A good few folks had questions about what all the nomenclature is with regards NV kit and I know I was the exact same before I did a ton of digging around to learn what it all means. So I’ve put together a succinct little guide to the naming of all the bits you’ll need to actually attach common NVDs to a helmet in a manner that’ll be efficient for any activity where you’re using a firearm or replica.
I’m fairly certain this will answer a lot of the questions folks have in this specific area of NV gear. I’ve not gone in to the night vision itself or helmet setups as those are different topics for other posts/videos, I’ve just focused on the interfacing parts between a helmet and the NV and I reckon this will clear things up for those who are interested in purchasing this gear themselves.
Last piece of footage from 2018’s visit to Battlefield: Vegas. I should actually have one more video to upload since I paid to shoot the Reising SMG, but the person working the till/reception clearly didn’t know what that was, didn’t articulate it correctly on the receipt that the RSOs work from when pulling the guns from the racks and I got so caught up in things I forgot to remedy the issue myself before leaving. This also came close to happening to me in 2017 when I shot the BAR since that also was missed from my trolley though luckily on that occasion I realised the mistake myself just as I was about to leave the premises.
I know it’s an incredibly busy venue and there’s a TON of weaponry floating around so this isn’t me saying the staff are all out to scam you by any means, but this was something I meant to mention in a full updated review of BFV which I never got around to so I’ll mention it here instead. If you go just remember you’re paying a lot and it’s a unique experience so don’t get too carried away in the moment and miss out on anything you’ve shelled out for.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. Since I mentioned the MG-42 in the previous post about the Garand I might as well slightly elaborate here. As discussed previously there was a stark contrast between US/Allied doctrine and German doctrine for the infantry. The US standardised on a self-loading infantry rifle (the Garand) in the 1930s, but Germany focused heavily on the MG and manufactured over 14 million K98 pattern bolt-actions for the majority of their forces to use with only around 1 million self-loaders produced – and that’s if you combine the G-41, G-43 and Stg44 production numbers all together.
Now the MG-34 that preceded the 42 had already been a successful general purpose machine gun (unlike the more specific weapons of WW1) however the 34 uses an incredibly complex receiver painstakingly machined from billet, which Forgotten Weapons of course has a great video showing off. Germany naturally wanted a gun that could be produced far faster and more economically, so the 42 makes extensive usage of stampings. The Stg44 is also a largely stamped gun and as we know an infamously successful one. On a related note, original AK-47 type rifles were in fact stamped but when the Russians couldn’t get that quite right they temporarily switched to heavy, expensive machined receivers only to then go back to stampings for the AKM a few years later (as soon as they’d figured the stamping out, likely with the help of a few former Nazi engineers).
The MG-42 fires the same 7.92x57mm cartridge as the K98 that most troops were equipped with and does so at a rate of roughly 1200 rounds per minute – for reference an ROF is more like 600 is typical of other guns of the period. The locking of the action is accomplished via roller delay very much like the entire G3/MP5 family of weapons that came after WW2, so there is no gas piston or gas system of any kind on the MG-42, unlike the Bren gun or BAR. Just one of a great many of examples of how this weapon’s legacy post WW2 is surprisingly wide in scope. Being stamped with looser tolerances than the MG-34 and featuring an ingeniously simplistic operating mechanism, the 42 proved to be a lot more rugged and reliable in use, although the fact it fires so quickly and requires frequent barrels changes made it less than ideal for use in the cramped confines of tanks and the like so the MG-34 was pushed in to vehicular mounts in most instances.
Doctrine placed the MG at the heart of the German squad. In the ‘light’ role the 3 man team for the MG-42 consisted of not just the gunner himself but an assistant gunner and another man dedicated to carrying ammunition. Other riflemen in the squad could also potentially carry a tri-pod or more belts of 7.92 for the MG alongside their K98ks. Given the very high ROF logistics was of course an issue so the gunner had to keep his bursts short and controlled, but even then keeping the beast fed was very much a team effort.
A great number of nicknames emerged for the weapon on account of the fact that at 1200 RPM the human ear cannot pick up the individual shots, instead a continuous cutting or ripping noise is heard when the gun runs at its’ intended speed. Even the incredibly old and well worn example I am firing in this video is still firing at a higher rate than is normal for the vast majority of small arms throughout history.
Many elements of the 42 live today within the MG3 and FN MAG series (e.g. British GPMG and US M240). With the MAG for example the bi-pod and trigger mechanism are almost literally identical to those on the 42, the top cover/feed mech is also incredibly similar as is the attachment for the butt stock. The 50 round drums that were originally produced for the MAG also share characteristics with drums used on the MG-42.
The MG3 was used extensively in the German military right up until the early 2010s and as far as I can tell is still in quite extensive service with various countries around the world even though is it borderline identical to the MG-42. It is finally entering the era of being phased out by newer designs like the HK MG5 in some places, but it’s taken a great many decades of development for anybody to come up with something objectively better.
The MP-44, later Stg once Hitler changed his mind, was not the first firearm to see military adoption or usage that fit the criteria of an assault rifle. There were guns that came before it that were shoulder fired, had selection options for both single shot and automatic and made use of an intermediate cartridge fed from a reasonable size box magazine. However we commonly refer to the Stg as the first since it really took the concept from the realm of small-time player in to the big time limelight.
It was by no means a perfect weapon and by comparison to the AR and AK of the modern era it has a fair few problems, especially when it comes to the magazines, the heating of the handguard, the absurd design of the fire control group and the lax headspacing of the tilting bolt locking system. That’s without getting in to the manufacturing issues Germany faced during the war. But there’s no denying the practicality of the concept for use at real world combat distances.
