Infantry weapons / Heavy machine guns / M85

M85

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Heavy machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1980's

  • DESIGNER
    General Electric

  • PRODUCTION
    Unknown

  • PRODUCERS
    United States - General Electric

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Compact enough for mounting in vehicles
    Variable rate of fire
    Quick change barrel with fixed headspace
    Expensive to produce
    Complicated design
    Severe reliability issues

Introduction

The M85 is a heavy machine gun of US origin. It was developed as an alternative for the M2HB heavy machine gun. The M85 was to be easier to mount in vehicles and to have a selectable rate of fire to be more effective as an anti-aircraft weapon. The M85 was fitted to several US vehicles, but proved to be an overly complicated and unreliable design.

Design

The M85 is a recoil operated weapon. It has a shorter receiver than the M2HB and features a quick change barrel with fixed headspace and large flash hider. The M85 is solenoid fired with two trigger wires are backup. An M85C was proposed as a tripod mounted weapon for infantry use, but proved to be even more unreliable than the standard M85.

Firepower

The M85 is a belt fed weapon that fires the same 12.7x99mm NATO round as the M2HB. It has the unique feature of having a selectable rate of fire. The low setting is for use against ground targets and is 400 to 500 rpm. The high setting is for use against aircraft and is 1.000 to 1.100 rpm.

Users

The M85 was fitted to the M60 Patton series of main battle tanks, M728 combat engineer vehicle and LVTP-7 amphibious APC. The newer M1 Abrams and upgraded AAV7 switched back to the M2HB. The M85 is also used by a variety of nations which acquired vehicles that incorporated the M85. In Israeli service the turret with M85 machine gun was replaced by a hatch and pintle mounted MAG machine gun.

Variants

M85

The M85 is a heavy machine gun designed to be mounted on vehicles. It is more compact than the M2HB, features a quick change barrel with fixed headspace and has a selectable rate of fire. The M85 proved overly complicated, expensive to produce and unreliable.

  • Specifications:
  • M85
TypeHeavy machine gun
Caliber12.7x99mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed
OperationRecoil operated
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fireOption 1: 400 - 500 rpm
Option 2: 1.000 - 1.100 rpm
Barrel length?
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity?
Stock-
Length1.384 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight29.5 kg
Sights-
Remarks-

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