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An American .30-06 MG-42, and GPMGs after WWII


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum, and today we are going to talk
briefly about the United States attempt to convert the MG 42 into .30-06 calibre, as well as kind of
what happened to the MG 42 after World War Two. Why wasn’t it more widely used by the Allies?
When we look at the MG 42 today, it typically has this reputation as being one
of the best machine guns of World War Two. It was one of the first guns, well after the MG 34, but
in German service it really kind of was the leading edge of the general-purpose or universal machine gun
concept actually put into practical service. And the both the 34 and the MG 42 served the
German military very well during World War Two. So it’s a valid question, like, why didn’t the US
put any real work into trying to duplicate that gun? So, first off of course, the US did make an attempt
to re-engineer the gun to .30-06. This is the T24. And … this didn’t happen right at the
beginning of the war, it took a little bit of time before the US had actually captured some
examples of the MG 42 to get an idea for what it was, to have a basis for redesigning or re-engineering it. In 1943 there was a contract given to the
… Saginaw Steering Gear Division of GM to re-engineer the MG 42 and produce two
examples in .30-06 calibre for testing. Now it’s important I think to put this
in a little bit of chronological context, because at this point converting the
MG 42 was not a huge priority for Saginaw. They had … been building a lot of
Browning machine guns, 1919s in particular. And when they got this contract
to do the R&D work for the 42, they had also just gotten a big contract
to take on production of the M1 carbine. So they had a lot going on, and they had you
know a couple of these big projects that were well proven, they knew they were going
to make money, they could handle them. And then someone also tosses onto their plate this
experimental thing, like, “Yeah, maybe we want to try out this.” So, I think they actually subcontracted a lot of the engineering
work, the drafting and designing to some other firms. Ultimately they did produce the two requested guns
and … it was something like a 24,000 dollar contract, so these are expensive guns to
convert, and convert is what they did. Both of the Saginaw produced
guns had mostly German parts. They still had German receivers,
the barrels of course were new, some of the feed components had been
changed up to accommodate .30-06, the buttstocks were new, interestingly,
and actually a little bit shorter. They took off the original sights. They replaced the sights on one of the guns with BAR
sights just so they could do some accuracy testing. But by January of 1944 the two guns
were delivered to Springfield for testing, and in February of ’44 they were actually
tested. And the testing did not go well. … Like, the common view of this among people who are
familiar with the T24, “If you don’t know anything else you know that, like, they made the ejection
port too small because they didn’t change it … from 8mm Mauser length to .30-06
length, and how could they be so stupid?” It’s really not that simple.
They did extend the ejection port, however the ejection port on the MG 42 isn’t exactly
huge to begin with, and because they did stick with original German receivers there was
only so much larger that they could make it. So the guns did mostly function. What Springfield found in testing is that they
were actually pretty decent in 2 and 3 round bursts, but they started having a lot of problems in longer sustained
fire. And specifically it was primarily failures to eject. I’ve seen some speculation among knowledgeable folks that
part of this problem was actually cases coming out of the gun, hitting the trigger guard and bouncing back in
just slightly and getting caught in the ejection port. That’s possible. Obviously I haven’t done any actual
shooting with a T24, because only two of them exist. So I can’t say for sure, but I do actually
have the complete text of the … trials report available on ForgottenWeapons.com, so if you
want to read through it and see exactly what every malfunction was, I have a link to
that PDF in the description text below. Ultimately, the final part of the test that the guns got to was
an endurance trial. It was supposed to be 10,000 rounds. I should point out, by the way, only
one of the two guns got to that point. The headspace on the number two gun that they got was
wildly excessive. Like someone screwed up something, and that should’ve been caught before the
gun was delivered to Springfield, but it wasn’t. And they ended up using the number two
gun basically as a source of spare parts to keep the number one gun running through the test. In the endurance trials the gun got through
just over 1,500 rounds fired, which is OK, not bad. Except that it had 51 malfunctions
in the process, which is, OK pretty bad. So, that puts us into like the spring of 1944. At this
point the war is going very well for the United States, it doesn’t look like we’re actually
going to lose the war with Germany. There’s not necessarily a lot of desire for a new
machine gun. In retrospect we look at this and we say, “Oh, this universal general-purpose machine gun
concept was brilliant and clearly the way of the future.” But during World War Two the US wasn’t using it,
and had set up all of its organisational doctrines around the semi-automatic rifle that we had
and the Browning light and heavy machine guns. Remember in World War Two and into Korea the
US is still using Browning 1917A1 water-cooled heavy machine guns for the equivalent role that the
Germans put the MG 42 or 34 on a Lafette mount for. So the US has all of the elements
that it thinks are necessary, the US also specifically thinks that the rate of
fire on the MG 42 is stupid, that it’s way too high. The Browning rate of fire was about 600
rounds a minute, when these two Saginaw .30-06 calibre T24s were built, one of the considerations
