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MG34 vs MG42

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by mp38, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. mp38

    mp38 Member

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    Which do you think is better?

    My personal opinion is different for each depending on the situation. If I was a German trooper in WWII, I think I would prefer to have the dreaded MG42 at my side. Its' firepower, and rugged reliability are unmatched! The Allies never had a gun that was quite the equal of the MG42. Talking to US and British vets, the MG42 was one of the most feared weapons the Germans had (along with the "88", and the much feared "Tiger").

    However, today if I had a choice on which weapon I would like to have I would chose the MG34. I have fired both, and I must say that the MG34 is simply beautiful! :rolleyes: Its' fine machining and close tolerances are not even matched by todays standards. It is an awesome weapon, and I don't see any drawnbacks to it for just having and shooting.

    The US military uses the M60 today. If they were smart they would simply copy the MG42 like the Germans did with thier MG3.

    Matt :cool:
     
  2. Andreas Seidel

    Andreas Seidel Member

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    Well, I've never fired the MG34 (nor am I likely to!) while I have fired the MG3 (MG42) quite a lot. I like the MG3. It sounds cool, feels good and shoots well.
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I too have fired one of "Hitlers Buzz Saws" at a range in San Antonio--where I also fired a .50 Cal. MG. I LOVE them all--specially the MG-34. Theres nothing like having both hands on the butterfly grips of a .50, and feeling your teeth shake so much that you fear they will fall out of your mouth if you keep firing. The MG-34 was absolutely an awsome MG-and I loved its "feel" too. :D
     
  4. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    I love both guns, but I would prefer the mg42 over the mg3 because how quickly you can change the barrel.
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor Patron  

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    I would have to go with the MG34. The MG42 has a higher rate of fire but is not as accurate. They are both well designed for the role they play. MG34 great for accurate fire from long distance. MG42 for laying down suppression fire and scaring the living daylights of the enemy just by the sound alone. Both are great and can't go wrong with either.
     
  6. Smoke286

    Smoke286 Member

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    I think the MG 42 must be considered the superior weapon, if for no other reason then it was designed from the begining for ease of mass production
     
  7. Waffen_SS

    Waffen_SS recruit

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    I will go with the MG42,much faster then the MG34 and fast firing is what wins the battle.Allied soldiers feared the MG42.

    [ 14 June 2002, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Waffen_SS ]
     
  8. Bish OBE

    Bish OBE Member

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    Not realy no, there is much more to it than simply having the weapons that fire faster. If that was true, the MG 42 would have won the war for Germany. But, the MG 42 is in my view the better of the two. In fact, i would rate it as the best GPMG ever. The fact that its still in service after al these years when other weapons could have replaced it bears this out.
     
  9. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I think the MG-42 is awesome. Its sound is like a Mozart symphony (full of arminy) hehe, no it is quite like zipping up. You cannot listen to single shots. Its velocity is so high that you have to change the barrel and it is heavier than the MG-34. Thatt is why I preffer MG-34, because you can use it as your personal weapons as if it was a Schmeisser or so... I have fired both also. The power of the 42 has no paralel, except for the bloody Browning 0.50... But I think that the 34 is more charming. Hehe!
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I'd go with the MG 42 and like has been mentioned, a lighter weapon compared to the beefy .50 cal of the US. Though that .50 sure had the range when used in Allied bombers against Luftwaffe a/c. Anyone had the chance to fire the German Luftwaffe MG 131 13 mm ?

    E
     
  11. Popski

    Popski Member

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    G'day

    I thought the american M60 was developed from the german mg42.

    popski
     
  12. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hello popski--it was.
     
  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    Can't resist 'bumping' this one.

    I cannot speak from personal experience, but I think we're into 'battlefield psychology' again. Like the Tiger and 88, there's 'something about' the MG42. Ugly, mean, reliable, everything revolves around the almost unbelievable rate of fire - 20 a second !?

