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Old 09-04-2019, 12:06 PM
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Arrow Here’s how the Navy wants to silence the ‘Ma Deuce’

Here’s how the Navy wants to silence the ‘Ma Deuce’
BY: Military Times - 9-4-19

1st photo link:
Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Cory Marks pulls the charging handle on a M2 machine gun during a qualification exercise aboard the dock landing ship USS Comstock (LSD 45). (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart)

According to a new Request For Information posted by the Department of the Navy on the government’s official contract solicitations website FedBizOpps, the service could potentially find itself picking up a large order of suppressors for none other than its M2A1 heavy machine gun arsenal.

The M2, affectionately known to its various users as “Ma Deuce,” has been in continuous service with the US military since the 1930s, tracing its design history back to the years following the World War I.

Since then, Ma Deuce has seen considerable action in a variety of incarnations, including as an aerial weapon slung on military aircraft, a close-in defense gun on naval vessels, and as portable or mounted heavy machine guns for infantry elements.

Firing the .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) round, one would rightly surmise that the M2 does tend to be quite loud when in use, which seems to be a problem the Navy is dead-set on tackling. To that end, the RFI on FedBizOpps requires that any proposed suppressors need to come with a standard noise reduction to at least 145 decibels or below.

According to Army documents, the M2 averages 161 decibels, an M16 clocks in at 156db.

2nd photo link:
Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Thomas Ricard, from Aiken, S.C., performs maintenance on an M2-HB .50 caliber machine gun aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jason Waite)

The new suppressors also need to pump out a 50 percent reduction in flash from what the M2 would normally produce while firing without a muzzle device of any sort. Additional requirements include a stipulation that the suppressors cannot reduce the cyclic rate of the gun, which is ideally pegged at around 450 to 600 rounds per minute, with a much smaller frequency of fire with shorter controlled bursts.

While the notion of a suppressed Ma Deuce may seem outlandish to some, it’s actually not all that new to the military. In fact, in 2017, the Marine Corps made history by deploying a company equipped entirely with suppressed small arms as well as heavy machine guns (i.e. M2s) to Norway. This was the first major step in a long undertaking by the Corps to diminish the signature impact of small arms in its infantry forces.

Delta P Design is one company that has made waves in the .50 cal suppressor market with a 3D printed product, featured among its BREVIS II line. The former OPS Inc. was also known to have produced a suppressor for the M2.

Video link:
Whether or not the Navy will actually go ahead with buying and equipping its sizable arsenal of M2s with suppressors still remains to be seen. The Navy presently uses M2s in a number of roles including shipboard defense on its surface warships, and in special operations with its SEAL and special boat teams.

About this writer: Ian D’Costa is a correspondent with Gear Scout whose work has been featured with We Are The Mighty, The Aviationist, and Business Insider. An avid outdoorsman, Ian is also a guns and gear enthusiast.


Personal note: I don't know how many of you have heard a 50 go off? I was a loader for a a 50 on a ship in Da Nang - VN in early 65. The kick and sound is unique and the fire power - well let's say you never want to be hit by one - it will take your head clean off or cut you in half. The suppressors are a good idea - its really is one hell of a gun.


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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