NL sent us this photo he took of Swiss Army MG51 machine guns and MG64 machine guns waiting to be cleaned.

The MG51, or 7.5 mm Maschinengewehr 1951, is the Swiss version of the MG42 manufactured by W&F. It is chambered in 7.5x55mm Swiss. It has been in service for over 60 years. The MG 64 is the Swiss Army designation for the Browning M2. There is not much online about the MG 64. Presumably the Swiss adopted the M2 in 1964.

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  • J.T.

    Probably the MG 3 which is Germany’s improved MG 42. The Germans export a lot of guns.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    What was not mentioned is that the MG51 is so heavily over-engineered ( in typical Swiss fashion ), that it will, and has, far outlasted its progenitor, the MG42, and all the numerous other derivatives thereof ( such as the Yugoslavian M53 ). The MG51 uses machined-from-the solid steel parts in place of the stamped-steel components of the MG42, and the gun steel forgings are of exceptionally high quality. Only the barrel jacket is a stamped component, and the MG51 uses an improved locking mechanism comprising a two-piece bolt with locking flaps and a lever-type bolt accelerator in place of the roller-locked one-piece bolt with striker sleeve and return spring of the MG42. Both guns are dimensionally similar, yet the “dry” weight ( sans ammunition ) of the MG51 is nearly 10 pounds heavier (!) at 35.27 pounds with bipod versus the 25.51 pounds of the MG42 with bipod, a huge difference that is the result almost solely of the over-engineering mentioned above. If any GPMG were to be said to be totally “bulletproof” and near-incapable of wearing out, this would be it ( along with the incredibly durable stamped-steel PK / PKM ).

    I suspect that the real reason why the Swiss are retiring the MG51 from active service has more to do with standardization on lighter, more up-to-date weapons specifications and tactical doctrine than anything else. I seriously doubt if the guns themselves are showing any significant signs of wear, given their construction.

    Hmmm……I know this is probably wishful thinking, but could this mean that MG51’s might possibly become available to Class III collectors sometime in the future?

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    I think J.T. is correct. I don’t seem to recall the Swiss ever exporting the MG51 for overseas use. The MG51 per se is solely in Swiss Army service.