The Navy is eyeing suppressors for its upgraded 'Ma Deuce' .50 cal machine guns

Military Tech
Sailors from Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 1 conduct category III qualifications on the M2A1 heavy machine gun at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. CRS-1 is qualifying for future mobilization requirements. (U.S. Navy/Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kenji Shiroma)

The Navy is considering giving Ma Deuce a quiet new update.


In a request for information (RFI) issued on Tuesday, Naval Supply Systems Command announced a search for defense industry sources equipped to manufacture suppressors for the M2A1 variant of the tried-and-true M2 .50 caliber machine guns.

According to the RFI, the ideal suppressor will reduce the 160-decibel roar of a .50 cal to somewhere below the Pentagon's 140-decibel standard for hearing damage.

In addition, the suppressor should reduce muzzle flash by up to 95% compared to a standard barrel — all without compromising the weapon's accuracy, reliability, and rate of fire.

The original M2 .50 caliber, developed by legendary American gunsmith John Browning and fielded to the U.S, armed forces in the 1930s, has long been a favorite among U.S. service members for its effectiveness and reliability.

The updated M2A1 variant includes "a quick-change barrel, fixed headspace and timing, and a flash hider that reduces the weapon's signature by 95 percent at night," according to the Pentagon.

While the Army and Marine Corps have broadly adopted the M2A1 in the last several years, the Navy appears to have only fielded the system to small vessels assigned to its Coastal Riverine Squadrons so far.

The Navy isn't the first service to slap suppressors on Ma Deuce. In May 2017, the Marine Corps announced that infantry Marines with the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, became the first to deploy with suppressors on every weapon, including their M2 .50 cals.

So what does that a suppressed Ma Deuce sound like? Like a lethal whisper on the wind:

A suppressed M2 .50 cal machine gun from Delta P Designs www.youtube.com

REUTERS/Scott Audette/File Photo

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.

Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.

Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.

Read More
Barrett's bolt-action Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) system (Courtesy photo)

The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.

Read More
An A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft with the 122nd Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne, Indiana, sits on the flight line during Southern Strike, Feb. 11, 2020, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sergeant Rita Jimenez)

What's cooler than a single missile? How about a missile with a high-powered machine gun attached?

That's exactly what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on, according to budget documents — and it wants $13 million to make it a reality.

Read More
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.

Read More
(Navy photo / Chief Mass Communication Specialist Paul Seeber)

The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.

COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.

According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.

"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.

Read More