was that they needed to have a lower rate of fire. So the goal was actually 350 rounds a minute, down
from the 1,200 to 1,500 that the MG 42 was getting. They didn’t quite get that.The production guns actually had a
rate of fire about 600, which was about the same as the Brownings. And this also was probably something that
contributed to the unreliability of these conversions. They had a much heavier bolt and
there … hadn’t been any iterative testing. They only built two guns. To get a conversion
like this working well generally requires several iterations and, you know,
a bunch of different test examples. They put together their best effort,
best kind of “low effort” effort, to redesign the gun, new calibre, reduce the
rate of fire. It’s not surprising that it had problems. What really was the reason that the 42 wasn’t further worked on
in US service is there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of need for it. The US Army considered the Brownings to be
more reliable guns. They preferred the rate of fire. They had the gun already in production.
And objectively looking at the war they’re like, “Why should we adopt the guns that the losing side is using.
Because it doesn’t seem to be hurting us at this point.” Alright, now let’s talk about what
happened after World War Two. So in the wake of the war, of course, there would be a
bunch of small arms development and R&D based on, “What are the lessons that we learned from this big war?
How do we apply them to a new generation of small arms?” However, this would not happen immediately.
Some of the R&D would start happening immediately, but the incentive to actually start rearming, re-equipping
military forces on a large scale didn’t exist in the late ’40s. There was a ton of war materiel already out there. It didn’t look like it was going to
be, you know, an imminent need. Just, you know what, we’ve spent enough money, let’s like
rebuild all the countries, rebuild people’s economies rather than immediately go out and try and replace all our small arms. So
the US would stick with the Browning machine guns and the BAR. Through the Korean War all of those were in service, and the
Brownings in particular were very much liked in service in Korea. There still didn’t seem to be, within US Army doctrine, a
real need for a new general-purpose style of machine gun. Ultimately that would come. 1954 is when the
US Army formally started looking for a GPMG, and what they would adopt would be the M60. Now
the M60 of course had been in development for a while, and it was fundamentally the action of the FG 42
combined with the feed system of the MG 42. So we do see some use of elements of the
MG 42 in post-war American small arms. Now, if we look at other countries, we’re going to see the British
went and started investigating the Taden gun (or TADEN gun). Which was going to be in .280 calibre, and it was going to
be the light machine gun … counterpart to the EM-2 rifle. And that was effectively a belt-fed Bren gun. That
would get scrapped when the EM-2 got scrapped. They didn’t think it would be
effective to convert it to 7.62 NATO. Which brings me to 7.62 NATO, which for a lot
of the Western powers was kind of a big hang-up. Once you see that the NATO organisation is developing
and wants to have small arms standardisation, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go and spend
a lot of money adopting something that might very well get changed within just a couple years
if NATO decides to adopt something different. So I think we see a bit of stagnation, or a bit
of hesitation, on small arms development while waiting for at least NATO calibre decisions.
What would ultimately become the 7.62mm NATO. There are a couple of countries
that went ahead and continued… well … a lot of course continued to
use existing World War Two hardware. There are a few that took that and converted
it to other cartridges, Scandinavia in particular. Norway converted MG 34s to .30-06, Norway
actually looked at converting MG 42s to .30-06. Shortly after the war they did actually order a couple
thousand barrels, but there appears to have been … a miscommunication within
the Norwegian military community. They actually ended up selling off their stock
of MG 42s, and then ordering conversion barrels, and then ultimately they would convert the
MG 42 barrels into .30-06 calibre MG 34 barrels. Long story, but the Norwegians kind of
bypassed converting the 42 for that reason. The Finns actually looked at converting
the MG 42 into 7.62×54 rimmed. And they did this during World War Two, they
were actually testing that conversion in 1943. And for them it worked really well as
one kind of might expect that it could. The big … challenge in that was developing a
push through belt for the 54 rimmed cartridge, which Arno Lahti, brother of Aimo Lahti, successfully
pulled off, and the Finns were ready to adopt that. They wanted to buy a couple thousand MG 42
receivers from the Germans to build the guns on. This was now at this time 1944, and Germany
rejected that request. Probably because, while they were producing a lot of 42s,
they wanted to keep them all for themselves. So that conversion never ended
up happening, but it could have. … There are a couple of these MG 42 conversions that, not quite
the right place at the right time, but otherwise had potential. A little bit of a funny anecdote. The
German Bundeswehr retained the MG 42, and then went to purchase new ones from Rheinmetall in
the ’50s, after the war, once they were allowed to start rearming. Interestingly, … like Grossfuss, the guy who
had originally … the designer of the MG42, came to Rheinmetall and basically said, “Hey, you’re
building guns on my patent. You owe me a royalty.” And Rheinmetall went back to him and went, “What are you
talking about? Like this gun was developed by the Wehrmacht, it’s a, you know, they did all the development, … we don’t
owe you a royalty, the Wehrmacht took care of all that.” And Grossfuss came back and went, “Well, so you’re basically just saying that the Bundeswehr
