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United States M1919A4 Machine Gun
National Museum of American History, Behring Center

United States M1919A4 Machine Gun

Catalog #: 66807M    Accession #: 235947
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History


John Moses Browning (Manufacturer)

John Moses Browning was a highly successful gunsmith from Utah. Inspired by the work of Hiram Maxim, Browning began work on an automatic machine-gun. He drilled a hole in the gun barrel to divert some of the gas behind the bullet into a cylinder to drive a piston, which performed the various tasks of extracting the cartridge case, reloading and firing. Browning later invented a belt-fed machine gun capable of firing more than 500 rounds per minute. It was used by United States troops in World War II and the Korean War.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 16.5" H x 48" W x 29" D

Physical Description

United States M1919A4 machine gun, .30 caliber on M2 tripod.

General History

The air-cooled Browning M1919A4 light machine gun was modified from the earlier water-cooled M1917 heavy machine gun. While the M1919A4 had a slower rate of fire and was less accurate than the M1917 models, the significantly lower weight made it an ideal infantry weapon. The fully-automatic M1919A4 was normally employed by infantry companies. It was mounted on the M2 tripod or used as a fixed machine gun on armored vehicles. Approximately 439,000 M1919A4's were produced during World War II.


War: World War II
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