Tag Archive for '30mm'

30 mm Mk. 101 (Rheinmetall): Aircraft Machine Gun

30 mm Mk. 101 (Rheinmetall): Aircraft Machine Gun

The Mk. 101, also known as the M.G. 101, is a scaled-up version of the Solothurn S-18-1000, 20 mm antitank rifle used by the Swiss, Italians, Hungarians, and to some small extent the Germans. It is Germany’s first attempt to put a gun of over 20 mm caliber in an airplane. It was designed to be used principally for antitank work, but a high-explosive round is furnished for antipersonnel use.

It has been used mostly on the Russian front in the Heinkel 129, a heavily armored plane especially designed for ground attack. Neither the Mk. 101 nor the plane has worked out too well, and a new 23 mm Mauser cannon and two new 30 mm guns, the Mk. 107 and Mk. 108, are now coming into use in the German Air Force.

In the Heinkel 129, the Mk. 101 was fixed to a mount that could be attached to the bomb racks under the fuselage when the plane was sent on a tank-hunting or other special mission. The gun is a recoil-operated, magazine- or drum-fed, semi- or full-automatic, air-cooled weapon. It does not have a particularly high velocity; the armor-piercing, high-explosive tracer ammunition gives a velocity of 2,330 f/s, and the light armor-piercing tungsten carbide-cored round, 2,800 f/s.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         30 mm (1.18 ins.)
Operation Recoil
Feed system 10- or 20-round box magazine; 30-round drum
Weight 394 lb. (without mount)
Length 96 ins. (overall)

German: p. 253

30 mm Mk. 108 A-3: Aircraft Machine Gun

30 mm Mk. 108 A-3: Aircraft Machine Gun

The Mk. 108 A-3 is an automatic, air cooled, belt-fed weapon operated by blowback and firing electrically from an open bolt. Initial cocking and initial depression of the sear to release the bolt are accomplished by compressed air. The gun is mounted on its side, and fires through the propeller hub in ME 109 G fighters. It is attached at the forward end of the receiver to a blast tube which extends through the engine. This gun is unusual in being a blowback operated, low muzzle velocity weapon.

Sixty rounds of ammunition are fed by means of a disintegrating belt from an ammunition can mounted above the gun. On release of the sear, the bolt travels forward under the action of two driving springs. A projection on top of the bolt passes through the ring extracting a round and forcing it into the chamber. After firing the empty cartridge case reseats itself in its link. The ejection is accomplished by pawls actuated by camming grooves cut in the top of the bolt. Position of a new round takes place by the same action. A feature of the gun is the fact that the barrel and receiver do not move in recoil, the entire force of which is taken up by the rearward motion of the bolt against driving springs which act as buffers on recoil. There is no locking action between the barrel and bolt at any time.

All ammunition found to date has been high explosive, high explosive-tracer, incendiary and incendiary tracer. It is doubtful if the muzzle velocity is high enough for the effective use of armor piercing ammunition.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         29.6 mm (1.17 in.)
Weight (total) 265 lb.
Weight of gun 136 lb.
Weight of mount 28 lb.
Weight of ammunition can 36 lb.
Weight of ammunition (60 rounds) 65 lb.
Weight of recoiling parts 24 1/2 lb.
Length of gun with blast tube 7 ft. 6 3/4 ins.
Length of gun 3 ft. 5 1/4 ins.
Length of barrel 21 1/2 ins.
Number of lands and grooves 16
Maximum length of recoil of bolt 11 1/2 ins.
Rate of fire 500 rds./min.
Muzzle velocity (approx.) H.E.—1,650 f/s.*

*Not verified

German: p. 255