7.92 mm M.G. 15: Flexible Aircraft Machine Gun

7.92 mm M.G. 15: Flexible Aircraft Machine Gun

The M.G. 15, a reliable weapon, was the standard flexible aircraft machine gun in the German Air Force until it was replaced by the M.G. 81, because the latter is more easily manufactured. It is still used in some aircraft, however, and has been recently modified by the addition of a bipod and ground sights for use as a ground weapon for air force troops. Its efficiency as a ground gun is questionable because of the difficulty of changing barrels.

It is a recoil-operated, gas-assisted, drum-fed, air-cooled, automatic gun. The M.G. 15 has a Solothurn-type action, except that the locking arrangement is placed on the rear of the bolt instead of on the bolthead as in other German Solothurn-type guns. It was the first Nazi weapon to be fed by a saddle-type drum.

The Japanese have painstakingly copied it, even to the ammunition, and call their version the Model 98 (1938) 7.92 mm Aircraft Flexible Gun.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Ammunition All 7.92 mm Mauser types
Weight 15 lb., 2 oz.
Feed Saddle-type drum (75-rd. capacity)
Rate of fire (cyclic) 1,000–1,100 rds./min.
Mount Flexible ball or ground bipod
Sights Aircraft ring and post or ground type.
Front—Blade. Rear—Adjustable open sight graduated 0-1200 meters (0-1308 yds.) in graduations of 200 meters.

German: p. 219

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