M85 heavy machine gun

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M85 heavy machine gun - .50 BMG
M85C heavy machine gun on M3 tripod - .50 BMG

The M85 was a 1959 American recoil-operated belt-fed .50 calibre heavy machine gun designed by AAI and intended primarily to be mounted on vehicles. Designed to replace the venerable Browning M2 with a smaller and lighter weapon, it was employed on the M60 version of the Patton tank in the commander's cupola mini-turret, and mounted on the LVTP-7 amphibious APC.

The M85 features a rate-reducing system which can be disabled, allowing it to be fired slowly at ground targets or rapidly when used as an anti-aircraft weapon. Although it succeeded in being lighter and smaller than the M2, the M85, much like the M73 machine gun, was both overcomplicated and unreliable, and was compared extremely unfavourably to its predecessor. An infantry version with spade grips, the M85C, was also trialled, but due to reliability issues was not adopted at all.

It was replaced with the Browning M2 on the LVTP during the upgrade to the improved AAVP-7A1 and deleted entirely from late-production M60A3 tanks along with the commander's cupola, due to fears of the commander being gruesomely bisected if a heavy weapon struck the cupola and knocked it off the vehicle while he was stood up inside it. The most obvious way to distinguish the M85 from the Browning M2 in a vehicle installation is the M85's very distinctive flowerbud-like flash hider.


Contents

Specifications

1959-1980s

Type: Heavy machine gun

Caliber: .50 BMG

Weight: 65lb (29.5 kg)

Length: 54.5in (1,384mm)

Capacity: Belt fed (M15 link)

Fire Modes: Selectable full auto, 400-500 rpm and 800-950 rpm


The M85 heavy machine gun and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Illustrious Corpses (Cadaveri eccellenti) Mounted on Italian M60 tank 1976
Heartbreak Ridge US Marines Mounted on LVTP-7 1986
April Captains (Capitães de Abril) Portuguese soldiers Mounted in M60 tanks 2000
Black Hawk Down UN soldiers Mounted in M60A1 tanks 2001
The Tiger and the Snow US Army soldier Mounted on M60A1 tanks 2005

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Steel Beasts Mounted on M60A3 Patton tank 2000
World in Conflict Mounted on M60A3 Patton tank 2007

Anime

Title Character Note Date
Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie JSDF M85C, appears to actually be an off-model Browning M2 with a Mk 19 flash hider 2013



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