The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG) or 12.7x99mm NATO is a cartridge developed for the M2 Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun. It was adopted by the US Army in the 1920s, and has been in continuous service ever since. There are more than 20 types of ammunition issued for use in the M2 Browning, color coded on the tip to enable identification of rounds. The ammunition is fed to the machine gun linked with the M2 or M9 metallic links in disintegrating belts.
In addition, the .50 cal cartridge has found a new application with long-range target and sniper rifles, such as the Barrett M82A1.
This review covers one of the many M2 Machine Gun accessory sets in 1/35 scale from Live Resin: M2 Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun cartridges and spent shells (LRE-35093)
. The set is packed in a zip-lock bag which is safely secured between a firm carboard backing. The CAD boxart image on the front shows all the kit parts, while the one on the back displays .50 cal spent shells together with belt links (LRE-35092). The box states this accessory set is compatible with all Live Resin kits featuring M2 machine guns, but also with any .50 caliber weapon produced by other manufacturers.
Although the boxart image shows this kit includes 50 spent shells, 15 cartridges and 15 cartridges with belt links, I got some extra spent shells in my review sample. Very nice surprise, thank you Live Resin! The parts are cast in grey resin and, other than some tiny flash residue, the molding is really good. The resin pieces are very small and could prove a bit tricky to remove from their carrier blocks since every single shell is held on three sides by tiny resin stubs. Cleaning each individual shell is a tedious and time consuming process.
Details on these cartridges are pretty impressive and visible only under high magnification. The complex contours of the cartridge are well represented, too. I measured the cartridges from this 1/35 scale set and compared them to real .50 cal rounds: the spent shell is about 2,9mm long and the full cartridge 3,9mm long, which corresponds well to dimensions of the real round (100,3mm and 138,4mm).
If you are planning to use this set for representing spent .50 cal shells, you will probably need the belt links set (LRE-35092), too. As the name suggests, disintegrating .50 cal ammo belt disintegrates when the M2 is fired. Whenever the shell is ejected from the chamber, the link is ejected as well. That is why there is always a pile of both spent shells and belt clips on the ground.
I still remember the .50 cal shells from Mission Models. These individually machined brass shells represented a true revolution in detail. Although enormously expensive (25 shells were about $16), these brass shells were the best option for superdetailing the Browning .50 Cal Machine Gun. As far as I know, Mission Models does not produce these .50 cal shells any more.
Now Live Resin decided to tackle .50 cal ammo in resin. The cartridges and spent shells in this set are well cast and accurately sized in 1/35 scale. They could be a bit difficult to clean, but the hard work is well worth it in the end.
Olive Drab website
.50 Caliber Browning Ammunition