is the modern incarnation of the Wehrmacht, right?” And the Bundeswehr went, “Mmm, um,
there are your royalties, just – let’s not talk about that.” So the Germans would continue to use
the MG 42, and then the MG 3 which came … well after the war, after NATO
had adopted the 7.62 NATO cartridge. If we look at the French, a country that wasn’t, as it turned out,
going to be all that interested or concerned about NATO standardisation. They also tested the MG 42. And when the French went to
develop a new general-purpose machine gun after the war, and they had better reason to do so quickly
than most of the other countries, because as of World War Two the French were still
using the Hotchkiss 1914 as their heavy gun. That was well and truly obsolete by that point,
it was still using the 8mm Lebel cartridge, … they really just needed to get rid
of that thing after World War Two. So they examined the MG 42s. Once they
started a machine gun trial, one of the guns that was presented was basically
a French version of the MG 42. Ultimately they didn’t take that. They went with a lever delayed,
… delayed blowback gun instead made by Châtellerault. Which however used the MG 42 feed system
and also the MG 42 trigger mechanism. So we do see the MG 42’s influence staying
and, you know, continuing to see use in France. And then of course, probably the
elephant in the room, is the FN MAG, which is the gun that much of NATO did end
up adopting. So where did the MAG come from? Well mechanically speaking, the FN MAG is basically an
upside-down BAR that is belt-fed instead of magazine-fed. There have been a lot of experiments
with producing a belt-fed version of the BAR. The US started experimenting with that as early as 1933, none of the guns were quite all that reliable,
not quite successful. They kept iterating them and in fact the US was experimenting with that right up to the
middle of World War Two before they finally gave up on it and said, “Look, we’ve spent a lot of time, we’ve done a lot of
iterations on this design and we just can’t quite get it to the point where it’s reliable and actually better
than our Browning light and heavy machineguns. So we’ll just, OK, fine, forget about it.”
1944 the US stopped working on that project. After the war it would come back. The Swedes, who of course had a license to build the BAR, the
Swedes started experimenting with a belt-fed version of the BAR, because they thought that would
be a really good weapon for them. They were unable to get it to work reliably,
and they went to FN in the 1950s to say, “Hey, … like you’re the people who know about the BAR,
we bought our licence from you, you make these, you’ve been working on them for decades, would you be
interested in doing a belt-fed version of the BAR for us?” And FN looked at that project and said,
“Why yes, yes I think we can do that.” And so FN took the project on
and … that gun was designed by basically Dieudonné Saive’s protégé,
[Ernest Vervier] the guy who took over from him. And it was introduced in 1957 and FN managed to
make that thing very reliable and very successful. And we would see that gun finally get
adopted by … a lot of the smaller countries. So a lot of the big countries, the major
military powers, would go other directions. The US went to the M60, the Germans kept
the MG 42, the Austrians would keep the MG 42, the Italians would keep the MG 42, the
French developed the AA-52 on their own. The British are a little bit of an outlier here, in that the British
… actually were testing … they wanted to test the MG 42. They found that British proof loads were a bit stronger than
German proof loads, and they had some issues with kabooms before they even had a chance to test the guns. And
then they … also had their own version of a belt-fed Bren that was looking decent. But they kind of put
that all on hold pending NATO cartridge adoption. And then when they finally did start
testing guns they had access to … FN MAGs, and the FN MAG ended up winning
their trial. So the British would adopt that. The Russians of course are on a different cartridge
system, so they’re not really part of this question. But they would adopt the PK in 1961 which is the
same concept as the MG 42, a universal machine gun. So, ultimately what I’m kind of rambling around
saying is that the universal machine gun concept would ultimately be seen as the modern next step in small
arms development and, you know, small unit organisation. But there would be a window of 15 years,
… 10 to 15 years, before it would actually happen. And that comes from the economic cost of World War
Two delaying any sort of real adoption of new firearms. Along with the development of NATO and its
standardisation … incentivising people to wait, figure out what the standard’s going to be,
and then … figure out what gun you’re gonna use. And just the development cycle of firearms. 10 years is kind of a good rule of thumb to actually
develop a fully functional new military small arm. If you look at the development cycle of rifles, machine
guns, … maybe a little less on the submachine guns. But rifles and machine guns, if it takes
a lot less than 10 years, chances are the gun’s gonna have some problems
once it actually comes into service. If we look at the AK, you know,
… the AKM isn’t around until the mid ’50s, despite being in development from
the late ’40s, about ten years there. … Well the M60 takes about 10 years,
the M14 takes about 10 years. The FN FAL is introduced in the early ’50s,
but its development begins 1944, 1945 with some of the FN developmental
work being done in Britain. So it’s not surprising to me that since it wasn’t
decided to adopt just a simple conversion of the MG 42, any new gun is going to take, call it 10 years before it’s really
effective and in a position to be adopted on a wide scale. So, that has been a little bit rambley I think, but hopefully
there’s some interesting information in there for you guys. Hopefully you enjoyed watching. Thank you, and we’ll be back tomorrow
with another Forgotten Weapon.

