Absolutely dead accurate and gorgeous
barrel assembly for a "30 cal"
Needs to be routed out with a drill bit for
assembly to take place
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.)
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
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.