Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

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Maker/Manufacturer:BROWNING, JOHN MOSES
Date of Manufacture:C 1958
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 3106
Measurements:OL:104.9CM 41 3/16" BL: 60.9CM 24"

Object Description:

Manufactured by Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Il. Modified at Springfield Armory - The M37E1 MG is an automatic, recoil-operated, link-belt fed, air-cooled weapon designed for fixed or flexible use. The weapon fires the 7.62mm NATO cartridge using T96E1 links and has the following features: fixed headspace, simple sights, increased feedway surface like, manual and solenoid operation, coaxial mounting, right or left hand feed, and a manual charger. Weapon weighs approximately 32.9 lbs. without charger assembly. Specimen equipped with cable attachment for solenoid.

Receiver: 281152 M37E1 CAL.30 M.G./NO.281152 U.S. INSP. FK/BROWNING MACHINE GUN/U.S.CAL.30. M1919A4 (barely legible).
Floor plate: D-35392-2-BA. X.

Weapon transferred to the Museum on 8 September 1961. At that time weapon was appraised at $5,000.

1JUL54 - 31DEC54 - "Bellmore Johnson Tool Company satisfactorily test fired the M37E1 Model through 1,500 rounds in 20 and 100 round bursts from left and right-hand feeds. A contract was placed with the United Engineers Company for research and development of a solenoid for insertion into the pistol grip to permit quick disconnection. Lack of T65E3 ammunition temporarily impeded this development progress."
1JUL55 - 31DEC55 - "Two models were satisfactorily function fired through the 10,000 round engineering and the abuse tests."
The solenoid and manual chargers were satisfactorily function-fired through a tentative schedule of 2,000 rounds each. Arrangements were made to provide solenoid loads of two types, the pigtail and the terminal connector.
Five weapons of the twenty weapon phase of the contract were delivered to the Armory on 24 December 1955. The balance of seventeen guns were scheduled for delivery by 30 March 1956.
Armory engineering studies of the 'relative advantages of the straight versus the standard design breech locks' continued. Firing tests were conducted with both type locks, and high-speed motion pictures were taken to disclose details of performance.
A study of the feasibility of modifying the M37E1 gun to use the T89 link was initiated....
United Engineers, Inc. designed, developed and fabricated twenty-four solenoids for use with the Caliber .30, M37E1 Tank Machine Gun. The solenoids are housed in the pistol grip of the weapon. To date, limited testing of the solenoid indicates satisfactory weapon performance."
1JAN56 - 30JUN56 - "The M37A1 guns were ordered and will be delivered to the Armory by 1 August 1956. These models will be converted for use with the Caliber 7.62mm NATO ammunition and the T89 link with the T161E3 General Purpose Machine Gun and designated as the M37A1."
1JUL56 - 31DEC56 - "Two models of the M37E1, scheduled for tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Two models of the M37E1, manual and solenoid operated, together with two manual chargers were in process of fabrication and scheduled for Aberdeen Proving Ground engineering tests by 10 Feb 1957. A number of M37E1 weapons were reworked incorporating new features and scheduled for completion by Feb 1957."
1JAN57 - 30JUN57 - "Fifteen of these weapons are being remodified to overcome scratched cases encountered in preliminary tests at APG. A uniform dimension was established from the rear face of the breech block to the bolt feed, thus minimizing accumulated tolerances."
1JAN58 - 30JUN58 - "Proposals for research and development activity on Helicopter Suppressive Fire Kits were requested from several facilities. Briefly, the activity consisted of the development and fabrication of a flexible installation for an M37 machine gun in the H13, H21 and H34 helicopters. It was desired that the system be as simple as possible in design and capable of being fired by a crew member riding in the co-pilot's seat. This contract was awarded to Townsend Engineering Products Inc. and work started on 16 June 1958. Delivery of kits was scheduled for February 1959."
1JUL58 - 31DEC58 - "Work continued on the development and fab1JAN59 - 30JUN59 - "Work continued on the development and fabrication of suppressive fire kits employing a single flexible M37 machine gun for the H13, H21, and H34 helicopters. The design study phase was completed and accepted. The contractor was proceeding under Phase II of the contract having completed one armament kit which was being prepared for installation on the H21 helicopters. Fabrication of components for the remaining two armament kits is essentially completed.
The aircraft modification on the H13 helicopter has been completed. Installation of the Townsend armament package on this aircraft was scheduled for approximately the first week of July 1959. Sikorsky Aircraft, as of the middle of June, had not received a H34 helicopter in Class 02 condition and as a result they have not begun their aircraft modification....
Higher headquarters have instructed the Armory to stop all development work (internal and external) to convert the M37 system to use M60 machine gun. Springfield Armory has completed 90% of the design work. A new weapon probably the M73 will be assigned for modification."
1JUL59 - 31DEC59 - "The single flexible gun kits for the H13H and H21C helicopters were completed and installed. The weapons were fired from the ground, from hover and from flight by Townsend Engineered Products. The installations were approved for safety of flight and for gun safety and were then flown to Ft. Rucker for user tests. These tests started about 1 December and technical support to Ft. Rucker was given by Townsend Engineered Products. Initial reactions of the user were favorable. Testing was scheduled to be resumed 6 January 1960. The H34 helicopter was dropped from the program. Components were ordered to modify two additional H13H aircrafts to accept the flexible Townsend Kit.
DUAL M37 MACHINE GUN SYSTEM - The 7th Army Kit was installed on an H13E helicopter after making the required repairs and modifications. A flight and firing test program was completed at Springfield Armory. Notes on Material and a complete set of drawings were prepared. An interim report was prepared and forwarded to OWC, which called attention to certain areas in which the kit failed to meet the CONARC specifications. Design and fabrication of certain improvements to the 7th Army kit have been undertaken."
1JUL60 -31DEC60 - "Dual M37 Machine Gun Systems - 1. The fabrication and assembly of a redesigned 7th Army Helicopter Suppression Kit was completed by Springfield Armory and the kit was installed on an H-13 Helicopter. It functioned satisfactorily and the level of carbon monoxide concentration in the bubble was within safe limits. A formal report of the test was prepared and the kit transferred to the Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. 2. The KX-13-A1-2 Dual Machine Gun Armament Kit was flown to Springfield Armory from Fort Rucker, Alabama. Flight and firing tests were completed and a preliminary evaluation report published. Certain 'on the spot' corrections were made to the kit while the tests were in progress. Subsequently, further modification was accomplished. Drawings of a modified kit were 30% completed."
1JAN61 - 30JUN61 - "Dual M37 Machine Gun Systems - The redesigned CDO kit was pneumatic chargers was installed on the H13E Helicopter. Flight tests were delayed about 30 days by aircraft maintenance problems. The H13E was flown and strain gauge readings obtained at the mounting points. The armament kit was then transferred to an H13H Helicopter and flight tested prior to submission for Engineering Test."
1JUL61 - 31DEC61 - "XM1 Helicopter ArA new CONARC requirement, the XM1 NATO Kit, which is a conversion of the XM1 Kit from the present Cal .30 (M37 Machine Gun) to the M60 Machine Gun using the 7.62mm Nato round, has been established.
Modification of the kit was started during the period and a prototype design has been completed. Three conversions kits were fabricated and are currently being development tested with completion scheduled for 31 March 1962....
R&D supported engineering tests of Caliber .30, M37 XM1 kit on H13 and maintained with Industrial Division of OWC to facilitate production of XM1 kits.
Preliminary development tests were conducted firing the 7.62mm on an H13H helicopter using the required adapters on the XM1 kit. A design was completed and orders placed for the fabrication of three adaptor kits to fire the M60 from the XM1 kit.
A contract was placed for the design and fabrication of six pneumatic chargers for the M60 machine gun.
A mockup of XM1 kit was installed with the M37 weapon on H23D helicopter and calculations performed as to effect upon aircraft center of gravity of XM1 installations. At a meeting with representatives of CONARC, OCOFT, TCMAC, OWC, and OCO, it was determined that it was feasible to install the XM1 kit on the H23D."

