Beretta MG42/59 (7.62 mm)

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The Beretta MG42/59 inside of the AUBL/74 turret


The 7.62 mm Beretta MG42/59 is a general purpose Italian machine gun. It is basically an MG3A1 that is produced by Italians.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Light tanks  AUBL/74 · AUBL/74 HVG
  Centauro I 105 · Centauro I 105 R · VRCC · Centauro I 120 · Centauro RGO
  Dardo · VCC-80/30 · VCC-80/60
  VBC (PT2) · Freccia
Medium tanks  Ariete (P) · Ariete · Ariete PSO · Ariete AMV
  ▄Leopard 1A5

General info

Tell us about the tactical and technical characteristics of the cannon or machine gun.

Available ammunition

  • Default: AP · T

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
AP 13 12 7 3 2 0
T 5 4 2 1 0 0
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
mass (kg)
Fuse delay Fuse sensitivity
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
AP 853 0.01 - - - 47° 56° 65°
T 835 0.01 - - - 47° 56° 65°

Comparison with analogues

  • MG3A1 (7.62 mm) - Being a copy of the MG3A1, the MG42/59 shares identical characteristics and performance.

Usage in battles

The Beretta MG42/59 can't penetrate any vehicles that it might encounter unless it is open-topped. If you use it to shoot down planes, you will do very little damage even if you hit critical modules.

Pros and cons


  • Fast rate of fire
  • Large belt capacity


  • Useless against armour


The German MG42 machine gun's characteristics of a high rate of fire, quick-change barrel system, roller-locked mechanism, and cheap stamped construction made it an attractive weapon for analysis in the post World War II environment.[1] The large surplus of weapons from the defeated Nazi Germany's stockpiles left many weapons available for the taking, which saw the MG42 and MG34 see use in far reaches of the globe.[2] When time came to re-arm in the Cold War period, German Bundeswehr requested the MG42 to take the stand once more as the German's universal machine gun. However, due to the destroyed documentation to produce the weapon, Rheinmetall reverse-engineered existing MG42s and, with modifications to use the standardized 7.62x51 mm NATO rounds, issued the weapon as MG1 in 1959. A modification of the MG1A2 variant with heavier bolt for a lower firing rate and ability to feed from the United States' M13 belt link led to the now prominent MG3 machine gun, which began to see use in 1963.[3] Rheinmetall's machine guns would see use in many countries across the world eager for their hand on a modern universal machine gun.

A Centauro crew with a pintle-mounted MG42/59.
Msg-info.png Rheinmetall marketed their MG1 machine gun commercially as the MG42/59, this is not to be confused with the Italian license-produced version.[3]

Italy, during the post-war period, were also interested in a universal machine gun. This led to the Italians having Beretta license-produce the MG3 as the MG42/59 machine gun. The Italians, keeping with the weapon's nature as a universal machine gun, used the MG42/59 in an infantry, armoured, aircraft, and naval role for its service. Although recently the Italian army had made considerations to change over to the Belgium FN Minimi as their next squad automatic weapon, the Italian company Stabilimento Militare Armi Leggere Terni (SMALT) had offered a kit to convert existing MG42/59 machine guns to chamber the 5.56x45 mm NATO round for the role.[4]



See also

External links


  1. McNab 2012, pg 18
  2. McNab 2012, pg 69
  3. 3.0 3.1 McNab 2012, pg. 22-24
  4. McNab 2012, pg 25
  • McNab, Chris. MG 34 and MG 42 Machine Guns. Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2012.

Tank machine guns
7.62 mm  M37 · M60D · M73 · M240 · M1919A4
12.7 mm  FN M3P · M2HB · M80 · M85
5.56 mm  MG4
7.62 mm  C6 · MG3A1
7.92 mm  MG13 Dreyse · MG34 · MG37(t) · MG42
12.7 mm  S.MG.50
7.62 mm  DT · PKMB · PKT · PKTM · RP-46 · SGMT
12.7 mm  DK · DShK · 6P49 · NSVT
14.5 mm  KPVT
7.62 mm  Browning MG4 · L3A1 · L8A1 · L8A2 · L37A1 · L37A2 · L94A1
7.7 mm  Vickers
7.92 mm  BESA
12.7 mm  L21A1
6.5 mm  Type 91
7.62 mm  Type 74
7.7 mm  Type 97
12.7 mm  Type 60 (B)
5.8 mm  QJT
7.62 mm  Type 55 · Type 59 · Type 86
12.7 mm  QJC88A · Type 54
14.5 mm  QJG02
7.62 mm  Beretta MG42/59 · FN MAG 60-40
8 mm  34/40M · Breda Mod. 38
13.2 mm  Breda Model 31
7.5 mm  AAT-52 · MAC 31
7.62 mm  A-A-F1N
8 mm  Hotchkiss Mle 1914
6.5 mm  ksp m/14-29
7.62 mm  ksp 39 C · ksp 58 · ksp 94
8 mm  ksp m/36 · ksp m/39B
12.7 mm  ksp 88