Military Review

Universal machine gun Berezina celebrates anniversary

13 April 1939 of the year, exactly 75 years ago, by the decree of the Defense Committee, a synchronous machine gun of a BS designed by M. Ye. Berezin was adopted by the Red Army. Designing a powerful 12,7-mm synchronous aviation machine gun, the designer began in the 1937 year. The machine gun was originally created under the powerful cartridge from the 12,7-mm infantry machine gun. In October-December, the BS 1938 machine gun passed a series of factory and field tests. 13 April 1939, even before the completion of military tests of the machine gun, on the basis of a decree of the Committee of Defense, he was put into mass production.

12,7-mm aviation the machine gun was created to deal with enemy aircraft - fighters and bombers. This was his main purpose. The machine gun belonged to automatic systems weapons, whose action is based on the principle of removal of powder gases through a special hole in the barrel of a machine gun. Locking the barrel when fired at the expense of a special wedge, in contrast to the ShVAK and ShKAS machine guns, in which it was carried out by skewing the bolt. The Berezina machine gun was equipped with a hammer-type mechanism, which was driven by a special combat spring.

The available trigger mechanism provided only continuous firing, the machine gun's sear was fitted with a buffer. The power supply of the BS by the cartridges was carried out using a link metal tape, the feed mechanism of the tape was of a slider type. In this case, the supply of cartridges from the receiver to the chamber was not direct. Under the barrel of the machine gun was placed return mechanism of the spring type, which was connected to the slide frame with a special liner. Extraction of spent cartridges occurs with the help of the hooks of the bolt, and its reflection is followed by a cartridge in the tape. In the back of the aviation machine gun there was a special buffer of moving parts. Mount the barrel of the machine gun to the receiver was made using a wedge.

Universal machine gun Berezina celebrates anniversary
Berezin Mikhail Evgenievich

The advantages of this 12,7-mm machine gun BS include: a successful layout of individual mechanisms and the whole machine as a whole; simple loading and unloading; high rate of fire; quick barrel change and elimination of delays; relatively few parts and a simple device mechanism. The first BS aircraft gun was launched in October 1938 of the year. The tests carried out at the plant demonstrated its good survivability and reliable operation of its automation. Two other aircraft machine guns, which were assembled in December of the same year, also successfully passed a series of ground tests.

Despite the presence of bright positive qualities, the BS machinegun also had some rather serious flaws. The main one is the difficulty in reloading the machine gun in the air with the help of a cable system, which required a lot of physical effort from the pilot, sometimes at the most decisive and crucial moments of the battle. In addition, defects were identified related to the lack of survivability of some parts of automation, and also required to eliminate the cause of some delays in the operation of the machine gun.

Taking all this into account, the gunsmith designer began to work on an improved model of his machine gun, which received the designation UB (Berezina Universal). The machine gun was created in three different versions, which varied depending on the installation location: synchronous - UBS, wing - UBK and turret - UBT. At the same time, the basic mechanisms and details of all three machine guns were kept identical, with the exception of the percussion and trigger mechanisms, in which some changes were made related to the specifics of the use of this weapon. UBK and UBS used remote control system reloading machine gun in the event of delays in the shooting during the flight. Recharging was carried out using compressed air.

UB machine guns

It was the first Soviet aviation machine gun in which the pneumatic reloading system was implemented, greatly facilitating the life of the pilot and the operation of the machine gun in combat conditions. At the same time, due to the impossibility of using this system on the turret version of the machine gun (the reason was in the cabin dimensions), designer I.I. Nikitin designed a new lever-type reloading handle for the UBT.

Troop tests of the new version of the machine guns took place in the 1941 year, they took place from January 7 to February 22. Synchronous machine guns were tested in the 116 th Fighter Regiment on the I-153 and I-16 aircraft. 6 machine guns were tested in total, of which a total of 48 286 shots were fired, including 36 870 shots in the air and 11 416 shots in the dash. In the air, shooting from an 12,7-mm machine gun was conducted in the altitude range from 1 to 9 for thousands of meters in bursts of 20-50 shots. Checking the operation of the machine gun automatics in conditions of low air temperatures was carried out by shooting at a height of about 8-9 thousands of meters, where the air temperature reached -42-48 degrees Celsius.

The effect on the work of the Berezina machine gun of inertial forces was checked by free shooting of the cartridge during the performance of various aerobatic maneuvers: at combat turns, deep turns, barrels, loops and during a dive. In all cases, installed on the fighter machine guns worked reliably, giving a small number of delays. At the same time, when firing machine guns without additional lubrication and cleaning, they could launch an average of 1470 cartridges, which ensured the possibility of making sorties a day before the 5-6 without departing to remove the machine gun for maintenance.

