A mid-war MG42.

The Maschinengewehr Zweiundvierzig (English: Machine Gun 42), abbreviated 'MG42' was a German general-purpose machine gun used primarily by the Wehrmacht and Schützstaffel during World War II. It was first made by Großfuß in 1939 and designated as the MG39 (Maschinengewehr Neununddreißig) and later adopted by the Wehrmacht to replace the earlier, more-expensive MG34. The "ripping-cloth-like" noise it made whilst firing earned it the nickname of "Hitler's Buzzsaw" by American and British G.I.s who encountered the machine gun during combat.

General Facts

Rate of Fire: 1,200 per minute; differed from 900-1,500 per minute depending on the bolt (Over twice as fast as the American M1918 Browning Machine Gun).

Cartridge: 7.92x57mm Mauser.

Magazine Size: Recoil-based, not magazine-based.

Mountable: Bipod, Tripod.

Muzzle Velocity: Over 5,000km per second (Over 3,000 miles a second, in simpler terms: So fast that individual shots can't be heard).

Sights: Iron sights or telescopic sights for ground units; antiaircraft sights for MG42s attached to aircraft.

Effectiveness Range: 200-2,187m (219-2,187yd) with sight adjustments; 3,500m (3,828yd) with tripod and telescopic sights.

Designer: Werner Gruner.

Nickname(s): Hitlersäge (Hitler's Saw), Schnellespritze (Fast Sprayer), Knochensäge (Bonesaw), Tripperspritze (Gonorrhoea syringe), Elektrisches MG (Electric MG), Linoleum Ripper, Hitler's Buzzsaw, Hitler's Zipper.

Introduced: 1942, saw action in [[North African Campaign|North Africa]], the Eastern Front, the Western Front, and in Southern Italy.

Length: 1,220mm (48 inches).

Barrel Length: 530mm (20.9 inches).

Firing Modes: Automatic.

Unit Cost: 250 Reichsmarks (930 euro/1,117.86 USD current equivalent).

Total Produced: 420,000+ throughout the war, remarkably half of which were made in 1944.


M53 (Created by U.S. Armed Forces during the Cold War)

M60 (Created by U.S. Armed Forces during the Cold War)



MG42V/MG45 (Machine Gun 42 Variant/Machine Gun 45)


Rheinmetall MG3

Additional Information

- Machine guns are banned in the United States, meaning unless you are part of the U.S. Armed Forces you legally cannot own this weapon.

- German machine gun squads who used this weapon generally consisted of three men; those being the machine-gunner (Maschinengewehrschütze), the spotter (Aufklärer), and the supplier.

- The other two major German machine guns during the Second World War were the Maschinengewehr Vierunddreißig (Machine Gun 34, abbreviated MG34) and the Fallschirmjägergewehr Zweiundvierzig (Paratroop Rifle 42, abbreviated FG42).

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