90 Miles From Tyranny : Important Guns in History #6 & #7

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Important Guns in History #6 & #7

M2 Browning, 1933

Browning's other lasting contribution to weaponry was one of the most formidable machine guns ever made. Designed toward the end of World War I, the M2 began as a water-cooled design but shifted to air-cooled, requiring a heavy barrel. At more than 80 pounds the "Ma Deuce" is a cumbersome weapon, but the .50-caliber round fires with about four times the energy of a typical rifle bullet. It will go through an inch of steel armor and is lethal at two thousand yards. The M2 is still in service with a design that is fundamentally unchanged.

M1 Garand, 1936

Canadian John Garand of the Springfield Armory developed the first semiautomatic rifle to be adopted by a major nation. Technically known as just Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, the gun has always been called a Garand. The gun uses some of the energy from the high-pressure gas generated during firing to eject the spent cartridge and chamber a fresh round. This gives a higher rate of fire than earlier bolt-action weapons, although the clip of just eight rounds reduces ammunition use. About 4 million were produced in World War II; Gen. Patton pronounced the Garand "the greatest battle implement ever devised."

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