Xenopedia
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Xenopedia

The MG 42 (Maschinengewehr 42, "machine gun 42") is a German-made general-purpose machine chambered for the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge. It was designed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II. It was intended to replace the earlier MG 34, which was more expensive and took much longer to produce, although both weapons were produced until the end of World War II. It is most notable for its very high cyclic rate for a gun using full power service cartridges, averaging about 1,200 rounds per minute compared to around 850 for the MG 34, and perhaps 450 to 600 for other common machine guns of the time, such as the M1919 Browning or the Bren gun. This ability made it extremely effective in providing suppressive fire, and its unique sound led to it being nicknamed "Hitler's buzzsaw".

Overview[]

The MG 42 has a proven record of reliability, durability, simplicity, and ease of operation, but is most notable for its ability to produce a staggering volume of suppressive fire; the MG 42 has one of the highest average rates of fire of any single-barrelled man-portable machine gun. Although designed by Nazi Germany, its use continued well beyond the Second World War; the derived MG3 machine gun is still in service with the Germany military today. The successful Heckler & Koch G3 rifle also traces its origins back to the MG 42 machine gun.

Behind the Scenes[]

The MG 42 was the basis for the live-firing M56 Smartguns used in Aliens, built by British movie armorers Bapty & Co. The UA 571-C Automated Sentry Guns seen in the extended Special Edition were also based on MG 42s.[1]

In Aliens: Colonial Marines, the M56 Smartgun appears again with elements of the MG 42 still visible.

Trivia[]

  • The MG 42 was one of three World War II weapons used in the construction of the (mostly fictional) firearms seen in Aliens. The others were the MP 40 (another German weapon) and the Thompson submachine gun (used by the Allies). The use of mostly WWII-era weapons on the production was probably for practical reasons — large numbers of such weapons are in existence (Bapty & Co. has a huge selection of working WWII firearms), ammunition is generally cheap and plentiful, and their typically solid-steel construction means they can be easily fitted with cosmetic modifications.

References[]

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