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FG-42

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Niles23, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Niles23

    Niles23 Member

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    I would like 2 know some info on the fg-42 i know it was basicly used like our BAR as an infantry support weapon. but i just dont know 2 much about it so could i ge some specs on it?
     
  2. Karma

    Karma Member

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    FG 42 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Modern Firearms - FG-42 automatic rifle

    This gun was specifically designed for use by the German airborne Fallschirmjäger. In 1941 after the German's pyrrhic victory on Crete, it was felt that airborne troopers who then were equipped with the same basic equipment as the Heer (army), needed a special lightweight machine gun that was not much larger than the K98 to satisfy the needs of specific tasks and methods undertaken by the paratroopers. It was produced in limited numbers during the rest of the war it seems though.
     
  3. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Google is your friend matey.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    There's a misconception here; the FG42 wasn't really envisioned solely as a light support weapon. It was requested as a far wider concept automatic rifle, a jack of all trades.

    Cribbed/Paraphrased from Handrich's Excellent 'Sturmgewehr' book:
    The initial request from Otto Schulze (later to head the project) was for a gun:

    *Total length not more than 100cm
    *Total weight no greater than the K98k
    *Capable of single and burst fire
    *Usable as a telescopic sight rifle
    *Rifle grenade capability
    *usable in close combat as a 'blow & thrust' weapon.

    The Official specification as laid down in June 1941:
    1 - No longer than 100cm.
    2 - No heavier than the K98K.
    3 - Same calibre as standard service rifle.
    4 - Detachable magazines, one 10 shot & one 30 shot.
    5 - Selective fire using the simplest possible action firing from a closed bolt in semi-auto and open bolt in full-auto.
    6 - Free from stoppages.
    7 - 1.5X Telescopic sight to be provided.
    8 - Equipped with grenade launcher.
    9 - Equipped with bayonet, preferably a folding type.
    10 - Capable of being used as a club without damage.
    11 - No removable barrel.
    12 - Barrel life of at least 2000 rounds, no matter what mode it's fired in.
    13 - Collapsible grip so as to avoid entanglement when jumping.
    14 - To be provided with a folding bipod.
    15 - The butt to absorb recoil.
    16 - Stable when firing.
    17 - Dirt-proof.
    18 - Insensitive to shocks and drops.

    Most firms were uninterested in developing a weapon not officially sanctioned by the WAa, and so began a tortuous project that seems more to do with Goering's personal gratification than any genuinely sensible use of resources. Without the fat pigeon's personal weight being thrown behind the gun it seems likely it would have been a sensibly still-born project that would not have impinged on and interfered with the considerably more sensible MkB42/MP43/44 (etc.) project as much as it did.

    Has to be said though, a damned stylish looking piece :D :

    [​IMG]

    ~A
     
  5. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    FYI Handrich found additional info that was used for the Expanded Edition of Death from Above. The new edition has nearly 50% more pages.
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Cheers Sf, but I'm a little puzzled... My mouse sometimes hovers over the buy button on 'death from above', but it's not originally by Handrich is it? They've boosted it with his info then? - Is he now credited as an author so I can tell which edition I'm looking at?

    Just wanting to clarify if it's that or Sturmgewehr that's been expanded, as I've been caught by buying the wrong edition of things before.
     
  7. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    No, the original author has passed away so the co-author/publisher handled the expanded edition. Handrich's research is one of the new sources of info. He basically stumbled across "misplaced" FG42 records while researching for Sturmgewehr.
     
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  8. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    What surprises (and doesn't too) me is that the Germans didn't do more with the design. For example, lengthening the barrel by a few inches and possibly adding a bit more forestock they could have had the equivalent of a BREN or BAR for their troops. I think that might have been a good substitute or supplement for the much more expensive MG 34 and 42.
     
  9. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    It wasn't ever going to see general Wehrmacht issue. That was really 3 strikes in one. It was basically turned into a disposable weapon due to the quality of materials used in Type Fs & Gs. Also, the fixed barrel hurts in MG roles.
     
