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US Navy ordnanceman Jesse Rhodes Waller posing with a M1919 Browning machine gun next to a PBY Catalina aircraft, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States, Aug 1942, photo 2 of 3

Caption     US Navy ordnanceman Jesse Rhodes Waller posing with a M1919 Browning machine gun next to a PBY Catalina aircraft, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States, Aug 1942, photo 2 of 3 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Library of Congress
More on...   
PBY Catalina   Main article  Photos  
Browning M1919   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Added By David Stubblebine

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
1 Mar 2010 06:47:24 PM

All previous captions for this photo (including at the Library of Congress) list the weapon as a Browning M1919 .30 caliber light machine gun. A close look at it (especially the receiver) reveals nothing consistent with the M1919 but all features match the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
13 Sep 2011 07:39:40 PM

Man let me tell you, that's a M-1919 .30
Caliber, Air Cooled Machine Gun, the PBY
was armed w/ both the .30 and the .50
Check out the photo of that gunner swinging that .50 on the B-24 that barrel is big the receiver is big, that's the .50 Caliber.
That weapon, looks small to be a .50
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
14 Sep 2011 05:02:31 PM

Bill: You may be right (if this is the M1919, then you also agree with the Library of Congress). Before submitting my opinion that this was the M2, I struggled with this for some time and I struggled with the very same issues you bring up – it looks too small & too light for the M2. And the images where we see the muzzle, the hole looks smaller than .50 inches. If this is not the M2, I still wonder if it is the M1919, however. The gun certainly has many of the M2 design features as opposed to the M1919, most notably the twin luggage style hand-grips and thumb trigger. I have never heard of a M1919 fitted this way nor have I heard of the M2 design being scaled down to a .30 caliber. But if they ever made either one, perhaps one of those is what we see here. As an aerial gun, fitting the M1919 with the two-handed M2 style luggage grips makes some sense it would offer steadier shooting while aloft. Any armorers out there ever hear of that?
4. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
15 Sep 2011 11:26:48 PM

Upon repeating my pictorial comparisons between the M2 and the M1919, I am forced to back up on my opinion of 1 Mar 2010 and join the mainstream that these photos show the aerial configuration of the M1919 .30 caliber machine gun. Thanks to Bill for getting me thinking about this again.
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
4 Nov 2011 03:42:48 PM


The M2AN, .30 Caliber Browning machine gun was designed as a specific aircraft version of the M1919.
The AN stands for Army/Navy the weapon was light weight, operating parts were built thinner and lighter and was air-cooled.

Browning also reduced the barrel's weight and profile the M2AN was two-thirds lighter, than the standard M1919.
The M2AN used as an aerial weapon had a
Rate-of-fire of 1200rpm. This weapon also appeared in a twin-mount configuration with opposing feed systems, giving the M2AN a combined rate-of-fire of 2400rpm.

By 1943 the M2AN was being phased out as a hand-held weapon replaced by the Browning M2 .50 Caliber machine gun. However, the M2AN continued to serve as air armament and training weapon.

I apologize for not posting this information
earlier, the nomenclature could be confused with the Browning M2,.50 Caliber machine gun that is also identified as the M2, whereas the M2AN is a .30 Caliber weapon

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