100 thoughts on “An American .30-06 MG-42, and GPMGs after WWII

  1. You made mention of NATO which piqued my curiosity. What was the process that NATO used for selecting the ammo they did end up choosing,or would this be a subject unto itself?

  2. The Germans were light years ahead of the Allies. The MG 42,the Stg44,the V2 Rocket,guided bombs,jet fighters,etc.

  3. The mg42 when converted to 308 or 7.62 Nato is amazing. Way easier to control, just as fast, fewer parts need to be convert, and makes it easier to find ammo for

  4. Back in late 1980s and early 1990s I shot 4 position small bore competitively with a gentlemen who was a member of the NRA technical staff and a engineer for Saginaw Steering Gear. He worked on the M1 carbine, the MG 42 program and even got loaned to Bay City's Presto Lite plant to help work out details on the Grease Gun.

    What he told me of the project took place 30 years ago but as I recall this was a short budget for money and time so it was approaches as a proof of concept exercise. The Saginaw team told Army exactly what problems they would encounter in testing which was exactly what they found and reported. The Saginaw team had plans to fix everything in a next stage of development with a bigger budget and more man hours. That next stage never occurred as Ian said.

    The high rate of fire was considered very advantageous for shooting at aircraft but wasteful on soldiers. Shooting a 800 rounds per minute means you're going to shot each soldier 3 or 4 times. Shooting half that speed would mean shooting each soldier 1 or 2 times. That is enough to take a wounded soldier out of the fight.

    GM really did not want to get into weapons manufacturing post war so there was no lobbying by GM to pursue it any further.

    BTW when the project was first brought to Saginaw the team thought they might tool up to build 8mm MG42 for the Chinese. Many Chinese units were armed with 8mm Mauser rifles.

