M85 machine gun

M85 machine gun

Infobox Weapon|is_ranged=yes

caption=M85 machine gun
name= Machine Gun, Cal .50, Fixed, M85
type= Heavy machine gun
origin=flagcountry|United States
used_by= U.S., NATO
wars= Gulf War
spec_type= Copula Machine gun
cartridge=.50 BMG
feed= Belt Feed, left or right hand
action= Recoil-operated
rate= Ground: 400-500 round/min
Air: 1000-1100 round/min
velocity=2,800 fps
weight= 65 lb (29.5 kg)
length= 54.5 in (1,384.3 mm)
variants= See Variants Section
range= 2,187 yd (2,000 m)
max_range= 7,330 yd (6,703 m)
The M85 is a Heavy machine gun that was used primarily weapon for turreted applications in Armoured fighting vehicles. Designed for anti-aircraft and anti-personnel use, the weapon was found to be extremely complicated. It was used on the M60 Patton series of tanks and the LVTP-7.

Design and development

Intended as a smaller, lighter, more capable replacement for the venerable M2 Browning machine gun, the M85 was produced by General Electric. The weapon was developed with selectable high and low rates of fire for engagement of both ground and air targets, a feature lacking in the older M2.

The M85 was the standard heavy tank machine gun for the M60 series, and was also used on the LVTP-7 amphibious vehicle. It is an air-cooled, recoil operated machine gun, had a short receiver and quick change barrel, and could be configured for left or right hand feeding. The M85 was significantly lighter than the M2, and significantly smaller, a prime consideration for its intended role inside the cramped interiors of armored vehicles. Firing and charging are achieved by pull on one of two color coded pull chains (black for charging and red for firing), or by means of a solenoid.

In service the M85 was found to be unreliable and extremely complex compared to the M2 machine gun. The weapon was not fitted to the M1 Abrams, and was replaced by the M2 machine gun on the improved AAVP-7. An attempt was also made to make a version of the M85 that would replace the M2 in the infantry role was designated the M85C, and featured standard spade grips and could be fitted to the M3 heavy tripod. Like the M85 the weapon was extremely unreliable and unpopular and this weapon was not adopted.

The M85 was also tested by the United Kingdom under the designations XL17E1 and XL17E2. They were equipped with special purpose barrels and evaluated as ranging machine guns. [Ezell, 1988. p. 391] The weapon was not adopted for use on any British vehicles.



*Basic weapon, designed for mounting inside vehicle copulas


* Flexible infantry variant with sights and spade grips




* Ezell, Ed. "Small Arms Today, 2nd Edition." Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1988. ISBN 0-8117-2280-5.
* Gervasi, Tom. "Arsenal of Democracy III: America's War Machine, the Pursuit of Global Dominance". New York, NY: Grove Press, Inc, 1984. ISBN 0-394-54102-2.

ee also

* M2 Browning machine gun

External links

* [http://tri.army.mil/LC/cs/csi/sahist.htm TACOM-RI Historic US Small Arms]
* [http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/weapon/M85.html M85 at Gary's Olive Drab Page]

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