View Full Version : Accuracy of the M-2 MG...

January 2, 2009, 08:15 PM
I have shot this MG a few times, but every thime I did from a tripod with plain open sights. I always wondered why they didn't put some form of optic sight onto it, or maybe they do and I don't know it. So if a nice optic sight was used; what would the accuracy of this gun achieve?

January 2, 2009, 08:53 PM
Read about Carlos Hathcock
On some occasions, however, he used a different weapon: the .50-caliber M2 Browning Machine Gun, on which he mounted the Unertl scope, using a bracket of his own design.[verification needed] This weapon was accurate to 2500 yards when fired one round at a time. At one point, he took careful aim at a courier carrying a load of assault rifles and ammunition on a bicycle. He had second thoughts when he saw a 12-year-old boy in his sights, but after considering the intended use of those weapons, he decided to disable the bicycle, hitting the bike frame. The boy tumbled over the handlebars, grabbed a gun, and immediately began firing back, so Hathcock returned fire, killing him. (Source Marine Sniper,

January 2, 2009, 09:58 PM
Had to have been one hell of a shot to hit part of a bicycle.

January 2, 2009, 10:25 PM
I don't think he was aiming at the bike.;)

James K
January 2, 2009, 10:29 PM
IIRC, there was an issue scope for the HB-M2, though I have never seen one. I do know the gun is surprisingly accurate when fired semi auto.


January 2, 2009, 11:22 PM

Carlos Hathcock's Browning M2

January 3, 2009, 12:17 AM
I have seen a scope on a 50 BMG. It's been a long time and I've only seen pictures since them but it was issue.

January 3, 2009, 08:58 AM
Remember the weapon fires from a closed bolt and you have the T&E holding it in place & preventing it from moving around too much; all of which contribute to it's accuracy.

January 3, 2009, 09:38 AM
Here's a picture of an M2 being used in Korea for long-range fire; snipers were normally responsible for doing this, and the MGs were fitted with a mount that allowed them to mount their rifle scopes on the M2. The accuracy would depend a whole lot on various factors like the ammo used, how new the barrel was, how tight the headspace was set, etc., etc., but they worked for the intended purpose. In this photo, you can see that a shot has just been fired, as a fired case is being ejected out the bottom of the receiver, and a link is falling from the right side.


Al Thompson
January 5, 2009, 03:53 AM
The M2 also has a free floated barrel. Contributes to accuracy. :) All of mine have/had a mounting bracket for NODs, so mounting a scope wouldn't be too hard.

January 5, 2009, 04:08 PM
You mean something like this?



January 8, 2009, 10:30 PM
To fill in a little of the above, Senich's "Complete Book of US Sniping" has a chapter on 50-cal sniping, mainly with bolt-actions and rebarrelled Boys/PTRD/PzB rifles, but also a little with the M2. He says that hits were made with the M2 during Korea at ranges up to 2000 yards, but that during actual accuracy testing, the ammo was too inconsistent for true sniping. At a range of 1400 yards, with a standing silhouette on a 12'x12' target backer, a 50-shot group hit the backer 49 times, but hit the silhouette only 8 times. Close enough for lots of heart attacks, but not many actual kills.

January 8, 2009, 10:42 PM
IIRC, Trijicon makes a 6x ACOG with a .50BMG bullet drop compensator reticule. That and an M2HB would be a hell of a combination :D