  5. I don't understand the US military's issue with rate of fire.. One of the important attributes of the MG-42 was it's high rate of fire.

  6. I love the idea of the Finnish government hitting up the Nazis in 1944 to see if they had any spare machine guns they could buy. "I'm sure you guys are making a bunch of them right now, maybe if you've got a surplus we could take it off your hands."

  7. that and…..at the end of the war the victors were swimming in arms. look at the 50s. where did the arms development money go? air planes, nukes, and tanks. hell the navy didn't get any new carriers till the late 50s early 60s. ww2 essex class boats all of them built during the war at one time or another got reactivated except bunker hill and franklin both of whom had been very badly damaged at the end of the war. same with subs and destroyers.

  8. soviets had the rpd light beltfed machine gun and and the dp-46..both these weapons were introduced based on their ww2 exprience.. and although they are pre war guns in their base mechanisim for locking and such.. they are beltfed bipod mounted gpmgs.. the dp-46 is a great conversion and a reliable functional gun that is still in use around the world today… that is the reason for the soviets delay in introducing an updated beltfed.. they had a very effective functional one in 1946 made from an obsolescent gun the already had in huge numbers..

  9. Absolutely love this informational videos. I hope you get some more videos that are general history of some of these guns. It's nice to hear these kind of stories and to get all this background information.

  10. I know this is nitpicking but shouldn't it be .30 caliber and .30-06 cartridge ? Caliber is the bore size nothing more ….

  11. I wonder if someday when you've got the time, you could do a rundown on the history of the FN F.A.L.? I didn't know that it was designed in the forties.

  12. AA52 Machine Gun – I hope you get your hands on one for a video mate.
    Thanks for posting – enjoyed the deep dive into post ware MG development.

  13. You think those royalty claims as silly, look at Vickers paying Krupp for artillery time fuses manufactured by vickers under license from Krupp during WW1!

  14. I think the US experiences similar problems often when they try to convert foreign devices into their standard units of parts or ammunition. I assume the imperial system is definitely responsible for some portion of these problems. I mean, why do you still use that?
    And why do you still call the system as "imperial system" proudly? The birth of the US is liberation from the empire and establishment of a new republic. And the empire itself which introduced the system is using metric system, and it is not an empire anymore in the first place. So where is this pride to imperial system coming from?

  15. Ian summarizes the entire 600-plus year history of firearms development in FIVE WORDS: "It's really not that simple." ( 3:25 ) .

  16. I don't think which side was winning and which was loosing was so important. Axis lost the war, but it's not meaning universal machine gun and MG42 was worst then American doctrine and guns. It was much more complicated matter. Obviously war was going to end and there was no point to not even introduce new gun, but change approach to machine guns.

  17. And yet the German Army was able to convert the MG-42 to 308 NATO and used it until fairly recently. It would seem that policy prevented conversion and the adoption.

  18. I've viewed a U.S. Army wartime training film comparing German and American machineguns. The film's primary purpose seems to have been allaying G.I.s fear about the MG-42. It pooh-poohs the 42's effectiveness by noting how its cyclic rate necessitated having a much larger ammo supply, which required a lot more soldiers to hump it around the battlefield.

  19. Love your Channel.
    If you wanna take your videos to the next level then you could add some videos from combat or firing range of the weapons in question.

  20. 3 round bursts is exactly the way you use MG3 (MG42) on bipod (LMG-role) as a trained machine gunner. The high rate of fire supports small grouping because recoil only occurs after 3 bullets left the barrel. On Lafette (HMG-role) you can spray high volume of lead permanent and accurately.

  21. MG34 was used in vehicles not because it was easier to change barrels on, but because it already had dedicated versions for vehicles already in production. One typically does not change barrels on a vehicle machine gun in combat. The 34 took longer to manufacture and the attrition rate was lower in vehicles than in infantry combat, so the slower production rate was less of a bottleneck than for infantry weapons which were getting used up at a prodigious rate…just like their users. Yes, the 42 used ammo at a crazy rate but the purpose of an MG is fire superiority and suppression of enemy forces which the 42 is the master of. The 34 was a ground breaking machine gun, but had drawbacks like dirt sensitivity and was time consuming and expensive to produce. The 42 was much more rugged, less sensitive to dirt and dust and was considerably cheaper to produce.

