AR15.Com Archives
 M240 vs. MG3
texas1138  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 5:22:14 AM EST
As a machinegunner I am pretty familiar with the capabilities of the 240, but I was watching some video of the MG3 firing the other day and I must say it looked pretty sweet. I know it's based on the MG 42, but apart from that I don't know a whole lot about the weapon.

So wich is the better weapon? Pro's and Con's? Let's here some discussion.
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cookhj  [Member]
9/18/2006 6:37:26 AM EST
i don't know about the MG3, but the 240G is one bad ass weapon. i have fired a few hundred rounds through them and they're hard to bead as a medium machine gun.
dar48  [Member]
9/18/2006 7:29:25 AM EST
Well, as you said, the MG3 is based off the MG42 of WWII fame. Unless they installed better springs or a rate-reducer of some variety, the M240 may be a little more accurate. What's its ROF? MG42s were notorious for throwing out lead in a type of "long-range shotgun" effect to saturate an area with bullets to hinder manuever or deny it to infantry. The MG3 is going to be a typical, German (well-built) design, and if they slowed it down some, that would make it nice. I know a little about the 240B, like it has a higher ROF than the M-60 did, which probably isn't a bad thing. If short (2-3rnd) bursts are possible with the 240, that's much better than the old MG42 could do, and possibly the MG3.
Scooby223  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 7:49:46 AM EST
The MG3 has a heavier bolt and cycles at about 900rpm. Also problems with the MG42 and premature unlocking are supposedly solved.
tankjr  [Member]
9/18/2006 7:53:01 AM EST
When I was in Germany, I got to qualify with German weapons. The MG3 was one of them. The rate of fire was the same as the MG42.The bipod had front and back movement,so when lying prone, you had to lean into the weapon because of the recoil. It was hard to get anything less than 6 rounds off when you pulled the trigger. It sure was fun though, but the ROF was way too high. We were using M-60's then, and you could easily fire 2 or even get 1 round off at a time.Rounds were everywhere with the MG3. The quick change barrel is probably the best feature. Just slam ths lever forward, and the chamber end pops out the side, and pull it out. Throw in the new one, close. It took about 10-15 seconds. Real slick. The non-disentegrating belt was ok, they had a neat little hand cranked thing you just dropped the rounds in and turned the lever. Took about 30 seconds for a 50 round belt. They seemed heavier than the M60 links. Good sturdy weapon, but like I said, ROF was too high.
Blue_Genes  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 12:49:32 PM EST
I guess it all depends on what you look for in a machinegun. It seems that M240 is better suited for taking out small targets at distance if need be, but also a decent volume of fire to suppress. The MG3 seems as if it is better made to wipe out an entire group of men at once, or to bathe an area with lead.
OLY-M4gery  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 1:17:22 PM EST
M240 weighs how much?

MG3 weighs how much?

I suppose 1200 rpm can be an awful lot.

But in vehicles or aircraft, when you are getting 1 second of firing time at a target, do you want 550, 750, or 1200 rpm?

I'm guessing mounted, that 1200 rpm gets a lot more lead toward the enemy.

Especially from a vehicle or aircraft that has a 2,000 round hopper, or larger feeding that beast.

I've also heard that MG42's were more like 800-1200 rpm, with 1200 only be achieved when the belt was drag free. Generally some resistance on the belt would slow the gun.

thedoctors308  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 1:25:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Scooby223:
The MG3 has a heavier bolt and cycles at about 900rpm. Also problems with the MG42 and premature unlocking are supposedly solved.


Also has a better/easier quick change bbl than the 240, IMO.
Combat_Jack  [Member]
9/18/2006 2:24:05 PM EST
I've shot an MG42 and found it very uncontrollable under recoil. No thank you.
texas1138  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 2:30:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By Scooby223:
The MG3 has a heavier bolt and cycles at about 900rpm. Also problems with the MG42 and premature unlocking are supposedly solved.


Also has a better/easier quick change bbl than the 240, IMO.


How is it faster? The 240 is pretty quick, I find it pretty hard to believe that the MG3 could be any faster. Then again I'm not familiar with it's operation, so I can't say for certain.
offroader333  [Member]
9/18/2006 3:14:58 PM EST
off topic but the pkm is the best of both shooting cheap but powerfull 7.62x54r
Special-K  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 7:22:25 PM EST
IIRC, the MG3 was/is one of the heavier machine guns out there, but is generally popular with the troops who use it.




-K
Combat_Jack  [Member]
9/18/2006 7:38:12 PM EST
MG3, 23.1 pounds without bipod, 25.3 with.
M240 27.6.

_RAGNAR_  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 7:59:25 PM EST
Well, besides being in the service and having started with the M60 and transitioned to the 240B (my experience includes Ranger batt and SF and I am a qualified armorer), My experience also includes the fact that between a buddy and I we own both a MG3 (mine) and a 240B (his) (he also owns a steyr and a PKM).

If I have to carry a gun it would be the 240. If it was mounted I'd take the MG3

Some other posts were not quite right. the MG fires more like 1200, which is still slower than the MG42 which fires at nearly 1500. 1200 = 20 rds per second, so all you hear is noise, not shots.

