Firearms / Machine guns / Rheinmetall MG3

Rheinmetall MG3

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    Germany

  • NICKNAMES
    Karar (Sudanese production)
    MA 15 (Myanmar production)
    MG 74 (Austrian production)
    7.62 KK MG 3 (Finnish military)
    M/62 (Danish military)
    m/960 (Portugese military)

  • DESIGNED
    1959

  • DESIGNER
    Rheinmetall

  • PRODUCTION
    1958 - ? (MG1)
    1968 - present (MG3)

  • PRODUCERS
    Austria - Steyr (MG42/59)
    Germany - Rheinmetall (all)
    Greece - EBO (MG3)
    Iran - AMIG (MG1A3)
    Italy - Beretta (MG42/59)
    Italy - Franchi (MG42/59)
    Italy - Whitehead Moto-Fides (MG42/59)
    Myanmar - Ka Pa Sa
    Pakistan - POF (MG1A3)
    Spain - Santa Barbara (MG42/59, MG1A3, MG3S)
    Sudan - MIC (MG1A3)
    Turkey - MKEK (MG3)

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Rugged and reliable
    Easy to maintain
    Very high rate of fire
    Heavy

Introduction

The MG3 is a machine gun of German origin. The MG3 is a designation for various machine guns developed when Germany entered NATO. It basically is a conversion of the MG42 machine gun which was widely used by Nazi Germany during World War 2. Besides the Belgian MAG the MG3 was the most common Western machine gun during the Cold War.

Design

The MG3 essentially is a conversion of the MG42 to 7.62x51mm NATO. Early versions were simply conversions but later versions feature a multitude of minor upgrades in various areas. The MG3 retains the short recoil operation and roller locking mechanism. It is belt fed only and feeds from left to right. The square slotted forearm is open on the right to allow the quick change barrel to be removed. The MG3 can be used from the attached bipod, from a tripod and as a pintle mounted or coaxial machine gun.

Firepower

The MG3 fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round from 50 round DM1 continuous belts or M13 or DM6 linked belts, mostly of 120 round length. The cyclic rate of fire is about 1.200 rpm. This results in a high ammunition consumption and rapid overheating. The barrel should be changed every 150 rounds fired in rapid succession. The MG1A2 and MG42/59 versions have a lower rate of fire of 900 rpm. The maximum effective range is 600 m from the bipod and 1 km when used from a tripod. The slant range is much longer.

Users

The first user of the MG3 family was the German military, who adopted the MG3 for infantry, flexible and coaxial use. Various European nations adopted versions of the MG3 and produced them under license. The MG3 was also widely exported to Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The MG3 remains in use today, but in the infantry role it has often been replaced by light machine guns.

Variants

MG3

The MG1 is the first 7.62mm development and is little more than a MG42 produced in 7.62x51mm. Production switched to the MG1A1 with the sights calibrated for the new caliber and all MG1 were refitted with these sights. The MG1A1 is also known as the MG42/58. The MG1A2 features a heavier bolt for a reduced rate of fire of 700 to 800 rpm. The MG1A2 is better known as the MG42/59 and was widely produced under license. The MG1A3 features some additional details and uses the standard bolt with high rate of fire. The MG1A4 and MG1A5 are armor machine guns based on MG1 and MG1A3 respectively. The designation MG2 applies to MG42 converted 7.62x51mm NATO. The latest model is the MG3, which is and MG1A3 with anti-aircraft sights. The MG3A1 is the armor machine gun version of the MG3.

TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed
OperationShort recoil, roller locking
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire800 - 900 rpm
Barrel length567 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity820 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.22 m
Width?
Height?
Weight11.5 kg
SightsIron sights, post front and notch rear, 200 - 2.200 m gradations, 432 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed
OperationShort recoil, roller locking
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire1.000 - 1.300 rpm
Barrel length565 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity820 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.225 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight11.05 kg
SightsIron sights, barleycorn front and notch rear, 200 to 1.200 m gradations, 430 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed
OperationShort recoil, roller locking
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire1.000 - 1.300 rpm
Barrel length565 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity820 m/s
Stock-
Length1.097 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight?
Sights-
Remarks-

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