Brazilian “Heat”: Feds Keep .50 BMG From Being Used in Armored Car Robbery

    Following the capture of several .50 BMG-chambered rifles from Brazilian criminals in the last few years, the time has come that the armament involved has become even more, eh, aggressive. TFB has just reported ( that a Browning “fifty” of the AN/M2 variant used in WWII aircraft was seized in Rio de Janeiro prior to being illegally sold in the underground market for an estimated $50 Grand.

    The Browning .50 BMG machine gun example recently apprehended in Rio de Janeiro was of the AN/M2 variant, typically used as waist gun in such U.S. WWII aircraft as the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers, thus the spade grips fitted. Close-up view of the few rounds of ammo also seized shows discernible headstamps. Any ID guesses?

    Browning M2s HBs have, in fact, sporadically fallen nationwide to Police hands in Brazil since 2010 or so, but factual reports of their actual use in criminal actions have been hard to find. More recently, however, attacks and robberies of money-carrying armored trucks in different parts of the country tend to support the idea that such weapons have already been used for the accomplishment of such crimes. The scheme involves stopping the vehicles with engine-disruption and armor-piercing fire, which usually makes security guards flee or have them killed, criminals then blasting the internal safes open with dynamite. Several such actions have successfully (for the bad guys!) taken place in the recent months.

    A major setback for the criminals, however, took place on September 26 in the city of Salgueiro, in the Northeastern State of Pernambuco. When a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan packed with cash bags rented from an air taxi company by a security concern landed at the local airport to transfer the money to an armored truck, a gang was waiting and opened fire on the aircraft, injuring the pilot and making it stop. Unknown to them, conversely, the DPF – Departamento de Polícia Federal (Federal Police Department) had apparently gained previous intelligence info on the criminal plan, and had a crack tactical team on the ready right on the spot. The final result of the quick action of the Brazilian feds: six outlaws killed, six rifles, ammo, and explosives seized, and a car-mounted .50 BMG Browning AN/M2 captured.

    The DIY mount inside the car which allowed the AN/M2 to fire through an opening in the rear hatch. Note the improvised armor plate fitted.

    The same weapon on display (bottom side up…) at a police facility after capture. One of the wood grips is missing.

    The SUV that carried the .50 BMG Browning machine gun is seen in this video after the September 26 confrontation with the Brazilian Feds (SOMEWHAT GRAPHIC). Robert Di Nero was not on set.

    FIFTY 07:
    Six bad guys dead, six different rifles captured (from bottom to top): a folding stock 7.62x39mm AK, a 7.62x51mm retractable stock Heckler & Koch G3A4, a 5.56x45mm IMBEL MD2 (early FAL conversion), a 7.62x51mm solid stock FAL (533mm barrel), a 5.56x45mm Ruger Mini 14, and a 7.62x51mm foldable stock FAL (436mm barrel).

    Higher-res pics? Here:

    Ronaldo Olive

    Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.