Quick magazine blasted through an SVT-40.
I was really impressed with this rifle compared to the G-43, which is certainly a contemporary equivalent or rival design. Both self loaders with 10 round detachable box magazines and short stroke gas pistons, really quite similar manuals of arms and sighting systems too. The cartridges are also very similar indeed, yet the recoil from the SVT felt like nothing comparatively.
Granted in the modern US there’s a plethora of ammo available with different loadings and I can’t account for that in my perceptions because I don’t know the brands or loadings I fired. The lubrication state and age/wear on the guns could also come in to play to an extent, but I have to say I think even when considering all of those factors I’d sill find the SVT to be the better all around rifle with a much softer recoil.
Of the bolt actions rifles I’ve fired, the Mosin-Nagant has been by far the worst/least pleasant in terms of recoil, action of the bolt and trigger pull, as well as iron sights (and I’ve fired a few different Mosins to check). I don’t know how reliable the SVT was in field conditions, but in terms of recoil and sheer volume and rate of fire going down range I’d be one very happy comrade if somebody handed me this instead of the Nagant rifle before I stormed Berlin.
The tossbag AI from Google demonetised this the second I put Nazi in the title of course, because history is a bad thing and we should pretend none of it happened right? I’ll make no bones about it, YouTube video titles will be a tad vaguely clickbait’y going forward because, as anyone in that realm will tell you, it’s absolutely the only way to have any hope at all. Content style will not change though which I hope is evident; just shooting, kit reviews, airsoft etc and personally I think the title/thumb matters zilch as soon as you’ve gone past clicking on the video and started watching. That aside please do tap/click to watch, tag mates, hit share, whatever you can do to give the finger to these corporations that act like genuine fascists.
Now I myself was first introduced to the notion of self loading rifles used in large numbers by the Germans and Russians during WW2 when I played Call of Duty: United Offensive (which I seriously believe to be the pinnacle of the game series btw) and ever since then I’d been intensely curious as to what the actual firing experience would be with the G43 and SVT-40. They’re not as easy to find as M1 rifles, as you can imagine.
A future video will show the SVT, which I have to say purrs like a kitten where the 43 kicks like an angry mule with steel shoes on its’ hind hooves. Whether the ammo used was a contributor it’s hard to say, but case volume for the explosive charge is borderline identical between the 2 rounds, barely 0.1 cubic centimetres between them. They both use short stroke gas pistons. The 43 is flapper locked versus the SVT’s tilting bolt, but I’ve no clue if that would affect felt recoil to be honest.
I didn’t really rate the sights, the cockling handle is far less ergonomic than the SVT and yes the box mag is far easier than the En Bloc of the M1, but that’s a result of being designed much later on; the Garand was dreamt up when stripper clips were far more prevalent and comparatively ‘the norm’.
Since I’ve already shot the K98, MP40, MG-42, STG-44, Luger and P-38, the G43 ticks off another big name on the list. Might do the MG-34 next perhaps, any other German weapons of the era that you folks would consider iconic? I really want a crack at the FG-42, but chances are REAL slim of finding an original. Since I’ve fired so many American, British and Russian weapons of WW2 it only really made sense to compare what the enemy were using.
If you’re interested in seeing how certain firearms (including some rare historical stuff) actually fires and handles in reality vs video games you want to make sure you’ve subscribed/notified over on the F9 YouTube channel.
Last week I was dumping a mag through a PPsh-41 in a single, this week it’s the MP 40. ROF on the PPSh is around 950 round per minute, while it’s a mere 550 on the German gun. Compare both videos and that 400 RPM difference is a stark contrast to say the least.
There’s also absolutely nowhere on the Ruskie blaster that’s actually ‘good’ for your support hand to be placed, whereas the standardised firearm layout of the MaschinenPistole means you’ve got a very handy stick magazine to hold just like a vertical foregrip. There’s actually less than a pound of difference in weight between the 2 guns, though I think the bolt travel is a fair bit longer on the MP, which would be another contributing factor.
I’d imagine a lot of the issues with the design of the PPSh stem from the fact it was intended to use a huge drum mag originally. Doctrine was to support the gun by the magazine from what I know about it, though if you watch enough Forgotten Weapons you’ll also know the Russians had trouble with production and reliability on the drums hence the move over to the standard box magazine. Definitely would like to fire the drum at some point, just because it’s the more iconic silhouette and I used it so much when i played through the original Call of Duty about 8 times as a teenager.
Anyway, enjoy the smooth, flat shooting of the MP 40. Has to be said that compared to the all most famous SMGs of WW2 (M1928/M1, M3 Grease, Sten and the PPSh), the German’s option is probably the objective best all around. Quality manufacture, comfortable and sensible ergonomics and a logical and sensible calibre and rate of fire so you don’t burn through mags at a silly rate. The PPS-43 would be a close runner and obviously there were other good designs of the era, but I’m talking about the big players we all know best from films and games.
Would anyone choose something different if they genuinely had to go back and fight on the western front? From a perspective of real practicality and having shot all of the contenders (in full auto), there’s a clear winner in my mind.
Just me putting turning money in to noise at Battlefield: Vegas. I’d always been incredibly curious just how uncomfortable the Sten submachine gun would be hold even hold let alone shoot given the plate of essentially raw steel that makes up the ‘grip’ on the Mk2 (which was the most common variant). It’s actually not too terribly bad.