A locus near the centromere of bovine chromosome 2 is responsible for muscle hypertrophy (mh) in cattle. The objectives of this study were to refine the genomic region in which the locus resides and to assess the effects of a single copy of the mh allele on carcass and birth traits. Two half-sib families were developed using a Belgian Blue x MARC III (n = 246) or a Piedmontese x Angus (n = 209) sire. Traits analyzed were calving ease (CE), birth weight (BWT, kg), longissimus rib eye area (REA), retail product yield (RPYD), USDA yield grade (YG), marbling (MAR), fat thickness (FAT), estimated kidney, pelvic, and heart fat (KPH), and longissimus tenderness measured as Warner-Bratzler shear force at 3 (S3) and 14 (S14) d postmortem. Six microsatellites were used to determine the presence or absence of the mh allele and to confirm the location of the locus affecting the traits, which was assessed to be 4 cM from the beginning of the linkage group, with the 95% confidence interval between 2 and 6 cM. Cattle with an mh allele had increased (P .10) for CE, S3, and S14. Allelic differences due to the mh locus were similar for both sources (Belgian Blue or Piedmontese). Individuals inheriting a single mh allele had a leaner, more heavily muscled carcass compared with those inheriting the alternative allele. Thus, mating schemes that maximize production of mh/+ genotypes provide a viable approach for improving carcass composition.