Full Auto Friday: M1919 Browning edition (VIDEOS)
By Chris Eger
When you want to speak .30-06 at 600 rounds-per-minute, the M1919 was the go-to party favor across WWII, Korea and into the Vietnam conflict
John Moses Browning’s classic belt-fed M1919 proved so popular that it remained the primary machine gun in U.S. and Allied service for more than 40 years. Designed in the tail-end of WWI by the Utah-based firearms genius to be a lighter alternative than his M1917 water-cooled machine gun with a generally interchangeable mechanism, the M1919 was patented in February 1919 and was too late to head “Over There” and fight to Kaiser.
Adopted by the U.S. Army, the gun was air-cooled, which made it perfect for use in tanks and aircraft, weapon platforms that had just evolved to become a fixture of modern warfare.
While some 70,000 early models with 18.63-inch barrels and slotted shrouds were cranked out before 1920, the military wanted something even smaller and soon ordered the M1919A2, a more compact gun ideal for use by horse cavalry.
The M1919A2 was even mounted in a special saddle and continued to equip mounted units into the early 1940s. Early models used cloth belts while later ones used metal links.
By 1936, the most common version of the gun, the