MG 74

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MG 74
MG-74 of Austrian Army.JPG
general information
Military designation: MG74
Country of operation: Austria
Developer / Manufacturer: Steyr Mannlicher / Beretta
Manufacturer country: Austria
Production time: since 1974
Weapon Category: Machine gun
Overall length: 1,220 mm
Total height: 205 mm
Total width: 130 mm
Weight: (unloaded) 12 kg
Sight length : 430 mm
Barrel length : 565 mm
Technical specifications
Caliber : 7.62 × 51 mm NATO
Possible magazine fillings : u. a. Tracer and NATO standard cartridges
Ammunition supply : Ammunition belt or ammunition drum
Cadence : 850 rounds / min
Fire types: Single fire , burst of fire
Number of trains : 4th
Twist : Right hand twist (476 mm)
Visor : Sliding visor with V rear sight
Closure : Support roller lock with locking device
Charging principle: air-cooled recoil charger with a short return tube
Lists on the subject
MG 74 with telescopic sight and tripod mount

The MG 74 is a machine gun made in Austria . It is a further development of the MG 42 and has been the standard MG of the Austrian army since 1974 .

Type and use

The weapon is a fully automatic , closing recoil loader with a rigid locking mechanism, and a movable and exchangeable barrel. The ammunition is supplied from the left by means of a steel link belt. The MG 74 is usually the main weapon of infantry groups of the armed forces, but is also intended as an on-board weapon or double armament for certain units.

It is used on a bipod or on a mount 74 to increase the range and to combat aerial targets. From the vehicle, the MG 74 can be used on or in on-board carriages (carriage 79, MG holder 81). The MG 74 is handled by the machine gunner 1 (MG 1 or more rarely MGSch 1) and machine gunner 2 (MG 2 or MGSch 2), hereinafter referred to as the machine gun troop (MG-Trupp).

The firing range is 600 m on a bipod and up to 1000 m on a mount with a telescopic sight.

Interaction of the parts

The MG 74 is fired when the weapon is loaded and unlocked by pulling the trigger back. The lock is released and pushed forward by spring pressure. As it slides forward, the slide pushes the cartridge lying in the slide out of the steel link belt into the loading space of the barrel. Two rollers on the bolt head are pressed outwards, creating a rigid lock between the barrel and bolt. Due to the mass of the look-up piece in the breech, the firing pin is pushed forward and hits the cartridge primer.

As soon as the projectile has left the barrel, powder gases flow into the storage space of the recoil amplifier at the muzzle. You push the barrel back with the breech at the same time until the rollers of the bolt head are pushed inwards again and the rigid interlocking between the barrel and bolt is ended. While the barrel is pushed back to the barrel stop by a retraction device, the slide slides back against the resistance of a spring and is finally braked by a buffer in the piston area. When sliding back, the slide also pulls the cartridge case out of the chamber and ejects it downwards. If the trigger remains withdrawn, the pressure of the spring causes the slide to snap forward again and the process described is repeated. The fastener that slides back and forth also controls the belt feed device in the lid.


After it was founded in 1955, the Austrian Armed Forces were temporarily equipped with old machine guns from US stocks. From 1959, these Browning M1919s were largely replaced by the 7.62mm MG 42 of non-German manufacture (Steyr, Beretta). According to the provisions of the State Treaty, which provided for a ban on German weapons, a modern weapon from our own production should be imported. In cooperation with Steyr Mannlicher and Beretta, the Office for Defense Technology developed a machine gun especially for the armed forces. The German MG 42/59 served as the basis for this. Specifications included a lower rate of fire (to reduce barrel wear and to make aiming and aiming the weapon easier for the shooter), lower weight and more versatile options for mountings and sights. It was introduced when, due to the events during the Prague Spring, a group machine gun was required and this was not available on the market in the new .223 caliber (5.56 mm × 45 mm NATO).

The development of the weapon was completed in 1974. As of this year, it replaced the MG 42 in the Austrian army as the MG 74.

Changes to the MG 42

  • Reduced the rate of fire to 850 rounds / minute.
  • The rate of fire can be varied by changing the breech if necessary.
  • Plastic butt to save weight (MG 42: wooden butt).
  • Adjustment of the sight horizontally 35 °, vertically 15 °; additional anti-aircraft visor can be optionally installed.
  • Winter deduction that enables individual fires
  • Use of the standard NATO caliber


Web links

Commons : MG74  - album with pictures, videos and audio files