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M85



Overview


M85

Drawing of M85 heavy machine gun.
Source: US Army - © Public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Heavy machine gun
Entered service
Early 1960's
Status
Limited service
Development
Up to 1959
Developer
United States - General Electric
Production
Early 1960's - 1980's
Producer
United States - General Electric
Number produced
Several thousand (estimate)
Designations
XL17E1, XL17E1 (UK trials designations)
Notable users
United States

Description


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. It also would 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.

Platforms

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.

Details


Facts M85
General
Origin
United States
Type
Heavy machine gun
Caliber
Caliber
12.7x99mm NATO
Feed system
Single belt, left or right hand feed
105 round belt
Barrel length
1.016 mm
Rifling
8 groovs, 590 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
880 m/s
Operation
Action
Recoil operated
Fire selector
0 - F
Rate of fire
Option 1: 400 - 500 rpm
Option 2: 1.000 - 1.100 rpm
Dimensions
Length
1.384 mm
Weight
29.5 kg
Sights
Mechanical
None
E

Media


Related articles


Browning M2HB

The M85 was developed as a more suitable heavy machine gun for vehicle use than the M2HB.