7.5 mm MAC 1934

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The MAC 1934 was a French 7.5mm aircraft machine gun introduced into service in 1934. This weapon was utilized aboard French aircraft both wing and turret mounted. Even though the MAC 1934 was more expensive to manufacture and could not be fitted with a synchronization gear, it was utilized due to its compact size and excellent reliability.

History and development

In 1934 the Armée de l'Air turned to the Manufacture d'Armes de Châtellerault (Châttellerault weapons manufacturing company, often shortened to MAC) to develop a replacement of the Darne mod. 1933 machine gun and one that would be a faster firing variant of the mitrailleuse mle 1931. Developed to use the existing 7.5 mm MAS ammunition currently in service with other machine guns, MAC completed the development of the MAC 1934.

Two main variants of the MAC 34 were procured for use on aircraft. The first variant was the turret model which was installed on flexible mountings allowing a crew member/gunner to aim and operate the machine gun. The second variant was the wing mounted version which was fixed in place and operated by the pilot of the aircraft.

The MAC 1934 was equipped in French aircraft from 1935 until later in the 1940s. Through use of the MAC 1934 it was determined that it was too light to be used for combat in World War II and while at higher altitudes (+20,000 ft/ +6000 m), the machine guns tended to freeze up. Modifications to aircraft by installing gun heaters allowed for their operation at a cost of more weight added to the aircraft.

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