Browning wz.1928

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Browning wz.1928
lMG 28 (p)
RKM Browning wz. 1928, Muzeum Orła Białego.jpg
Type Automatic rifle
Place of origin Poland
Service history
In service 1930 to 1945
Used by See Users
Wars WW2
Production history
Designed 1928
Manufacturer Państwowa Fabryka Karabinów
Produced 1930 to 1939
Number built ~24,000
Variants wz.37
Specifications
Weight 5.9 kg (13 lb) (empty)
Length 1,110 mm (44 in)
Barrel length 611 mm

Cartridge 7.92x57mm Mauser
Caliber 7.92mm
Action gas operated
Rate of fire 300 to 650 round/min
Muzzle velocity 853 m/s (2,800 ft/s)
Feed system 20 rounds

The Browning wz.1928 is a Polish version of the M1918 BAR. It was a light machine gun used by the Poles in World War II.

History[edit]

After Poland regained its independence in 1918, the Polish Army was equipped in all sorts of machine guns inherited after the armed forces of the partitioners, as well as after the French and British armies that equipped the Polish Blue Army during the Great War. The large variety of light machine guns used, as well as the fact that each of them used a different calibre, made the troop training and logistics a difficult task.

Firing mechanism
Polish partisan member of Home Army unit Jędrusie with wz. 1928

After the Polish-Bolshevik War, in 1923 a competition was opened for a new, standard light machine gun for the Polish army that was to replace all previously used types of LMG. The competition ended without a winner and the following year the Polish ministry of war purchased 12 pieces of M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, Lewis wz. 1923 and Hotchkiss wz. 23 each. The tests proved the superiority of the American construction, and during the 1925 competition a Belgian FN-made Browning was chosen. Although extensive tests of all the constructions were continued, the Polish army ordered a series of Belgian-made BAR machine guns, modified to better suit the Polish needs. Among the most notable modifications were the calibre (modified from .30-06 Springfield to standard Polish 7.92×57mm Mauser),[1] the bipod's construction and mounting and the iron sights (peephole changed to v-notch type). Also, the barrel was lengthened for greater accuracy and a pistol grip was added for easier aiming. Apart from the 10,000 pieces ordered in Fabrique Nationale, Poland also bought a licence to construct the weapon at home.[2] The first wz.28 LMGs were officially commissioned in 1927 and were officially named 7,92 mm rkm Browning wz. 1928, which is a Polish designation for 7.92 mm hand-held machine gun of Browning mark 1928.

A Polish reenactor poses with the wz. 1928 and period-correct uniform.

Due to serious flaws in license documentation purchased from Belgium, the production in Poland was not started until 1930. Until 1939 approximately 14,000 pieces were built. Also, additional modifications were introduced during the production. Among them was replacement of the iron sights with a smaller version and reshaping the butt to the fish tail. There were also extensive works on spare, replaceable barrels for the weapon, which however were never completed due to the outbreak of World War II.

During the German-Soviet Invasion of Poland of 1939, the rkm wz. 1928 was the standard LMG used by almost all Polish infantry and cavalry units. The German Wehrmacht captured a number of Polish-made Browning guns and used them until the end of World War II under the designation of lMG 28 (p).[2] A number were also seized by the Red Army and used during the war.[2]

Variants[edit]

The RKM wz.28 was a basis for development of an aerial, flexible machine gun, designated karabin maszynowy obserwatora wz.37, used mainly by the Polish PZL.37 Łoś bombers.

Users[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bishop, Chris (1998). The Encyclopedia: Weapons of World War II. New York: Barnes & Noble Inc. ISBN 0-7607-1022-8, p. 239
  2. ^ a b c Robert R. Hodges, Jr., The Browning Automatic Rifle. Weapon Series. Osprey Publishing, 2012, 9781849087612. p. 18

References[edit]

  1. Zbigniew Gwóźdź, Piotr Zarzycki (1993). Polskie konstrukcje broni strzeleckiej. Warsaw, SIGMA NOT. ISBN 83-85001-69-7. 
  2. Tomasz Nowakowski (1996). "Ręczny karabin maszynowy Browning wz. 28". Nowa Technika Wojskowa 5: ISSN 1230–1655. 
  3. Adam Jońca, Andrzej Zasieczny (2003). 7,92 mm ręczny karabin maszynowy wz. 1928 Browning. Bellona & CB. ISBN 83-11-09687-2.