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Best light machine gun of WW2


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#1 BoltActionSupremacy

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:28 PM

Ok, having used the search function i couldn't find any threads directly like this. So do close this thread + post relavent like to the thread when applicable.

Would like to know peoples opinions on the best light machine gun of WW2, now automatically im hearing 'MG42' . . . 'MG42'. (If that is the case, why apart from RoF and manufacturing?)

Just interested to explore other models and see how effective they really were, like the Bren, DP28, Type 99, BAR etc etc

So yeah, get typing :)

Rob

#2 brndirt1

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:47 PM

There is a pretty long, and older thread concerning the MG42 from last year (2009). And it pretty much covers MOST of the MGs used by the Axis and Allies (sans Soviet for the most part). Read through this, and see if it doesn't help answer any questions you have.

Goto:

http://www.ww2f.com/...n-its-bite.html

There are a number of pages, so be prepared to spend some time there. I think there are over 100 replies to the thread. (worse than its bite?)
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#3 Proeliator

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:48 PM

MG42 because it's light, beltfed, has a high RoF, accurate, multipurpose, low cost, quick to produce & rugged.

The continued use of it today as the standard machine gun of many european countries is a testament to its ingenious design.

In many expert's opinion it is the greatest machine gun ever designed.

#4 Proeliator

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:27 PM

Good documentary with Larry Vickers as guest appearence, weapons addressed are the StG44, MG42 & Luger. The bit about the MG42 is the bit most interesting to this thread (everything is worth watching though), it starts at 1:06 min: YouTube - Weaponology : Waffen SS - part 2

#5 BoltActionSupremacy

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:06 PM

:)

There is a pretty long, and older thread concerning the MG42 from last year (2009). And it pretty much covers MOST of the MGs used by the Axis and Allies (sans Soviet for the most part). Read through this, and see if it doesn't help answer any questions you have.

Goto:

http://www.ww2f.com/...n-its-bite.html

There are a number of pages, so be prepared to spend some time there. I think there are over 100 replies to the thread. (worse than its bite?)


Ok, il check it out tomorrow when i have some time. Thanks :)

#6 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:44 AM

I'd say the MG 42 also. Its one major drawback is the ROF is too high. It makes it uncontrollable when used for advancing fire (eg., fire from the hip or shoulder and not on the ground). It also presents serious issues with ammunition load. Other than that it is an excellent design.

#7 Jaeger

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:17 AM

Whilst I prefer not to continnue paralell threads, (we already have Buzz worse than bite) I disagree with problems on advancing fire with the MG 42, or the ROF or ammo consumption.

I do understand that people that has not been issued with the thing may see it as as problematic.
'We march. The enemy is retreating in transport. We follow on foot.' Lt.Neil McCallum 5/7 Gordons 19th November 1942

#8 Totenkopf

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:56 AM

However generic it may be, I would say the 42'!

As Proeliator said, its light, beltfed and accurate. I would say that combined with its high ROF it is the best MG likely to be ever designed for sometime because of all the useful nature of the angry wall of bullets. As we can see it served very well in any role it was given.

The common consensus about the 42 is that its ROF proved to be its worsty feature but I think of it like this: on the battlefield the Mighty roar proved to be the epitome of death among the allies (alongside "Tigerphobia") and it saved many German lives as nobody on the other side dare stuck their head up with risk of being ground into pulp.

Heh.. they are scratching your paint job, Helmut!


#9 lwd

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 01:02 PM

MG42 because it's light, beltfed, has a high RoF, accurate, multipurpose, low cost, quick to produce & rugged.

From everything I've read there's a very strong case for the MG-42. In some rolls the Brenn is arguably better but that's an uphill battle.

The continued use of it today as the standard machine gun of many european countries is a testament to its ingenious design.

Which countries are using it as their standard machine gun?

In many expert's opinion it is the greatest machine gun ever designed.

Care to name a few? As far as longevity goes it's no where near the M2 Browning 50 cal.