    Sure, a terrifying sound. And a lot of incoming rounds very quickly. But, according to a contemporary US Army Intelligence Bulletin, the high rate of fire meant that fire could only be kept on target for a very brief period, and vast amounts of ammunition had to be carried.

    The MG34 , with its lower rate of fire, was inherently more accurate. Securely mounted, as in AFVs, it was extremely accurate.

    So, I think the MG34 is actually 'best'. But there's still something about the MG42 . . . :cool:
     
  14. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Good topic... I'll throw my 2 cents in...

    First off, I think Smoke286 has a great point- the MG42 in my opinion was superior because of it's production. If one is considering which is the superior weapon, I'd look at the whole picture. The MG42 could be produced in a fraction of the time it took to make an MG34, plus the parts were generally less machining-intensive than those of the MG34, and easier to replace.
    I've also heard this, Martin, but with a twist- I saw part of an Army wartime training film which also spoke of the MG42's inaccuracy and weight of ammo. However, the program I saw went on to state that this was mainly an effort by the US Army to counter the reputation the '42 had. The program suggested that in reality the '42 was just as nasty as the reputation suggested...
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    It's the 'fog of war' again !

    Good point, crazy. Taking the 'overall picture' the MG42, with its vastly-simplified production methods has to be a better use of resources.

    But 'best gun' in pure 'gun' terms ? I still think the MG34 is a 'finer weapon' in the same way that the Thompson was to the Grease Gun....
     
  16. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    I was going to put a line in that last post to the same effect you mention! On a gun-for-gun basis, the MG34 was clearly superior. The 42 had a higher ROF, but that's it.
    Thompson->Greasegun- perfect analogy...

    Similar thing to many of the "better" german tanks- given enough fuel, ammo, and crew, the Tiger was a great tank... but the simpler T-34 won many battles...
     
  17. Bish OBE

    Bish OBE Member

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    What should be remembred about these types of weapons is that they are not meant for pin point accuracy. They are in essence area weapons. And while the high rate of fire is important, you should not think of a weapon firing so many thousands of rounds a minute. You don't just squeeze the trigger and let fly. You fire in bursts, usually of 2-3 rounds, but more if a larger target. The most important faqctor is the ease with which a weapon like this can be used in the field. And because of its sipler design and quick canging barrel, the 42 has to take it.
     
  18. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Very nice points of everybody.

    God, I did not know that the MG42 was easier to produce! I think it was like a Panzer III and a Panzer VI! That is why I love this place.

    I totally agree with Bish. We most consider what a weapon is made for, its role to consider if it is good or not. I said that the MG34 was lighter and could be carried as a personal weapon. Martin said that it was more accurate. But Bish is right; machine guns are not made for being carried a a personal weapon nor to be sniper guns... they are area-arms which are made to sweep the enemy, keep them from moving so the advance can be done or avoiding the enemy to advance. Certainly, the MG42 for its psichologycal efect, for its amazing rate and power of fire does its duty perfectly. If I would like an accurate gun, I will pick a rifle, if I would like a gun with quick rate of fire a sub-machine gun then, if I want a gun with quick rate of fire and accurate, an assault rifle then. Things are made for something specific, don't you think?
     
  19. Bish OBE

    Bish OBE Member

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    Ye, it seems odd. While German tanks got more comlicated to build and therefore harder to maintain, their small arms got easier to bild and use.

    Thye idea of GPMGs is to keep the enemies heads down allowing your guys to move in closer. So if you have four guys in a trench, and the rounds from the weapon cover the area occupied by all four guys wihout the firer having to move the weapon, then its doing its job. You need a good beaten zone for this and the 42 is the perfect weapon
     
  20. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Very good points- I always make myself consider "intent" when examining technology. One needs to look at what purpose a machine gun needs to serve when considering the weapons success/failure.

    Adn another interesting point relating to Bish's comment- the germans, even later in the war, used almost exclusively MG34's in their tanks (at least from what I have read). You'd think they would switch over to MG42s, as the majority of machinegun production was shifted to 42s by the end of the war.
     

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