Tag Archive for 'gun'

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7.92 mm M.G. 37 (t) (Brno): Heavy Machine Gun (Ex-Czech)

7.92 mm M.G. 37 (t) (Brno): Heavy Machine Gun (Ex-Czech)

The M.G. 37 (t), 7.92 mm machine gun is one of the weapons taken over by the Germans after the occupation of Czech territory. It is gas-operated, belt-fed, air-cooled, and has a flexible mount.

The M.G. 37 has been designed for use on tanks and other Armored Force vehicles, but it is also effective as a heavy ground machine gun when mounted on a tripod.

The firing-control mechanism used in this weapon is different from that in other tank-mounted guns. Adjustments can be made for rapid and slow fire by use of a pivoting buffer system, and full-automatic or semi-automatic fire by use of an indicator on the trigger casing. A buffer is used to reduce the shock of the recoiling parts, and to insure smoother action. Initial cocking is accomplished by moving the cocking slide forward, the sear in this gun being moved to the front. By moving forward instead of to the rear, the type of cocking in this weapon makes it more adaptable for use in confined spaces such as tanks or other vehicles.

The weapon, being of Czech origin, uses an action similar to that of such guns as the Czech ZB, the Bren, and the British Besa. It is possible to change the barrel very easily on this weapon, although it is not a quick-change barrel. The gun does not have to be dismounted when this change is made.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight 45 lb., 10 oz.
Length 43 1/2 ins.
Weight of barrel 14 lb., 14 oz.
Length of barrel 28 7/8 ins.
Operation Gas-operated
Feed Belt-fed
Rate of fire         520 rds./min.—slow
820 rds./min.—fast

German: p. 216

7.92 mm M.G. 42: Dual-Purpose Machine Gun

7.92 mm M.G. 42: Dual-Purpose Machine Gun

This is the latest known type of German machine gun. It is apparently intended eventually to replace the M.G. 34 which it resembles somewhat. The M.G. 42, however, is far easier to manufacture than the earlier gun and is less finished in appearance, because of the wide use of stamping, welding, and riveting.

The M.G. 42 is air-cooled, recoil-operated, gas-assisted, belt-fed, and is fitted with a quick barrel-changing device. It has a much higher rate of fire than the M.G. 34, but it is said to be less accurate than the earlier weapon.

This gun can be used on a bipod as a light machine gun, on a tripod as a heavy machine gun, as an antiaircraft machine gun, and for numerous other special purposes on special mounts. The barrel jacket and receiver are constructed of pressed steel welded lengthwise with runways welded into the receiver for the bolt. The cover and feed mechanism, which is made of stamped steel, is hinged at the front of the receiver. The shoulder stock is plastic. The right side of the barrel jacket is left open so that when the bolt is retracted the barrel may be removed and changed. A lever in a recess on the right side of the barrel jacket forces out the rear of the barrel. This is a very simple and fast barrel change.

The action is different from the M.G. 34 in that the bolt does not lock to the barrel extension by a turning bolt head, but rather by two rolls set in the bolt head which lock bolt and barrel extension together by running into camways in the barrel extension when the bolt head hits the barrel extension.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight of gun with bipod 26 lb.
Weight with heavy machine gun tripod mounting 65 1/2 lb.
Overall length 48 ins.
Principle of operation Recoil, assisted by muzzle recoil booster
Cooling system Air
Feeding device Metallic non-disintegrating link belt
Capacity of feeding device 50 rd. lengths and multiples thereof, and 50 rd belt drums
Sights (a) Inverted V front sight and leaf rear sight with open V notch graduated from 200 to 2,000 meters.
  (b) Separate antiaircraft rear sight hinged on the rear sight base.
  (c) Antiaircraft ring-sight to be fitted on barrel jacket.
  (d) Telescopic sight on a tripod when used as a heavy machine gun.
Rifling 4 grooves right-hand concentric
Muzzle velocity 2,500-3,000 f/s
Maximum range (as L.M.G.) 2,200 yds.
Effective range (as L.M.G.) 600 yds.
Rate of fire (cyclic) 1,335 r.p.m.
Ammunition used All 7.92 mm Mauser ground types (except antitank rifle ammunition)

German: p. 215

7.5 cm l.I.G. 18: Light Infantry Howitzer

7.5 cm l.I.G. 18: Light Infantry Howitzer

The 7.5 cm infantry howitzer is a close support weapon that can be split into six loads for transport. The barrel, approximately 30 inches long, is housed in a slipper block which is bored centrally to take a firing-hole bushing at the front, and a striker, main spring, and cover at the rear. The muzzle end of the barrel is formed with trunnions which move in recesses in the slipper block.

