Jump to content

i need to know...

Recommended Posts

i consider myself to be somewhat of a gun nut... almost a grog (for someone not involved with the military and living in peaceful sweden)

but recently i bought a copy of "the encyklopedia of modern combat techniques" by Chris McNab and Will Fowler...

in this they state that the MG42 had a rof of 1550 rpm.

i thougt it was just 1200 rpm... what is right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Confirmed, though it is the bolt head.



(more exactly, citing the google cache from that page)

1 Recoil Booster Designed to trap muzzle gases and increase the weapon's recoil.

2 Front sight The MG 42 was fired with conventional iron sights for use in the light machine-gun role.

3 Barrel The MG 42's quick release barrel could be changed by an experience gunner in five or six seconds.

4 Bolthead and firing pin When fitted with a lightweight bolt head the MG-42 proved capable of achieving rates of fire as high as 1800 rounds per minute .

5 Bolt The MG-42 was recoil operated the working parts locked at the moment of firing by locking rollers which were forced into sockets by the bolt.

6 Belt-feed cover The MG-42 did not have a magazine option like the MG-34:it could only fire the standard 50-round ammunition belts.

7 Trigger The trigger release was very well engineered it took an experienced hand not to waste ammunition as a half second burst fired 10-12 rounds.

8 Recoil / return spring This had to be immensely strong to handle the MG-42's potent rate of fire returning the working parts forward up to 25 times per second.

9 Butt Like the rest of the MG-42's parts the butt was designed for ease of manufacture.It was largely made of plastic.

Technical Specifications for MG-42

Type General-purpose machine gun.

Calibre 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser (0.31 in)

Length 1220 mm

Barrel Length 533 mm 4 grooves right-hand twist.

Weight 11.5 kg with bipod:32 kg with Lafette 42 tripod.

Muzzle velocity 755 m / second.

Rate of fire 1200 rounds / minute.

Effective range 500 metres direct fire:3500 meters indirect fire.

Ammo feed 50-round belt (usually clipped in fives to give 250 rounds)

Unit cost 250 RM (c.550 including tripod)

Combat Experience

The MG-42 incorporated lessons hard-won in combat on the Eastern Front.Both the cocking handle and the catch for the top cover to the working parts were designed so that the gunner could operate them wearing mitts or with a stick or rod.This was vital in the sub-zero Russian winters where contact by bare flesh on cold metal could cause severe injury.The MG-42 also functioned well in other climates : dust and dirt in North Africa and Italy was less likely to jam the MG-42 then the more temperamental MG34.The MG-42 was lighter and slightly more compact then it's predecessor but used the same operating principal of short recoil assisted by gas pressure from a muzzle velocity of the MG-42 at 755 meters a second was the same as the MG34 , but the most distinctive chance was the rate of fire-the MG-42 ripped through belted ammunition at a cyclic rate of 1,550 rounds a minute. .

Barrel Change

This high rate of fire heated up the barrel of the MG-42 even more then the MG34 and so the quick change system was simplified.The gunner had only to reach forward of the working parts push a retaining catch on the housing forward and the barrel swung out to the right.Taking care because it was very hot , he then pulled it to the rear and it was free.To replace the new barrel he simply reversed the procedure.A trained machine-gunner could complete the whole process in under 30 seconds.This high rate of fire could be reassuring to a nervous soldier , but the vibration it produced was a problem : the MG-42 was less accurate then the MG34 on the bipod.Though soldiers were trained to fire short bursts this was sometimes hard to remember in the heat of battle.Entusiastic use of the weapon also got through a lot of rounds which meant that the three-man crew needed to carry heavy loads of ammunition.The snarling fire of an MG-42 was unmistakable , often likened by Allied soldiers to the sound of tearing linoleum.One veteran recalled " the hysterical shriek of the MG-42's furious rate of fire "....." i remember my first reaction....was one of amazement at the crushing fire power of those guns.It seemed to me that the German soldier seldom used his rifle.He was a carrier of boxes of light machine-gun ammunition of which they seemed to have an endless supply."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my understanding it was upwards of 1200. It was commonly so fast that you could not hear the individual shots. I saw a neat bit from a training film for the US Army. Basically saying that just because a lot of bullets were flying was no reason to stop what you were supposed to be doing. After all more bullets means less accurate (according to the film). I love those vintages bits from History Channel.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...