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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

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  #1  
Old 06 Feb 09, 19:46
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US Version of the MG42 machine gun

During 1943, the US was looking for a gun to replace the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle in the light machine gun role and SAW. A division of General Motors was issued a contract to reverse engineer the MG42 machine gun. They took two examples one to break down into individual components and the other to test fire.

They designed the new weapon and sent it to Aberdeen Proving Ground, in 1994, fro tests. In the test that involved putting 10,000 rounds through the weapon, the gun was dreamed unsatisfactory after only about 1500 rounds. The gun failed to eject the .30\O6 rounds on several bursts. The problem was traced back to the fact that the gun didn't have sufficient room to eject that casing. It was found the receaver needed to be a quarter of inch longer with a bit larger ejector. It was also found the original receiver didn't allow enough room for the bolt to be fully carried back under the heavier recoil of he American round compared to the German 7.92 mm Mouser round.

The Weapon was returned to GM for modifications and work continued on the gun. The design team totally redesigned the gun around the US cartridge. They incorporated all the changes suggested by Ordnance and by February, 1945, GM resubmitted the gun in the new form. The weapon was put through the fire test again and this time it didn't' jam or fail to eject the round, but it did suffer some bolt problems. This problems were solved by machining a heavier bolt. Army Ordenance did submit the design for production in April 1945, but with the German surrender the project was officially canceled, even though a contract for 2,500 guns had been signed for use in a field test in Europe. It it hadn't been for a quarter inch mistake in the initial design stages this weapon would have most likely have been used by US forces in WWII.

My question is, even though the war was over in Europe, Should this gun have been continued in manufacture for US forces. Or do you think it was still to far from production to have been an aduquate design for full production.

The gun would have replaced the BAR in the infantry squad as the main Squad Auto Weapon, and it would have most likely replaced the M1919A6 in the weapons company as the mobile base of fire for the Battalion.

Should this gun have been fully developed for full production.
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  #2  
Old 07 Feb 09, 01:37
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Isn't the M60 of Vietnam fame based on the MG42 design?
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  #3  
Old 07 Feb 09, 02:47
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MG 42 and the BAR are/were two different classes of weapons. The 42 is much heavier and crew served.

The US 30 cal air-cooled seemed to work quiet well until replaced by the M 60. Would a US version of the MG 42 have severed the US better is questionable. One of the big things that impressed the GI was the MG 42's rate of fire. When forumed the NEW German Army still had/have stocks of the MG 42. One of the major changes that was made was the reduction in the rate of fire.

So I guess my answer is NO.

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Old 07 Feb 09, 03:04
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Cowboy31a, I've merged your two identical threads and moved them in the Weapons of War forum
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Old 07 Feb 09, 03:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonierat View Post
Isn't the M60 of Vietnam fame based on the MG42 design?
Vaguely. The same in-line design is used and they share the same feed mechanism but otherwise they are different.
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Old 07 Feb 09, 09:20
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The T24 (MG42 in US design) was to be used as a support weapon on the squad level, as much as the M60 was ueed in this role in Vietnam, to replace the BAR. It was hoped that giving the squad this weapon would increase the volume of fire. Even though the BAR had a cycle rate of 450 rounds per minute, it could really only put out 80 to 100 rounds per minute, due to having to fire in bursts and changing mags. It was hoped that the T24 LMG could be made ready, and be able to deliver a true 400 round per minute fire.

It was felt that the extra 4 kg in weight over the BAR was more then set off by the true volume of fire the weapon could have laid down in conjunction with the quick change barrel.

With the failure to get the T24 into the line, the US did fall back onto the .30 cal M1919A6 machine gun, but again due to its lack of a quick change barrel, it couldn't deliver the volume of fire the US was seeking, but it was determined seeing that the gun wouldn't interfair with production and that the weapon was basicly already known to the soldier it was adapted, but the thing to remember was it didn't become a SAW weapon. It didn't fill the role planed for it.

It truly is a testament to the BAR that it wasn't replaced tell the M60 came along.
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Old 07 Feb 09, 10:57
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There were to schools of thought amoung US ordinance experts and miltary evaluators on the MG42. One was that it was a more effcient follow on to the MG34. The other group noted that the high ROF made the MG42 difficult to use as a squad weapon. The BAR or the M60 could be controled by a trained gunner to keep the beaten zone of a short burst compact and effective, when fired from the bipod or offhand. This was considered by many experts to be extremly difficult with the MG42 due to its high ROF. Even with a bipod muzzle climb and dispersion of the beaten zone were thought unacceptable. Tripod mount was thought to be required for effective fires from the MG42. that made it less esireable as a squad weapon. Like the MG34 the M60 was effective either on or off the tripod.
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Old 07 Feb 09, 13:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonierat View Post
Isn't the M60 of Vietnam fame based on the MG42 design?
No. The M60 uses an entirely different feed, bolt and, chamber system than does the MG 42. While the two have some overall similarity this is only superficial.
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Old 07 Feb 09, 14:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
No. The M60 uses an entirely different feed, bolt and, chamber system than does the MG 42. While the two have some overall similarity this is only superficial.
The feed mechanism is the same.
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Old 07 Feb 09, 14:26
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Well you be the judge

MG42 http://www.germanmilitaria.co.uk/mg42.htm#mgbrkdwn

Scroll down to "Top cover assembly"
[Whoever designed this web page should be slapped with a trout.]


M60 http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...02.htm#fig2_11
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Old 07 Feb 09, 14:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCoyote View Post
MG42 http://www.germanmilitaria.co.uk/mg42.htm#mgbrkdwn

Scroll down to "Top cover assembly"
[Whoever designed this web page should be slapped with a trout.]


M60 http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...02.htm#fig2_11
They both use a feed paw operated by the lateral movement of the bolt.

Great info on the MG42 site. I already have FM 22-68 .
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Old 07 Feb 09, 16:35
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Further looki9ng through my main sources of references, the T24 was to be used in conjunction with a new field rifle. The rifle was going to be a full auto version of the M1 Garand. Two modifications were tested. The .30 cal Springfield T20 and the .30 cal Remington T22. Both rifles were feed from a 20 round detachable box magazine and were able to fire semi auto and auto in burst of three to five rounds. Neither rifle was fully ready by war's end, but the concept was continued and studied.

The idea was to have the Garand Auto replace the standard M1 in the squads. This would be placing auto rifles with a LMG.

Can you think of the increase in volume of fire an inftantry squad could have produced against the Germans?

Eventually this would be done with the M14 and M60

Last edited by Cowboy31a; 07 Feb 09 at 16:37..
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