M-1917 .30 cal. Machine Gun

The M-1917 water-cooled .30 cal. machine gun was developed by John Browning. M-1917 water-cooled machine guns saw service with the last U.S. troops to enter France near the end of World War I and was the Army's standard battalion level machine gun until the mid-1950s when the M-1917A1 .30 cal. machine gun was replaced by the M-60 7.62mm machine gun. The M-1917 was tripod or post mounted, and was also used as an aircraft gun. The M-1917 had a rate of fire of 450 cpm using the Army's standard .30-06 round in fabric or metal belts.

Browning machinegun, cal. .30, M-1917A1 (M31 mount) on WW II jeep platform
Browning machinegun, cal. .30, M-1917A1 (M31 mount) on M38 jeep platform. Thanks to Reggie Caruso for correct ID of the jeep.

More photos of the M-1917 .30 cal. Machine Gun are available at the linked page.

At the Olive-Drab.com YouTube Channel, the video Automatic Weapons: American vs. German (1943) compares the M-1917 .30 cal. Machine Gun to the German MG34 & MG42 Machine Guns and to the M-1919 .30 cal. Machine Gun.

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M-1917A1 Water Cooled Machine Gun

Following World War I the M-1917 was modified and remanufactured at the Rock Island Arsenal, IL. The modified weapon was designated M-1917A1. Additional modifications were made to new production machine guns. The M-1971A1 was the Army's standard battalion level machine gun in World War II and Korea. The M-1917 had a rate of fire of 450-600 cpm.

Browning machinegun, cal. .30, M-1917A1
Browning machinegun, cal. .30, M-1917A1.

The M1917 machine guns fired the .30-06 cartridge, originally developed for the M-1903 Springfield rifle and later used for many other rifles and light machine guns. The original World War I ammunition boxes for this weapon were made of wood. The boxes were replaced by metal during World War II.

1932 photo of 'speed car' mounted with Browning Machine Gun in Nicaragua
1932 photo of "speed car" mounted with Browning Machine Gun in Nicaragua.

Specifications of the M-1917 Browning Machine Gun

Sgt. 1st Class Gary G. Beylickjian provides instruction on the M-1917 to new members of the Heavy Machinegun Platoon, H Co., 7th Inf. Regt., 3rd Inf. Div., following the Korean armistice in 1953
Sgt. 1st Class Gary G. Beylickjian provides instruction on the M-1917 to new members of the Heavy Machinegun Platoon, H Co., 7th Inf. Regt., 3rd Inf. Div., following the Korean armistice in 1953.

Caliber .30
Effective range (on tripod) 2500 yards
Maximum usable range about 4000 yards
Method of Feed fabric belt
Barrel Length 24 inches
Weight of gun (and pintle) 32.8 lbs.
Tripod weight 53.2 lbs.
Total weight, including gun, tripod, water, ammunition, and box 102.5 lbs.
Rate of fire 50-600 rounds per minute
Manufacturer Browning

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