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I think everyone here can agree that if it’s full auto it’s awesome. Machine guns are amazing no matter why you like shooting, whether you’re a lover of mechanical ingenuity or just like watching things go bang. I’ll have a post sometime this week that will basically be an ode to the most beautiful machine gun ever designed, the Browning M2 .50 cal. But before I post it, I just wanted to see what your opinion on the matter is. So the question for today is what’s your favorite machine gun of all time, and why?

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  1. my experience with machine guns is limited to the M2, M240B, and M249 from basic training weapons familiarization, unfortunately. But even if it wasn’t i don’t think there’s much that could top the M2 anyways as my favorite. Hard to beat the feeling of raw power the first time you put a burst downrange with it.

    side note- love the site, lots of great stories!

  2. I’ve never fired it but I’ve always liked the look of the German Army MG3 GPMG. If I were to ever get the chance to put a couple of belts through it that would be great!

  3. Hitler’s buzzsaw the MG 42 is for some reason one of the machineguns I like. Something about the sound it makes and its rate of fire. Just an awesome gun.

  4. The Ultimax 100, because it was designed in a time when it seemed that designers were trying to make things as complicated as possible, but is simple, rugged, accurate and user-freindly.
    The M2, because it’s variants have been proven in at least 19 wars, and is fielded by innumerable countries, and shows no indication of ever getting replaced.
    MG42, because it sets the bar for GPMGs, even today.

  5. The MG42. A truly historic machinegun, the whole German infantry was built around the MG42. It’s rate of fire is incomparable, and it’s almost as accurate as a good battle rifle. Fire off one long burst and you will be hooked.

  6. For sheer romance: Thompson For brutal power in a classy, classic package: BAR Best overall:- HK MP5 – I shot one just yesterday, and I felt it handled, pointed and shot so much better than the Uzi I tried out in Nevada only five weeks ago.

    As far as infantry rifles, I’ve enjoyed M-16 variants and ARs. They are just so bloody sweet and accurate.

  7. I have to second the M2. Designed almost a century ago by (His Holyness) John Moses Browning, it has been in service for 78 years. It has been mounted on just about everything the military has ever taken into battle since WWII. Over $50 million and 10 years of research has failed to deliver a suitable replacement. My favorite variant is the M3M/GAU21, which is the M2, made with better steel, accurized, and given a higher firing rate (1,100 RPM) for use on helicopters and fast watercraft.

    If the day comes that we are using drop ships to land Space Marines on some colonized aline world; I am pretty sure the door gunners on those orbital landing craft will be providing cover fire with an M2 Browning.

  8. I still miss my M60 from my Army days. As an armorer, it was a breeze to maintain compared to some of the more modern automatic weapons. I absolutely hated the SAW – it was a total B* to clean, and didn’t give any more stopping power than the M-16’s everyone else was using.

    Thankfully, I live in a state where I could buy one if I had the money. Anyone feel like giving me $25k? 🙂

  9. Glock 18c. I want to get some heavier recoil assemblies, a lil brass weight in the back and let loose with a pair more than anything. I figure it could ALMOST be feasible! Machine pistol that actually is a CONVENTIONAL and contemporary handgun platform for the win!

  10. Over 40 years ago, during the great unpleasantness, the Army let me play with some fun toys.

    I have to agree that the M2 .50 was a hoot to shoot, but my personal favorite was the M1918A2 BAR. The one I was issued was of WWII vintage, loose, heavily worn out, no significant finish, with gouged wood. It rattled when I carried it. Once on its bi-pod it was a great deal of fun to shoot accurately, though it was difficult to “rock and roll” accurately offhand. It was utterly reliable, with the bold chewing up and spitting out leaves, twigs, brush, and a variety of other organic crud. While heavy to carry, especially with several loaded mags, it was my first choice as a shooter.

  11. On even numbered dates, the Swedish K (and its descendants), on odds, the Mini Uzi. Neither one looks particularly comfortable, but I find both have a sweeter temperament than the MP5, which is just the kind of soulless machine you’d expect the krauts to invent. The Tommy gun gets honorable mention for style and controllability, but it gets what it’s got by the simple expedient of weight. Anything is going to be fun to shoot if you make it that heavy. For as long as you can hold it up, anyway.

    • I’ve seen the Swedish K, I can’t remember if I fired it though (1967 – Viet Nam). One of my NCOs had it. He test fired it off a truck while we were convoying. The SOP was for everybody to fire off to the side if any shooting started. The M60 on the pole right behind the front seats of my jeep cut loose, the end of the barrel right over my head (I am pretty sure the gunner did that on purpose) and I couldn’t hear anything but ringing for three days. Lucky for me my hearing came back okay, at least it seems like it. Always wear muffs when I shoot.

      • I think one of the best aspects of the MG-42 was the barrel change system. Pop the side plate, yank the shot out barrel, shove in a new one, smack the side plate closed then you’re ready to rock another 1,500 rpm. 5 to 10 seconds tops. 60+ years later there’s nothing quicker and that speaks volumes.

  12. Love the M2 HB, but gotta give props to the Budeswehr’s MG3. Accurate, amazing cyclic rate of fire ( 700rpm), easy barrel change. Biggest pig, pun intended, the M60, when they worked they worked ok, but some spectacular jams tarnished the breed. The need for an asbestos glove for barrel changes, genius!

    • The MG3 has a cyclic rate of roughly 1000 rounds per minute. It or the FN MAG 58/M240 would be my favorites. The PK/PKM are up there as well. If I were to own a belt fed machine gun, I’d go with the PKM. 7.62x54R is dirt cheap.

  13. It would be hard to decide between the german MG 34 and MG 42. Although I have a sweet spot for the Maxim MG too…

    In the SMG field, definitely the czech Sa 23 / 25 and Sa 24 / 26. They were ahead of their time.

  14. MG42 because it set the standard for GPMG’s (it’s high rate of fire also tickles my fancy) & still chugs along nicely as the MG3.

    Also the PKM because it’s a lot of fire power for it’s weight & size & it’s reliable.

  15. HI ALL , I am a 1969 Viet Nam Vet .I carried the pig gun or M-60, for 11 months all through small hamlets and villes.I was wit a marine corps CAP unit, there was only 12 of us, so we had to be very careful about what trouble we should get our selfs into.Any how,I had complete confidence in my M-60 . fired thousands of rounds with never one problem.this is the reason I can write this reply.It saved my life and my fellow marines more than once . I would give my sole to own one,very expensive.Hope I didnt bore anyone,I could go on for days on this subject . SEE YA ALL.


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