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Discussion Starter #1
Finally bought a F/A M2HB!
I've owned a F/A 1919A4 for several years but had to have a Momma to round out the collection.
Unfortunately, it will still be some time before the paperwork clears but that gives me time to ask all the newby questions.
Obviously I've been reading all I can, however, that's lead to more questions so hopefully you folks can help.
The first one concerns the continuous fire rate, I'm reading that 40 rpm is max without causing barrel damage but that seems low to me, what do you folks suggest as max?
 

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40 rpm

Forty rounds per minute is correct. Now, things have been done to deal with that low round count, like water coolers, quick change barrels, etc. Combat troops were issued asbestos gloves and spare barrels as standard items. Barrels with hard liners are used, too.

You have to remember this also...........the legendary accuracy of the M2HB is lost with a hot barrel.

At forty rounds, you just spent about a hundred and twenty bucks, too. The trigger group I developed would get the semi up to 600 RPM. It was all fun and games when ammo was eighty cents a round. But at today's prices at 600 RPM, how much can you afford to giggle?

I'm no expert on the M2HB, so don't take my word for it.

Ed Haywood at CWA is the definitive expert on this, in my opinion. I wonder what he might say.

Ryland
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the prompt reply.
Hopefully I'll only use it for fun, but I have to allow for someone other than myself getting caught up in the moment and firing a complete belt.
I only load 100 rounds in each belt for my 1919A4 for just that eventuality since the continuous rof for it is 125rpm, and can afford to wait one minute plus before firing the next belt.
So you're suggesting I only load 40 round belts for momma? Oh well, guess I can live with it.
Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for the prompt reply.
Hopefully I'll only use it for fun, but I have to allow for someone other than myself getting caught up in the moment and firing a complete belt.
I only load 100 rounds in each belt for my 1919A4 for just that eventuality since the continuous rof for it is 125rpm, and can afford to wait one minute plus before firing the next belt.
So you're suggesting I only load 40 round belts for momma? Oh well, guess I can live with it.
Thanks again.
A properly headspaced and timed M2 can easily fire more than 40 rounds a minute. If I remember correctly, you dont even consider the gun 'hot' until you've shot 150 rounds in under 2 minutes. (A misfire in a 'hot gun' can cause a cookoff.....and if you attempt to clear a round as it cooks off, it will turn into a grenade) Ive only had one cookoff in my career and that was because the gunner assumed he was empty after firing almost 350 rounds in about 3 minutes. Needless to say my entire crew was taken by surprise.

My first suggestion to you is to learn the headspace and timing procedures, religiously, before you even get live ammunition near this gun. After that, shoot it as much as your wallet will allow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again for the advise.
The M2HB head-spacing and timing seem a lot simpler than for my 1919A4, but I fully understand the importance.
My main concern is barrel life, hence the interest in ROF and obviously avoiding a cook-off.
So, judging from input, I could fire say 100 rounds in less than a minute so long as it's allowed to cool for a few minutes afterwards, without causing excessive barrel wear?
 

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Thanks again for the advise.
The M2HB head-spacing and timing seem a lot simpler than for my 1919A4, but I fully understand the importance.
My main concern is barrel life, hence the interest in ROF and obviously avoiding a cook-off.
So, judging from input, I could fire say 100 rounds in less than a minute so long as it's allowed to cool for a few minutes afterwards, without causing excessive barrel wear?
Yes. Although 100 rounds under a minute is going to get it real hot. But you wont hurt anything with an occasional 100 round dump. (Other than your bank account)

Headspacing is a little trickier on a M2 because you have to retract the bolt about 1/16th of an inch, and you need to get a 'feel' for the gauges. I know Ive beaten this subject to death here, but Ive seen literally hundreds of H/T issues on full auto guns in my career in the Army. Ive seen top covers get blown open and Ive seen ruptures cases shut ranges down.

Good luck with the new toy!
 

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At forty rounds, you just spent about a hundred and twenty bucks, too.
Ryland
Where do you buy ammo thats ridiculous, its $1.75 max. Heck when I order it by the pallet its $1.4 or less for API or APIT and thats custom load for my Hotchkiss.

I found a guy that bought a drum of brass for .30 a pop so really shooting one of these guns is cheap...just heavy.
 

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Rates of Fire

Below is directly pulled from the TM.

It takes more than you would think to bring a gun up to cook off temperature. We have done quite a bit of testing with the M3D for sustained fights.

Please see video link below:


We had a bit of trouble with the left gun as the feed chute had binding. Immediate action drills clered the gun but since we have changed the left gun for better operability. As well we have since restructured the T&E mech to eliminate the rise shown in the vid.

We didn't get into cook off temps until 500-600 rounds sustained rapid fire with 5-10 second breaks. The increased rate of fire had 15-20 rounds per burst at 925 RPM.