Also the higher rate does not help you "take out a whole squad" it allows more bullets to land in the dispersion cone, making it more likely to hit a target. the dispersion cone is actually probably smaller on the MG3 than on the 240, especially if you use the german tripods and pintle mounts. They are way better than the 240 mounts. (I own both a wartime and a postwar ground tripod)

On the tripod the MG3 rules for sure, no comparison. From a helo, for sure the rate of fire wins again. More rounds in a cone from way up in the air is better.

But once again for carry the MG3 kind of sucks, it's pretty long and very front heavy as it has a lot of stuff up front to make the cyclic rate so fast. It can be done but the 240 balances a lot better. Also I have not seen and top covers or attachments for night vision or Elcan, etc, for the MG3.

The MG3 is more accurate if you need to make perfect shots, it can do it pretty well, especially on the tripod.

If anything the MG3 is almost too accurate. Someone mentioned the PKM. this is the perfect weapon for foot patrol.

The MG3 is very controllable if you know how to handle a belt fed, all can be fired from the offhand if need be but you need to be a bit stronger with the MG3. Any good Machinegunner will adapt to the MG3 in no time.

Neither weapon feeds from a "hopper" as someone mentioned, and once again it is not just a weight issue, it is where the weight is located on the weapon. 3-4# of weight in the middle vs. 3-4# on the muzzle is completely different.

The MG3 takes the day in barrel changes, but with that rate of fire you must change barrels, were sometimes you can blow it off with the 240B.

MG3 don't have any issue with "belt drag" they will pull a lot of belt, but really your AG should be taking care of that anyway, and in a mount they have special 500rd cans that organize the ammo in stacks so there is no drag.

The MG3 will also carry rounds in the feedtray, bolt forward, which is kind of nice. You can also load without opening the feedtray cover, just stick the tab through and click it into place and charge the gun.

The MG3 is a GPMG that is more optimized as a crew gun from a tripod. The 240B is a GPMG that is more optimized for patrol.

In a perfect world on a vehicle or helo, I'd take a dual mounted MG3's for patrol I'd probably rather have a PKM if they could figure out a good Eclan mount and rails, etc. Otherwise I'll take the 240B


BTW nothing in this post was a slam on the 240B it is a GREAT gun!!! Just rather see it 3-4 pound lighter.
OLY-M4gery  [Team Member]
9/18/2006 10:49:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By _RAGNAR_:

Neither weapon feeds from a "hopper" as someone mentioned, and once again it is not just a weight issue, it is where the weight is located on the weapon. 3-4# of weight in the middle vs. 3-4# on the muzzle is completely different.

The MG3 takes the day in barrel changes, but with that rate of fire you must change barrels, were sometimes you can blow it off with the 240B.

MG3 don't have any issue with "belt drag" they will pull a lot of belt, but really your AG should be taking care of that anyway, and in a mount they have special 500rd cans that organize the ammo in stacks so there is no drag.

The MG3 will also carry rounds in the feedtray, bolt forward, which is kind of nice. You can also load without opening the feedtray cover, just stick the tab through and click it into place and charge the gun.



Yeah, MG42's certainly did have changed in rate of fire based on how they were feed. Saddle drums had more resistance, and guns using saddle drums, had lowered rate of fire.

MG42's would pull a lot of belt. But the gun with a 100 round belt on the ground vs the 100 round belt being guided by the AG would have a lower rate of fire.

Any weapon belt fed weapon can feed from a hopper. Just like a belt fed weapon can feed from a loose belt, or a belt coming out of an ammo can. I'm not talking about weapons with actual hoppers were loose rounds are dropped in to feed the weapon.

If you have a vehicle or helipcopter mount, you may as well get a really big "ammo can" where you can keep your belted ammo orderly, and ready to feed.
_RAGNAR_  [Team Member]
9/19/2006 5:14:00 AM EST
That's what a "hopper" is, a thing for loose rounds. An ammo can is an ammo can is an ammo can. whether it is large or Small.

MG42s don't have saddle drums (unless you are talking about something really weird and rare). MG13s and MG34s had saddle drums. They do have 50rd assault drums which hang on one side and just hold an organized 50rd belt, they induce no substantial drag.

Nobody lays 100rd belt out on the ground. The belts are either S rolled and/or the gunner uses his left hand under the belt when he doesn't have an AG.

Like I said I have one of these. I can load 100's of rounds, stand and let it all hang to the ground and there is no noticeable change in cyclic rate. I have also laid 100-200 round belts out on the ground to see what would happen and the guns had no issue.

There is no way to organize more than 500rds for the MG42 that I know of. (the Normandy bunkers may have had something bigger than the 5005d can) It is more than enough and even 250-300 in a normal can works fine. It is not a mini gun, because it has one barrel not six, you can only shoot so much with it.


For reference my gun is a waffen marked MG42 that has been converted to 7.62 Nato and remarked. I have shot it in 308 and 8mm. The steyr is an MG74 in 308. I have LOTs of rounds through mine.
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