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Old May 28, 2013, 01:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: November 23, 2000
Location: England
Posts: 437
Watercooled guns could chug away for as long as you liked, as long as the water kept coming up.
Aircooled guns were a logical development for aircraft, and mirrored the development process in other nations. The first ground aircooled guns were for tanks, where water jackets being pierced by the amount of fire AFVs attracted was a distinct turn-off and the heavy barrel weight didn't matter much. All the M1919A4 guns were originally converted from watercooled and tank ones.
The A4 could not produce the same sustained fire that the M1917 guns could, and WW1-style barrage fire was what machine gunners were expecting to do in the next war. Fresh manufacture of watercooled guns did take place in the 1940s, but the quantities were far less.
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