Home > Reviews > USA > Armorscale 1/35 scale .30 caliber Browning 1919A US Machine Gun Barrel (B25-064)

.30 caliber Browning 1919A US Machine Gun Barrel

Reviewed by Cookie Sewell


Stock Number and Description Armorscale 1/35 scale Set No. B25-064; .30 caliber Browning 1919A US Machine Gun Barrel
Scale: 1/35
Media and Contents: two turned brass parts
Price: price US$7.00 (from Chesapeake Model Designs, PO Box 393, Monkton, MD 21111; http://www.chesapeakemodels.com )
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Absolutely dead accurate and gorgeous barrel assembly for a "30 cal"
Disadvantages: Needs to be routed out with a drill bit for assembly to take place
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all diorama and vignette builders (see text)



There have always been problems with machine guns, especially air cooled ones, in rendering them in model form. Quite often the barrels have lots of ventilation holes in them which make accurate molding of styrene barrels virtually impossible, as the molds usually can't get all around the barrel (holes aren't just facing the molds, but where they were needed to be.)

The most common of the guns, the Browning .30 caliber M1919A4, was used both on tripods and in vehicle mounts through the mid 1950s and was not completely replaced until Vietnam with the advent of the 7.62 x 51mm NATO rounds (.308 Winchester) and the M60 and its derivatives. Still, many countries used it under MAP and to this day there are still many serving in third world countries.

While the big M1921 M2HB machine gun also has its own problems around the protective shield where the barrel joins the receiver (straight and with either holes or slots in it) the smaller .30 caliber Brownings are usually the more ill-treated of the two. The most common flaws are either molding the barrels the wrong length, leaving off most of the details, or worst of all, molding the barrel with a blank adapter in place (the truncated cone gizmo seen in nearly all Hollywood films, as you need it to make the gun work with blanks!)

For several years manufacturers have tried to come up with good replacements, the most promising of which involved a metal barrel with a rolled brass cooling jacket to go around them. But unless perfectly rolled, it looked like a piece of brass rolled up and stuck over a metal barrel.

This new effort from Armorscale is a gorgeous piece of work, involving two pieces the barrel with the muzzle cap and receiver fitting turned from brass, and a brass cooling jacket pierced over its entirety. The muzzle of the barrel even has the slot for disassembly cut into it, a touch many modelers miss when upgraded kit plastic barrels or resin after-market ones.

There is a problem, however, in that there are small burrs from the jacket piercing (drilling?) and right out of the bag prevent it from being assembled. It will take a few swipes of a suitable drill bit in a pin vise down the bore of the jacket before the barrel will slide into place. This shouldn't take most modelers too long to fix, and the directions indicate how to drill out the receiver to take the new barrel. The pin is long enough that with a proper choice of drill bit a smooth and tight fit can be achieved and the barrel look the part.

However, it is most likely modelers will only want to use these barrels for "foreground" modeling such as a .30 caliber with a figure or figures, or on the top of a tank; I cannot see too many folks spending $35 to put them on all of the guns of an early M3 Stuart, for example! They also would complement vehicles like the new DML halftracks with their Brownings on the skate rail.

Overall, if used for the right subject these are one of those "knock your socks off" touches that can really make a model.


Thanks to Bill Miley for the review sample

Text and Images by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 13 May, 2007
Page Last Updated 13 May, 2007