Aviation of World War II

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Large-Caliber Machine Gun

13 mm


The MG-131 heavy machine gun was the main system in service with the German aviation. The machine gun was widely used as a synchronous, turret and wing.

The automatics of the MG-131 machine gun worked due to the recoil energy of the barrel during its short stroke. The bolt was locked by turning the breech, which coupled the barrel to the bolt at the time of the shot. The shooting was carried out using an electric trigger.

The machine gun was powered by cartridges from a metal detachable link belt. Two-sided tape feed.

The total length of the machine gun is 1170 mm, the barrel length is 550 mm. Rifling in channel 8. Shooting was carried out with cartridges 105 mm long, sleeve length 64 mm.

The machine gun ammunition included armor-piercing tracer bullets weighing 38.5 g and high-explosive tracer bullets weighing 34 g. The high-explosive tracer bullet contained 1.2 g of explosive.

Muzzle velocity 750-800 m/s. Rate of fire 800-900 rds / min.

The 13-mm MG-131 machine gun was distinguished by its reliability and trouble-free operation, but it was difficult in design, in disassembly and assembly. It also had a large number of parts that were difficult to process. (The complexity of the device was estimated by Soviet experts. Perhaps the Germans did not think so).


  • History of aircraft weapons / A.B. Shirokorad /