M2/M2A1 .50 Caliber Machine Gun

m2/m2a1 0.50 caliber machine gun

Improves Soldier effectiveness and lethality with a versatile, automatic weapon for offensive and defensive operations, in both ground- and vehicle mounted roles.

The M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun is belt-fed, recoil-operated, and air-cooled. The M2 provides weapon suppressive fire for offensive and defensive purposes. It is capable of single-shot and automatic fire. The battle proven system can be ground or vehicle mounted and serves as an anti-personnel and anti-aircraft weapon. It is highly effective against light-armored vehicles, low and slow-flying aircraft, and small boats. In post-combat surveys, Soldiers rate the M2 among the most effective weapon systems in their small arms arsenal.

The M2A1 with quick change barrel and fixed headspace and timing is an enhancement to the M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun offering Soldiers increased performance and design improvements that make it easier and safer to use. The M2A1 speeds target engagement and improves survivability and safety by reducing the time required to change the barrel and eliminating the need to manually adjust headspace and timing. The M2A1 also provides a flash hider that reduces muzzle flash by 95 percent, making the weapon less detectable in darkness. The Army began fielding the M2A1 in 2011 and plans to upgrade its entire fleet of M2s to the M2A1 standard.


  • Caliber: .50 caliber (12.7mm)
  • Weight: M2 receiver and barrel 84 pounds; M2A1 receiver and barrel with flash hider and carrying handle 86 pounds
  • Length: M2 65.13 inches; M2A1 67.75 inches with flash hider
  • Range: 1,830 meters
  • Rate of Fire: 450-600 rpm