#10 Proeliator

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 04:51 PM

From everything I've read there's a very strong case for the MG-42. In some rolls the Brenn is arguably better but that's an uphill battle.


The Bren gun? You're kidding me right?

The Germans had a similar weapon available in the ZB26, and even better the MG30, but they proved no match for the MG34 & MG42 in combat performance and were dropped.

Which countries are using it as their standard machine gun?


Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland & Greece. And IIRC Turkey uses it as their std. infantry squad MG as-well.

Care to name a few?


It's pretty much the concensus amongst all experts, but as for those who've said it outright: Ian V. Hogg, William Atwater, David Stieghan, Tom Clancy & Larry Vickers just to name a few.

As far as longevity goes it's no where near the M2 Browning 50 cal.


First of all the M2 Browning isn't a GPMG, second of all they are about equal when it comes to longevity, so saying it is nowhere near it in this department is a blatantly false statement.

Edited by Proeliator, 15 June 2010 - 04:59 PM.


#11 lwd

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:25 PM

The Bren gun? You're kidding me right?
...

Not at all. It depends on doctrines and definitions. It's easier to both fire on the move and move a Bren forward than a belt fed mg. If that's a big part of your doctrine then a case can be made for it.

Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland & Greece. And IIRC Turkey uses it as their std. infantry squad MG as-well.

From what I can tell these are not MG-42s although they count it as their inspiration.

It's pretty much the concensus amongst all experts, but as for those who've said it outright: Ian V. Hogg, William Atwater, David Stieghan, Tom Clancy & Larry Vickers just to name a few.

How about some quotes along with the names?

First of all the M2 Browning isn't a GPMG, second of all they are about equal when it comes to longevity, so saying it is nowhere near it in this department is a blatantly false statement.

That's a bit of bait and switch isn't it? You didn't say anything about GPMG in your first statement. The M2 dates to the end of WWI and is still in production. While derivatives of the MG42 are still being used I suspect it's been quite a while since any actual MG42s were produced for the military.

#12 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:44 PM

It's pretty much the concensus amongst all experts, but as for those who've said it outright: Ian V. Hogg, William Atwater, David Stieghan, Tom Clancy & Larry Vickers just to name a few.


Tom Clancy is a failed real estate salesman turned successful novelist. He is not an expert.

#13 Jaeger

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:35 PM

From what I can tell these are not MG-42s although they count it as their inspiration.


lwd
The MG-3 and the MG-42 are the same weapon with a few adjustments. Calibre, anti-air sight and variations on the bolt and muzzle cap.

Even Wiki has managed to get good information on the gun
'We march. The enemy is retreating in transport. We follow on foot.' Lt.Neil McCallum 5/7 Gordons 19th November 1942

#14 Proeliator

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:49 PM

Not at all. It depends on doctrines and definitions. It's easier to both fire on the move and move a Bren forward than a belt fed mg. If that's a big part of your doctrine then a case can be made for it.


Seeing as the MG34 & MG42 could both be equipped with a 50 round drum magazine if the situation demanded it, I fail to see your point.

The Bren gun had no advantages what so ever over the MG34 or MG42 at all, none. I can't understand why you would even attempt to argue against this.

From what I can tell these are not MG-42s although they count it as their inspiration.


Well obviously you have never seen or handled these weapons, cause besides from being chambered in the 7.62mm NATO caliber and carrying a different name they are completely similar. They are MG42's just in different caliber and with a different name, the design is exactly the same.

That's a bit of bait and switch isn't it? You didn't say anything about GPMG in your first statement. The M2 dates to the end of WWI and is still in production.


The first design was from 1918, but type used today is from the 1930's, abit after WW1 if you ask me.

While derivatives of the MG42 are still being used I suspect it's been quite a while since any actual MG42s were produced for the military.


Derivatives? Once again besides from being chambered in 7.62mm NATO caliber and carrying a different name they are MG42's. The exact same design.

