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"New German Rifle for Paratroopers" from Intelligence Bulletin, June 1944

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]   A report on the new German 7.92-mm automatic rifle for paratroopers, the F.G. 42, from Intelligence Bulletin, June 1944.

[Editor's Note: The following article is wartime information on enemy equipment and tactics published for Allied soldiers. More accurate data on German equipment and tactics is available in postwar publications.]



The Germans have a new 7.92-mm automatic rifle, the F.G. 42 (Fallschirmjäger Gewehr 42), which is a light and versatile weapon, especially suitable for use by German airborne personnel. It should be remembered that the 9-mm machine carbines (M.P. 38/40), which are now in general use, were originally introduced as parachutists' weapons; in like manner, the Germans may well put this new 7.92-mm rifle to more general use in the future.

The new rifle (see figure), which represents a departure in small-arms design, is a close-combat weapon firing any 7.92-mm Mauser rifle ammunition, and combines a relatively light weight [1] with a reasonable degree of accuracy both in single-round and automatic fire. The Germans have struck a balance between the weight limitations of the machine carbine and the power and pressure requirements of the rifle or light machine gun.

[New German Paratrooper Rifle]
New German Paratrooper's Rifle

The F.G. 42 is air-cooled and gas-operated. In spite of the extensive use of stamping, instead of intricate machine-tool work, and in spite of the fact that all component weights have been reduced to a minimum, the new weapon is fairly sturdy.

It is provided with a light folding bipod and a spike bayonet which, when attached, increases the over-all length of the rifle from 3 feet 1 inch to 3 feet 8 1/4 inches. The feed is from a 20-round box magazine which fits into the left side of the gun. The magazine may be loaded separately or from standard 5-round Mauser clips from the right side of the gun.

The F.G. 42 may well be used as a "powerful" machine carbine, as a "short range" self-loading rifle, or as a light machine gun when mounted on the bipod.

1 The F.G. 42 weighs 10 3/4 pounds with the bayonet and with a filled 20-round magazine.


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