SLOW FIRE - Slow fire is less than 40 rounds per minute, fired in bursts of six to nine rounds, at 10-
15 second intervals. Change barrel at the end of the firing session, or if the barrel is damaged.

RAPID FIRE - Rapid fire is greater than 40 rounds per minute, fired in bursts of six to nine rounds,
at 5-10 second intervals. Change barrel at the end of the firing session, or if the barrel is damaged.

CYCLIC FIRE - This rate represents the maximum amount of ammunition that can be expended by
a gun without a break in firing. The cyclic rate of this caliber .50 machine gun is 400 to 500 rounds
per minute. Change barrel at end of firing session, or if the barrel is damaged.


Forty rounds per minute is correct. Now, things have been done to deal with that low round count, like water coolers, quick change barrels, etc. Combat troops were issued asbestos gloves and spare barrels as standard items. Barrels with hard liners are used, too.

You have to remember this also...........the legendary accuracy of the M2HB is lost with a hot barrel.

At forty rounds, you just spent about a hundred and twenty bucks, too. The trigger group I developed would get the semi up to 600 RPM. It was all fun and games when ammo was eighty cents a round. But at today's prices at 600 RPM, how much can you afford to giggle?

I'm no expert on the M2HB, so don't take my word for it.

Ed Haywood at CWA is the definitive expert on this, in my opinion. I wonder what he might say.

Ryland
 

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...ammo question,answer...

As with nearly every caliber...today...it's EXPENSIVE to shoot. Unless you are independently wealthy,you should think about loading your own ammo. I've got a FA M2HB and could not afford to even think about shooting it...unless I reload for it. Been loading .50 BMG for over 25 yrs and have the price down to about $0.68 a round with either an AP,API or tracer projectile. FMJ (ball) is getting a bit more expensive and projectiles now cost anywhere from $0.40-.50 in bulk. Paid about [email protected] about a yr ago at a gun show...and bought the guy out of about 2K. Most LC and WIN cases made after 1995 are prone to split or rupture after a second firing...so I don't even buy 'em. Might start trying to find bulk components...primers,bullets,powder and cases...and then even if you don't reload,you can find someone who does. I've personally taught over 800 folks to reload at my monthly classes...but only a few 'graduate' to the .50 BMG. Good luck....
 

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I typically shoot in three round bursts because I actually want to hit something, not just impress bystanders with my formidable noisemaking capabilities.

Barrel life is largely dependent on how hard you run the gun.
 

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As with nearly every caliber...today...it's EXPENSIVE to shoot. Unless you are independently wealthy,you should think about loading your own ammo. I've got a FA M2HB and could not afford to even think about shooting it...unless I reload for it. Been loading .50 BMG for over 25 yrs and have the price down to about $0.68 a round with either an AP,API or tracer projectile. FMJ (ball) is getting a bit more expensive and projectiles now cost anywhere from $0.40-.50 in bulk. Paid about [email protected] about a yr ago at a gun show...and bought the guy out of about 2K. Most LC and WIN cases made after 1995 are prone to split or rupture after a second firing...so I don't even buy 'em. Might start trying to find bulk components...primers,bullets,powder and cases...and then even if you don't reload,you can find someone who does. I've personally taught over 800 folks to reload at my monthly classes...but only a few 'graduate' to the .50 BMG. Good luck....
Problem is the price of primers, projos, powder, and brass now.

Primers are .30-.35 each not including shipping
Projos are .39 each plus shipping
Powder you get about 35 rounds per pound so thats roughly .70 being conservative plus shipping

Without brass at all you are in it at the low side of $1.40 give or take 10 cents. By the time you factor in the hazmat fees and all, the press and everything else its just not worth it. Cheaper just to buy a 1/2 pallet of ammo for 1.65 or so a round for API. Shoot it and recycle the brass back out.
 

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API projectiles

Ive got 10,000 API projectiles 700 in a 50 cal ammo can @ .33 a round for $230 a can delivered to the creek in April. I'll start another post on these if there's any interest.
Not trying to steal your thread.
Thanks AF
 

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patsreloading got powder WC857 Surplus for $69 for 8 lbs and has other powder available also for 50bmg, have not used it yet - still got to get a 50bmg press but its alot cheaper than $25 a lb.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My local class 3 dealer is an understanding guy also he'd never fired a F/A M2HB so last weekend we took momma out for trial run.
I'm happy to report that momma is the greatest!
Now to find more ammo.
 

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"...Cheaper just to buy a 1/2 pallet of ammo for 1.65 or so a round for API..."

This idea might work for you in Louisiana and other states where there is lots of moisture, but I and many others live in a states that are dry and API's, APIT's, Trace and not real options except at spring and winter because of fires
 
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