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.50 Caliber Browning Guns

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rv7charlie

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Deuelly

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This is a pretty little issue on a replica, but if you are trying to make it look like they did when it was delivered to the USAAF or how it might have looked ready to escort bombers...

The AN/M2 had a lighter barrel than the ground versions, with barrel shroud which both reduced gun weight and raised rate of fire. The end of the barrel is what we see on the outside of fighters. The barrels (at full scale) have a 0.5" ID and an OD of around an inch, were Parkerized to anywhere from black to dark grey to dark green-grey. When they were new, the bore and crown (the chamfer from the bore) were bright as a rubber plug had been inserted in both ends of the barrel to prevent phosphate coating the bore and chamber. In use with chlorate based priming used in US military ammo until well after WWII, the priming left corrosive salts on the bore. If left alone, it corroded the bore. In use, the guns were removed and cleaned after firing, and bores were scrubbed with solvents. This tended to leave the front faces of the barrels close to the bore brightened too, but not the OD. So the barrel itself should be dark grey to black, with it partially worn off on the front face.

In the photos extant from WWII, the dark metal barrels with the crown bright are visible while the front face is sometimes bright, and rarely, the OD is bright. The shround usually appears dark when new and then brightened from handling and use.

The way I would expect that the barrel would all be bright while in service is if the ground crew failed to wipe a thin coat of oil before reinstalling the gun, allowed it to rust (Parkerizing holds oil and waxes, which prevents rust unless one washes it clean with solvent and fails to put some oil back on it), and then were told to "clean the rust off that gun" and ended up polishing off the Parkerizing along with the rust. In replicas and static displays, you might indeed see hard chrome or stainless parts to make it easier to keep it looking nice.

If you want it to look like they did when delivered to the USAAF, the barrel itself would be dark satin grey to black with the bore and crown (chamfer) bright. The exposed portion of the shroud at the muzzle apprears to not have been phosphated, and so might be bright when new;
If you want it to look as it did while fighting, the front face would have some polishing near the crown and perhaps some scraping of the phosphate from the OD. Shrouds would likely have a patina as seen in the photo below;
And if you wanted it to look as it would after neglect in the field and then cleaned up later by polishing to remove corrosion (and thus susceptible to rusting quickly afterwards), you would make the barrel and bright bright.

View attachment 101553

View attachment 101555
A point in these photos - the two guns being cleaned are the same. The third gun had a different shroud as that gun set further aft in the wing for ammo feeding. The muzzle end of the barrels are not visible here - the shrouds pictured compress the coil springs when installed in the wing and slide aft along the barrel a short distance, exposing the end of the barrel. Notice the somewhat rusty look of the part of the shroud exposed when installed where it has no phosphate coating and was exposed to chlorate priming salts and the weather...

All of this is why when I walk by so many warbirds, both real and reproductions, where so much effort has gone in,with magazines, linked belts of ammo, reproduction guns, etc, I shudder bit as the guns neither look as-issued nor as they would look while fighting and being maintained in the field.

Billski
TX's look pretty good. About the only thing to point out is that the barrel bushing is bronze so should be a bronze color. For reference here are the guns in our P-51.

Brandon

 

Pops

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Riiight....
List of fatal bear attacks in North America - Wikipedia
Not common, but they do happen. Many years ago, one killed a kid in a friend's church group, camping in the Smokies. Pulled up this link just now:
Bear Activity
and
https://www.reddit.com/r/CampingandHiking/comments/2bwyjd See that chain link fence on the front of that shelter?
There are over night shelters in the hiking trails in the mountains not far from where I live that have chain link fences around the outside walls.
 

pictsidhe

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Riiight....
List of fatal bear attacks in North America - Wikipedia
Not common, but they do happen. Many years ago, one killed a kid in a friend's church group, camping in the Smokies. Pulled up this link just now:
Bear Activity
and
https://www.reddit.com/r/CampingandHiking/comments/2bwyjd See that chain link fence on the front of that shelter?
The 300+lb black bear I ran into would probably make short work of that fence, if so inclined. Fortunately, he was not aggressive.
A total of 64 black bear deaths in the USA between 1900 and 2015. More people are killed by lightning than black bears. More people are killed by children under 15 every year than black bears killed in 115years... Should we be armed with AR15s in case we meet little Johnny from down the road?
Risk should be assessed and dealt with accordingly. Running scared from everything is not the way to live life. Black bears are pretty low risk, at over a hundred times less dangerous than children...
 