  10. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Back in the 80ies it was relatively easy to get your hands on both the Stg 44 and the FG42. Nowadays it is damn near impossible. You need special collector permits to buy them in Norway.

    Luckily I have shot them both since my neighbour and colleague at the regiment is a collector.

    The FG 42 trigger my SOS (shiny object syndrome) and I am quite fond of it.
    The muzzle flash is the biggest drawback in my book... And a full mag tends to make it feel "wrong"... And...and...
    However I'd take it over the Mauser any day of the week.

    As VP said it is a looker.
     
  11. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    My grandfather brought home a Type E & G. He brought them out of he attic a year before he passed away. My father never knew they existed (I didn't know g'pa was in the Army until I enlisted). We fired the G that day and I was pleasantly surprised at the recoil/handling. The E has some damage so it needs to be repaired when the transfers finally come through. After that, I doubt I'll shoot it. It is shockingly small (for a full-power rifle round) and feels really weird when shouldered.
     
  12. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    How was it used in a rifle squad?
     
  13. Zefer

    Zefer Member

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    Why was there so few of this rifle?
    Honestly, people say this is a Machine Gun but really it's more like a really good version of the K98K, M1 Garand/Carbine, G43, SVT-40, StG-44, etc. It excels in that field but compared to a Bren, Lewis, MG34/42, DP-28 and the like it honestly can't compete.
     
  14. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    It was intended to replace the MG34/42 in the squad LMG role. As to the comparisons you made, you are neglecting one glaring fact: airborne warfare tactics. FG42 armed troops were to be dropped behind enemy lines. Therefore bypassing defensive fighting positions and catching lesser-armed troops by surprise. Employment as static "infantry" totally negates many benefits offered by airborne troops and their equipment.
     
  15. STURMTRUPPEN

    STURMTRUPPEN Member

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    the fg 42 wasa great weapon for the german airborne troops and in many ways it was better that the weapons that the us and british airborne troops had during the war
     
  16. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    The comparison with the FG-42 as a German BAR is an apt one. It was an extraordinary weapon in many ways but less than 10,000 were ever made. Goerring wanted only the best for his people and you can be sure he had something to do with the weapon's being approved by the Waffenamt in the first place.

    Perhaps the most extraordinary feature, never duplicated in any gun before or since, was its changeable firing mode. This weapon was designed to fire from a closed bolt while in semi-auto, and from open-bolt mode when set to full auto!

    To explain the difference, which may be unclear to someone who's never been around military weapons, every semi auto rifle you may own fires from a closed bolt. That is, the bolt goes forward, chambers a round, it waits for you pull the trigger, the gun goes bang. The bolt is then pushed back by gas or recoil force and returns to chamber a round while locking forward into the barrel again, while awaiting the next pull of the trigger.

    Open-bolt operation is commonly used in almost all machine guns up to modern times, and was used by almost every submachine gun of WW2. That is, the user cocks the bolt by pulling it to the rear, where it stays. When the user wishes to fire, the bolt now goes forward, strips a round, and fires until the trigger is released (or the gun is out of ammo). When the person operating the gun is done firing it for the moment, the bolt stays to the rear, instead of going all the forward like in your closed bolt weapon.

    The reason for open-bolt designs, which are always less acurate on a single-shot basis than closed bolt, is due to cooling. If a machine gun were closed bolt, there is a chance of chambering a round into a hot chamber and leaving it there, causing the round to cook off and firing when the gunner does not want it to! Thus almost all light, medium and heavy machine guns used to this day, by everyone, everywhere, operate on the open-bolt principle.

    Anyway, the FG-42 was a very interesting and notable firearm of the second world war, but apparently the Germans didn't think very highly of it, due to the low production figures and failure of any other branch of the Wehrmacht to even try to adopt it.
     
  17. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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  18. marc780

    marc780 Member

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  19. sf_cwo2

    sf_cwo2 Member

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    How the hell did that happen? Yes, that is what I typed.
     
  20. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

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    From my understanding the FG42 was supposed to be a simple suppression weapon with more stopping power, it seemed to do that well in Combat in France. It would never be a Squad Automatic Rifle, as Magazine capacity was to small to allow prolonged firing.
     

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