The MG 42 machine gun was the terror of the German army.
There are certain firearms in history that you can recognize just by hearing them fire. The MG 42 machine gun is one of those guns. Developed in Nazi Germany in 1942, this gun can spit out up to 1,200 rounds a minute of 7.92x57mm ammo. It is little wonder it quickly earned the nickname: "Hitler's buzzsaw."
For the allied troops in World War II who had to take out German soldiers who were entrenched with MG 42s, the experience had to be terrifying. The MG 42's design is simple and efficient. As a result, the machine gun has had a shelf life far beyond the fall of Nazi Germany.
The video below shows an MG 42 firing in real-time, but then they slow down the footage to an incredibly slow 240 frames per second. It shows just how fast this gun cycles rounds and why this gun became so famous during World War II.
Seeing this gun operate up close and in slow motion like this just helps us better appreciate even more the brave men who served our country in the Second World War. It took some real guts to run towards the sound of a machine gun like this. One of the reasons this machine gun was so successful was how well it stood up to the elements.
The fact that it weighed just 25 pounds helped too. That may be heavy for a firearm, but it could be moved by hand if the soldiers needed to change positions. The MG 42 was also easier for the Germans to produce. Hundreds of thousands were produced until the end of the war in 1945.
The belt feeding system was fast and reliable. That same belt-fed design was basically lifted and used later in lots of other famous guns. This includes the now equally iconic M60 machine gun that was developed in 1957 and is still in service all over the world.