The MG-34 first entered service with the German Army as their standard general-purpose
machine gun in 1934. The concept of the general-purpose machine
gun is itself attributed to the post-World War I officer staff of the Reichswehr, who upon analyzing the contemporary state of infantry warfare decided that the battlefield required a weapon possessing the advantages of both a light and heavy machine gun combined into one. The Germans had meddled with some initial
designs such as the MG-29 and MG-30 until the combined work of the Rheinmetall-Borsig AG and Mauser-Werke AG firms produced the worlds first real
service-quality general-purpose machine gun, the 7.92mm MG-34.
As a general-purpose machine gun the MG-34 was designed to be used in both
the light and heavy roles. To this end, there were two basic configurations
the MG-34 depending on the required use either mounted on a tripod for use as a fixed-position heavy machine gun or equipped with a small bipod for portable
use as the squads light machine gun. Aside from being capable of serving in either the light or heavy machine gun role, the MG-34 included a number of other innovative features, although some were only borrowed from earlier designs like the MG-30. Among these innovations was the double-crescent trigger pressing
the upper segment of the trigger produced single-shot fire, while pressing the lower segment produced full-automatic fire. The MG-34 had a cyclic rate of fire of
900 rounds per minute, with a practical rate of fire of 100 200 rounds per minute. Barrel changes needed to be performed frequently usually after every 250
shots of burst fire. The MG-34 weighed 11.42kg (24.2 lbs.) unloaded.
|Trigger||double-crescent trigger pressing the upper segment of the trigger produced single-shot fire, while pressing the lower segment produced full-automatic fire.|
|cyclic rate of fire||900 rounds per minute|
|practical rate of fire||100 200 rounds per minute|
|weighed||11.42kg (24.2 lbs.) unloaded|
Barrel changes needed to be performed frequently usually after every 250 shots of burst fire.