Tag Archive for 'small arms'

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

7.92 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. 34/41: Dual-Purpose Machine Gun

7.92 mm M.G. 34/41: Dual-Purpose Machine Gun

The German 7.92 mm machine gun, M.G. 34/41, represents one of the later developments of the M.G. 34. These developments occurred in the following order: the M.G. 34; M.G. 34 modified; M.G. 34s; M.G. 34/41. In the course of development, the original pattern of the weapon has been largely retained, but each stage has tended toward simplification and elimination of machined parts.

The M.G. 42 is a new design but has the same tactical employment. It is distinguished by a high cyclic rate of fire and fewer machined parts. The M.G. 42 is described on a separate page.

The M.G. 34 modified is used principally in armored vehicles and differs from the M.G. 34 in that it has a heavier barrel jacket adapted to fit ball-type tank hull mounts, a simplified firing-pin nut lock, and bipod clamps for attaching bipod in emergency use; it has no A.A. sight bracket. It can also be mounted on antiaircraft and heavy ground mounts.

The M.G. 34s and the M.G. 34/41 are identical in appearance, except for the barrel jackets, but are marked as distinct models. They differ from the M.G. 34 as follows: provision for full-automatic fire only; simplified trigger group; shorter barrel with enlarged muzzle end; elimination of firing-pin lock nut; large buffer group; heavier recoil spring; modified feed mechanism. These models can be used on antiaircraft mounts but appear designed for the heavy ground mount.


Caliber        7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight 24 1/2 lb. w/o bipod
Weight of barrel 3 3/4 lb.
Length 44 1/4 ins.
Length of barrel 19 3/4 ins.
Muzzle velocity* 2,500-3,000 f/s
Rate of fire 800-900 rds./min. cyclic
Operation Recoil, gas assisted
Ammunition All 7.92 mm Mauser ground types

*Muzzle velocity varies according to ammunition used.

German: p. 214

7.92 mm M.G. 34: Dual-Purpose Machine Gun

7.92 mm M.G. 34: Dual-Purpose Machine Gun

The M.G. 34 is a standard machine gun of the German Army. It cannot be compared directly with any American automatic weapon. It is a multi-purpose weapon and is used as a light machine gun, a heavy machine gun, an antiaircraft machine gun, and also on tanks and other vehicles. Because of its adaptability, it is the most common automatic weapon used by the German Armed Forces.

Without bipod mount, the M.G. 34 weighs 24 1/4 lb., and is occasionally fired by the use of a second soldier’s shoulder as a rest. A light bipod adapts it for prone fire and with tripod mount this becomes a heavy machine gun.

The M.G. 34 is a recoil-operated, gas-assisted weapon, belt-fed, and air-cooled. It operates on the Solothurn rotating bolt-head principle. A simple mechanism makes it easy to exchange a heated barrel for a cool one. It is designed to deliver semi-automatic or full-automatic fire.

Studies at Aberdeen Proving Ground show that it is very easy to disassemble in the field, but cannot be regarded as an easy gun to manufacture on a mass production basis, as compared with the M.G. 42.

Studies of captured guns show that this weapon has a high rate of fire—too high for a light machine gun—resulting in poor accuracy in full-automatic operation. When used as a heavy machine gun it shows excellent stability. It is extremely critical as to adjustment, lubrication, and foreign matter.


Caliber       7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight of gun with bipod26 1/4 lb.
Weight with H.M.G. Tripod mounting68 1/2 lb.
Overall length48 ins.
Principle of operationRecoil, assisted by muzzle booster. Solothurn type action.
Cooling systemAir
Cartridge feedFlexible metallic link belt containing 50 rds. and multiples thereof. Also 50 rd. belt drums and 75 rd. saddle-type drums.
Sights(a) A blade front sight and vertical leaf rear sight with open V notch graduated from 200 to 2,000 meters.
(b) An aperture rear sight for use with a “cartwheel” type antiaircraft front sight.
(c) A telescopic sight is used on the heavy machine gun tripod mount.
Rifling4 grooves right-hand concentric
Muzzle velocity2,500 to 3,000 f/s depending on type of round used.
Maximum range5,000 yds.
     Effective—heavy3,827 yds.
     Effective—light600 yds.
Rate of fire (cyclic)800-900 r.p.m.
     (practical)100–120 r.p.m.

