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Best Machine gun of WWII?

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    Yes Great Mg

    Originally posted by har wagner
    M2 Big .50 still in use today.
    Though i like german weapons mostly this one for its heavy firepower is awesome,and yes still in use today in armies aswell,cool.


      Still, waaaahhhhh!!! Know what I mean?




          Fav GPMG

          When discussing favorite machine guns, you must keep them in their own classes. To compare a Ma Deuce to all of the other weapons listed in .30 caliber is like comparing apples and oranges. I've been to Knob Creek, Kentucky for the machine gun shoots and you can feel the concussion from the M2 from 100 to 200 feet away. No .30 caliber weapon has that effect!
          The M2 is a big brother to the Browning 1917 .30 cal. air cooled and water cooled machines. I owned a 1917A2 air cooled. It was a bitch(!!!) to load the damn belts. It was a bitch to disassemble and reassemble it. You had to play with it to make sure that you got the correct head spacing back each time you changed out a barrel. The .50 M2 has it's place in the world, but it should only be compared to other heavy machine guns. I got rid of my 1917 and got a 42.
          I love my MG42. Barrel change in 3 seconds. No head spacing to play with. Can change from .308 to 8mm and back again in 2 minutes.
          The M60, in order to change out the barrel, has to be manhandled off the firing line, or you have to walk around in front of it. Not the safest thing in a firezone. I was a company armorer in the USMC. It's been 35 years and I can't remember my terminology, but there was a piece on the right side that, if put back in backwards (which could happen), would cause the weapon to fail. Screw that.
          Idiot American weapons makers got hold of an MG42 during the war and tried to duplicate it with a weapon that would fire 30.06(?). They screwed up;simple math. Changing over from the metric system to our screwed up method of inches, feet and yards. The rounds wouldn't even chamber. That piece is still in existence somewhere or other. If the Americans thought it was good enough to copy, if the Germans went back to it in the form of the MG3, it's good enough for me. You notice that the Bundeswehr didn't go back to a modern version of a MG34??!!
          Bren's and BAR's are like the M2. THey shouldn't be compared to belt fed weapons.
          But I must say, having read WW2 intelligence bulletins from the Pacific, that it was nice to have a BAR on the MLR. THey could fire on Japanese troops, pick it up and move it. That night when the Japanese attacked what they thought was an MG strongpoint, there was nothing there and they were fired on from another position by that same BAR.
          My vote goes to the MG42, hands down! No contest!


            Why include the Bren at all?

            Ithought about the best machine gun while I was guzzlin' champagne last night and it occurred to me that the Bren was the only weapon that was mag fed on this discussion. The Japanese weapons mentioned use strips or a hopper. The Bren should be excluded from discussion of belt feds and replaced by a Vickers Mk1. IF you include the Bren, you might as well include the MP44 and the FG42, and they don't belong in a discussion of GPMG's. By extension, the Japanese Type96 would also be included because it also is fed by a magazine.
            Shoot down my arguments, please.

            Happy 2007!


              I've always known the Bren as an LMG, the FG42 as a paratrooper rifle, and the BAR as an automatic rifle, and the MP44 as an assault rifle (the best one of WWII, btw ). Japanese MG's should not even grace this poll as Japanese, French, and Italian MG's are the worst of the worst (and the most hideous) as far as MG's go (I'm half Italian, so I can't be accused of not liking things Italian ).

              The Bren takes the MG 34 and '42 in terms of weight, portability, and ease of use by a single soldier, but the '42 trumps the Bren and '34 in barrel change ease and speed (unless you don't have a belt tab, mitt, rag, or other tool to grab the '42 barrel with ).

              The Bren is most controllable (followed by the '34). MG42 is not the most controllable. I've fired all three.

              The MG 42 is the quickest and easiest to produce of low grade sheet metal and crude, cheap castings.

              How's that?


                Guns, Guns, Guns!!!

                Heavy machine gun, general purpose machine gun, light machine gun,main battle rifle, assault rifle. Hmmmm, different terms, different weapons. now let's see.

                1.MG34...belt fed...bipod...tripod...barrel change in 3 minutes...GPMG
                2.MG42...belt fed...bipod...tripod...barrel change in 3 seconds...GPMG
                3.M2.......belt fed...no bipod...tripod...barrel change in 10 minutes(?)..HMG
                4.T91....hopper fed..bipod...tripod(?)... barrel change in ???...LMG
                5.BREN...magazine fed...bipod...no tripod...barrel change in ???...LMG
                6.T97...stripper fed...bipod...tripod...barrel chang in ???...LMG
                7.M1917A2..belt fed..bipod...tripod...barrel change in 10 minutes...GPMG
                8.MG15...belt fed...bipod(?)...tripod...barrel change in ???...GPMG

                Looks like we've been trying to decide which is the best machine of WW2 without categorizing correctly.