Notes: "The 7.62mm Tank Machine Gun, M37E1, is an interim weapon designed to fulfill the requirements of the Combat Development Objectives Guide for 1957 pending completion of development of the Cal..30 Tank Machine Gun, T197. The requirements for the T197 weapon are for a tank machine gun capable of accurate sustained fire, easily loading from either side, and easy installation in a tank turret coaxially with the main armament. The requirements also state that the weapon must be capable of emergency use upon ground mounts and should fire the same ammunition as the general purpose machine gun, M60.
The M37E1 machine gun meets the above general requirements and has the following features that differ significantly from those of the standard M37 tank machine gun: it is chambered for the 7.62mm NATO cartridge, has a selective right or left-hand mounting charger, an adjustable trigger mechanism, a manual or solenoid-actuated trigger, a positive locking buffer screw, and does not require a headspace adjustment."

SA-NM3-2002 - NOTES ON DEVELOPMENT TYPE MATERIAL FOR GUN, MACHINE, TANK, 7.62MM, M37E1, by P.W. Marshall, Ordnance Engineer, 18 June 1958.
SA-NM20-9200 - NOTES ON DEVELOPMENT TYPE MATERIAL FOR CALIBER .30 M37 GUN KIT ON THE H13 ARMY HELICOPTERS - Professional Design Co., November, 1959 - (G. Bornheim).

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