German: p. 213

7.92 mm Karbiner 98K (Mauser-Kar. 98K): Rifle

7.92 mm Karbiner 98K (Mauser-Kar. 98K): Rifle

This is the standard shoulder weapon of the German Army and is very similar to the M1903 rifle used in the American Army. Known as the Mauser Kar. 98K, it may be regarded as a carbine or a short rifle.

This rifle has no windage adjustment or peep sight but gives good results at medium range. It is a bolt-operated, magazine-fed shoulder weapon.

Older models of this weapon, which operate in the same fashion, differ only in having longer barrels and in minor variations in fittings. They are known as the Gewehr 98, Kar. 98, and Kar. 98B.

The safety is a thumb-operated lever mounted on the bolt plug, operating in the same manner as the safety on the U.S. Rifle, M1903 (Springfield). The rifle is also loaded in the same manner as the M1903 rifle—the empty clip being ejected as the bolt is closed. Double-pull trigger action is also similar. A short knife bayonet is made for this rifle and several types of rifle grenade launchers may be attached. At least two different types of telescopic sights are found when this rifle is used for sniping. One is the ZF39, a conventional Zeiss 4X sight attached to mounts which are fitted to the receiver ring and bridge. The other, the ZF41, is a short 1 1/2 x scope with long eye-relief of 16 3/4 in. which is attached to the rifle by a side mount which is attached to the left side of the rear sight base.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight (approx.) 9 lb.
Overall length 43.5 ins.
Length of barrel 23.4 ins.
Principle of operation Manually operated bolt action
Capacity of magazine 5 rds.
     Front Inverted V blade (which is sometimes equipped with a hood)
     Rear Leaf with open V notch sliding on ramp, graduated from 100 to 2,000 meters.
     Telescopic See Text
Muzzle velocity 2,600-2,700 f/s
     Maximum (approx.) 2,500 to 3,000 yds.
     Effective (approx.) 600 to 800 yds.
Ammunition 7.92 mm German Mauser ground types

German: p. 207

7.92 mm Fallschirmjäger Gewehr 42 (F.G. 42): Automatic Rifle—Paratroop

7.92 mm Fallschirmjäger Gewehr FG-42 Automatic Rifle, Paratroop

The German Paratroop Rifle, F.G. 42, 7.92 mm (Fallschirmjäger Gewehr 42) is a gas-operated, magazine-fed, semi-automatic or full-automatic weapon. It was designed originally for paratroop use, but undoubtedly will find a wider use with ground troops. It can be employed as a submachine gun, a rifle, or a light machine gun as occasion indicates. The action design is very similar to that of the well-known Lewis light machine gun. The sear mechanism is designed to fire the gun semi-automatic from a closed bolt and full-automatic from an open bolt.

This weapon is unusual in construction and light in weight. The butt is made of stampings of 16 gauge sheet metal, ridged to prevent slipping and to add structural strength. The receiver is of high quality machining. The magazine opening is on the left side and the ejector opening on the right side. The trigger guard and pistol grip are stampings and the whole assembly is inclined at a 10° angle in order to give a comfortable grip to the firer. The hand guard is wood, with holes slotted in the upper side to facilitate cooling, and with milled ridges to prevent slipping in the grasp. The bipod is also a metal stamping and is hinged to the barrel collar. The bipod legs fold forward to form a protective housing for the bayonet underneath the barrel.

The 19-inch barrel is machined with 4 lands and grooves; there is no quick-change barrel feature to this weapon. A combination flash hider and compensator is affixed to the muzzle. The magazine is a removable box type holding 20 rounds. The gun may be operated either semi-automatic or full-automatic by use of a change lever which also acts as a safety lock.


Caliber         7.92 mm (.312 in.)
Weight 10 3/4 lb. loaded
Length 35 1/2 ins.; with bayonet, 42 3/4 ins.
Length of barrel 19 ins.
Action Gas-operated, semi-automatic, or full-automatic
Capacity 20 rds.
Ammunition 7.92 mm Mauser, ground types
Rate of fire 600 rds./min. cyclic

German: p. 209

27 mm Leuchtpistole (Walther): Signal & Grenade Pistol

27 mm Leuchtpistole (Walther): Signal & Grenade Pistol

The Walther 27 mm Signal Pistol is a smooth-bore weapon firing a variety of some forty different signal cartridges. In addition, two grenades are fired from this weapon: the 27 mm Signal Pistol Grenade 326 L.P., which consists of a small high-explosive projectile weighing approximately 4 ounces, contained in a light-alloy cartridge case; and the Signal Pistol Grenade 361 L.P., which consists of a standard egg grenade attached to a projector stem fitting into the barrel of the pistol, which in this case is provided with a loose smooth-bore liner.

