General-purpose machine gun

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The MG-42 type general-purpose machine guns in both bipod and tripod configurations

A general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) is an air-cooled, belt-fed weapon with a quick change barrel that can be used in a variety of roles, from bipod- or tripod-mounted infantry support, to deployment as a helicopter door gun, or a vehicle-mounted support weapon.[1] Modern GPMGs fire full-power rifle cartridges such as the 7.62×51mm NATO, 7.62×54mmR, 7.92x57mm Mauser, etc.

History[edit]

"With the MG 34, the German Wehrmacht introduced an entirely new concept in automatic firepower - the general-purpose machine gun (GPMG).[2][3][4] In itself the MG 34 was an excellent weapon: an air-cooled, recoil-operated machine gun that could run through belts of 7.92mm ammunition at a rate of 850rpm, delivering killing firepower at ranges of more than 1,000m.[5][6] Yet simply by changing its mount and feed mechanism, the operator could radically transform its function. On its standard bipod it was a light machine gun, ideal for infantry assaults; on a tripod it could serve as a sustained-fire medium machine gun; aircraft or vehicular mounts turned it into an air defence weapon; and it also served as the coaxial machine gun on numerous tanks.[7][8]

During World War II, the MG 34 was superseded (although it remained in combat use) by a new GPMG - the MG 42.[9][10][11] The MG 42 was more efficient to manufacture and more robust, and had a blistering 1,200rpm rate of fire.[12][13][14] Nicknamed 'Hitler's buzzsaw' by Allied troops, it was arguably the finest all-round GPMG ever produced, and alongside the MG 34 it inflicted heavy casualties on Allied soldiers on all European and North African fronts.[15][16][17] Such were its qualities of firepower and usability that it became the foundation of an entire series of postwar machine guns, including the MG 1 and MG 3 - the latter is still in production and service to this day."[18][19][20][21]

Notable post-WWII examples[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/support-weapons/1463.aspx
  2. ^ Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Ian Hogg & Terry Gander. HarperCollins Publishers. 2005. page 375
  3. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 326
  4. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 245 & 246
  5. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 326
  6. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 245 & 246
  7. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 326
  8. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 245 & 246
  9. ^ Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Ian Hogg & Terry Gander. HarperCollins Publishers. 2005. page 376
  10. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 329
  11. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 247
  12. ^ Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Ian Hogg & Terry Gander. HarperCollins Publishers. 2005. page 376
  13. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 329
  14. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 247
  15. ^ Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Ian Hogg & Terry Gander. HarperCollins Publishers. 2005. page 376
  16. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 328 & 329
  17. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 247
  18. ^ MG 34 and MG 42 Machine Guns. by Chris McNab. Published by Random House Publishing Group. Oct 23, 2012. Quote taken from leaf.
  19. ^ Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Ian Hogg & Terry Gander. HarperCollins Publishers. 2005. page 376
  20. ^ Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. 7th Edition. Ian V. Hogg & John S. Weeks. Krause Publications. 2000. page 329
  21. ^ The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Chris Bishop. Sterling Publishing Company. 2002. page 247
  22. ^ "Modern Firearms - FN MAG". World.guns.ru. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  23. ^ Weapons: An International Encyclopedia From 5000 B.C. To 2000 A.D. Diagram Visual, p. 217. ISBN 0-312-03950-6.
  24. ^ http://world.guns.ru/machine/fr/aat-mod52-e.html