desperately needs to be beaten upside the head with an M2HB barrel for their crimes against common sense and practicality. Ignoring the questions of cost and economies of scale for such a wildly specialized and elaborate system, the viability and durability of a mount seems highly suspect. And that’s not even going into the issue of the optics selection…


    • Nater

      I can’t speak for anything besides Mk 211. The Norwegian Government would rather it not be used on people and Raufoss is a Norwegian company. The exception to that is for snipers. That’s not binding international law, however.

      Incendiary or explosive projectiles with a mass of under 400 grams were illegal for naval warfare under the St. Petersburg Declaration, but that was superseded by the Hague treaties which do not outlaw similar projectiles. US policy is that Mk 211 is suitable for all targets. The US currently makes it’s own Mk 211 rounds, but I do not know if Winchester or whoever else makes them has to pay royalties to the Norwegians.

      At the end of the day, it’s a completely ridiculous exercise as no one is every going to be charged with war crimes for using this stuff against enemy personnel in combat.

  • From “old hathcock has got a biography out. it makes for an interesting read. sorry i forget the name of it.”

    I saw the same one, but i too do not recall the name. Tip of my tounge tho.

  • G

    The mount looks like a Cadex Solo Sight Mount (page 30-31):