MG-34 vrs MG-42

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Ursus, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    What are the differences between these two machine guns? The MG-42 seeem to be better, but I dont know why?
  2. There really isn't a great deal of difference, Bear. The Maschinengewehr 34, first operational in 1934 as the name implies, was designed as a multi-purpose, highly reliable machine gun with an extremely high cyclic rate of fire and it performed admirably in this role. The Maschinengewehr 42 was not greatly changed in design EXCEPT it utilized stamped rather than milled parts, making it much faster and less expensive to produce during wartime. Both designs were air-cooled which meant that the barrels heated up rather quickly with sustained fire. The Krauts compensated for this by making the barrel extremely easy to change out.
  3. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,956
    Location:
    Deep South Mississippi
    They are both fun:)
  4. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    So ease of manufacture, (no a better performance) was the real reason why the MG-42 was a bit more common, right?
  5. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Messages:
    9,367
    Yes stamped parts and speed of manufacture were important, but barrel swapping wasn`t the safetest or fastest on the 34. The 42 vastly improved this feature and could not only be done faster-it could be done without gloves and without exposing your body.

    42 had higher rate of fire-----nearly 400rpm`s faster than the 34.
    Very scarey sound, KNOB CREEK will verify that, I cannot imagine, knowing I had to charge the dirrection of one.


    LTS
  6. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    Those are good reasons LIKTOSHOOT. Thanks.
  7. True, LTS. The barrel swapping feature of the 42 was one of its strongest attributes, and very, very necessary with the rate of fire possible with that weapon. Compared to the .30 Browning machinegun--both air and water cooled versions, our primary MG of WWII--the Maschinengewehr was a far more efficient design. The problem the Krauts had with it toward the end of the war though, was that it went through a lot of ammo very quickly, and supplying the 7.92 x 57 rounds it needed came to be something of a problem.
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,078
    Location:
    Indiana
    PS, I have read, recently, that the MG 42 was nowhere near as accurate as the Brownings, (Granted, it threw a HECKUVA "beaten zone...) or the MG 34 and coupled with the rate of fire, it used WAY too much ammo for similar missions...PLUS you throw in the fact that the Germans were MG "Heavy" in their platoons, and cosidered all other infantrymen to be "MG Support," instead of the other way around, it caused a logistical nightmare...

    And with the pivoted trigger,the 34 could be fired semi-automatically by pulling the top of the trigger, F/A by pulling the bottom
  9. That could be true, Polish, I honestly don't know, but I don't see that it is relevant when we are talking about machine guns. The purpose of an MG is to lay down LOTS of fire, not achieve pinpoint accuracy. That is for the riflemen. The Brownings were good, reliable weapons, no doubt about that, but they were really obsolete by the time WWII broke out. Changing out a barrel on one of those critters--and yes, I have helped do it on a similar weapon, the M2 .50--was both time consuming and a pain in the butt. The cyclic rate of fire on the Browning was also rather under par, at least when compared to the 34 or 42 Maschinengewehr. Ballistically, both weapons were pretty close to equal--30-06 v. 7.92 x 57--but the German weapon was a far better design overall.
  10. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    I've always have the MG-42 as the best WWII MG design. If it was tactically best, could be debatable. I lean to favor it. Maybe germans would had did better arming most of theirs platoons with MG-42, and G-43 or STG-44, instead of Mausers? What do you think, gentlemen?
  11. I think the Germans made a basic mistake--as did the Brits and the Russians--in not developing a good, reliable semi-automatic rifle for battle use as we did with the Garand. Instead, they relied on the slower bolt-action system that had not changed significantly since World War I. The Germans and the Brits certainly had the technical expertise to do precisely that. So did the Russians for that matter, but they had manufacturing and time-constraint problems that would have made that impractical.
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,078
    Location:
    Indiana
    I always wondered what would have happened had the BRITS adopted the Garand, and WE would have adopted the BREN? Talk about Infantry firepower!

    The BAR did well, and was loved by GIs, but actually was just a heavier M1 with a bigger mag, not REALLY a LMG...while the BREN was...

    But I think MAYBE the Brits were just a little better off...the Enfield rifle was the CLOSEST thing to a Semi Auto battle rifle of any B/As of the war....and the BREN had it ALL OVER the BAR.....at least for sustained fire....
  13. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    Agree with you on that.
  14. Monk1544

    Monk1544 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Forgive my ignorance on this question, but does anybody know what class of license would even be required to own or shoot either one of those guns?
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,400
    The Germans considered the MG.42 to be expendable after so many rounds, pretty much a "throwaway gun", cheap to make but not very durable. I think most of the machinegun fans would advise against buying an MG.42 if you are going to do very much shooting, and buy an MG.34 or a Browning instead. A lot more durable and parts for the Browning are available.

    No Federal license is required to buy or own a machinegun. To acquire one, first make sure machineguns are legal to own in your state/locality, and that the chief law enforcement officer will sign a Form 4. Then locate a legally registered and transferable gun that is for sale and you can afford. Then you fill out a Form 4 to apply for permission to transfer the gun, get it signed by the CLEO, and send it to BATFE along with a couple of passport photos and a check for $200. In about 30 days (or more) they will approve or disapprove (the background check itself is little more than the normal NICS check); if they approve, you pick up the gun and pay the man money - lots of it.

    Jim
  16. Monk1544

    Monk1544 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks jim... Im sure you can tell I am new on this site.thanks for your time. I was thinking that if someone had one of these guns,or any world war machine gun, they probably inherited it from a family member or something and it wouldnt have had any paper work, being so old.what would happen then?
  17. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,400
    Assuming you are in the U.S., any machinegun that is not registered with the federal government is contraband, and illegal to own, period. There is currently no way, repeat no way, that such a gun can be made legal or that the owner will be allowed to keep it.

    The only feasible and legal action would be to abandon (surrender) the gun to BATFE. I would not advise involving the local police; BATFE is quite familiar with the "found in the attic" scenario and will handle things in an appropriate and professional manner. The chances of prosecution are nil if the owner is actually an innocent party.

    It is like moving into a house and finding a kilo of heroin someone left in the closet. You can't legally use it, sell it, parcel it out to your buddies, have a big shootup party, save it for your kid's college expenses or do anything else except turn it into the authorities.

    (Guys, please don't get started on the museum donation stories, or how your friend got permission from some Barney Fife deputy to keep his unregistered machineguns, or how if you get a tin badge from a magazine ad you can have all the machineguns you want, etc. I have heard all those stories and they are BS.)

    Jim
  18. Monk1544

    Monk1544 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Ok.so if I or anyone else wanted to purchase one, it would have to be from a buyer who had registered it correctly a long time ago, and would have to apply for the permits you mentioned..etc.. Otherwise if there are any still in existence, they would be illegal for anyone to own. I understand now, and I can see why you emphasized A LOT OF MONEY! I imagine if you had an mg you could ask a pretty penny for it .thanks again for sharing your knowledge. I know I would never be able to afford such a gem!