What Does .50 Bmg Mean?

by Robert Morello
The Browning Machine Gun made its first appearance in 1917.

The Browning Machine Gun made its first appearance in 1917.

John Moses Browning was the inventor of some of the world's greatest and most well-known firearms, including the Winchester repeating rifle, the pump-action shotgun and the Colt 1911 semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol. In addition, he invented the M1917 Browning machine gun and the .50BMG it fired.

The Browning Machine Gun

The Browning machine gun, or M1917, was a water-cooled version of the later M1919, which saw much successful action in WWII. The rifle fired up to 500 rounds per minute, and the .50 caliber was suitable as anti-infantry, or anti-vehicle as needed.

The .50 BMG Cartridge

The .50BMG or "Browning Machine Gun" cartridge was invented as an "anti-material" weapon, which could be used to destroy machinery, vehicles and equipment as needed. The round also became useful as a long-distance shell, which could be used from the ground or from slow-moving aircraft such as helicopters.


The Browning machine gun and the .50bmg round have been used in every military conflict since their invention in 1917. The round and the rifle are two of the most successful weapons ever devised.

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.

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