Box, Ammunition, Cal. .50, M2

Box, Ammunition, Cal. .50, M2.

The .50 cal. ammunition box M2 was introduced on 21 September 1942 to replace the earlier .50 cal. ammo boxes M17 and M3. The latter was made of aluminium, a scarce metal needed more urgently for aircraft production. The new steel ammunition box M2 could hold a metal link belt with 105 cartridges .50 BMG for the .50 Cal. Browning M2 machine gun, and it was used to transport other types of ammunition as well. While the M17 model was placed on the ground next to the machine gun, and had to be moved manually when the weapon traversed, the M2 ammo box could be attached to the body of the .50 cal. Browning M2 machine gun. In the 1950s, the M2 ammo box was superseded by the Cal. .50 ammunition box M2A1, but remained in service for decades to come.

Available Models

  • Cal. .50 Ammunition Box M2, 1:35 E.T. Model EA35-012
  • Cal. .50 Ammunition Box M2, 1:35 Live Resin 35178
  • US Machine Gun Set, 1:35 Academy
  • US Infantry, 1:72 Revell 02503
  • US Army Infantry, 1:76 Fujimi 76027
  • US .50 Cal. MG Teams, 15 mm Peter Pig 71

Commercially available models of the cal. .50 ammunition box M2 are often just a rectangular piece of plastic or tin with a lid and a handle on top. ROCO offers models of the M2 Browning machine gun without ammunition box, and many other World War Two models are even sold with the cal. 50. ammunition box M2A1 which did not become available until the 1950s. Reasons enough, to encourage serious modellers to build their own cal. .50 ammunition boxes M2 from scratch.

The original Cal. .50 Ammunition Box M2 measures 311.3 × 152.5 × 190.1 mm; which converts to 3.6 × 1.8 × 2.2 mm in 1:87 scale respectively. The ammo box pictured above consists of a 3.6 mm section of 1.5 × 2 mm styrene plastic strip available from Evergreen. Serious rivet counters may want to fix the missing 0.3 mm width and 0.2 mm height of the ammo box by adding strips of 0.25 mm styrene taken from a yoghurt cup. And, anyone who goes this far, will also want to add a linked belt of .50 cal. BMG rounds made of thin copper or brass wire. The lid and side walls of the M2 ammo box show some detail which may be difficult to model in 1:87 scale. Some of it may be painted on later or simply ignored.

Modelling the Cal. .50 Ammunition Box M2

Scale Length Width Height
1:1 12.25″ 6″ 7.5″
1:100 3.1 mm 1.5 mm 1.9 mm
1:87 3.6 mm 1.8 mm 2.2 mm
1:76 4.1 mm 2.0 mm 2.5 mm
1:72 4.3 mm 2.1 mm 2.6 mm
1:64 4.9 mm 2.4 mm 3.0 mm
1:56 5.6 mm 2.7 mm 3.4 mm
1:48 6.5 mm 3.2 mm 4.0 mm
1:35 8.9 mm 4.4 mm 5.4 mm
1:32 9.7 mm 4.8 mm 6.0 mm

Modelling Techniques