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History overview of the Models of the Browning 1919

General history of the Browning 1919.

History
There were TWO separate and distinct Browning Machine Guns given the Model 1919 designation.

1. 1919 Aircraft Machine Gun (mainly remodeled M1918M1)
2. 1919 Tank Machine Gun (which was the forrunner to the M1919A4 and M1919A6 air cooled ground guns.

Early experiments:1924-1927
Side-Mounted Box Magazines
Top-Mounted Magazines
Adapting the Lewis Drum to the Browning
Spade Grip Back Plate (1928)

The M1917 Browning was used as the basis for the design of the new 1919 Tank Machine Gun, and initially had a rate of fire of up to 1,200 rounds per minute, which was far to high of a rate of fire and was later modified to slow the rate of fire down to 400 rounds per minute when it was first produced by Westinghouse. This was the first time the bolt catch was utilized (1918), so the bolt could be held to the rear to prevent cook-offs

Note: the first 1919 Tank Machine Gun had attachable stocks (nothing like the later A6 stocks) and came with the Mark I Emergency tripod.

Early production:
Dec 1918 - 2000 guns
Jan 1919 - 7000 guns
Feb 1919 - 4500 guns
Mar 1919 - 9500 guns
Apr 1919 - 11000 guns

First Tripod:
Mark I Emergency tripod


Production
The M1919 was manufactured during WWII by many different companies in the U.S. including General Motors and Rock Island Arsenal. In the UK production was chiefly by BSA.


US Variants

M1919 Tank Gun Westinghouse
Without sight brackets

M1919A1 Tank Gun Westinghouse
With sight brackets

M1919A2 Cavalry Gun Westinghouse
First time a rear rifle sight was added
included a heavier barrel and tripod, and could be continuously fired for longer durations
Snubbie 18 5/8 inch barrel

A note on Grips
The aluminum grip was first made for the M1919A2 Cavalry Gun. Initially two grips were designed, one Aluminum and the other Bakelite, but the backlite grips were later issued for use with the M1917A1, but not the M1919A4.

M2 Tripod
Initially (1931) the tripod was called the Fort Bliss Tripod, Cavalry Board No 1 Model, and the T7. It was finally given the designation of Mount, Light, machine gun, caliber .30, T7E1. it was standardized as the M2 on Dec 21, 1933

Colt T2 and Later ANM2
The Browning was heavily re-worked to become the .30 caliber M2 aircraft machine gun. Key to aircraft use was weight. Unnecessary metal was removed from its components and with the cooling effect of air rushing past the barrel from the plane's speed the designers made the barrel thinner and hence lighter. As a result the M2 weighed 2/3 that of the 1919A4 and the lightened mechanism gave it a higher rate of fire — pertinent to use where the target might be in range and in the line of sight for barely a second.

M2
Commonly referred to as AN/M2. The AN/ part of the nomenclature stood for "Army-Navy" and was used until the end of the Second World War.

Aircraft version of the Model 1919A4 manufactured by Browning with a thinner barrel and thinner receiver walls. Used on pre-WW2 US aircraft but replaced by the larger .50 caliber M2 machine gun and relegated to training duties. A derivative of this weapon was built by Colt as the MG40-2.
This weapon soldiered on for a short period during the 1960s as the main weapons for early AC-47 Spooky Gunships in Vietnam, until sufficient Miniguns could be acquired.

T3E1 ground Gun and T3E3 Tank Gun (Experimental)
This was Springfield Armorys design based on the M2 lightweight aircraft receiver. A pretty cool looking weapon with a pistol grip below the receiver, and a sholder stock

The T9 and T9E1 (Experimental)
Springfield Armory design based on the ANM2

T1 and T2 Water cooled (Experimental)
Springfield Armory Water Cooled Designed

Colt MG40 (known as the M2, and Later the ANM2)
A total of 49,681 were manufactured.

MG38T (colt M1919 Heavy Water Cooled)
Originally named the M1924, it was change to MG38T in 1931 (MG38BT for spade grips)

M1919A3 The Shorty
Basically an improved version of the M1919A2. It still used the shorty "Tanker" barrel

M1919A3E3
Fitted with a 24 inch barrel, and had the front sight mounted at the end of the barrel.