The breech mechanism operates on a different principle from that of most standard German artillery. When the breech mechanism lever is pulled to the rear, the movement causes the actuating link to be revolved in the slipper block. The inner stud of the actuating link, being displaced from the bearing center of the link, is given a circular motion causing the slide to be raised and drawn slightly to the rear. The slide, dovetailed to the breech ring, revolves the barrel about its trunnions and raises the breech end to the open position. The gun cannot be fired again until the barrel is properly closed.

There are two versions of the box type carriage, one on artillery wheels and the other on pneumatic-tired disk wheels. The shield is in five parts.

The recoil system is carried in the cradle of the carriage; the buffer on the left and the hydropneumatic recuperator on the right. A communicating channel with a valve to regulate the flow connects the cylinders. The elevating and traversing gears are located on the right and left sides respectively.

A sighting system which works on the reciprocating principle is used. It is fitted with a range drum graduated to 1,320 meters, a correction scale for the five charges used, and a Rundblickfernrohr 16 (Rbl. F. 16) dial sight.

Ammunition used with the l.I.G. 18 is of the high-explosive and hollow-charge type.


Caliber         75 mm (2.95 ins.)
Weight in action 880 lb.
Length of piece 10 cals.
Carriage Box type
Recoil mechanism Hydraulic & spring type
Rate of fire (sustained) 6 rds./min.
Muzzle velocity 730 f/s
Range (maximum) 3,880 yds.
Elevation 73°
Depression -10°
Traverse 12°

German: p. 122

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

This gun, of which two models are in service, is the standard German heavy antiaircraft weapon. While this is its primary use, it is also provided with antitank sights and A.P.C. shells. It is produced in both static and mobile versions and is also mounted on railed vehicles.

Its horizontal range is slightly greater than the 88 mm Flak, but it does not possess as great a vertical range. Elevation, depression, and traversing are the same as in the 88 mm gun.

Both the loading and fuze-setting mechanisms are power operated. The carriage has two outriggers which are folded up for transport. The traversing and elevating gears have two speeds for manual operation; provision is also made for power operation.

There are three types of ammunition fired in this weapon:

(a) H. E. Shell with Time Fuze—(10.5 cm SPGR. L/4.4 mit ZT.Z.S./30)

This shell is fuzed for antiaircraft firing and is fitted with the same clock-work fuze, the ZT.Z.S./30, that is used with the 8.8 cm AA ammunition.

(b) H.E. Shell with Percussion Fuze

(c) A.P.C. Shell

The following are estimated penetration figures for the weapon firing an A.P.C. Shell against homogeneous armor:

Range Thickness of Armor
     30°     Normal 
1,000 yds.         (5.5 ins.)         (6.5 ins.)
1,500 yds. (5.1 ins.) (6.0 ins.)
2,000 yds. (4.7 ins.) (5.6 ins.)


Caliber         10.5 cm (4.14 ins.)
Length of tube 21 ft.
Weight (travelling position) 13.8 tons
Weight (firing position) 9.8 tons
Length (travelling position) 27 ft., 7 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 9 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position) 71 in.
Width (overall); (travelling position) 96 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 18 ft., 2 ins.
No. of grooves 36
Width of grooves .23 in.
Depth of grooves .05 in.
Width of lands .13 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,887 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 19,355 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 13,914 yds.
Rate of fire 12-15 r.p.m.
Traverse 360°
Elevation +85°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil (H.E.) 31 3/8 ins.
Ammunition H.E. and A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 33.2 lb

German: p. 109

10.5 cm l.F.H. 18: Gun—Howitzer

10.5 cm l.F.H. 18: Gun—Howitzer

This howitzer is a counterpart of the United States 105 mm howitzer, and is the standard divisional field artillery howitzer of the German Army. It is approximately 116 inches long with very heavy, simply designed breech mechanism. The recoil and recuperator system is of the hydropneumatic type. The top carriage is principally of welded design, made of sheet steel 0.3 cm thick. The trunnion caps are of the split bearing type. The completely inclosed elevating mechanism allows a total elevating arc of 47°. The traversing mechanism is of the screw and nut type, almost completely inclosed with a total traversing arc of 56° 16′.

