Military Review

Machine gun W + F LMG25 (Switzerland)

In the late tenths and early twenties of the last century weapons Waffenfabrik (W + F) offered the Swiss army several options for small arms for various purposes. However developed by W + F aviation and the infantry submachine guns, as well as the automatic carbine, did not suit the military. This weapon had specific characteristics, was too expensive or used a non-standard cartridge, which blocked his path to the army. Nevertheless, the design team of the enterprise, headed by Adolf Furrer, did not refuse to develop his ideas. By the middle of the decade, a new light machine gun was created, which later became the first successful development of the W + F.

Recall, the M1919 infantry submachine gun did not suit the military because of its complexity and high cost, the twin-aircraft Flieger-Doppelpistol 1919 had insufficient firepower, and the M1921 carbine used a non-standard cartridge. In the new project of a perspective machine gun, it was decided to use already worked out ideas concerning the mechanisms of weapons, as well as to apply the existing standard rifle cartridge already used by the army. Such an approach made it possible to hope for the successful completion of all the tests and the approval of the military leaders.

General view of the machine gun LMG25 on the machine. Photo

The aim of the new project was to create a light infantry machine gun, which affected its name: Leichtes Maschinengewehr or abbreviated LMG. Subsequently, the year of completion was added to this index. So the weapon left in stories under the designation LMG25. Often the name of the factory developer or project manager is added to the name of the machine gun: W + F LMG25 or Furrer LMG25. All these designations are equivalent and refer to the same weapon.

Most of the claims to previous developments A. Furrera was associated with the use of pistol cartridges, including non-standard. The new machine gun, unlike its predecessors, was supposed to use standard Swiss rifle ammunition such as 7,5x55 mm Swiss. All elements of the weapon should have been designed taking into account the parameters of such a cartridge. In this case, it was decided to keep the already-tested and proven automation.

Previous models of small arms, developed by experts W + F, based on the modified automatic Parabellum pistol. At that time, the company was engaged in the licensed manufacture of such weapons, which ultimately led to the emergence of a new idea underlying several projects. The weapon was supposed to work at the expense of recoil of the moving barrel and lock the bolt using a system of moving levers. From the basic design of the pistol by Georg Luger, A. Furrer’s weapon differed in the number of levers and other features.

Top view of the receiver (trunk on the left, butt on the right). Photo

All the main parts of the machine gun LMG25 were placed inside a barrel of complex shape, connected to the casing of the bolt. The central part of the receiver had a rectangular cross section, on its right a large casing was provided with a magazine window and a snap in the side wall. The left wall of the box was missing, and instead there was a movable lid that protected the mechanisms from dirt. In front of the central section of the receiver joined a cylindrical barrel housing. The casing had a mass of slots for air circulation, and was also equipped with a front sight, bipod mounts, etc.

The main internal node of the machine gun was the barrel with the bolt and levers. The rifled barrel had a length of 585 mm and caliber 7,5 mm. On the outer surface of the trunk provided for the valleys To the breech of the trunk was attached a long frame, inside which were located the bolt and its levers. The shutter was a rectangular block with several grooves, a drummer and an extractor. In the back of it was attached one of the three levers. The second lever was connected to the first, and also swung on the mounts of the third. The third, the shortest, was attached directly to the frame. On the levers there were overflows and protrusions, with the help of which they came into contact with the grooves of the receiver and thereby moved in the right direction.

Machine gun LMG25 parsed. Photo

When the barrel and its assemblies move backwards, under the effect of recoil, the levers also set in motion and retract the bolt, extracting the liner. Further, under the action of a return spring, the barrel had to go forward, and the levers, in turn, fit inside their casing frame and send the bolt to the extreme forward position. During the automatic operation, the hinges of the levers had to go beyond the main bracket, which led to the appearance of some new parts. In the previous developments of A. Furrer, the levers went beyond the receiver through the corresponding windows. The new machine gun received a set of parts to protect the levers.

The hinge of the second and third levers had to go into the cavity of the receiver behind the receiving window of the store. The hinge of the first and second levers, extending a greater distance, received more complex protection. The left side wall of the receiver was made in the form of a rising spring-loaded cap with a rectangular main part and a sloping back. In the stowed position, she held the latch vertically and protected the automation from dirt. Behind this cover a small bucket-like cover was attached to the vertical hinge. Before firing, the cover was fastened automatically: when the mechanisms were cocked, the levers pushed the rectangular piece to the side. Rising to a horizontal position, the main cover diverted sideways-back small. Thus, there was a window for ejection of the sleeves, and also some protection of the mechanisms and the shooter were provided.

Machine gun W + F LMG25 (Switzerland)
Scheme of work automation. Figure

The trigger mechanism consisted of two main parts and was located in different parts of the weapon. So, the trigger, whisper and other parts were under the arms and frame and were responsible for firing. The fuse combined with the translator of fire, in turn, was placed in the right compartment of the receiver, in front of the shop window. The fuse-translator flag had three positions that allowed blocking the descent, as well as firing single shots or bursts. Used automation provided a technical rate of fire at the level of 500 shots per minute.