  22. Client: "Give me an MG-42, but it make it fire at 300rpm instead of 1500rpm."
    Engineers: Uhhhhhh….
    Client: "Also, give me a car, but instead of driving, it needs to fly! And make me a dog, but instead of 'bark, it says 'meow'!'

  23. I'd be interested to know why the French didn't go with a variant of the MG 42 in the immediate postwar era?

    Also, I assume when the French tested a version of the MG 42 for themselves that they chambered it in 7.5×54 French? Did they run into any of the same problems that the Americans did when they attempted to chamber it in .30-06?

  24. Google, NO MORE DRSQUATCH SOAP Commericals!! They are barely NSFW and outright annoying, especially on 31OCT19 with their new commericals

  25. There is a MG42 at West Point Museum in their weapons section. Recently they added details to their exhibits including the RPMs. Of the machineguns the MG42 remains the highest, for whatever reason including the later M60s, they never attempted to match the MG42's RPM. I might have missed something here in this video but that high rate of fire probably was excessive for later models, but that is just opinion on my part.

  26. Fun fact I worked in the Saginaw pants until very recently and to this day we are still proud of the company's involvement in 1919 production. Some of the equipment in the plants are circa 1940s still in 2019!

  27. Theres a thing about having 1500 rounds per minute if you wanna put down suppressive fire and switch firelines quickly with 1 seconds bursts…sending down 25 rounds down range with a short burst instead of 10 sounds compelling.

  28. and coming near 65 years later we cannot seem to improve from three 7.62 guns in the west (even with some nations returning to 7.62 for squad level use)…… the m60, the mag and the mg3……. and the mg3 has only lost a couple customers over taking to much time to make upgrades like rails avaliable…..

  29. So. Americans go: "Hey, that nice BAR of ours seems like a good platform for universal automatic weapon, if only we manage to get it running with belts."
    Americans: spend a decade of time and a lot of effort, get nowhere.
    Sweeds go: "Well… Sounds still tempting to try, maybe we can?.."
    Sweeds: spend years, get nowhere, ask FN to do it.
    FN go: "EZ lads, hold our Liege waffles."
    FN: turns the gun upside down.
    Immediate success.

  30. When you consider that the Americans and the British after World War II could have adopted this weapon rechamber form as the German hsve done, instead the British adopted the FN gpmg which was a very good weapon, the Americans adopted the M60!! A cumbersome heavy low rate of Fire piece of junk.

  31. The ejection port problem when converting to .30-06 was also something experienced by the Norwegian armed forces when they converted captured MG34s to .30-06 after the war (the MG34F1). This was later exacerbated when NATO changed standard calibre to 7.62 NATO and the guns were converted again (the MG34F2).

  32. I believe the original Mg42 had some serious trigonometry calculations for the roller system and the cartridge, where ratios on cam levers were important, So to transfer from 7.92 to .30-06 would have required more than some simple reverse engineering, the mathematics would need to be redone as well

  33. How do people consider the MG series (34 & 42) are more general purpose than the M1919 series? Both were used on bipods and tripods, 30-06 and 8mm Mauser are very similar cartridges, both shot at troops and planes, both were carried and mounted… The Germans didn't field an equivalent to the Browning .50 cal, but that's just lucky for us.

  34. He contradicts himself. He states there was no impetus for new small arms after WWII and the existing weapons were well thought of in Korea. Then, he states that the M60 program was initiated in 1954 – directly after Korea which ended in 1953.

    No, the fact of the matter is that the ordnance department and the armories were hidebound and wouldn't admit anyone had a better idea than they. The Eugene Stoner design that became the M16 was fought all the way by the ordnance department and they even attempted at every turn to sabotage it costing American lives.

  35. The MG34 & MD42 guns are the best ever put into service. The simple fact that both, not just the MG42 but also the MG34 are still in use in different variants today is a testiment to the type…..