#15 brndirt1

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:57 PM

Seeing as the MG34 & MG42 could both be equipped with a 50 round drum magazine if the situation demanded it, I fail to see your point.

The Bren gun had no advantages what so ever over the MG34 or MG42 at all, none. I can't understand why you would even attempt to argue against this.



Well obviously you have never seen or handled these weapons, cause besides from being chambered in the 7.62mm NATO caliber and carrying a different name they are completely similar. They are MG42's just in different caliber and with a different name, the design is exactly the same.



The first design was from 1918, but type used today is from the 1930's, abit after WW1 if you ask me.



Derivatives? Once again besides from being chambered in 7.62mm NATO caliber and carrying a different name they are MG42's. The exact same design.


The only difference I can see myself is that the Bren barrel changing system is easier to use. And while the M2 (as used today) is from the 1930s as a modification, that is ahead of the 1942 MG-42 is it not?

But the thing is I'm not arguing against the Mg-42 being the premier light machine gun of the era, I believe it was.

Edited by brndirt1, 15 June 2010 - 09:10 PM.

Happy Trails,
Clint.

#16 Proeliator

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:14 PM

The only difference I can see myself is that the Bren barrel changing system is easier to use.


I sincerely doubt it can be any easier than on the MG42 (Push lever forward, and vupti, barrel is ready to be pulled out):
Posted Image

One of the easiest weapons to change a barrel on that I have ever operated!

Observe at 1:29 min:



And while the M2 (as used today) is from the 1930s as a modification, that is ahead of the 1942 MG-42 is it not?


The M2 from 1930 isn't exactly like that of today, but close. And a 9 year difference is hardly worth mentioning when the use of both has been so long. The MG34 is but a year younger than the M2 used today, and besides from being more expensive to produce it is really just as good as the MG42, making up for the lower RoF with its higher accuracy.

Edited by Proeliator, 15 June 2010 - 09:20 PM.


#17 brndirt1

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:15 PM

The Bren had a handle built in/onto the barrel, no glove needed with a hot barrel.

And if you are going to count the MG-34 as the antecedent of the MG-42, then you have to step back and include the original .50 cal Browing as well. You cannot have it both ways. They were both simply improvements on their predecesors.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#18 Proeliator

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:28 PM

The Bren had a handle built in/onto the barrel, no glove needed with a hot barrel.


Asbestos gloves/pads were std. equipment for German MG gunners, so a bit of a mood point.

And if you are going to count the MG-34 as the antecedent of the MG-42, then you have to step back and include the original .50 cal Browing as well. You cannot have it both ways. They were both simply improvements on their predecesors.


Maybe, but the MG34 doesn't really have any disadvantages over the MG42 besides from the pricetag, while the 1918 M2 Browning was far from a finished design.

At any rate I don't believe anyone can claim with a straight face that the MG42 has far from the longevity of the M2 Browning, knowing how long both their service lives have been.

#19 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 10:09 PM

Maybe, but the MG34 doesn't really have any disadvantages over the MG42 besides from the pricetag, while the 1918 M2 Browning was far from a finished design.


The M2 Browning is virtually identical to the original M1921 .50 Browning. The only non-interchangble part between the two is the barrel. On the M2 several different barrels can be installed. A 36" for aircraft, a 45" for ground use the 45" HB (heavy barrel), or, the water jacketed 45" barrel. The M2 today is the exact same design it was in WW 2.

As for the MG 34 it does have some advantages over the MG 42:
It can select fire while the 42 is only fully automatic.
The MG 42 cannot be used in panzer machinegun mounts.


At any rate I don't believe anyone can claim with a straight face that the MG42 has far from the longevity of the M2 Browning, knowing how long both their service lives have been.


I would. The MG 42 isn't the MG 3 of today. While the two share a common lineage many modifications were made between the MG 42 and the MG 3, most minor but still made. The Browing .50 has been used worldwide since its 1921 introduction.
More tellingly, there is no near future plan on the part of the US, or any other users, to replace it with something else while the MG 3 is scheduled to begin being phased out in favor of a new machinegun by the Bundeswehr next year. That means the MG 3's days are numbered as the primary user phasing it out will pretty much cause other users to drop it in turn.