Installing the UBS machine gun on the Yak-9T

After the successful completion of the main program of airborne tests, machine guns were subjected to survivability tests in the land dash. The average survivability of machine guns was 10-12 thousands of shots. At the same time, the new machine gun was highly appreciated by test pilots who shot it in the air. Senior Lieutenant Kryuchkov reported that in the process of conducting military tests, the BS machine gun showed itself quite suitable for being used by the Red Army Air Force. During the tests, the machine gun showed uninterrupted operation, giving only a few easily recoverable delays in shooting. Therefore, Kryuchkov considered the work of the machine gun excellent, the same opinion was shared by other pilots who participated in his tests. The commission, which was led by Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel N. P. Kamanin, pointed out in its conclusion that the Berezin 12,7-mm synchronous machine gun of the design withstood the tests and could be adopted.

April 22 universal machine gun design Berezina was officially adopted by the Air Force of the Red Army. It is worth noting that he had ripened just in time, as the war that began through 2 a month revealed the inefficiency of low-power 7,62-mm machine guns when firing at various air targets. Mass production of UB machine guns was deployed at the Izhevsk machine-building and Tula arms factories.

During World War II, in 1944, Berezin could easily convert his aircraft machine gun into an 20-mm aircraft gun, which received the designation B-20 and used regular shells from the ShVAK gun, without any serious structural changes. Also during the war, several attempts were made to use the Berezin machine gun in the ground forces. For example, in the 1941, the tests were carried out by the installation of I. S. Leschinsky, which involved the installation of a 12,7-mm Berezin machine gun on a Kolesnikov machine from a DShK machine gun.

UBT machine gun

After the end of the war in the USSR, an attempt was made to modernize the UB machine gun to increase its rate of fire. The task was accomplished by increasing the speed of the leading link. In this case, the rate of fire of the machine gun increased approximately 1,5 times, but at the same time the reliability of the automatic machine gun operation was sharply reduced. As a result, the upgraded version of the UB machine gun was never put into service.

Synchronous machine guns Berezin UBS have been installed on many models of Soviet fighters, in particular: I-15, I-153BS, I-16 type 29, Yak-1B, Yak-3, Yak-7b, Yak-9, MiG-3 and LaGG -3.

The UBK Berezina machine guns were mounted on the Pe-2 dive bomber and the UTI MiG-15 training aircraft, and they could also be used on the MiG-3 aircraft, being hung on special wing containers.

Turret machine guns Berezina UBT installed on the Soviet bombers and attack aircraft SB, Pe-2, Er-2, Il-2, Il-4, Tu-2 and Pe-8.

Tactical and technical characteristics UB:
Weight: UBS - 21,45 kg, UBC - 21,14 kg, UBT - 21,43 kg.
Used cartridge: 12,7x108 mm.
Rate of fire: UBK and UBT - 800-1050 rds / min, UBS - 700-800 rds / min.
Initial speed of a bullet: 814-850 m / s.

Information sources:
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Predator-74
    Predator-74 April 9 2014 09: 42
    Much more interesting is Browning's rate of fire, although the reliability and slaughter are about the same. In general, Berezin did a good car, really surpassed the Germans and Italians (like they also did something like that) even of a slightly larger caliber. good
    1. Ivan Tarasov
      Ivan Tarasov April 9 2014 18: 53
      Compared with the Belgian Browning 13.2 mm FN, then roughly the same characteristics, the American Browning had the worst ballistics and low rate of fire.
  2. vdovinab
    vdovinab April 9 2014 09: 59
    Talented constructor!
  3. Igor Khlusov
    Igor Khlusov April 9 2014 11: 07
    Machine gun class!
    1. bvi1965
      bvi1965 April 9 2014 12: 39
      The "sewing machine" is good.
  4. misham1978
    misham1978 April 9 2014 11: 20
    The machine gun is not so successful. According to the memoirs of pilots and air shooters, the machine gun often jammed after the first shot. In addition, it would be nice to put the TTX Berezin plate (especially such parameters as the rate of fire, mass and energy of the bullet) and classmates (12,7-13mm WWII machine guns)
    1. lelikas
      lelikas April 9 2014 11: 59
      Quote: misham1978
      In addition, it would be nice to put the TTX Berezin plate (especially such parameters as the rate of fire, mass and energy of the bullet) and classmates (12,7-13mm WWII machine guns)

      And please - draw laziness, so in words -
      UBT weight 21,5 kg, the initial velocity of the bullet was 860 m / s, rate of fire 1000 rounds per minute. A 12.7 mm UBT machine gun bullet weighed 48 grams.

