The Browning M2 (a.k.a. "Ma-Deuce" or "Fifty-Cal") is an air-cooled, belt-fed, heavy machine gun that has served the U.S. military since the late 1920s. This weapon was designed by John M. Browning (who also created the M1911 pistol, among many other military and civilian firearms). It has also found usage in the military forces of various nations worldwide. The M2 is a scaled-up version of the older M1917 .30-caliber machinegun; the M2 is chambered for the powerful .50 BMG (12.7x99mm) round.
- Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
The M1A1 Abrams MBT, utilized by Vulcan Raven on Shadow Moses Island, was armed with the M2 Heavy Machine Gun. The weapon was used against Solid Snake by a Genome Soldier whenever the former approached the vehicle in an attempt to destroy it.
During the Guns of the Patriots Incident, the M2 was often used as a support weapon by both U.S. and PMC forces. They were either mounted alone, or on vehicles, such as Strykers, Humvees, as wall as patrol boats that were deployed in Eastern Europe. Gekko unmanned weapons also carried M2 machine guns as part of their armament.
Behind the scenes
Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes
Vulcan Raven's M1 tank was armed with a pair of M2 Heavy Machine Guns in Metal Gear Solid. However, in the game's 2004 remake, The Twin Snakes, it's armed with an M2 and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The incorrect armament featured in Metal Gear Solid was presumably due to the greater ease of depicting two identical weapons.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, when Old Snake uses the M2 HMG the fire rate is noticeably lower compared to when it is used by NPCs (this also applies to other fully automatic weapons that NPCs use).
The player has the option of using the machine gun mounted on Drebin's Stryker, during the escape from South America in the final section of Act 2. It is very powerful and will take down Gekko in a short 3 to 4-second burst, provided that the Gekko is at point-blank range; the longer the range between the Gekko and the gun, or when moving, the less accurate it becomes, and thus it takes longer to destroy one. However, the gun rotates slowly and PMC soldiers will occasionally climb on top of the Stryker; if this occurs, dismount from the gun and deal with them as is seen fit. The gun's rate of fire is rather slow, so it is advised not to let any Gekko with full health get too close to the Stryker.
Caution should be used if the player is aiming for a no-kills completion, as stray shots from the Stryker’s machine gun could kill a human opponent. It is best used during the latter part of the chase, as there are no humans apart from Gekko and the occasional enemy Stryker MGS.