The Browning M2 .50 BMG heavy machine gun, commonly known as the “Ma Deuce,” is one of the most recognizable and iconic weapons in the world. Used by dozens of countries in every imaginable environment, it speaks a very common language of power and reliability.
The awesome .50-caliber power of the Browning M2 will make anyone smile upon pressing the triggers—it’s also known as the “full-auto giggle.”
Unquestionably, the Ma Deuce is the queen of the belt feds and icon of the weapon world. Built since the 1920s, the Browning M2 has managed to keep its crown as one of the most effective heavy machine guns on the planet. Its simple air-cooled design and stout build make it a reliable and welcome companion to soldiers on the front lines. There have been attempts to replace the M2, but she still remains one of the most requested belt-fed machine guns in the world.
The awesome power felt by pressing the paddles down and unleashing the chest-pounding whump, whump, whump is unlike any other gun in existence. Regardless of the situation, this extension of power makes even the hardest of warriors smile inside. Now this is all fine and great for the soldiers that get to run this mechanical piece of history, but what about civilian shooters? Is there no hope? Worry not, because there are places you can get behind an M2 and experience the magic.
Held at Knob Creek Range near West Point, Ky., this event has become legendary in the shooting community. The range for the event was a former military munitions test range, and it’s home to everyday range activities as well. Each April and October, hundreds of people gather from around the country and the world to shoot some of the most exotic weapons available. Standing out in the crowd is the Browning M2 belt-fed machine gun. Participants have the opportunity to shoot old cars, appliances and even drums of fuel with explosives inside. The Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot is famous and has been shown in news coverage all over the globe. With one of the largest collections of hardcore full-auto weapons on one shooting line, it is an event to put on any bucket list.
Twice a year, hardcore gun enthusiasts gather in the western high desert of Arizona for the Big Sandy Shoot. With the claimed title of “largest machine gun shoot in the United States,” the 0.25-mile-long shooting line roars for three days. Held near the small Arizona town of Wikieup, the event has become one of the most popular gun events in the country. It has expanded from a machine gun shoot to also include training and competitions. Lifelong shooters and curious onlookers enjoy both the camaraderie and excitement of a well-run and exciting event.
The M2 is designed to operate in a variety of mounting devices, especially on vehicles. The M2 is also occasionally seen supported on a tripod.
Large machine gun shooting events, like this one at Big Sandy, know that the party does not start until the M2 is on the firing line and ready to fire.
Based out of Lakewood, Colo., Machine Gun Tours has turned people’s desire to shoot machine guns into a solid business. The company offers a wide variety of full-auto fun. From the M249 SAW to suppressed weapons, the menu is extensive. Machine Gun Tours also offers packages that include certain guns and ammo to give you a variety to shoot. The ability to reserve a shoot around your schedule is a huge plus for this option. You and your friends can take the opportunity to shoot a group of vintage and hard-to-get weapons in the beautiful setting of central Colorado. Some would say it is nature at its finest.
Nothing says Las Vegas like a .50-caliber machine gun. Set off the strip, this busy shop caters to people from all around the globe. At any time during business hours you will find people from all over the world patiently waiting in line to shoot weapons they have never even seen in person. The facility has both indoor and outdoor shooting opportunities. As with any place you are looking to shoot the Ma Deuce, it is best to make an appointment and get details on prices and times. It is the perfect add-on to any trip to the city of neon, buffets and poker chips.
Partnered with one of the largest firearms trade shows in the Midwest, the Full-Auto Shoot in Wyandotte, Okla., every June is the perfect mix of business and pleasure. This is a great place to get time on the M2 and other full-auto weapons. From WWII classics to modern weapons, it is a great way to spend a weekend. The 2015 dates are June 27 and June 28.
Feed The Ma Deuce Beast
The opportunity to fire any automatic weapon should not be missed, and this is especially true for the M2. The incredible power, combined with a manageable rate of fire, makes the Ma Deuce a chuckle-inducing piece of mechanical history. Rare is the person who walks away from the firing line without a silly grin on their face.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Big Sandy Shoot: mgshooters.com; 602-327-7933
- Knob Creek Range: knobcreekrange.com; 502-922-4457
- Machine Gun Tours: machineguntours.com; 303-993-8361
- Oklahoma Full-Auto Shoot & Trade Show: oklahomafullauto.com; 918-666-2788
- The Gun Store: thegunstorelasvegas.com; 702-454-1110
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