The piece can be emplaced for firing with a minimum number of operations, as it is automatically placed in three-point suspension when the trails are opened. The bottom carriage is of more complicated design than the United States equipment. The wheels of the l.F.H. 18 are made of a light alloy and are of the fluted disk type with solid rubber tires. The shield is lightly constructed. Optical fire control equipment is very similar to that used on the American equipment.

Model l.F.H. 18M has been fitted with a muzzle brake and a somewhat different carriage, with wooden-spoked wheels. This gun is mounted on the German Pz. Kw. II tank chassis which takes the name of “Wasp” (Wespe). Ammunition Charge F is the long-range charge (Fernladung) which can only be used when the gun is fitted with a muzzle brake.

The most recent model of the German 10.5 cm howitzer is the l.F.H. 42. It differs from the l.F.H. 18 in that its chamber is bored out and has interchangeable sleeves, making the regular use of a 6-charge propellant possible. The l.F.H. 42 is also approximately 11 inches longer.


Caliber         10.49 cm (4.13 ins.)
Length of tube 9 ft.
Weight (travelling position)
Weight (firing position) 4,312 lb.
Length (travelling position) 18 ft., 4 ins.
Length (firing position) 19 ft., 8 ins.
Height (travelling position) 6 ft., 2 ins.
Height (firing position) 6 ft., 2 ins.
Width (overall) 78.8 ins.
Width of trail spread 11 ft., 9 ins.
Length of bore 94.2 ins. (22.8 cals.)
No. of grooves 32
Width of grooves .223 in.
Depth of grooves .047 in.
Width of lands .174 in.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 1,542 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 11,674 yds.
Traverse 56°
Elevation 40°
Depression -7°
Length of recoil 43.3 ins.
Ammunition H.E.—A.P. tracer—A.P.C. tracer—hollow charge—smoke
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 32.6 lb.; A.P. 31.25 lb.

German: p. 108

2.8/2.0 cm Pz. B. 41: Tapered Bore Antitank Gun

2.8/2.0 cm Pz. B. 41: Tapered Bore Antitank Gun

The German antitank gun, Pz. B. 41, captured in the vicinity of Halfaya Pass during the Libyan campaign in 1941, is the first tapered-bore weapon to be found in combat use. Served by a five-man crew, it is normally towed on a trailer, but can be broken down into five loads and transported on a truck or in an airplane.

The tube, which is of heavy monobloc or cold worked construction, is modeled on the Gerlich principle—that is, it is tapered from 28 mm at the breech to 20 mm at the muzzle in order to increase the velocity. No provision is made for cooling the barrel, which is good for about 400 rounds. The forward end of the tube has a muzzle brake threaded to it; the back is attached to the breech ring by an interrupted screw arrangement.

The firing mechanism, of the inertia type, consists of the firing-pin, firing-pin guide, spring and retainer. A breechblock of the horizontal sliding block type is actuated, after cocking, by an operating handle attached to the top of the breech ring.

Both the carriage and pedestal are of welded construction. Shields fixed to the carriage by metal hooks and spring plungers are constructed of steel plates about 3/8 inch thick. Detachable trunnions for fastening the gun and recoil mechanisms to the pedestal permit quick assembly and breakdown of the piece.

The wheels are of the perforated disk type and have pneumatic tires mounted on them. These tires, which are probably Lynthetic, have no valve stems, indicating that they are filled with a cushioning material.

The trails are of the split type and can be locked together or spread at an angle of about 45°.

The gun is flexible on its mount, and as no elevating or traversing gears are employed, these operations are most likely manual. A straight tube telescope is used.


