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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
but USGI - ideas on what it is and what it goes in ? My first guess would be M85, but I don't have any info on the gun or an exploded view..... Seems to have a feed roller . ideas ?

106917

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106919
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well- sure looks like it. Anyone have a need for it ? I have never even seen one....
 

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Worse Browning ever designed lol but if you find a home for that part let me know because I have a whole front end for one that I would love to see gone.
 

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The really good news is that browning had nothing to do with the whole M73/M219 program so no need to feel sorry for the mistake he didn't make. JMB is still the king.

I've been collecting some bits and pieces for the M73 out of curiosity. Most stuff has been donated by folks who said, "what the hell is this odd looking piece, do you want it?" I spoke with Bob Faris at some length at a number of SAR shows about the guns and he had nothing good to say about them. Lots of cool stories about how not to do things though.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have never heard of any in private hands, so My guess is fishing weight....
 

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Curt Wolfe had a transferable M73 at Knob Creek and shot it up on the line.
He had done all the restoration work to get it running.
I never had any luck with M73's or the M219, but didn't have much time on them as I was trained on the M240 co-ax.
It replaced the M73 & M219's in service on the M60 series of tanks, and that happened right after I was assigned to my first tank company (B Company 4th of the Funniest, 4th ID at Fort Carson).
Reading the development history of the M73 it appears the designers intended for it to be manufactured using some expensive materials.
The pre-production guns ran fine.
The production engineers substituted materials and dropped some design features to save cost.
Some of that is restored in the M219, which still wasn't a good gun.
They had a lot of moving parts, but were smaller than the M37 that it replaced.
The M240 took back that space as it was about the same size as the M37.

NOW, the M85 .50 was a different story.
I had all our tank platoon M85's running well.
Kept them on low rate of fire, and on my tank I cleaned the slip ring in the cupola so the electric trigger and night vision sight had constant power even when traversing.
Hard to break peoples habits of oiling the ammo in the feed trays that would run down and foul the electrical slip ring!
Time was better spent making sure the links were properly seated on the ammo, the M85 doesn't use Browning links, they are more like the M13 links used on the 7.62 NATO belts.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Curt Wolfe had a transferable M73 at Knob Creek and shot it up on the line.
He had done all the restoration work to get it running.
I never had any luck with M73's or the M219, but didn't have much time on them as I was trained on the M240 co-ax.
It replaced the M73 & M219's in service on the M60 series of tanks, and that happened right after I was assigned to my first tank company (B Company 4th of the Funniest, 4th ID at Fort Carson).
Reading the development history of the M73 it appears the designers intended for it to be manufactured using some expensive materials.
The pre-production guns ran fine.
The production engineers substituted materials and dropped some design features to save cost.
Some of that is restored in the M219, which still wasn't a good gun.
They had a lot of moving parts, but were smaller than the M37 that it replaced.
The M240 took back that space as it was about the same size as the M37.

NOW, the M85 .50 was a different story.
I had all our tank platoon M85's running well.
Kept them on low rate of fire, and on my tank I cleaned the slip ring in the cupola so the electric trigger and night vision sight had constant power even when traversing.
Hard to break peoples habits of oiling the ammo in the feed trays that would run down and foul the electrical slip ring!
Time was better spent making sure the links were properly seated on the ammo, the M85 doesn't use Browning links, they are more like the M13 links used on the 7.62 NATO belts.

Richard
Funny you should mention the ammo and links for the M85 ( 50 BMG) . A guy I know is sitting on a big pile of 50 BMG on the M85 links type links. He will eventually want to sell it off - he thought he would be shooting it but in his late 70s it probably ain't gonna happen. He did not realize the links would not run in the M2HB
 

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I know there are some pre-may sample M73s around. Not sure where they imported them from since they never worked well enough to even give away. Maybe Isreal??? They tossed them in the dirt according to Bob Faris and then drove the M60s we gave them over the guns so they could not be forced to put them back in the tanks.

Frank
 

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The really good news is that browning had nothing to do with the whole M73/M219 program so no need to feel sorry for the mistake he didn't make. JMB is still the king.

I've been collecting some bits and pieces for the M73 out of curiosity. Most stuff has been donated by folks who said, "what the hell is this odd looking piece, do you want it?" I spoke with Bob Faris at some length at a number of SAR shows about the guns and he had nothing good to say about them. Lots of cool stories about how not to do things though.

Frank
I know for a fact it became a mission for Dolf to get one running right and after years of fooling with them I think it is the only gun he ever gave up on and threw in the towel.
 

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There were 2 of us that worked on Wolfs gun and it ended up being the other guy, a machinist, that got it running. It's a ******* of 2 models for parts and a few (at least one) made in the shop. But the success of it came from how the gun was mounted according to the machinist. And while it's a working gun (or was), I can't say how much it's been shot to see if it will hold up.
 