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Pops

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When I was about 10 years old I slipped and got between a ground hog and it hole. I stood my ground for a little while but he was braver than I was and I ran.
 

Pops

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I'm not dumb enough to do that. If I accidentally did, I'd be backing away nice and slow with my head down.
I wouldn't pick a fight with a bear for the exact same reason normal humans don't pick fights with me...
Not so much who is bigger, its who is the most skilled.
 

pictsidhe

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Not so much who is bigger, its who is the most skilled.
People don't look at me and think "wow, he looks skilled".
They think "dayum, he's huge".

I haven't got in a proper fight since school, so I'm very rusty. But, people don't know that from looking at me.
 

Dana

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My wife chased away a black bear that was trying to get into our kitchen a couple of weeks ago. I was still in bed. A week earlier and a couple of miles away, a different one chased me, followed me for some distance. I didn't run, exactly, but I walked very fast... :eek:. My forest ranger neighbor tells me there's a problem bear in the area, harassing hikers for their food, to the point they've prohibited camping in the lean-to and surrounding area. No doubt the same one I encountered.
 

Pops

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People don't look at me and think "wow, he looks skilled".
They think "dayum, he's huge".

I haven't got in a proper fight since school, so I'm very rusty. But, people don't know that from looking at me.
I have 2 grandsons that are 6'5" and 260 lbs , one 22 years old and one 28 years old. I designed the JMR so they would fit.
When I was in my late 30's, I had to fight a man that was about 6' x 270 lbs and no fat. I held my own and after a few minutes he threw his hands up and wanted to quit. I said its ok with me if its ok with you . So we walked out the building side by side. Hard to get out of bed the next day and felt like I had been run over by a large truck for about a week. I was 6' x 200 lbs with a 32" waist and in perfect shape at the time.

Back in the 1970's when living in Pa, I worked with the fightest machine I ever saw. He was about 5'4"x 126 lbs. He spent his military time in the Marines teaching hand to hand in basic training. He was amazing.
 
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wsimpso1

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So it sounds like the barrel part itself should be satin dark grey and the next ring like weathered bronze.
 

Pops

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Neighbor has a Nanchang CJ-6 with the M-14P engine with fake guns on the leading edge of the wings. The rings around the barrels are polished aluminum. Most people wouldn't know what they should look like.
 

Deuelly

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So it sounds like the barrel part itself should be satin dark grey and the next ring like weathered bronze.
The barrel part that you can see is normally silver, as in the video I posted. The barrel slides back and forth in the barrel bushing and needs to be clean and smooth on the mating surfaces. The NOS barrels we used were only parkerized up to about the last four inches of the barrel. I believe that last bit may have even been chromed but I'd have to double-check.

Brandon
 

pictsidhe

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Neighbor has a Nanchang CJ-6 with the M-14P engine with fake guns on the leading edge of the wings. The rings around the barrels are polished aluminum. Most people wouldn't know what they should look like.
There was very, very little shiny stuff in WWII. The few things that were made shiny, were painted or otherwise coated if at all possible. Reflections gave your position away.
 
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vhhjr

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A group of builders in EAA Chapter 292 finished number 1 of 5 1914 DH-2 fighters last year and I decided it needed a faux machine gun. One was built that somewhat resembles an original, at least for 20 feet away. It runs on propane and oxygen and is very realistic. We had to dial back the noise to sound like a .303 instead of the 20 mm sound we were getting. The firing mechanism was a four lobed cam on a gear motor that operated two solenoid valves and a spark plug driver for ignition. It was decided to up grade to an all electronic system and we're still trying to get it to work right. Another example that simpler may be better.

Vince Homer
 

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