POTD: Maschinengewehr 74

    The highlight of any training within the military? Shooting fully automatic firearms for sure, as well as blowing things up, and in Today’s Photo, you can see soldiers of the Austrian Bundesheer working their issued Maschinengewehr 74.

    Perhaps running with the 12 kg heavy (plus ammo and other gear) isn’t the highlight of the day, but it’s fast forgotten as the barrel starts to heat up as the bullets go down the range.

    The MG 74 is an MG 42/59 variant licensed from Beretta and manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher, used since 1974.

    Below: Maschinengewehr. It machines gewehrs.

    The caliber is 7,62×51 mm NATO, belt-fed.


    Below you can see how the machinegun operator changes the barrel. Gloves and other heat protection is highly recommended!

    Check the new barrel before you use it, make sure there are no obstructions.

    All photos are taken by Bundesheer, Dietmar Bodensteiner.

    The Austrian Army also has the Browning Machine Gun, in caliber .50 BMG, M2.