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Worse Browning ever designed lol but if you find a home for that part let me know because I have a whole front end for one that I would love to see gone.
I'm confused as to the purpose of the M73. They were used on the Pattons and some smaller vehicles but were identical in weight to the 1919A4e1 which it was supposed to replace, but there was no useful upside even as a coax. They were pulled after just a couple years. If I remember correctly the M73 lasted longer than the 219.
Anyone know the point of the M73 Boat Anchor?
 

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I'm confused as to the purpose of the M73. They were used on the Pattons and some smaller vehicles but were identical in weight to the 1919A4e1 which it was supposed to replace, but there was no useful upside even as a coax. They were pulled after just a couple years. If I remember correctly the M73 lasted longer than the 219.
Anyone know the point of the M73 Boat Anchor?

It was smaller than the M37 Browning.
It had a quick change barrel.
It was in 7.62 NATO not 30-06.
It used NATO M13 links.
It was designed to be solenoid operated, not actuated by the mount.
That is about all that comes to my mind...

Richard
 

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It was smaller than the M37 Browning.
It had a quick change barrel.
It was in 7.62 NATO not 30-06.
It used NATO M13 links.
It was designed to be solenoid operated, not actuated by the mount.
That is about all that comes to my mind...

Richard
I can see the quick change barrel and the links, but the 1919's were converted to 7.62 NATO and Solenoid operated. It seems like a solution no one asked for to a problem that wasn't there.
 

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I can see the quick change barrel and the links, but the 1919's were converted to 7.62 NATO and Solenoid operated. It seems like a solution no one asked for to a problem that wasn't there.
Only the Canadians converted 1919's to feed 7.62 NATO using the NATO standard M13 links.
It wasn't exactly a success due to cost.
The M73 solenoid was integrated into the gun, not external like used with the M240 and M37.
OH, I forgot the M73 top cover hinges to the side and not forward, so can be opened with the main gun depressed.
ALSO, the M73 fires from an open bolt (prevents cook off's)


Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for that. I had never seen the gun being operated before. Conceptually, lots of good ideas for the application. too bad it did not run well.
 

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Yea , it dose look like it was made by Fisher Price...Like the more you pull the string the more shots you get.. 😁
 

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We had them in our Combat Engineer Vehicle. I could not get them to fire more than a 5-6 round burst before they would hopelessly jam.. If I remember when they jammed, if you opened the top cover to remove the belt, the bolt would fly forward and discharge. You had to pull back on the charging handle to hold the bolt back while clearing the belt. To this day I could never figure now the US Ordnance Department could field such a gun. It would have been easier to product improve the M37 to take 7.62mm NATO with M13 links.

The Canadian actually adopted the C1/C5A1 due to cost. The Canadians had thousands of .30 caliber M1919A4 Brownings and spare parts in their inventory. It was far easier to spend the money on a reliable existing design then to buy a new GPMG with no history. I understand at the time the license of FN MAG was very tightly controlled and expensive. Not something a cheap government wants spend money on.
 

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After seeing the charging handle chain I hate the M73 even more. Wonder if it turns on the tanks ceiling fan. 😆🤣😂
The WW2 German MG-81's had a cable to charge the bolt, and there are cable charging systems for Browning's.
The M85 .50 Cal. had a chain with a handle to charge it, and another as the manual release for the trigger.
I never encountered a failure of the charging handle chains on the M85.
The M-73 & M-219 were a bit modular as they could both be set up for right and left hand feed.
The top cover on the M-73 & M-219 could be set to open on either side, and the charging tube could be attached on either side of the gun, same as the M85.
We see that same sort of modular approach on a lot of aircraft cannon's and MG's.
Components can be mounted on either side of the receiver, and sub assemblies are easy to remove and swap for maintenance.

When I attended armourer school the chief instructor was a retired Warrant Officer from the Ordnance branch.
He was in charge of small arms direct support when the M-73 was fielded with 3rd A.D. in Germany.
He related that during the 1st tank gunnery exercise with the M-73 he had a line of tank crewman carrying M-73's lined up outside his service shop trucks!
These new guns kept blowing the back plates off!
They were failing faster than they could repair them.
At the end of the exercise he was invited to a meeting to report first hand on the M-73 to people who flew over from the USA.
In typical W.O. style he was VERY direct with the experiences and his opinion of the gun!
That lasted about 30+ minutes, later his boss told him he should have shown a bit more tact with the M-73 program manager and the chief designer!
Looking at it today I wonder what material was originally specified for the pins and assembly right at the front of the gun that supported its entire weight, and stresses during firing!
Those were moveable pins on either side that also served as a hinge, yet had to be able to be withdrawn by a Soldier using his fingers so the gun's receiver could be swung over out of the way during a barrel change (see video)

Richard
 
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