.50MG Belt

Posted for John Moss:

[quote] I was going through some stuff I have had for years, and inside a
.30 GI can I found this 110-round web ammunition belt made in 1943. It is obviously not for .30 caliber, but I didn’t have a single .50 MG round to check it out with. This is actually just one belt, showing both ends, since it is obvious that the belts are designed to joined to others of the same type and held together with a cartridge, as the square cut in one end and the tab on the other end both are shell loops as well. I had never seen a web ammunition belt for a .50 Browning, but have to assume that’s what this is for.
Admittedly, I have very little experience with “Ma Deuce” in any of its forms (Ground, tank, aircraft, etc.).

Does anyone have any comments or further information on these? Are they common, scarce or rare?

John Moss


The all fabric M7 .50 MG belt (adopted in January, 1943) with fabric connecting loops was developed by the Russell Manufacturing Company of Middletown, Connecticut. Originally designed to hold 100 rounds, the design was soon changed so that the belt held 110 rds. By September, 1943 the M7 belt was reclassified as “limited standard” because manufactures of the M2 metallic links had attained good production levels to support strategic needs. During 1943 over 8 million M7 belts were produced and it is reported that many remain today.

I sure don’t see many (any) of these in my neck of the woods but other than gun shows I haven’t been on the look out for one. Plus knowing how militaria items are priced these days, I would probably suffer sticker shock if I did run across one at a show.

As a side note, besides my regular job I also work part time for an auction company and occasionally I see vintage hand held broadcast seeders with shoulder straps made from a short section of these MG belts.

Information obtained from:

Feeding WW2 U.S. .50 Cal. Browning Machine Guns: Part I - By Jean-Francois Legendre (December 2013) smallarmsoftheworld.com/dis … icles=2147

Got Belts? The Russell Manufacturing Company and the Browning Machine Gun - By Charles Brown (September 2012) smallarmsoftheworld.com/dis … icles=1333