M1919A4/A4E1
Dominant version, the M1919A4 was designed for both flexible and fixed use on vehicles and by infantry. A subvariant, the M1919A4E1 were refitted M1919A4s with A5 extended charging handles.
The M1919A4 weighed about 31 pounds (14 kg), and usually was mounted on a tripod (for infantry use), or from a fixed mount. It saw wide use in World War II. The gun was mounted on such vehicles as: jeeps, tanks, and ships.

Note: All M1919A2 and Early M1919A4's were converted to the later M1919A4 pattern.

Note II: The bolt hold open catch was discontinued in Mid 1943. It's stated that more US troops in WWII did not have this accessory.

T13 and T14
In 1939 the Experimental T13 and T14's had a short barrel support much like the M2HB, and the rear sight bracket was slotted.

M1919A5 Tank Machine Gun
The A5 was an adaptation of the A4 with a forward mounting point to allow it to be mounted in cupolas in tanks and armored cars. This, along with the M37, was the most common secondary armament during WWII.
The A5 also featured an extended charging handle.
As tanks which required the A5 were removed from service the A5's were withdrawn from service and converted to A4's and A6's

M1919A6 Substitute Standard
Modified M1919A4 for infantry use as a "light machine gun". The A6 featured a buttstock and a bipod, and the kit could easily be used to retrofit earlier models to this standard. It was initially designed for Parachute Troops.

Light machine gun M1919A6 in Korea Another version of the M1919A4, the M1919A6, was an attempt to make the weapon easier to carry by reducing its weight and to make use of a bipod, but it turned out to be heavier at 32 lb (15 kg) and was considered "substitute standard". With its bipod and stock, it actually weighed more than the A4 by itself, but less than the A4 with its tripod. It was still used extensively however, by allied troops during World War II and the Korean War. The main differences were a folding bipod mounted on the front of the gun, a sheet metal buttstock that was attached to the pistol-grip firing handle, a carrying handle, and a tapered barrel weighing 4 lb (1.8 kg) instead of 7 lb (3.2 kg) returning the weapon to an A1-like state.

T13E2
Rock Island Arsenal based on the browning 1919 with a weight of 22 lbs 11 oz

T33 Otherwise known as teh Stinger
the T33 was basically an ANM2 fitted with a bipod, and Stock much like the M1919A6, and it's weight was 28 3/4 lbs and fired at 1,523 Rounds Per Minute.

SSG-E3 ArmaSteel Cast 1919
ArmaSteel Cast Receivers (1940, tested in 1942) designed by Saginaw never went into full production. The back plate and other components were made using this process.


M37 originally known as the T153
Coaxial M1919 variant, with the ability to feed from either the left or the right. Also featuring an extended charging handle similar to those on the M1919A4E1 and A5. A variant fitted with special sighting equipment was designated T153. Another variant, the M37C was designed for remote firing via a solenoid trigger for use in the XM1/E1 armament subsystem.
A version of the M37, rechambered in 7.62x51 mm NATO is rumored to have been created, but even if it was it mostly likely would've been quickly overtaken by the M60 and M73 machine guns.

Mk 21 Mod 0/1
A Navy designation for M1919's converted to fire 7.62 mm NATO.

International Variants and Designations
The M1919 pattern has been used in countries all over the world in a variety of forms and under a number of different designations.


Browning Mk 1/2
An older style Commonwealth designation for the .303 caliber Browning machine guns used on the vast majority of British aircraft of the Second World War at one point or another. The difference between the Mk 1 and Mk 2 versions is unknown, but the weapon visually is quite similar AN/M2 aircraft gun.


FN-Browning mle 1938
French designation for the FN-built derivative converted to 7.5x54 mm ammunition. Manufactured in the late 1930s and used on fixed mountings of US-build aircraft in French service from 1939 to 1942.


L3A1/A2
The Commonwealth designation used by both the United Kingdom and Australia to designate the fixed (A1) and flexible (A2) versions of the M1919A4 in .30-06 caliber.


L3A3/A4
Sear hold-open conversion of previous L3A1s and L3A2s. The A3 is the modified version of the A1, and the A4 is the modified version of the A2.

Note: 'L'-prefix, L stands for Land Service

MG A4
Austrian designation for the M1919A4.


MG4
South African licence-built version of the M1919A4 in current use with the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF). Manufactured by Lyttleton Engineering, Pretoria.


C1/A1 and C5/A1
Canadian designation for 7.62x51 mm rechambered M1919A4s for fixed (C1) and flexible (C1A1) applications. The C5 and C5A1 were product improvements of the previous C1 and C1A1 respectively.

