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  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'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.