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The Fallschirmjägergewehr 1942 (English: Paratrooper rifle 1942, colloquially referred to as the FG42) was a purpose-designed automatic rifle intended for use by the German Fallschirmjäger units of the Luftwaffe. It is semi-bullpup in configuration, with a side-loaded magazine, and fired the full-sized 7.92mm Mauser cartridge at 750-900 rounds per minute. It was a response to the early failures of German paratroops in Crete and other places, who had to have their weapons dropped in separate crates and had only sidearms to defend themselves before they could retrieve the crates.

While a novel design, the weapon had numerous drawbacks. It was expensive to produce, the side-mounted magazines tended to unbalance the weapon and resulted in a hard pull, which was exaggerated by the power of the cartridge it fired.


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