MG3A1 (7.62 mm)

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The MG 3A1 is a German 7.62 mm General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). The MG 3A1 is a post-war derivative of the MG 42 (7.92 mm) machine gun, re-chambered to take the 7.62×51 mm NATO round, and featuring other improvements. The weapon is primarily found as the co-axial or commander's machine gun on post-war German tanks. Being only a 7.62 mm machine gun it is largely ineffective against all but the most weakly armoured, or open cabin, vehicles.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Light tanks  Begleitpanzer 57 · Ru 251
Medium tanks  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A5
  AMX-30 Super · KPz-70 · M48A2 G A2 · XM-803
Tank destroyers  JPz 4-5 · RakJPz 2 · RakJPz 2 (HOT) · Shturm-S
SPAA  Stormer HVM

General info

Being a derivative of the MG 42 the MG 3A1 performs almost identically to it.

Available ammunition

The MG 3A1 can only be equipped with one ammo belt consisting of one Armour-piercing (AP) bullet, followed by one Tracer bullet. Neither bullet has much penetration (maximum of 10 mm), however the AP bullet performs much better than the tracer bullet.

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 10 9 7 4 0 0
T 5 4 2 1 0 0
Shell details
Ammunition Velocity
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Normalisation at 30°
from horizontal
0% 50% 100%
AP 853 0.0108 N/A N/A N/A +2.0° 47° 60° 65°
T 835 0.0095 N/A N/A N/A +2.0° 47° 60° 65°

Comparison with analogues

The MG 3A1 performs almost identically to the MG 42, but has a significantly higher belt capacity at 1,000 rounds instead of 150. Like the MG 42, the MG 3A1 has an extremely fast rate of fire compared to other machine guns at 1,200 rounds per minute.

Usage in battles

Due to the very low penetration this weapon it is largely ineffective against enemy armour (although you may be able to penetrate some vehicles with extremely thin armour). The gun is primarily useful for incapacitating exposed crew members in open topped vehicles (although there are few such vehicles at the battle ratings this gun is found at). The gun can also be used for ranging on some vehicles, as well as marking enemy vehicles and obscuring the view of enemy players (shooting at their gun sight). You can use the gun against aircraft however it does minimal damage, and being co-axially mounted on most tanks can often not be brought / kept on target against aircraft. Clearing trees and bushes is another use.

Pros and cons


  • Extremely high rate of fire
  • Very good belt capacity, especially compared to the earlier MG 42


  • Low penetration makes it ineffective against armour
  • Low damage


The MG 3A1 is a German General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) chambering the 7.62×51 mm NATO round, the weapon is derived from the war-time MG 42 and bears close resemblance to its predecessor. After WW2 Germany was looking for a new machine gun to equip the Bundeswehr (the German Army) and Rheinmetall was contracted to produce a new version of the highly successful MG42, from the Second World War. The original design plans for the MG42 were captured by the Soviets in the aftermath of WW2, and so Rheinmetall had to reverse engineer existing MG42s in order to re-create the design.

The new Weapon entered service in 1958 as the MG 1, a reverse engineered MG42, re-chambered for the NATO standard 7.62×51 mm, and with other minor differences. While MG1s were being produced existing stocks of MG42s were re-chambered from the 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser round to NATO ammunition and designated MG 2. Throughout it's service the MG1 was upgraded with MG 1A1, A2, and A3 variants being produced. In 1968 the MG 3 entered service as an improved version of the MG 1A3. The MG 3A1 is a variant of the MG 3 modified for use on armoured vehicles. The MG 3 family of weapons is still in service with the Bundeswehr and several other armed forces to this day.


An excellent addition to the article would be a video guide, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

External links

Tank machine guns
7.62 mm  M37 · M60D · M73 · M240 · M1919A4
12.7 mm  M2HB · M80 · M85
7.62 mm  MG3A1
7.92 mm  MG13 Dreyse · MG34 · MG37(t) · MG42
7.62 mm  DT · PKT · RP-46 · SGMT
12.7 mm  DK · DShK · NSVT
14.5 mm  KPVT
7.62 mm  L3A1 · L8A1 · L8A2 · L37A1 · L37A2 · L94A1 · Browning MG4
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)
7.62 mm  Type 86
12.7 mm  QJC88A
7.62 mm  Beretta MG42/59 · FN MAG 60-40
8 mm  Breda Mod. 38
7.5 mm  AAT-52 · MAC 31
7.62 mm  AAN-F1
7.62 mm  Ksp 58