Mg M/52-1 and Mg M/52-11
Danish designations for the M1919A4 and M1919A5 respectively.


M42B
Swedish designation for 7.62x51 mm rechambered M1919A6s.

Other Facts

Production period: 1919 — 1945

Service duration: 1919 — 1970s (US)

War service: Post WW1 — Vietnam (US)
 

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AWESOME summary, Gary... Simply awesome. This needs a "sticky"!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dave S said:
AWESOME summary, Gary... Simply awesome. This needs a "sticky"!
I'll keep adding to it as I locate more information.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Browning History Updated

The data from the first post has been greatly updated and many more models included based on extensive research.
 

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Great job, Gary! Some good info there. Chris
 

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bmbrzmn101 said:
Great job, Gary! Some good info there. Chris
Thanks...

Just goes to show that you can always build one of the other models to be unique.. :D
 

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Here are some government conversions from the 50s to 7.62x51(.308). Check out the bottom one, looks like an M37 w/ spadegrips

 

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Colorado1919 said:
Here are some government conversions from the 50s to 7.62x51(.308). Check out the bottom one, looks like an M37 w/ spadegrips

The bottom one is listed as the T152. The T152 fired 7.62mm Nato and the T153 became the M37. Both the T152 and T153 were prototypes based on the M1919
 

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weaponeer said:
The bottom one is listed as the T152. The T152 fired 7.62mm Nato and the T153 became the M37. Both the T152 and T153 were prototypes based on the M1919
From W. H. B. Smiths "Small Arms of the World" Tenth edition completely revised by Joseph E. Smith, Army Material Command. Copyright 1973 by The Stackpole Company. Pages 685 & 686.

"The desirability of a new tank machine gun was recognized duringWorld War II. The receiver of the 1919 Browning gun was too long and fed only from the left side, limiting thier usability in armored vehicles. As an interim measure the Browning 1919 was modified by the fitting of an alternate feed and various other features. The flexable gun prototype was the caliber .30 T152 and the fixed gun was called the the T153.
The T153 was classified standard in May of 1953 as the M37 caliber .30 machine gun. The M37 was modified to use 7.62mm Nato ammunition as the M37E1; This development was suspended in 1957."



Note the similar topcover latch on the T152 and ability to feed from the right side. At some date they must have modified the T152 to feed and fire the 7.62mm Nato cartridge.
Please no hard feelings just trying to fill in a gap.
 

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Thats what I said.. lol

The only thing I don't agree with in the quote is the "receiver of the 1919 Browning gun was too long". Both the T152 and T153 were both modified M1919A4's (same receiver).

Both weapons used a very new pistol grip, front sight redesigned, cover strengthened, latches on both sides, reinforcing ring around the barrel jacket, as well as the right/left feed.

25 Prototypes were made by High Standard

The M37 was developed by High Standard
The M37E1 was developed by Bell-more-Johnson Tool Co
The contract to produce the M37 (new) was awarded to Saco-Lowell Shops and Rock IsLand Arsenal.

My data came from The Browning Machine Gun 2005.
 

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Yes I agree and the army put a lot of development into the M37 series guns and it was used as the co-axial MG of the M48 series of tanks.
The only problem is that the M73 was standardized in May of 1959 to replace the M37. The M73 was the co-axial MG of the M60 series & the M48A3 tanks of Vietnam. And the M73 went through a number of modifications and proved not to be a very good gun. This lead to the army adopting the M240 series MAG MG. I think they should have stayed with the M1919. Such is change.
Here is a pic of the M73 note the shorter receiver. It was in 7.62mm and the army had many problems with it. It was not well liked by the troops.

 

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Colorado1919 said:
Yes I agree and the army put a lot of development into the M37 series guns and it was used as the co-axial MG of the M48 series of tanks.
The only problem is that the M73 was standardized in May of 1959 to replace the M37. The M73 was the co-axial MG of the M60 series & the M48A3 tanks of Vietnam. And the M73 went through a number of modifications and proved not to be a very good gun. This lead to the army adopting the M240 series MAG MG. I think they should have stayed with the M1919. Such is change.
Here is a pic of the M73 note the shorter receiver. It was in 7.62mm and the army had many problems with it. It was not well liked by the troops.
Thankfully the M73 was not a Browning Derivative!! Everyone hated the M73 (even the armorers).

The like the M37 the M73 was a right/left feed air-cool weapon, but it fired from the open bolt rather than the closed bolt.

The M37E1 was the ultimate 1919!
 
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