M2 Browning .50 vs. Ho-5 20mm

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by Clay_Allison, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Ok, this one is interesting to me because the Ho-5 is basically a Browning up-converted to a 20mm cannon round . The question inevitably leads to a corollary. If the Ho-5 was better, should the US have asked J.M. Browning to up-convert his heavy machine gun to a cannon (I think he could do it in two weeks once the desired ammunition was available for testing).

    I've spoken to experts in gun manufacturing about this. Guns are my first love anyway and I have done more work and research about firearms and cannon than I have any 3 other subjects combined. All of them that I've spoken to said that the Browning M2 could easily handle a much bigger cartridge than the 12.7x99. Should it have been done?
     
  2. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    #2 CharlesBronson, Sep 17, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
    I dont know if they should, however thay have a prototipe for an increased caliber heavy machinegun , the T-17 wich fired a .60 projectile.

    Probably the USAAF felt content with the power of multiple .50 BMG emplacement because it didnt had to fend off a lot of bomber attacks as the german and japanese case. The only part didnt liked was the rate of fire. several subtyes of M2 machineguns were experienced in limited numbers with the rate of fire augmented.
     
  3. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Firepower-wise the 6x.50 BMG package is roughly equivalent to 2x H.S. 20mm cannon or perhaps 3x Ho-5 at well over twice the weight.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    J.M. Browning, the icon of all gunmakers, died in 1926, long before the need for anything bigger then .50 was felt within USAAC and/or USN.
    We've had the similar discussion before, mentioning the Russians, Germans and Japanese successful ,results in up-necking. So the same could've been done in the US (and it would've been a good thing), providing a request by the USAAC/USN, even without J.M.B. around.
     
  5. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    That is correct however the dervelopment of Browning type .50 Mgs continues by several factories, mostly automotive of electric related well into 1950s. So I dont thisnk there was a lack of designer in ww2.

    Well actually the Ho-5 had a higher rate of fire than the M2 and weight was almost equal so the advantage was bigger than you think :)
     

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  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    :rolleyes:
    As said in my post:
     
  7. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    You're right, for some reason it stuck in my head that he had died in 1946, don't know why.
     
  8. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Yes you did :oops:

    Nice 3d image of the Ho-5:
     

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  9. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Nice image. Yeah, it would have been pretty interesting if they had tried it. I imagine the Luftwaffe was happy they didn't try it!
     
  10. TinyTim

    TinyTim New Member

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    One of the cruical factors why USA didn't adopt cannons and retained .50cals through WW2 on most of its warplanes and especially fighters in my opinion is that continental USA never had to fear massive bombings, something all other major nations in second world war had to face at some point. Versus fighters .50cals worked great, versus most of the Japanese bombers too, German bombers however were pretty rare, and even those (He-111, Ju-88,...) were easily teared up with 6 fifties. Together with an icredible simple logistic of having 1 type of gun and 1 type of ammo basically everywhere, this reason in my humble opinion prevailed in favor of .50cals. Should USA get endangered by heavy bombers, I'm fairly sure larger calibre guns would hastily find their ways onto US fighters, beginning probably as underwing pods.

    Imagine a JagdGeschwader equipped with Fw190A5 and 109G-6/U4 requesting ammo. You need 5 different types of ammo, some of the same calibre which allow a chance of getting mixed up.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    That and the way the US TOTALLY mucked up their production of the 20mm Hispano. Somewhere around 1/3 of production hidden away in warehouses as unuseable.

    Given that F6Fs, F4Us, F8Fs and even early P-51s could house 20mm cannon in the wings I doubt under wing pods would have been necessary.
     
  12. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    It also proves that the US didn't ignore 20mm production because of the rationalizations given about how the 50 worked just "fine". All of our evaluations of the Hispano said it was far more efficient than the M2. IMO, the Hispano was given to the wrong contractors, probably because all of the actual gun manufacturers were busy.
     
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