Caliber            28 mm at breech
20 mm at muzzle
Weight (complete) 491 lb.
     (tube) 76 lb.
     (barrel & brake) 80 lb.
Length of barrel 61.36 ins.
Breech mechanism Horizontal sliding block
Firing mechanism Inertia type
Recoil mechanism Hydro-spring
Normal recoil 9.34 ins.
Rate of fire 8 to 10 rds./min.
Muzzle velocity 4,550 f/s
Range (effective) 500 yds.
Ammunition A.P. (9,754.4 grs.)

        Range       Thickness of armor in inches
Yards         30°         Normal
400       2.1       2.6

German: p. 131

7.92 mm M SS 41: Antitank Rifle

7.92 mm M SS 41: German WW2 Antitank Rifle

This antitank weapon, a manually operated, magazine-fed, air-cooled, high-velocity rifle which was standardized for production in 1941, fires the same necked-down cartridge as the Panzerbüchse 39. Although classified as an antitank rifle, the use of heavier armor on modern tanks has rendered the weapon effective against lightly-armored vehicles only.

A hinged bipod similar to that of the MG 34 is attached to the front of the receiver jacket. It folds forward for convenience in carrying. The gun is also equipped With carrying handle and sling; the former is fitted to the top of the barrel group, and the latter is attached on the right side at the bipod and back plate assembly.

A “U” type rear sight and an adjustable front sight of the square block type fold to the rear when not in use.

The gun is put in a “Safe” position by pulling the barrel housing lock extension 1/4-inch to the rear so that its rear alignment mark is aligned with the mark “S” on the barrel housing lock. When in this position, the trigger cannot be pulled, nor can the action be opened. If the trigger is pulled while the action is not entirely closed, the gun will not fire. It is necessary to release the trigger and pull it again in order to release the sear. When the magazine is empty, the action is kept open by the protrusion of the magazine follower which stops the rearward movement of the barrel housing.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight (with empty magazine) 29 3/4 lbs.
Length (overall) 59 1/4 ins.
Sight radius 30 15/16 ins.
Principle of operation Manually operated
Feeding device Magazine
Capacity of feeding device 6 rounds
Cooling system Air
Ammunition types 13 mm case necked down to 7.92 mm. Same as used in the PZ B39. See Page 211.)
Rate of fire
Type of sight “U” type rear sight; square block type front sight.
Weight of barrel (w/ fittings) 13 1/4 lbs.
Length of barrel 43 3/8 ins.
Length of rifling
     Twist R.H.
     No. of grooves 4
     Depth of grooves
     Width of grooves
Muzzle velocity (estimated) 3,540 f/s
Type of mount Bipod

German: p. 210.1

7.92 mm PzB 35 (p): Antitank Rifle (Ex-Polish)

7.92 mm PzB 35 (p): Antitank Rifle (Ex-Polish)

During the Polish invasion, the Germans captured large numbers of the Mascerzek Model 35, 7.92 mm antitank rifle. These were used extensively in the earlier part of the war.

This Polish rifle is a weapon similar in design to a Mauser rifle firing a normal cartridge, but it is longer and heavier, and a muzzle brake has been attached. It led to the development of the German rifles, known as the Pz. B. 38 and Pz. B. 39.

This weapon is a bolt-action gun of the modified Mauser type and has a detachable box magazine. It is carried by a sling attached in the usual manner. It may be recharged with ammunition by exchanging the magazine or by reloading the empty magazine with single rounds. The body is a hollow cylinder with an ejection and loading aperature on top and a magazine slot at the bottom. The bolt is cylindrical with a straight lever at right angles on the right side (in the closed position).

The barrel, which is parallel throughout most of its length, increases in diameter toward the breech until it equals that of the body. At the muzzle, a portion is threaded to take a muzzle brake. The bipod is of light construction and is attached to the barrel by a yoke. The legs of the bipod terminate in circular shoes which are cut away on the inside to clasp the barrel when they are folded forward in a closed position. The magazine is of the box type.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight 20 lb. (approx.)
Length 5 ft., 10 ins.
Ammunition Steel jacket with A.P. steel core and lead antimony filler
Sights Rear, fixed; front, adjustable blade
Capacity 5 rds., in clips
Muzzle velocity 4,100 f/s

German: p. 210

7.92 mm Gewehr 41 (W) (G.41 W.): Semi-Automatic Rifle

7.92 mm Gewehr 41 (W) (G.41 W.): Semi-Automatic Rifle

This is the German semi-automatic rifle performing approximately the same tactical mission as the United States, Cal. 30, M1 rifle. It is gas-operated, clip-fed, and air-cooled. It is a shoulder weapon, slightly heavier than the American semi-automatic. Three versions exist, the G 41 (M) which is probably an interim model, the G-41 and the G 41 (W) which are more than likely the final or production types.

