The Rock Island Auction starts today, and hundreds of historical, collectible, and beautiful firearms will be sold off to their very lucky new owners. One of the guns up for grabs this weekend is this awesome MG-42 machine Gun.Back in WWII, Allied Forces nicknamed this gun “Hitler’s Buzz Saw” because the high rate fire sounded more like a saw than a rifle. Battlefield tests revealed that there is a short window that a soldier can dispatch an enemy combatant and the best way to ensure superiority on the battlefield was to put as much lead in the general direction of the enemy as fast as possible; the MG-42 was developed purely on this principle. In some cases, the MG-42 could fire 1,500 8mm Mauser bullets per minute—faster than anything the good guys had. These firearms were produced by many different firms including Mauser, Gustloff-Werkes, Steyr, and Maget of Berlin (where this one was produced). Throughout the war over 400,000 were produced, though today there are nowhere near that many in existence, let alone in working condition like this particular beauty. If you want to learn more about this excellently preserved piece of history, you can read more at the Rock Island Auction Company’s listing.
Though many great men were caught on the wrong ends of these machine guns, some good did come from the invention of this firearm. After the war, American engineers and gunsmiths reverse engineered the MG-42 (along with other Nazi firearms) and created the M60 Machine Gun that was introduced for use in the Vietnam War.