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Art of the Gun: German MG-42 Machine Gun

German MG-42 Machine Gun

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.

This MG-42 is up for grabs at the spring 2014 Rock Island Auction.
This MG-42 is up for grabs at the spring 2014 Rock Island Auction where it is expected to go for $40,000 – $60,000. (Photo courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company.)

What do you think about this fearsome piece of history? Have anything else to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Comments (5)

  1. I have privilege in year 1985 in Yugoslavia People Army to hold and shut over 1500 bullet from original 1942 year with SS signs. This is best weapons ever made in militarily history.

  2. I have had the privilege of watching one operate up close and personal, and then getting to fire a belt through one. I had fired an M-60 in the Army and thought that was the bomb, but this thing really makes you conscious of ammo conservation. It will empty an ammo can so fast you will be out and scrambling to reload if you weren’t a careful operator.

    The only machine gun with a faster rate of fire is the electrically operated Mini-Gun. This one it truly an engineering marvel. Wish I could afford it!

    1. In WW2, the US. Armed Forces produced AN/M2 .30-caliber (7,62x63mm or 30.06) Aerial Machine Gun, which had a cyclic rate-of-fire varying between 1,200 to 1,500-rpm. This machine gun is essentially an aircraft version of the Browning M1919A4/6 machine gun. It weighted approximately 20-lbs. 11-oz. And at least one case that I know of, the Marine Corps used in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

  3. I never mention a private mans weapons, or where located; other than .ones they display at public acy

  4. I know where there are three of them in Mesa, AZ.. But, I don’t know if their for sale or not. Maybe?.

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