FG 42

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FG 42 with iron sights flipped up (no scope mounted), 1st pattern (metal buttstock and sharply-angled pistol grip) - 7.92x57mm Mauser‎
FG 42 1st pattern with Zeiss ZF4 scope - 7.92x57mm Mauser
‎FG 42 7.92x57mm Mauser early version with ZF4 scope (top) and late-war version with ZFG42 scope (bottom)
FG 42 second model - 7.92x57mm Mauser.
FG 42 second model with bipod and bayonet deployed - 7.92x57mm Mauser.
FG 42 second model with bipod and ZFG42 scope - 7.92x57mm Mauser.

This automatic rifle was produced in limited numbers for the German Luftwaffe's Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) units during the Second World War. The slim in-line design, coupled with the side mounted 20 round magazine made it one of the more distinctive designs of its era. Early models had a sharply angled pistol grip (the idea of which was to allow paratroopers to fire while descending, though it is unclear how successful this was in practice) and plastic furniture, while later models had a standard grip and wooden furniture. In addition the weapon could also be fitted with a ZF4 or ZFG42 scope. Both versions also featured an integral bipod and bayonet, the bayonet permanently mounted and deployed in a manner similar to that on the French MAS-36.

The FG42 was intended to be a universal weapon, merging the capabilities of a submachine gun, machine gun and precision rifle; designers complained they were being asked to make an "Eierlegende Wollmilchsau" (a egg-laying woolly dairy pig) and the Heer refused to participate in the program, stating that a gun meeting the Luftwaffe's requirements could only be found in utopia. In practice, the light weight of the FG42 coupled to use of a full-sized rifle round and offset magazine made fully-automatic fire extremely hard to manage and could severely damage the lightweight operating mechanism, and practical use was largely restricted to semi-auto. Captured FG42s were studied after the war by the US military, with one called T44 converted to belt feed using a side-mounted MG42 feed cover and used to gather data which would ultimately be used to design the M60 Machine Gun.

Semi-auto only copies are produced by HZA Kulmbach GmbH, known as BD-42/I (a copy of the early model) and BD-42/II (late model).



(1943 – 1945)

  • Type: Battle Rifle
  • Caliber: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs (4.2 kg)
  • Length: 37.2 in (94.5 cm)
  • Barrel length: 19.7 in (50 cm)
  • Capacity: 10 or 20
  • Fire Modes: Safe / Semi / Auto

The FG 42 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Note Date
The Eagle Has Landed . German Fallschirmjäger . 1976
Memorial Day . German soldier . 2011

Video Games

Title As Mods Note Date
Return to Castle Wolfenstein "FG42 Paratroop Rifle" Scoped 2001
Battlefield: 1942 Added with "Secret Weapons of WWII" expansion pack 2002
BloodRayne "Blitzgewehr 32" Incorrect magazine placement 2002
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory With Zeiss ZF4 scope 2003
Call of Duty With Zeiss ZF4 scope 2003
Day of Defeat Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 With and without ZF4 FG42 Ausf. G 2003
Forgotten Hope 2003
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood W/o Zeiss ZF4 scope 2005
Call of Duty 3 Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 With and without ZF4 FG42 Ausf. E 2006
Darkest Hour: Europe '44-'45 With deployable bipod 2006
UberSoldier 2006
Alliance of Valiant Arms As the "FG42" 2007
Company of Heroes Used by the "Fallschirmjäger Squad", added with the Opposing Fronts expansion pack 2007
Forgotten Hope 2 W/o Zeiss ZF4 scope 2nd pattern 2007
Call of Duty: World at War 2008
Karma Online "FG42" 2011
Enemy Front FG42 Second Model 2014
World of Guns: Gun Disassembly FG 42 scope and bayonet Second Model 2014
Heroes & Generals Fallschirmjägergewehr 42 With and without ZF4 1st pattern 2016
Sniper Elite 4 FG 42 Iron sights only FG42 Ausf. E 2017
Day of Infamy FG 42 With and without ZF4 FG42 Ausf. E 2017
Call of Duty: WWII FG 42 2nd pattern 2017
Post Scriptum 2nd pattern; introduced in Day of Days update 2018
Battlefield V 2018


Title Character Note Date
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade Kerberos members . 1998
Najica Blitz Tactics . 2001

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