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A new light GPMG has been manufactured by Heckler & Koch for the British Army. The new weapon is a redesign on the L7A2 and includes a picatinny rail on the top cover, a fluted barrel, a feed tray with 'pawls' (teeth) to stop the ammo belt slipping out, a folding butt and it is coloured in flat ‘dark earth’ to match with MTP combat uniform. The weapon is also 1.8kilograms lighter than the L7A2.

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Thanks for the reply G3 kurz. Did HK use similar methods as Barrett to reduce the weight of the M240?
Yes. And the same as FN did for the most part on the M240L.

The HK gun is a product improved GPMG along the lines of what HK did for the Brits with the SA80 (but not quite as extensive). Greatly improved barrel life (2-3X) and improved service life on other parts. Another Ernst Mauch initiative and success that benefits both the end user and HK.

HK then developed a Ti receiver version of it for a French trials. HK211 I believe it was/is called. Not sure of its status. The French passed on it I heard.

G3Kurz
 

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Yes. And the same as FN did for the most part on the M240L.

The HK gun is a product improved GPMG along the lines of what HK did for the Brits with the SA80 (but not quite as extensive). Greatly improved barrel life (2-3X) and improved service life on other parts. Another Ernst Mauch initiative and success that benefits both the end user and HK.

HK then developed a Ti receiver version of it for a French trials. HK211 I believe it was/is called. Not sure of its status. The French passed on it I heard.

G3Kurz
Thanks for the info G3 kurz. I agree that Ernst Mauch did a great job at improving existing weapons like the SA80, FN MAG and M16.
 

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Sorry to change the topic a bit but since HK also made the HK121. I heard that HK had produced some MG3s in the past so I'm just wondering why no efforts were made to modernize the MG3? Did HK use a rotating bolt design for the HK121 b/c it would save weight? The advantage of the MG42 that I heard about was that it was inexpensive to produce, could be decentralized in production of parts, be made in small machine shops with conventional tooling, not require any regulator to adjust or clean and all parts could be repaired in the field rather than returned to small arms depots. I heard that the Mg42 could withstand high cyclic rates better than rotating or tilting bolts b/c rotating bolts can't withstand the shearing torque for long periods of time and tilting bolts have hammering effects during high cyclic rates. The disadvantage of the MG42 that I heard of was bolt bounce but the Germans remedied that in the MG3 with a spring loaded bolt stablizer. Was the excessive ROF the reason that manufacturers didn't consider modernizing the MG3? Are we most likely to see rotating bolts (PKP, PKM, Mk48, NEGEV, HK121) for lighter weight 7.62mm dismounted MGs and tilting bolts (M240 with lighter weight and simplified manufacturing process like the Barrett and HK PIP to the FN MAG/M240) for GPMG and defensive sustained fire roles in the future?
 

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Was the excessive ROF the reason that manufacturers didn't consider modernizing the MG3?
Excessive rate of fire isn't a concern with the MG3. Just like the cyclic rate of fire can be adjusted on other MG's, it can on the MG3 as well. I was under the impression that the Bundeswehr MG3 was using a bolt/spring combo for 900rpm.

Are we most likely to see rotating bolts (PKP, PKM, Mk48, NEGEV, HK121) for lighter weight 7.62mm dismounted MGs and tilting bolts (M240 with lighter weight and simplified manufacturing process like the Barrett and HK PIP to the FN MAG/M240) for GPMG and defensive sustained fire roles in the future?
I think that'd be making too much specialization for real world requirements and flexibility. You usually don't get different weapons because the mission has changed....a MMG is a MMG. A LMG is a LMG. They're used as such. I can hardly see armed forces adopting an MG for dismounted patrols, and a coexisting MG to be instead used for defensive positions and mounted patrols. It's hard enough to convince the US services of the benefits of having 105mm M119's coexist in an armory along with 155mm howitzers to be picked and used according to the deployment at hand.
 

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HK GmbH never produced complete MG3's - just barrels, bolts and a few minor parts.
I am not sure there is a connection in the bolt styles you list 995 based on role but it is an interesting question to ponder.
G3Kurz
 

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HK GmbH never produced complete MG3's - just barrels, bolts and a few minor parts.
I am not sure there is a connection in the bolt styles you list 995 based on role but it is an interesting question to ponder.
G3Kurz
Thanks for the clarification on HK and the MG3 production. I totally agree with you that the different bolt styles and operating mechanisms should be something to study/ponder about and there should be further studies. I'm not saying that rotating bolts can't be suited for the sustained fire defensive role b/c HK used a rotating bolt for the Hk121 but i don't know anything about the HK121. Just saying that right now it seemed that the M240's tilting bolt has a long service life and seemed to be designed for that specific role.
 