The rifle is well made, but quite difficult to manufacture. Stampings are used wherever possible.

In lieu of the customary gas port, a form of gas trap is used, so designed that when attached to the muzzle it makes it necessary for the bullet, after leaving the barrel, to jump a gap and momentarily block the muzzle opening of the cone. The resulting gas pressure then drives a gas piston, in the form of a collar around the barrel, to the rear. The action is imparted to an operating rod the end of which is in contact with the forward end of the retractor slide which is also driven to the rear. A projection on the underside of the retractor slide engages the bolt locking lugs, withdrawing them from the locking recesses in the receiver. The bolt assembly and retractor slide then recoil together for the remainder of the recoil distance. Extraction and ejection are accomplished in the usual manner.

A thorough test at Aberdeen proved the G 41 (W) is much inferior to the U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30, M1, in reliability under severe conditions. It fell down especially in the mud and rain tests, and breakages were very numerous.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight of rifle w/o bayonet and sling 10 1/4 lb.
Length w/o bayonet 45 ins.
Length of barrel 21.6 ins.
Principle of operation Gas—semi-automatic
Cooling system Air
Magazine system and capacity
     Fixed vertical box 10 rds. staggered
     Method of feed two 5-round Mauser rifle clips
Sight radius 21.2 ins.
Sights Blade front sight with “T” base and tangent leaf rear sight graduated from 100 to 1,200 meters. No windage adjustment.
Rifling 4 grooves, uniform right-hand twist
Muzzle velocity 2,408 f/s (in a worn barrel)
Trigger pull 7-8 lb.
Ammunition used All 7.92 mm Mauser rifle types
Total number of parts 102
Number of coil springs 13
Number of flat springs 4
Time to fieldstrip 3 1/4 seconds
Time to assemble from fieldstrip 4 3/4 seconds
Time to diassemble 3 min., 57 sec.
Time to assemble         8 min., 32 sec.

German: p. 208

7.92 mm M.G. 81: Flexible Aircraft Machine Gun

7.92 mm M.G. 81: Flexible Aircraft Machine Gun - Luftwaffe WW2

The German Aircraft Machine Gun, M.G. 81, 7.92 mm, is a Mauser designed air-cooled, belt-fed, recoil-operated (gas assisted) weapon which fires from an open bolt. The weapon is light and easily manufactured and is now used in place of the German M.G. 15 in many German aircraft. It is a flexibly mounted gun and serves as an observer’s weapon.

A “Solothurn type” bolt head is rotated by cams and locked to the barrel by an interrupted thread. It appears to be a speeded-up type of the light machine gun, M.G. 34. The higher rate of fire is achieved by a powerful buffer spring fitted into the body, as well as by general lengthening of all parts, and some redesign. The recoil operation is assisted by a nuzzle booster. The barrel is unusually short, being only 183 inches long. A push-type safety catch is located in the trigger guard just forward of the trigger. This can be moved only when the gun is cocked.

The weapon is fired only at full-automatic fire. The method of feeding is by a disintegrating-link belt through the feed block. A barrel casing made of perforated sheet metal encloses the barrel and fits into a sleeve which screws into the front of the body. The weapon has a muzzle booster which screws onto the barrel housing. This weapon is made and used in a dual mount with single trigger operation for both mounts.


Caliber        7.92 mm. (.312 in.)
Weight 13 lb., 14 oz.
Length 35 ins.
Length of barrel 18.75 ins.
Operation Recoil, gas assisted
Fire Automatic only
Muzzle velocity* 2,500-3,000 f/s
Rate of fire 1,200 to 1.500 rds./min.
Ammunition All 7.92 mm Mauser types

*Muzzle velocity varies according to ammunition used.

German: p. 221