Furrer LMG25 machine gun was proposed to be carried out using detachable box magazines. This store contained 30x7,5 mm Swiss 55 cartridges and had to fit into the receiving window on the right side of the receiver. A curious feature of the window was the latch. It was controlled by a relatively large moving part with a notch. When it was withdrawn, the store was freed. In order to avoid contamination of a weapon without a magazine, it was proposed to place in the empty receiving window a curved part of a special shape that stood on the available fastenings. Thanks to her and the lid on the opposite side of the receiver, large contaminants could not enter the weapon.

From the point of view of the methods of filing cartridges, the perspective machine gun did not differ from the previous weapon developed by the W + F factory. The cartridges were fed to the right, sent to the chamber, and after the shot were thrown into the window to the left. This scheme was worked out and tested, so that could be used in the new project.

Shutter levers, view from the side of the window for ejection of liners. Photo

The machine gun received a wooden box on which all the main parts were attached. The stock began at the level of the barrel cover and ended with a butt with a metal back plate. Next to the trigger guard there was a pistol grip. A little later, by order of the military, a so-called. cavalry version of the machine gun, the main difference of which was the design of the butt. To reduce the size of the weapon, he developed, and in the most original way. After unlocking the latch, the butt was turned down on the 90 ° and placed vertically behind the pistol grip.

Above the breech bore was an open mechanical sight. On the muzzle of the barrel casing was set fly. The sight was designed for firing at a distance of up to 2000 m.

Light machine gun LMG25 could be used with various additional devices that increase the accuracy and accuracy of fire. For firing with an emphasis all machine guns of this type were completed with a folding bipod. The hinges were located under the front sight, in the stowed position the fry was placed under the barrel cover and was fixed with a leather strap. From the previous projects of A. Furrer, the machine gun "inherited" an additional emphasis in the form of a handle with a retractable T-shaped support. Mounts for this device were in the front of the box and on the butt.

Frame with bolt and levers. Photo

The finished weapon had a total length of 1163 mm (barrel length 585 mm) and weighed 8,65 kg. When adjoining the store, attaching the stop or installing on the machine, the dimensions and weight of the machine gun changed accordingly.

Especially for LMG25 was developed a new machine. On the base tripod, there were devices for pointing in two planes and fixing the weapon in the desired position. The machine gun was attached to the curved frame of the U-shaped profile. In this case, the barrel casing in the breech area was clamped with a special clamp, the pistol grip rested against the frame, and the rear end of the latter was in contact with the mount on the butt.

It is known about a complete set of some serial machine guns by optical sights. With the use of such devices and machine gun turned into a fairly accurate and long-range weapons, suitable for solving specific combat missions.

The frame of the barrel, the bolt in the rear position, the levers are turned. Photo

The first prototypes of the prospective light machine gun were assembled in the 1924 year. The following year, the weapons were presented to the military. This time A. Furrer and his colleagues created exactly what the army wanted. The new machine gun was relatively light and compact, used the existing cartridge and had fairly high combat characteristics. According to the results of tests in 1925, the machine gun W + F LMG25 was adopted by the Swiss army. At the same time started full-scale mass production.

Serial machine guns of the new model were completed with a number of additional devices for various purposes. A spare barrel, a pair of magazines, a telescopic support, an additional sight with perspective rings, accessories for cleaning, etc. were attached to each machine gun. All additional products were supplied in leather pouches of appropriate shapes and sizes.

The first LMG25 machine guns left the assembly line in 1924, and the last batch was handed over to the customer only in 46. For more than two decades, Waffenfabrik has manufactured and delivered thousands of machine guns to the customer of the 23. Serial weapons, as noted in some sources, are of high quality and reliability. At the same time, the machine guns were quite expensive, but they still arranged the military.

Swiss soldier with a machine gun LMG25. Photo

LMG25 remained the main machine gun of the Swiss army until the sixties. At this time, deliveries of Stgw.57 automatic rifles began, which had similar characteristics and used the same ammunition. Over time, the new weapon replaced the old machine guns, although their operation continued for some time. According to various sources, the last LMG25 were decommissioned not earlier than the mid-seventies. Part of this type of weapon can still be stored in warehouses in Switzerland. In addition, a number of machine guns sold out to museums and private collections.

The first own projects of the W + F and A. Furrer factories were not crowned with success, however, they allowed to solve a number of important problems and eventually create a very successful design. Machine gun LMG25 was adopted in the mid-twenties and remained in operation until the mid-seventies. Thus, this weapon, which has served half a century, can rightfully be considered one of the most successful models developed in Switzerland.

On the materials of the sites:

Detailed photo review of the machine gun with a demonstration of individual parts:
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  1. Vega
    Vega 17 February 2016 12: 00
    An interesting and informative article, and most importantly with details.