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I think that'd be making too much specialization for real world requirements and flexibility. You usually don't get different weapons because the mission has changed....a MMG is a MMG. A LMG is a LMG. They're used as such. I can hardly see armed forces adopting an MG for dismounted patrols, and a coexisting MG to be instead used for defensive positions and mounted patrols. It's hard enough to convince the US services of the benefits of having 105mm M119's coexist in an armory along with 155mm howitzers to be picked and used according to the deployment at hand.
Good points TGS and I'm not disagreeing with you. I mentioned this b/c it seemed that USSOCOM is using the Mk48 as a dismounted 7.62mm machine gun for assaults and retaining the M240 as a GPMG. I think the IDF did the same with using both the 7.62mm Negev and the FN MAG and the Russians with the PKP for Spetsnaz in addition to the PKM as a GPMG. Also, the Brits are replaced the SAW with the Mk48 so maybe some militaries would replaced their saws with a 7.62mm LMG in Afghanistan. Maybe the IDF and Spec Ops groups (USSOCOM and Spetsnaz) have different procurement or requirements.
 

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Good points TGS and I'm not disagreeing with you. I mentioned this b/c it seemed that USSOCOM is using the Mk48 as a dismounted 7.62mm machine gun for assaults and retaining the M240 as a GPMG. I think the IDF did the same with using both the 7.62mm Negev and the FN MAG and the Russians with the PKP for Spetsnaz in addition to the PKM as a GPMG. Also, the Brits are replaced the SAW with the Mk48 so maybe some militaries would replaced their saws with a 7.62mm LMG in Afghanistan. Maybe the IDF and Spec Ops groups (USSOCOM and Spetsnaz) have different procurement or requirements.
I think it goes without saying that special operations forces have different procurements and requirements, and isn't necessarily representative of what should be happening on line infantry. My mistake though, I was thinking in terms of line units and not special operations.

Good points with the Brits replacing the SAW with the Mk48, but still using the MAG at higher echelons. That also clarifies your point for me as well.....I see where you're going with this now. I was thinking you were purporting that two different MG's would coexist for MG squads depending on the mission. Rather, what you're talking about with the use of the Mk48 or PKP at the squad level is just an evolution of being able to put firepower in a lighter package, and taking advantage of such capability. A big impetus for that has been that Afghanistan counters the previous claims that combat never happens farther than 300 meters. It can suck when you're getting shot at by combatants with MMG's or HMG's at 1100 meters and don't have any organic firepower to respond with....enter the PKP or Mk48, replacing the typical 5.56 automatic rifle/LMG.
 

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Good points with the Brits replacing the SAW with the Mk48, but still using the MAG at higher echelons. That also clarifies your point for me as well.....I see where you're going with this now. I was thinking you were purporting that two different MG's would coexist for MG squads depending on the mission. Rather, what you're talking about with the use of the Mk48 or PKP at the squad level is just an evolution of being able to put firepower in a lighter package, and taking advantage of such capability. A big impetus for that has been that Afghanistan counters the previous claims that combat never happens farther than 300 meters. It can suck when you're getting shot at by combatants with MMG's or HMG's at 1100 meters and don't have any organic firepower to respond with....enter the PKP or Mk48, replacing the typical 5.56 automatic rifle/LMG.
Yup, that's exactly what I was saying. Sorry if I sounded like I was saying the GPMG crew should have two types of weapons to choose from as that was clearly not my point.
 

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Yup, that's exactly what I was saying. Sorry if I sounded like I was saying the GPMG crew should have two types of weapons to choose from as that was clearly not my point.
I'm just wondering how the load-out for that works. 1 man to carry a 7.62 machine gun? Sure, the weapon may be 18lbs, but 7.62x51 is heavy ammo. So I can't imagine a PKP or Mk48 having much ammo available between the gunner and his unit. For that factor alone I can't personally consider a PKP or Mk48 a true light machine gun....seems to me that 7.62 MMG's should be kept in the machine gun squads. I only ever used machine gun employment in training and worked on machine gun employment as a curriculum developer though...I'm certainly no SME.
 

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I'm just wondering how the load-out for that works. 1 man to carry a 7.62 machine gun? Sure, the weapon may be 18lbs, but 7.62x51 is heavy ammo. So I can't imagine a PKP or Mk48 having much ammo available between the gunner and his unit. For that factor alone I can't personally consider a PKP or Mk48 a true light machine gun....seems to me that 7.62 MMG's should be kept in the machine gun squads. I only ever used machine gun employment in training and worked on machine gun employment as a curriculum developer though...I'm certainly no SME.
Not sure how the load-out works so I can't answer that question. Sorry.

There have been efforts to develop thin walled stainless steel ammo that saves weight by 20% although it isn't mature yet. Also, the PKP doesn't require a quick change barrel so you don't have to worry about bringing extra barrels (which eliminate the weight from extra barrels). Also, Cris Murray chambered a MG42 in 7x46mm (130 grain projo fired at 2600-2650fps) and the gun unloaded weighs around 8kg. But Mr. Murray's gun is not in 7.62mm NATO so it won't be adopted unless NATO switches to a new caliber.
 
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