This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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Thats actually what Germany and Austria use - the MG3:
I would argue that the MG3 technically is an MG42 version chambered in 7,62x51. The differences except for the caliber are minimal. I would argue that there are larger differences between some M240 versions than between the MG42 and MG3.
Because the stamping technology is lost, MG3 revceivers are currently made by milling two halves which are then welded together.
Guns made from stamped steel parts nowadays are hardly state of the art. If somebody would design a modern version of the MG42 my guess is it would not be made from stamped parts. More likely extruded and milled.
But recoil operation also isn't state of the art anymore. So it would be gas operated...
wait a minute...
The only thing they got wrong is the ROF... but since its gas operated that can easily be fixed.
Actually, the "easy fix since its gas operated" has been tried.
The moving parts of the MG5 are too heavy. At a high rate of fire, the gun beats itself to death. The design team had no idea about the role of high rate of fire in German machine gun thinking. Or any practical experience, otherwise cleaning the MG5 would not be such a "nightmare" as one soldier put it. Even at the low rate of fire, the side plates of the receiver developed cracks and had to be made heavier. I see no way to make the MG5 a fast firing machine gun.
I am not against replacing the MG3 by a better design, but very much against a worse design. Possibly one that can replace the MG3 as coaxial tank MG without redesigning the turrets.
But recoil operation also isn't state of the art anymore. So it would be gas operated... wait a minute...
The ugliest machine gun of modern times...
The ugliest machine gun of modern times...
IMHO its not uglier than the PKM or all the FN MAG/M240 and FN Minimi/M249 variants.
But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
The design team had no idea about the role of high rate of fire in German machine gun thinking.
Carefull. Do not blame the wrong people.
Just like with the G36 the designers pretty much exactly delivered what they where asked for.
Just as with the G36 the focus of the requirement was on weight reduction. Long service life was not part of it. As was no high ROF. Actually the ROF was not specified at all if i remember corretly.
I am well aware that the MG5 is not exactly great... as a GPMG. The reason is simple it was not designed as one. It was designed as a 7,62x51 LMG. Allmost entirely focussed on use by dismounted infantry. It was pressed in the GPMG role because some decision makers insisted on the GPMG concept.
The fact that all successfull GPMGs where designed as MMGs with LMG use as an aftertought eluded them. So the German Army got a MG that fullfilled the requirements for an LMG but it is issued and used as GPMG.
Never the less my point was that a modern take of the MG42 would allmost certainly not look like a MG42. Regardless if by take on the MG42 we mean a high ROF MG or a weapon using the same or similar operating principle.
I do admit my post was not entirely serious though.
Bring back the MG08/15! With modern coolants, we can reduce the size of the water jacket. Modern metals, lighter receivers and barrels. #itworkedforgreatgrandfather!
The MG5 is all together a fairly unimpressive modern machine gun.
It hardly gains anything on weight from the FN MAG, and doesn't have the legendary overbuilt nature or reliability to pair with it.
Compared to other modern LMGs from FN/SIG/KAC, it falls fairly short. Even when compared to modernized-with-a-sledgehammer guns like the M60E6 it comes up somewhat short. Its a shame, HK typically makes pretty well developed guns, but they somewhat dropped the ball there.
Compared to other modern LMGs from FN/SIG/KAC, it falls fairly short.
Because of what exactly?
Even when compared to modernized-with-a-sledgehammer guns like the M60E6 it comes up somewhat short.
No it doesn't. Older guns simply do not fullfill the safety requirements. Just to name one example.
HK typically makes pretty well developed guns, but they somewhat dropped the ball there.
And again, no they did not. They designed and build exactly what they where asked for,
The question few people seem to ask is: why is the MG5 as heavy and at the same time less durable compared to older MGs.
Its for example because of all the fancy safety features. The mechanics for round in chamber indicators and similar do have weight. These add up fast. Add all the rails and other fancy features like foldable, adjustable stocks, and you have to save weight somewhere. Where if not from the receiver?
If such features are necessary can be debated never the less they have been put into the requirements. The MG3 or FN MAG nowadays would not be accepted into service for the simple reason that these guns do not fullfill the current safety and HSE requirements. If they are the most durable and reliable guns on the planet doesn't matter. Environment and HSE trumps everything except cost.
It comes up short in that the gun is 10 lbs heavier than those other LMGs. Adding features like round counters doesn't justify a 10 lb weight increase. Even doing the honest thing and acknowledging that the MG5 is designed for more significant sustained fire than the KAC AMG/FN EVOLYS/SIG MG68 etc, falls short because the MG5 had receiver breakage issues despite all of that increased weight.
The M60E6 beat out the HK121 in testing against each other by the Danish military. As far as I'm aware, that was the most modern light machine gun trial done in the West. If I'm wrong on that, I'll be gladly corrected. But it should be indicative that the M60E6 is the better LMG/GPMG of the two firearms. Or at least on par, despite being lighter and being made of stampings rather than castings.
Frankly things come off more as you excusing the MG5 of its faults without applying those same rules to other modern LMGs that have the deal with them all the same while coming in lighter and/or more effective.