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The American answer to low-flying aircraft consisted of a very effective combination of four .50 calibre M2 machine guns on a trailer mounting. The full designation of this arrangement was the Multiple Caliber .50 Machine-gun Mount, M45, with four Caliber .50 Browning Machine Guns, HB, M2, on the Mount Trailer, M17. That mouthful was usually known as the Multiple Caliber .50 Machine Gun Carriage M51, but to the man in the field it was simply the Maxson mounting.
The quadruple mounting was arranged with two guns on each side of a Maxson turret mounting with all controls electrically driven from batteries on the trailer. Each gun could be loaded with up to 200 rounds and the guns were fed electrically or by hand. A Navy Mark 9 reflector sight was used and traverse and elevation rates were very fast to enable the layer to attack fast-and-low aircraft targets.
The trailer could be towed by a variety of vehicles, but many Maxson mounts were carried by half-tracks. A lightened two-wheeled trailer, the Trailer Mount M55 was developed for air transportation. Its normal towing vehicle was a jeep. The quad .50 calibre guns could put up a devastating curtain of fire and were very successful anti-aircraft weapons.
Calibre: 12.7 mm (0.50 in)
Length of guns: 1654 mm (65.1 in)
Width overall: 2019 mm (79.5 in)
Height (guns level): 1397 mm (55 in)
Weight complete: 1087.8 kg (2396 lb)
Rate of fire (cyclic): 2300 rpm
T1E2 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage
T1E4 (M13) Multiple Gun Motor Carriage
M14 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage
T58 (M16) Multiple Gun Motor Carriage
M16A1 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage
M16A2 " " " "
Mobile Maxson - M3 and M3A3 Light Tank
The above text and photos were taken from 'Anti-Aircraft Guns: WW2 Fact Files', by Peter Chamberlain and Terry Gander.