Ground Warfare

FN Herstal Delivers 1000 FN M2HB-QCB Machine Guns to France Army

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FN Herstal Delivers 1000 FN M2HB-QCB Machine Guns to France Army

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FN Herstal Delivers 1000 FN M2HB-QCB Machine Guns to France Army
FN Herstal Delivers 1000 FN M2HB-QCB Machine Guns to France Army

The thousandth FN M2HB-QCB .50 calibre machine guns has been delivered as part of an MCO (maintenance in operational condition) contract with France Army. FN Herstal has taken WW2 production M2HB (heavy barrel) .50 caliber machine gun from the customer’s stocks, refurbished and converted them to the modern QCB (quick change barrel) configuration. The outdated machine guns sent to FN Herstal return to France as modern, reliable weapons each one tested, certified and guaranteed, ready to be fitted to the French Army’s latest generation of combat vehicles.

The M2 machine gun or Browning .50 caliber machine gun (informally, “Ma Deuce”) is a heavy machine gun that was designed near the end of World War I by John Browning. While similar to Browning’s M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge, the M2 uses Browning’s larger and more powerful .50 BMG (12.7 mm) cartridge. The design has had many designations; the official U.S. military designation for the infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It has been used against infantry, light armored vehicles, watercraft, light fortifications, and low-flying aircraft.

FN M2HB-QCB Heavy Machine Gun.
FN M2HB-QCB Heavy Machine Gun. (France Armed Forces)

The M2 machine gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States since the 1930s. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Soviet–Afghan War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan. The M2HB was derived from the original M2 model that was water cooled. The machine gun features a “Heavy Barrel” (HB) instead of water cooling. The M2HB is manufactured in the U.S. by General Dynamics, Ohio Ordnance Works, U.S. Ordnance, and FN Herstal for sale to the U.S. government and other nations via Foreign Military Sales.

The M2HB has a cyclical rate of 450–575 rounds per minute. In addition to full automatic, the M2HB can be selected to fire single-shots or at less than 40 rounds per minute, or rapid fire for more than 40 rounds per minute. Slow and rapid firing modes use 5–7 round bursts with different lengths of pause between bursts. The M2HB-QCB is quite similar to the M2HB, but is fitted with a quick change barrel. It was developed by FN Herstal in Europe. The QCB variant can be identified by the fixed carry handle on the quick change barrel. To change the barrel no asbestos glove are needed and there are no headspacing problems when fitting the new barrel.

FN M2HB-QCB Heavy Machine Gun.
FN M2HB-QCB Heavy Machine Gun. (Photo by FN Herstal)

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