  36. You really hit the nail on the head early on as to why a new GPMG wasn't developed or adopted immediately after WW2. 'There was a ton of War material lying around'. The winners of WW2 had a ton of their own small arms and tons of captured weapons to 'give' to countries in need of weapons immediately after WW2. Great video!

  37. Despite the popularity of the Bren the British went so heavily into the GPMG concept that our version of the MAG was nicknamed the gimpy.

  38. The Norwegians definitely made .308 MG34 barrels. They had both lighter and heavier profile barrels that changed he rate of fire.

  39. I was trained by the U.S. Army in 1987 at Ft. Benning, GA on the M-60, many miles on that platform and I was lucky enough to fire the "American" MG-42 30.06 in Tampa Florida recently (Thank you to the CEO of SB tactical). This is an amazing-scarry weapon. I can't imagine hitting the beach at normandy up against this monster…

  40. So what you told us is that the US tried to convert MG42 30.06 and fucked it up and afterwards they used some components to create their "own" M60 which sucked even harder.
    US engineering – many stronk…

  41. The whole video, and you didn't edit in even ONE belt dump?

    Jk, very interesting and educational. Plenty of BBBBRRRRRRRRRTTTTTT elsewhere.

  42. There are documented accounts of engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan of US troops coming into contact with enemy forces armed with mg42s and we have captured them as well.

  43. The MG-42 lives on as the MG-3 in the German Army – (at least) – and IIRC in other armies in a different designation…I got to shoot one while I was stationed in Germany from 8 Nov '71 – 18 Jul ;74)…I got lucky enough to put the required amount of holes in the target to get the bronze (3rd class) German shooting cord (Schutzenschnur) I also shot the G-3 but was seriously disappointed that I didn't get to shoot the P-1 (post War version of the P-38)…thanx, Ian

  44. The tactical doctrine associated with the MG34/42 is as important as the actual weapon, ie the weapon is designed to fit the tactical doctrine, not the other way around. So the tactical doctrine of the Wehrmacht regarding squad, platoon and company level incorporated a GPMG that could lay down suppressing fire, could be easily handled by 2-3 men, and could allow the other parts of the assault group to focus on the objective. This is the essence of the tactical doctrine adopted by nearly all major powers after WWII. The assault tactics are followed by the breakout by the armored forces. You can't have the breakout if your infantry can't penetrate the fixed defences. Summary: Information about the weapons is so useful, many thanks Ian. The tactical approach of each country determines the type of weapon developed, supported, tested etc. So the MG42 survives today because it fills a tactical role.

  45. Everybody gets hung up on the 1200 RPM of the MG42 and that short circuits their brain. However there are unanswered questions.

    Why did the Germans increase the RPM from around 800 to 1200? And why did the LRDG go with 1200 RPM machine guns?

    Why did the Americans conclude that the Geeman infantry squad was 4 times as effective as the Allies squads? Was it their prowess with the M98K or were they particulary good at digging?

    I think penny pincing has been internalised in the West. Saving rifle ammunition is more important than saving on artillery or missiles.

  46. While serving with NATO in the 80's I got to play with the M60, MG-3 (42) and FN M240. I can tell you, most dependable M240, most fun MG-3 and mostly bad news M60.

  47. Why was it so difficult for Saginaw to convert the MG-42 for rimless cartridge when Aarno and Aimo Lahti converted it for a rimmed cartridge in less than six months. I suppose they weren't really trying.

  48. Yes the one and only example is in the springfield armory in springfield massachusetts. The tour leader said the first round it fired jammed it so badly that it was never used again. Please check the museum out, the Blanchard lathe that made rifle stocks automatically is there as is the " pipe organ" made of 1863 springfield muskets, and pretty much an example of most every firearm ever built. Ps: the basketball hall of fame, indian motocycle museum, dr seuss museum, and mgm grand casino are right in that area as well…worth a family trip!

  49. I have to watch every Forgotten Weapons video twice because the first time I'm usually just writing down the titles of the books that I see in Ian's periphery.

  50. Did he say "retarded blow back" never heard of that operating system pretty sure I'm triggered by that kinda blow back so I demand that all disabled weapon system get a public apology and from here on they shall be referred to as slightly disabled blow back…. Or the handicapped blow back it has a nice ring to it

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