Maschinengewehr 42 (Machine Gun
42), or MG42, was an intended replacement for the older Maschinengewehr 34
, and was developed by Metall- und Lackierwarenfabrik Johannes Grossfuss AG in Döbeln for the German Wehrmacht
during World War II
The MG42 was developed to make up for the flaws in the MG34
design. The MG34 was too expensive to produce and too delicate for its task. The Wehrmacht
needed a more rugged design for its purpose.
Even though the MG42 came out a winner, as stamped parts caused cheaper production costs, and a better design fostered a sturdier and more resilient weapon. The MG34
was still produced until the end of the war.
The higher rate of fire which was characterized by the MG42, as indicated by it's nickname "Hitler
s Buzz-Saw" given by Allied troops, led to a decreased barrel life expectancy and was only good for between 3,500 to 4,000 rounds.
Later, barrels were chrome-plated which lengthened life expectancy a bit. Still, the barrel became hot rather fast and had to be changed often.
The MG42 accounted for this with an even further simplified barrel change mechanism.
Rate of Fire: 1500 rounds / minute.
Action: Fully automatic, Blowback operation.
Back to German Infantry Weapons