#20 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 10:20 PM

The Bren had a handle built in/onto the barrel, no glove needed with a hot barrel.

And if you are going to count the MG-34 as the antecedent of the MG-42, then you have to step back and include the original .50 cal Browing as well. You cannot have it both ways. They were both simply improvements on their predecesors.


Don't know about the M2 but the MG42 is a very different weapon from the MG34.

IMO the M2HB barely qualifies as an infantry weapon, I don't think the non vehicle mounted variant is useful for anything but semi fixed installations, both weapon and ammo are way too heavy to carry around on foot. It certainly doesn't belong in a LMG thread.

AFAIK the MG 42 had a major change to it's design post war, an optional heavier breech block was introduced that brought the ROF down to around 750 RPM and that's what most modern users prefer.

The MG 42 cannot be used in panzer machinegun mounts.


Heard this as well but AFAIK the Leopard used the MG3 as coax weapon, does anyone know it was done?

Edited by TiredOldSoldier, 15 June 2010 - 10:28 PM.


#21 DAVEB47

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:14 PM

I'd consider the M2 .50 cal a heavy mg, not a light mg as the OP stated. I'd say the MG42 was the best because of its ease of production and reliability.

#22 formerjughead

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:50 PM

And if you are going to count the MG-34 as the antecedent of the MG-42, then you have to step back and include the original .50 cal Browing as well. You cannot have it both ways. They were both simply improvements on their predecesors.


The M-2 Browning is a heavy machinegun and in no way can be mistaken for a "light" machinegun in the same class as the MG-42.

For comparison purposes you might interpose the AN/M2 850rpm or the AN/M3 1200rpm again these are not "man portable" and were mounted on aircraft.

That being said the MG-42 was something that the Germans did right: one weapon that was supported accross all platforms with the same ammunition as the standard service rifle. Had the weapon been developed in a 12.7mm variant it may have done very well in an aircraft role.

#23 lwd

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:45 PM

I'd consider the M2 .50 cal a heavy mg, not a light mg as the OP stated. I'd say the MG42 was the best because of its ease of production and reliability.

It doesn't seem like there is any real debate here on the MG42 being the best lmg. The M2 was introduced because it was claimed that the MG-42 was "the best mg" which is a bit over the top IMO.

#24 brndirt1

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:53 PM

The M-2 Browning is a heavy machinegun and in no way can be mistaken for a "light" machinegun in the same class as the MG-42.

For comparison purposes you might interpose the AN/M2 850rpm or the AN/M3 1200rpm again these are not "man portable" and were mounted on aircraft.

That being said the MG-42 was something that the Germans did right: one weapon that was supported accross all platforms with the same ammunition as the standard service rifle. Had the weapon been developed in a 12.7mm variant it may have done very well in an aircraft role.


I'm not that dense Brad, the problem was that the thread got off topic, and like a dolt I followed along. This devolved into a mention of "design timing", and got away from the original topic.

If one goes back a few replies, I support the MG-42 being the best light infantry MG of the period. Hand's down. I was only pointing out some things which were altered later to make it less of a "fire-breather" (heavier bolt, stiffer spring) all the time. It is now more stable with a choice of ROF speeds, down from the original speed in its modern M3 configuration.

And I was pointing out that the BREN quick-change barrel design was slightly less bothersome than that on the MG-42, no asbestos glove needed. Handle attached to barrel. That is it, and that's all folks.
Happy Trails,
Clint.

#25 formerjughead

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 05:02 PM

I'm not that dense Brad, the problem was that the thread got off topic, and like a dolt I followed along. This devolved into a mention of "design timing", and got away from the original topic.

.....


I think you might have read too much into that I actually quoted you as an agreement...check your PM's.

I am pretty confident that you would not mistake a Ma Deuce for a light MG.....:D




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