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MG 81
MG 81.JPG
MG 81 (upper) and MG 81 Z (in box)
Type Machine gun
Place of origin Nazi Germany Germany
Service history
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars World War II
Production history
Variants MG 81 Z
Specifications
Weight 6.5 kg (14.33 lb)
Length 965 mm (38.0 in) (with flash hider)
Barrel length 475 mm (18.7 in)

Cartridge 7.92 x 57mm Mauser
Caliber 7.9mm
Action Recoil-operated
Rate of fire 1,400-1,600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 790 m/s (2,592 ft/s)
Feed system Belt-fed

The MG 81 was a German belt fed 7.92 mm machine gun, used in flexible installations in World War II Luftwaffe aircraft, replacing the older drum magazine-fed MG 15.

The MG 81 was developed by Mauser as a derivative of their successful MG 34 infantry machine gun. Development focus was to reduce production cost and time and to optimize for use in aircraft. Developed in 1938/1939, it was in production from 1940 to 1945.

A special twin-mount MG 81Z (the Z suffix stands for Zwilling - meaning "twin") was introduced in 1942. It paired up two of the weapons on one mount to provide even more firepower with a maximum rate of fire of 3200 rounds/minute without requiring much more space than a standard machine gun.

Applications[]

The MG 81Z can be found in many unique installations in the Luftwaffe. Some of the more known applications, are a pair of MG 81Z's installed in the hollow tail cone of the Dornier Do 217. Designated R19 (R for Rüstsatz) as a factory designed field conversion/upgrade kit, it allowed the pilot of the Do 217 to shoot at pursuers. Another application was the "Watering can", an externally mounted pod with 3 sets of guns and ammo meant to be attached to a Junkers Ju 88 and used to strafe ground targets.

Specifications[]

MG 81
  • Weight : 6.5 kg
  • Length : 915 mm (965 mm with flash hider)
  • Muzzle velocity: 705 m/s (sS ammo), 760, 785 or 790 m/s, depending on ammo type
  • Rate of fire: 1400 - 1600 rpm (sS ammo)
MG 81Z
  • Weight: 12.9 kg
  • Length : 915 mm (965 mm with flash hider)
  • Muzzle velocity: 705 m/s (sS ammo), 760, 785 or 790 m/s, depending on ammo type
  • Rate of fire: 2800 - 3200 rpm (sS ammo)

See also[]

External links[]

Images[]

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