The finest book on small arms weapon mounts ever produced. First published in limited numbers for military in 1957, this extremely rare volume is now available in reprint. Click on book at left to learn more.
* All right, so I snuck in
   a few .50 cal. mounts.

This site is intended to help with the identification of mounts, and does not go into great detail with regard to function. I'm not going to attempt to cover every mount that was ever used by the military for the Browning .30 caliber, but I will show some of the more widely issued mounts, and then touch on just a few of the less well known or obscure ones. My focus will be on military mounts and not commercial pieces.


Marlin produced a version of the early Browning gas hammer. Shown here is the Marlin Model 1917.
Source: Marine Corps Museum at Paris Island , South Carolina

Above and right: Colt Browning Model 1895 with legs removed
and a collar added to the base, possibly for use on a navy launch.
Source: Mark in the Netherlands.
Above is the Model 1917. It is similar in design to the mount presented to the military for testing by John Browning with lightening cuts in the cradle sides. Weight - 61.25 lbs.
The 1918 is shown in the photos to the left, above and below. This mount saw some use between WW1 & WW2. The extensive use of castings instead of the more easily produced stampings is likely the reason for it's relatively short life. I have been unable to find more than scant information on this mount. If you have any information on the years of service or the extent to which this mount was used please contact me. The information here is from The Browning Heavy Machine Gun Mechanism Made Easy.
The 1917A1 tripod was one of the most widely used mounts. Designed for the water-cooled Browning .30 caliber, it was also used for the 1919A4. A heavy and stable mount, it is generally regarded as the best rifle caliber platform, and with it's fine adjustments for both elevation and traversing, proved to be a real work horse in WW2. It's main drawback was weight. Though lighter than the 1917, it was still a hefty 53.15 lbs.

The 1917A1 mount with extension.

Windage wheel "A" and elevation wheel "B" were used to make fine adjustments. The rear of the gun was attached at "C" and the front at "D". The cradle rotated on yoke "E" for course elevation adjustment and was locked by tightening handle "F". The entire assembly pivoted on the tripod base at the pintle "G".

Early ammo boxes were made of wood (above, left) but during the 1917A1's service metal ammo cans were introduced. One variation had a latch (center and right) which allowed it to be used with the mount.
The M2 tripod (left and above) was a lightened mount intended for use with the Browning 1919A4 in it's role as light infantry machine gun. At 14 lbs., it weighed considerably less than the 1917A1.
The early M2 had a brass traversing dial around the pintle socket, a holdover from the 1917A1. This was discontinued in subsequent designs.

A close-up of the traversing dial.


Unlike previous mounts, the M2's traversing and elevation mechanism is a self-contained component.


Most M2s had feet that were made of three separate pieces welded together. Another style, shown here, had one piece molded feet.
Two styles of M2 feet. Left and center is the three piece welded type. At right is molded and one piece .
THE M74
The M74 was adopted after WW2 and saw limited use. It was a a very well designed mount with a buffered cradle which absorbed much of the recoil. The M74 was also used with the M18 57mm recoilless rifle and the M20 75mm recoilless rifle. It was relatively light, being made mostly of aluminum, but was prone to breakage in the field and consequently not widely distributed. M74 photos source: Private collector in Arizona.
At left and above is the M25 pedestal mount commonly seen on the Army Jeep. Above right is a vehicle mounted M24A2 with an Browning .50 caliber M2HB. Note the stabilizing travel bar.

T37 pedestal mount with a 1917A1 cradle. The weapon is an early 1919A4 with a slotted barrel shroud.

Browning 1917 on a Vickers tripod. This British design was widely used early on, and was manufactured by Colt here in the United States.

The M47/M65 twin AA deck mount for the Browning .50 caliber.

M48 bracket mount as used on the Jeep.

The M45 quad. The versatile mount was used on ships, trucks, and could be towed on a dedicated trailer for deployment in the field. It featured a Mark 9 reflector sight such as was used on aircraft gun turrets.

A truck mounts M45 quad.

The D59830 ball mount was designed for use on tanks.

D-6 ring mount with Browning aircraft MG, model 1918.

This is a skate mount, so called because it has a wheeled carriage that "skates" around a ring. In this case the ring itself rides in wheels on the rear band allowing a wide traverse.

The T10 Ring Mount. Ring mounts were used on vehicles where a wide angle of fire was needed. Lighter versions were used on aircraft, usually in the rear facing observer's position.

Twin .50 caliber M2 aircraft Brownings on a concentric ring mount.

T18 Pedestal mount for use of a ship's deck.

T17 Pedestal with twin 1917 water-cooled Brownings.

Another shot of the T18 - I love this mount.

The T96 tree mount used the head of an M2 tripod for the platform and accepted a standard M3/M3 pintle.

The T95 tree mount. The chain went around the trunk and when tightened pulled the toothed saddle tight against the tree. This tree mount used a yoke to mount the gun.

The T100E2 tree mount employed hooks similar to the type found on the cant hook or log peavy

FN MAG58 tripod folded for transport.

MAG58 tripod with an FN30.
SOURCES: The bulk of the photos are from Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament, with additional photos taken from U.S. and British military manuals as well as my own collection.
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