                BAR...magazine fed...bipod...no tripod...barrel change in???...LMG or automatic rifle?? Looks a lot like #5. Hmmmm.

                What difference is there between the BAR and the BREN? Not ammo. 30 cal., both of them. Should we call the BREN an automatic rifle or the BAR a LMG. The BAR certainly filled the role in the South Pacific during WW2.
                Another example...........

                FG42...magazine fed...bipod...no tripod... barrel change in ???...LMG or Automatic rifle? Looks a lot like #5. Hmmmmm.

                Can't call it a paratrooper rifle. The Japanese had a Type2 and a Type38 that were takedowns and were considered to be paratrooper rifles. They were bolt action so they certainly can't be a paratroop rifle like the FG42.
                I'm not trying to stir feces, just trying to stimulate thought and comment.

                Shuoldn't the BAR and the FG42 be up on that voting poll, just like the BREN? Shouldn't the Vickers be up on that voting poll just like the MG15???

                Buenos noches to all

                Tim Alexander
                Very Junior Member of a very good website!


                  Tim sez: Very Junior Member.........

                  Just a title. It will go away with so many posts. I'm listed as an "FNG" (I'm sure that means "Friendly New Guy" ) on the MG42 forum. I've made, owned, and used machine guns probably longer than most of the people on those boards have been alive, so I find a certain humor in that.

                  Okay, BAR and FG42 had no quick change barrels (not LMGs), although technically (and legally in the US) they are classified as machine guns.

                  MG34 barrel changes out in under ten seconds or less by a determined crew (not quite as fast as the '42), but much quicker than an M1919A4. The Bren barrel changed out like an M60 (kinda sorta). Throw a lever, jiggle and pull it out, line a new one up with the gas piston cylinder, push it in, and throw the lever locking it in place (IIRC). The ZB26 and it's decendants (including the Bren, but not the Japanese guns) could qualify as being the "best" machine guns of WWII. Bren also had a tripod and anti aircraft mount. The magazine probably actually made it more reliable than a belt fed LMG.

                  The FG42 beat itself to death in short order and was obnoxious to shoot.
                  It's my "Holy Grail" piece (along with a Stoner 63/63A), but it was found severely wanting. The Germans designed it specifically for airborne troops and named it "Fallschirmjaeger Gewehr 42" FG42 (Paratrooper Rifle 42).
                  Last edited by Steve in Florida; 01-02-2007, 02:38 AM. Reason: Keep remembering things


                    mg 42.and they still use it today as the mg 3


                      MG34 is the best MG of WWII. It has a high but controllable rate of fire. Quick change barrel, no bolt bounce, first universal machine gun.


                        My vote's on the MG42, no question! I'm shooting the MG3 every now and then, next week the MG34 & MG42. I'm pretty sure I'll reconfirm my vote again! Horrido!
                        Attached Files


                          best mg of ww2!!!

                          I've been shootin the mg 42.Or as it's called in the danish army the lmg 62 (light mashine gun 62) on tri pod bi pod ,and carring it around with life rounds on shootin' ranges where U' walk around whit the weapon.loaded up with 150 rounds pr.belt. diffiult to hit but wery mouch fun .
                          to be serious it's the best "hand gun" we have in the danish army.Still!!. after 1945.
                          as a defence weapon on fixed posions. or as a partial attack weapon to move and support the faster movin' troops in the groop U're in...In denmark it have a reputation that it can take a brick in whith the belt and still shoot.It's easy and quick to shift barrel on even in stressed condicions.and NOT least U feel inwinsible when U lay behind that weapon.... cheers from denmark mike...


                            MG42 - Best ALL ROUND machine gun of WW2 - without doubt (Still in use today in a guise as already mentioned)
                            However you are going to need alot of ammo to keep it going in any sustained sort of role, which means lots of men humping ammo. Nevertheless.......

