the German MG3

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by codbutt, May 20, 2010.

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  1. Many ARRSERs wax lyrical about the virtues of our beloved GPMG. And rightly so.
    But the Jerries' MG3 has been around in various guises since the late 1930s - making it almost 80 years old! It must be some piece of kit.
    Anyone here ever used one, and what did you think of it?
    (If you were an actor in the Star Wars films, that doesn't count).
    Incidentally, a mate of mine here in Russia dug two of 'em out of a swamp many years ago - not working, but still, very Gucci props in his lounge.
  2. Used one years ago on an exercise with the Bw. Great piece of kit, just eats ammo like the stuff is going out of fashion. It has not been around since the 30s. Its predecessor the MG 34(?) was a different gun. The MG 42 was introduced in 1942 and rechambered after WWII to 7.62 Nato. Incidentally there is a German company that produces the MG3 in semi-auto for civvies. A belt fed semi auto. :x
  3. Used it once in Denmark, fecking firing pin snapped after the 3rd belt. It has a unique buzzsaw chatter.
  4. I have had the privilege of using the MG42 and The MG3. Firing both was a bit like letting loose a tiger, with the rate of fire; more so the 42. I can only pity the No2 in wartime having to hump ammo for them. I found both comfortable to fire as recoil came straight back with little muzzle climb. I would have loved to fire the MG42 on its original SF tripod but never got the opportunity. There is a very good reason the design is still around.......
  5. I saw a lot of them in Pakistan actually, often mounted on the back of pick-ups! The Paki soldiers I spoke to had a great amount of respect for it.
  6. The Lafette tripod.
  7. Aye Joe, I meant the MG 42/3 as a pose to the tripod. Also I believe that the C42 was a direct copy of the German sight. :)
  8. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I've got a de-ac MG34 in the shop at the moment, more's the pity. Heavy old lump it is, and I would have hated to lug it around the Russian Stepps.
  9. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Heard it described as canvas being ripped by an old boy
    He told me SOP's when they heard it go off was to get into cover and only have a bash at it when they were reloading anything else was madness
    He stated that eventually the Germans cottened on and would fire a high burst then fire low as they all went to ground
  10. Used the beast with the German Inf doing continuation training at Sennelarger.

    Very interesting range safety especially as it was a 30 m range.

    1st detail. – Dead man drills?

    No 1 firing no2 feeding. Safety Officer runs up to a random pair and boots No1 in the head shouting ‘Ihre Toten”

    Then as No2 has to manoeuvre to get control of the gun the safety officer is kicking soil and mud at his head. Later told this is to represent enemy fire close to the gun?

    2nd detail.

    Shooting at the old Bosch Screen targets as well.

    No 2 kneels, No 1 puts barrel down onto his left shoulder, No2 hold the bipod.

    No 1 lets rip, No 2 stiffens up – fear and pain, as we found doing it out the thing is scary and loud as well as hot gas blasting you lughole.

    3rd detail.

    Firing from the hip? One or two round near the screen all the rest WAY over the top. Talk about a climbing muzzle.

    All in all a fun day.
  11. Speaking to a bod who did his national service in the bad old days, the hasty anti aircraft drill was No. 2 throws the barrel on his shoulder and holds the bipod facing front while standing. No. 1 grabs a knee to get the angle he wants and gives it big licks at the approaching target.

    Altogether No. 2 on MG3 sounds like a pretty sh1t job!
  12. I saw the Bundeswehr do that on a night assault, OK it was only blanks, but my impression was f**k that for a game of toy soldiers.

    A former neighbour of mine used the MG on the Russian front, he said the barrels were glowing red most of the time, even in winter. The Russians just kept coming and he just kept pouring lead down range. The hardest decision was "do we do a barrel change which is urgent and risk getting over run or do we keep firing and hope for the best?".
  13. In the days when Shrivenham was RMCS rather than the Defence Academy, we would do comparison shoots between MG3 and the Bren LMG to gain an understanding between rates of fire, accuracy and barrel temperature. Basically the rate of fire of the MG3 was so high it was virtually impossible to maintain any form of effective accuracy (on a double Fig 11 at 30m) as it was shaking around so much. The Bren on the other hand returned to the same point of aim every time. As a result the effective rate of fire was the same as the Bren could keep rounds going down the target whereas the MG3 required an adjustment to the point of aim every 4-6 rounds (bursts of 2-3 being virtually impossible as the ROF was so high). Add to this that you HAD to do a barrel change every 200 rounds as otherwise the barrel melted (think Saving Private Ryan and Tom Hanks's tactics for taking out the SF Spandau). The Bren did not have this problem so much as changing mags allowed barrel temperature to be regulated.

    So what? The MG3 was/is a great suppression weapon against untrained troops as it put down a lot of rounds in the general vicinity of the target but once you got used to being on the receiving end of a that noise it became less effective. This chimes with experience from WW2 of veterans. In particular I remember my grandfather saying they would capture an MG42, turn it on the fleeing Germans and then give up on it as it was so innacurate. The huge ammo demand also meant that the German inf section At the end of WW2 became little more than ammo humpers with very little maneouvre capability having to defeat by firepower rather than maneouvre.
  14. The MG42/3 is an interesting gun from a number of aspects..

    It was the first military machine gun to utilise largely metal stampings for its construction.

    The rate of fire is so heavy that the role of the rifle section is really little more than load carrying for the gun. WW2 German tactics saw the MG as the main infantry weapon, with the role of the rifleman to protect/feed it..

    The wear rate of the barrel is significant and the weapon system goes through them like a dose of salts! The hammer swaged rifling system whereby you hammer down a metal tube onto a mandrel bearing the rifling shape was developed by Mauser to meet the demand for barrels for the MG42. It also allows you to use poorer quality steel with less heat treatment, as the swaging process grain refines the metal. I would suggest that the tales of inaccuracy listed above wereprobably due to using shot out barrels. With a new barrel it is every bit as accurate as a Bren/GPMG.

    The MG42/3 is also a bit picky about its ammuniton. It features a delayed blowback system which allows the barrel to slide back, unlocking the breech via two roller cams. It is the predecessor to the Vorgrimler lock used on the G3 which works with a static barrel. Both these systems have quite savage ejection actions, which can lead to case seperation. Unlike gas operated systems there is little you can do to adjust the action between ammunition types (Like the Browning M2)