The first self powered (not needing external power source like minigun) was invented in 1885. Heavier descendants, the first heavy machine guns, where first used in World War I, where they changed the face of warfare. Their purpose is mainly to provide suppresive fire, meaning letting bullets rain over the enemy, making him stuck behind his cover. Machine guns are divided into categories after caliber. Light and medium machine guns can be used by a single soldier, but heavy machine guns are always mounted, either stationary or on vehicles.
Light machine gunsEdit
Light machine guns are machine guns chambered in intermediate assault rifle calibers that are designed to be employed by a single soldier as a handheld weapon. These weapons are sometimes called the Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW. A light machine gun may be a variant of an existing rifle design (with modifications -- such as a larger capacity magazine, a heavier barrel, and a bipod for stability -- to make the weapon more suitable for sustained automatic fire) or a unique design specifically for the purpose.
Common Light Machine GunsEdit
RPKEditAn Russian light machine gun, chambered with the 7.62x39mm cartridge. It was made by Kalashnikov for Soviet troops. It is almost identical to the AK-47 exept being heavier and with longer barrel. It was modified into the RPK-74 (alongside the AK-74) and then chambered for the lighter 5.45x39mm cartridge, and later modifed into the RPK-74M, wich uses polyesters and plastic parts instead of wood. It also exist in an version chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. If you for some reason want to carry an LMG the RPK and its many variants are exellent candidates. Although it can't hold as much ammo in its box magazine as belt-fed MGs can, it is much lighter. It can be found in the former Soviet Union and some Asian and African countries.
An Belgium made, belt fed LMG, proabably most famous as the M249, the version used by the U.S army. It uses the 5.56x45mm NATO round. It has many variants, notable are the before-mentioned M249 and a more compact and lighter paratrooper version. They can be easily found in abandoned military bases of many countries, like the U.S, U.K, Belgium, Norway, Australia, Malasia and more.
Medium machine gunsEdit
Medium machine guns (also known as general-purpose machine guns) occupy the gray area between light machine guns and heavy machine guns, they are chambered in full-size rifle calibers, are man-portable, are usually belt-feld, and are designed to be fired from a stationary position mounted on a bipod or tripod, although it is possible for one man to carry a medium machine gun, though it is not advisable.
Common Medium Machine GunsEdit
PKEditSeries of Soviet medium machine guns, firing 7.62x54 mmR round. The original PK was made in the 1960s by Kalashnikov, and was later modified to the PKM.
An Belgium made belt fed GPMG first introduced in the 1950s.
A North-American medium machine-gun, most notably used in the jungles of Vietnam by the US army. The M60 fires a large round and can tear down a horde of zombies in little time.
Considered by many experts to be one of the finest machine-guns ever made, the MG-42 is belt-fed, pressed steel, air cooled, relatively low in recoil, and easily reloaded. The only drawback with the MG-42 is ammunition consumption, which its firing rate of 1200 RPM facilitates. Fully operational MG-42's can be found in museums, private collections all over the world, central/south American weapon housings, other third world-country armories, and barack's armories in Germany.
The MG-42, known for making the sound similar to a "buzz-saw" or tearing linoleum when firing, will bring you through the zombie invasion, easily shredding assailants into a "red mist".
Heavy machine gunsEdit
Heavy machine guns use large, sometimes 50 caliber, ammunition. Also they are built heavier and are mounted on tripods. They are also often mounted on vehicles. It is not possible to fire them unsupported.
Common Heavy Machine GunsEdit
- American M2 Browning
- Russian DShK
Pros and ConsEdit
All machine guns, even those considered "light" machine guns, are heavy. For example, a loaded M249 SAW weighs roughly 10 kg (about 22 Ibs), so when you are traveling, these weapons are not the most comfortable. Also, very few have selective fire, which can be a problem when trying to save ammunition. On the other hand, if having access to enough ammunition, they can be very valuable as mounted weapon to defend bases.