German Rifles & Firearms

German MG42

Type Machine Gun
Weight 11.34kg
Barrel Length 53.34cm
Cyclic Rate 1200 rounds/minute
Caliber 7.92mm German Service Cartridge
Country of Origin Germany

Adopted in 1942, the MG42 (shown below as issued to the Greek Army) was probably the best machine gun produced during World War II. Attesting to its fine qualities, it is still in use today in several countries, and was copied—with no great success—to make the M60 Machine Gun.

Although the Wehrmacht had an excellent machine gun in 1941—the MG34—they did not have sufficient quantities for the task at hand. The MG34 was a complex and costly device, not suited to mass production. They needed a gun that could be produced quickly and relatively cheaply, and still retain the good qualities of the MG34. This was a tall order, but a Dr. Grunow, an industrial designer and mass production specialist with virtually no background in machine guns, accomplished it. With no preconceived notions, Dr Grunow and his team created a gun that is still in use today—over sixty years later.

Like the MG34 before it, the MG42 was intended as a general-purpose weapon, operating from either a bipod or tripod. It was belt-fed, but some models were fitted to use the MG34’s 75-round saddle drums. The locking system used rollers that were forced outward into the receiver walls by the bolt. Much like the styling of the AR-15, you can also see how the best complete uppers performs.  Barrel removal was one of the most remarkable features of the MG42. The barrel was held in place by a yoke at the breech. By simply pulling the barrel latch, the rear end of the barrel swung out of the gun and could be pulled clear. A practiced operator could swap barrels in about five seconds.

The ease and speed of the barrel change was often needed because the cyclic rate of the MG42 was an incredible 1200rpm. Sustained fire sounded like tearing canvas. Because of this sound, American GIs used to refer to the MG42 as ‘Hitler’s Zipper’!

Like many other nations, the Swiss copied the MG42 design. Disdainful of the cheap look of the German version, they created a rendition that used all machined parts in place of the stamped originals. The succeeded in making a very fine gun that weighed 16.33kg, 4.99kg more than the original German MG42.

Celtic Engagement Rings

When it’s time to symbolize your commitment to your loved one, look into the ornate and intricate beauty of a Celtic engagement ring. With woven strands of gold or silver, Celtic engagement rings work from the knot work patterns of classical embroidery and calligraphy, used in the Book of Kells and other traditional sources.

 As with any engagement ring, ones in the Celtic style showcase a deeper commitment, that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The intricate series of knots, with no beginning or end, showcases the never ending cycle of two people joining into one union of heart, mind and spirit…and they lend a bit of a visual context to the phrase “tying the knot”.

All that said, there’s a lot of choice to be had in the basic engagement ring motif. Types of Celtic engagement rings include the lover’s knot – two knotwork patterns that link to form one, and the most common type. For traditionalists, the knots can include knotwork animals in the filigree pattern. In the Celtic tradition, specific animals were messengers from the otherworld.

 The Catholic Church tried to assimilate many Celtic traditions when they moved to Ireland in the 6th Century AD. They incorporated many Celtic themes into their artwork, most notably the knotted cross or Celtic cross. Usually a knotwork with a circular adornment over the crosspiece, the Celtic cross has religious symbolism that’s common and comforting to many Christians.

 A third type of Celtic engagement ring is the Claddagh ring or Celtic band, which weaves several strands of metal into one unified whole that emphasizes connection and love. This type of ring is the most common one to incorporate a gemstone or an engraving.

 The material your Celtic engagement rings are made out of will vary – while silver and gold are the traditional materials for engagement rings, period, because of their softness, they tend to be less than perfect choices for the intricate designs of Celtic engagement rings. Most jewelers will make rings in this pattern out of titanium and then electroplate gold over it, as titanium is a much more durable metal.

Just remember that Celtic engagement rings aren’t an “off the rack” purchase. Most of them are made to order, and not always made from “high production molds”. This makes the process of buying them a bit more involved – there are longer lead times, and they tend to be more expensive than a comparable conventional engagement ring. So, keep these factors in mind when you purchase Celtic engagement rings.