      MG 131 weight 20,5 kg, the initial velocity of the bullet was 750 m / s, rate of fire 930 rounds per minute. A 13 mm MG machine gun bullet weighed 34-38 grams.

      Browning AN / M2 weight 29 kg, the initial velocity of the bullet was 860-920 m / s, rate of fire 650-850 rounds per minute. The 12,7 mm Browning machine gun bullet weighed 42-49 grams.

      As they say - we draw conclusions! hi
      1. Bigriver
        Bigriver April 9 2014 12: 41
        Quote: lelikas
        ... MG 131 weight of 20,5 kg, the initial velocity of the bullet was 750 m / s, rate of fire of 930 rounds per minute. A 13 mm MG machine gun bullet weighed 34-38 grams hi

        You look at the sleeve repeat
        This is a small-sized machine gun. Here, Hotchkiss and his Japanese clone should be in a row for comparison.
        Berezin was a very powerful trunk. ShVAK did not always take the back of the pilot Messer, and UB - guaranteed, from most angles.
        About the failure of the machine gun from the words of the shooters and pilots - slander. You can just take a couple of dozens of front-line reviews where there is a mention of UBS-UBT-UBC and the picture will not be in favor of the author of the statement.
        1. lelikas
          lelikas April 9 2014 14: 15
          Quote: BigRiver
          Here it would be necessary in a row Hotchkiss

          And please -

          The machine gun of the Hotchkiss system weighs 22 kg, the initial velocity of the bullet was 800 m / s, and the rate of fire was 450 rounds per minute. The bullet of a machine gun Hotchkiss 13,2 mm caliber weighed 48 grams.

          Initially, the problem of UB was with the separation of the bottom of the sleeve.
      2. Ivan Tarasov
        Ivan Tarasov April 9 2014 21: 41
        750 this one, which weighed 34 grams, 38 grams (armor-piercing) bullet had a speed of 710 m, s
        With a bullet weight of 49 g, the initial speed is 600 (according to Shirokorad).
    2. samoletil18
      samoletil18 April 10 2014 21: 03
      A.I. Pokryshkin wrote the same about ShKAS. And without a MiG BS, it’s not clear how to use it. Probably a lot depended on the airfield gunsmiths.
  5. Walking
    Walking April 9 2014 11: 59
    I read and saw in the photo how the UBTs taken from the downed planes were used on armored trains and in the troops as anti-aircraft.
  6. pensioner
    pensioner April 9 2014 12: 40
    Many of our fighter pilots in their memoirs are unanimous in the opinion that one BS in battle cost more than 2 13mm. machine gun Messer. For example I. Kozhemyako in the famous book "I fought with the aces of the Luftwaffe".
  7. Bosk
    Bosk April 9 2014 15: 40
    You can also add that for the UB special cartridges with bullets BZ, BZZ T and ZR action were developed. According to the memoirs of veterans, a good machine gun with good care respectively.
  8. Colonel
    Colonel April 9 2014 16: 46
    I liked the article, but did not understand the phrase
    the trigger mechanism provided only continuous firing

    those. did not provide a single fire ???? (Why is it in aviation), or for one click on the trigger the whole b.k. flew out ???
    1. lelikas
      lelikas April 9 2014 19: 18
      Quote: colonel
      those. didn't provide a single fire?

      This is about BS.
  9. freedom2013
    freedom2013 April 9 2014 20: 37
    All the radio operators in their memoirs UNIVERSALLY say that after replacing ShKAS with Berezin, the protection of the bomber has grown. Respect and low bow to Beresen saved a lot of lives of pilots, navigators and radio-shooters.
  10. reguai
    reguai April 9 2014 22: 11
    here .. handsome)))
  11. reguai
    reguai April 9 2014 22: 12
  12. reguai
    reguai April 9 2014 22: 15
    several years ago ... in a swamp ... with IL-2 .. shot down in August 44th ..
  13. doxtop
    doxtop 7 July 2014 17: 14
    Berezin, using his machine gun, maximized the capabilities of our 12,7mm rounds. According to the memoirs of fighter pilots, the impact of the penetration of armor-piercing incendiary bullets fired from UBS / UBK / UBT on German aircraft was comparable with the action of a high-explosive fragmentation projectile on a ShVAK. Well, a good sighting line of two UBS easily sawed the wing or tail of a fighter.