                            There are better MG's for specific purposes, Heavy - Browning M2, sustained fire - Vickers, squad - BREN.
                            All rounder - MG42...Period. (Ease of use , manufacture, relaibility, cheap cost...Which explains why nearly every western nation today uses a derivative or some ideas from it - The MG 42 was a landmark & turning point in MG design)

                            My friends father was a Fallshirmjager (he is still alive by the way), and was part of a machine gun team for part of the war, his preference by far was the MG42 over the MG34 - Due to its very high rate of fire (He says you could not fire fast enough at times on the Russian front) and its ability to keeping firing under extreme conditions, which the Mg34 would not.
                            (P.s. He served on the Russian front, and "dropped" into Narvik, AND Crete, he was finally captured by the Americans at Monte Cassino, his unit ran out of ammo,

                            For a really mobile LMG, I think the BREN is very hard to beat.
                            Sorry guys but it beats the hell out of the BAR (Barrel change is 3 secs - so you do not have barrel overheat issues, plus the larger mag sited on top of weapon is more advantageous, yes BAR was a good weapon but outdated by WW2 - no real sustained fire capability!)

                            If you are looking for a REAL CONTINUOUS FIRE mg, then absolutely NOTHING can top the Vickers. As with the BAR getting outdated for a General purpose role by WW2, but in a specific role, as was intended for it..
                            OK weighs a ton so mobility is close to zero, but in a well dug in, defensive role it can lay down fire all day and night without a stoppage - nothing is more reliable.
                            Last edited by leedjones; 08-23-2007, 01:53 PM.


                              Originally posted by TP Alexander View Post
                              1.MG34...belt fed...bipod...tripod...barrel change in 3 minutes...GPMG
                              If it's taking you 3 minutes to change an MG34 barrel, you're doing it wrong. A trained crew should be able to do this in under 15 seconds under the worst of circumstances. In routine circumstances, it shuold take less than 10 seconds TOTAL. and that includes setting up a new belt.

                              It's also TOTALLY unfair to compare the MG34 to the MG42. When the MG34 was introduced by Rheinmetall it was argueably the world's FIRST GPMG. It was also probably the world's best light machinegun when it was first introduced.

                              The MG42 built on the MG34 by making improvements learned from three full years of heavy continuous MG34 use in blitzkrieg combat conditions - EIGHT YEARS after the MG34 was first adopted. If it hadn't turned out to be a better gun, the Gestapo would likely have lynched the senior development staff at Maget.

                              In fact, when the MG42 was introduced, the MG34 likely remained the second best GPMG in the world until sometimes in the 1950's when the rest of the world caught up with German small arms technology.

                              the MG34, IMHO, deserves TONS of recognition for what it was in 1934, not what it was in 1942.

                              As a side note, MG34 production would probably have ended in 1942 except that Germany hadn't found a suitable fortress and AFV mount for the MG42's stamped and squared off barrel jecket profile.

                              Also, many countries (Israel, Yugoslavia and Norway come to mind) were more than happy to continue to deploy German MG34's right up until the mid-1990's wher they were still issued right alongside MG42-based weapons.


                                Originally posted by Gary Cain View Post
                                Hi Mike,
                                Actually they did devote a whole film to the '42. Granted it was a short film but it took the whole reel. The film also dealt with tactics to deal with it etc. Having owned both I will say that for shooting for pleasure it is the MG 34 all the way, but if I were in combat give me the 42.
                                I own a 34 and while I don't own a 42, a good friend of mine does. Have fired both side-by side many times.

                                The 34 soaks up more recoil and is much more controllable from the bipod. Ammo lasts a bit longer (~900 rpm vs. ~1200 rpm). Aiming is a bit easier as the irons are better. Less change to burn your fingers if you have to move it fast as the barrel jacket offers better protection over the 42. Single shots are easy due to the trigger design.

                                The largest detractors to this weapon is that with it's relatively tight tolerances, it works best when it's positively SLATHERED in lubricant. In some conditions (mostly outside of Europe), a dripping wet lubed gun attracts alot of dust and/or sand which can affect operation. Additionally, a barrel change exposes many of the internals to dirt infiltration, expecially around the locking cams. finally, if in the prone position, when you do a barrel swap it can be difficult to keep dirt out of the equation.

                                The 42 will jump around a bit easier and eats ammo like nobody's business if used for sustained fire. But it's loose tolerances based on metal stamping technology lets it run under much dirtier conditions. A barrel swap exposes the gun to less dirt egress and the mechanism that allows the barrel swap doesn't promote dirt entering the action.

                                the biggest detractors are keeping it on target from the bipod, the dangers of bolt bounce (in the WW2 iteration of the gun), and the repairability (or lack thereof) of the gun. In some respects, the unibody construction makes it almost disposable if damaged, whereas the modular MG34 lends itself to being repaired and put back into action.


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