British navy sailor fires burst using gun mounting system ASP (Agile, Small-deflection, Precision) armed with a .50 heavy machine gun. (Picture source British Royal Navy)
If we don’t replace the .50 caliber machine gun and we don’t put it in a remote weapons station, we may still do something to improve its accuracy as a crew served weapon.
Navy Recognition reports the Brits have been testing a new mount.
Over a week of trials, the team put down nearly 5,000 .5 caliber rounds – 3,500 fired using the new mounting, 1,450 from a heavy machine-gun on a traditional ‘soft’ mounting to allow for comparisons. They conducted more than three dozen gunnery shoots in different scenarios and weather conditions to give both mountings a comprehensive workout.
Seven of Argyll’s ship’s companies were taught how to fire a .50 cal loaded onto the new mount. They found it easy to use – and their gunnery improved as the trials went on.
I would at least be curious about their test results.
Here’s a better image of the “ASP Mount” (i.e. ex-Flex Force Stabilizing Mount) without someone blocking it’s actual image and a description of how it works as well…
( https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/06/26/isdef-2019-flex-forces-stabilizing-mount-and-rc-option/ )
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Whats interesting is that the .50 cal had disappeared from UK ships for some time, with the exception of the FN M3M .50 cal mounted on Wildcat and Merlin. The only MG’s seen mounted on RN ships in recent years were GPMG (FN MAG/M240 to the US in 7.62) and 7.62 Miniguns. And lots of them. Then suddenly in the last 6 months, unannounced, .50 cal has made a return…guns presumably dug out of warehouses and mounted again…not sure of the reason why. Certainly not due to a shortage of other MG’s. Perhaps the arrival of a new mount to make the gun more accurate when in use has changed perceptions of it.
Should be noted that the mount is not just for .50 caliber. It can mount both the M240 and the 7.62 mm miniguns as well.
If you were referring to the Vickers Mk.5 .50 MG, it was a different caliber (i.e. 12.7x81mmSR) which was adapted from a tank and was phased out of service before 2001 and replaced by the 7.62×51 NATO GPMG which the Royal Marines didn’t like. The British equivalent to the .50BMG is known as the L1A1 HMG which went into service with the UK MoD in 2004, but ironically not with the RN until 2020. Also the RN variant isn’t the M2M but rather the M3M with nearly three times the cyclic rate…
They’re not M3M being mounted on ships. They’re M2’s. And they date back further than 2004. 2004 was the Manroy made ones with QCB. UK has had M2 MG’s in use for decades on and off, they keep being retired and returned to service on multiple occasions. Last time preceding the Army using them on WMIK, Viking, Jackal and other vehicles in Afghanistan and Iraq was when the IRA started using armoured trucks to assault checkpoints in the 80’s in NI…cue lots of .50 cal M2’s being dug out of stores and rifle grenades being hurriedly re-issued….this was after they’d been hurriedly re-issued for the Falklands…then taken back into stores again.
“20 years after 9/11, Royal Navy finally getting Heavy Machine Guns”, Seawave, dated February 9, 2021…
@Secundius, your link did not take me to that story. Found it though
There was also this, basically the same story I reported with small variations. https://seawaves.com/?p=17293
The problem with providing links is not knowing ahead of time whether or not they’ll either link to the article in question or simply be a dead file! I tried three different ways, all provided the same link address. I provided this website address, even though it provides less information…
( https://www.navylookout.com/close-in-defense-for-the-royal-navys-aircraft-carriers/ )
That is here, https://www.navylookout.com/close-in-defence-for-the-royal-navys-aircraft-carriers/#:~:text=Close-in%20defence%20for%20the%20Royal%20Navy%E2%80%99s%20aircraft%20carriers,that%20were%20originally%20specified%20for%20the%20QEC%20carriers.
Can’t be sure! After first photo in link, page went blank with a security warning saying that it wasn’t a “safe site”! But the picture shown appears to be the same, if only seen briefly…