The Kampfpistole (“Battle pistol”), a later development of the signal pistol, is the original pistol modified by boring out and rifling the barrel. A small circular bubble-sight is attached to the left side of the pistol. The four types of ammunition designed for this weapon are: high-explosive, smoke, indicator, and single illuminating star on parachute.

Leuchtpistole WW2The new Kampfpistole is still a further development. In this weapon, the original model has not been modified by rifling, but a loose steel liner has been fitted. A removable sight is fixed on the barrel, and a folding stock is added. All parts can be readily assembled when in the field. By removal of the liner, any type of ammunition suitable for the original pistol can be fired. However, the H.E. Grenade 361 L.P. cannot be fired from the rifled liner, but use must be made of the smooth-bore liner provided. Furthermore, none of the ammunition designed for the Kampfpistole can be fired in the new Kampfpistole, with or without liner. A new type hollow-charge projectile similar to the hollow charge rifle grenades has been developed for this weapon, but as yet no further information is available.


Weight         5 1/2 lb.
Length 23 ins. unfolded
  12 ins. folded
Caliber 27 mm without liner (1 in.)
  23 mm with liner (.9 in.)

German: p. 201

9 mm Pistole 08 (Luger): Automatic Pistol

WW2 German Parabellum Pistol

The German 9 mm Luger ’08 or Parabellum pistol, one of the official sidearms of the German army, is a semi-automatic weapon of unquestionable power and accuracy. Extensive tests have proved that the American .45 Colt automatic is superior because of greater shock effect.

Action of the Luger is based on the design of an American, Borchardt. The original Borchardt pistol utilized a recoil-operated mechanism with the breechblock locked to the barrel at the moment of discharge. The breechblock was unlocked by a toggle-joint action which was free to move after the breechblock and barrel had recoiled together for a short distance.

The pistol, which was heavy, clumsy, and badly balanced, was redesigned in 1900 and designated the Luger. The toggle-breech mechanism and retractor-spring housing of the Luger were much more compact than those of the Borchardt. The simpler 1908 model of the gun uses the German 9 mm Parabellum ball ammunition fed by an 8-round magazine fitted into the butt or grip. The bolt group indicates after firing whether a new cartridge has been inserted, in which case the extractor projects above the chamber showing the inscription “Geladen” (loaded) on the left side. There are two versions of the Luger, one with a short barrel, and the other with a long barrel and shoulder stock attachment. A 32-round drum magazine which enables a higher fire capacity may be used with either type, but the long barrel type with the shoulder stock and drum magazine has been replaced by the submachine gun in the current war.


Caliber         9 mm (actually .347 in.)
Weight 30 oz. (1 lb., 14 oz. with empty magazine)
Length 8 3/4 ins.
Length of barrel 4 ins.
Capacity 8 rounds
Action Recoil—semi-automatic
Range 50 ft.—effective
  150 yds.—maximum
Muzzle velocity 1,075 f/s-1,250 f/s

German: p. 202

9 mm M.P. 34/1 (Bergmann): Submachine Gun

9 mm M.P. 34 Bergmann Submachine Gun

The Bergmann 9 mm machine pistol, M.P. 341, is a semi- or full-automatic, air-cooled, blow-back-operated submachine gun which is fed by a box magazine containing 32 rounds. It is manufactured commercially in Germany for use by the German Army. It is also used by other countries in modified forms. This is only one of several types of submachine guns.

The barrel and moving parts are, except for the trigger mechanism, housed in a long cylindrical tube. The forward end of this tube is perforated and forms a cooling jacket for the barrel; the rear portion serves as a receiver or housing for the bolt group. The M.P. 341, unlike the M.P. 181, is cocked by a turning bolt handle, and has a positive safety mechanism.


Caliber         9 mm (actually .347 in.)
Length 33 ins.
Length of barrel 7 3/4 ins.
Weight 9 lb.
Feed Box magazine—capacity 32 rds.
Rate of fire 500 rds./min. (maximum)
  120 rds./min. (practical)
Range 218 yds. (effective)
Sights Front—blade
  Rear—Leaf on ramp, graduated up to 1,000 meters

German: p. 204