Light machine gun


Light machine gun

A light machine gun or LMG is a machine gun that is generally lighter than other machine guns of the same period, and is usually designed to be carried by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant. Modern light machine guns often fire smaller-caliber cartridges than medium machine guns, and are usually lighter and more compact. LMGs are often used as squad automatic weapons.

Usually, a light machine gun is intended to act as a support weapon, in that it can generate a greater volume of continuous automatic fire than the usual firearms carried by infantry soldiers, at the cost of greater weight and higher ammunition consumption.

It is possible to fire a light machine gun from the hip or on the move, but they are usually fired from a prone position, especially when using a bipod. Early light machine guns (especially those derived from automatic rifles, such as the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle) were sometimes magazine-fed. Some LMGs, such as the Russian RPK, are modifications of existing assault rifle designs. Adaptations generally include a larger magazine, heavier barrel to resist overheating, more robust action to support sustained fire, and often a bipod. Modern light machine guns are designed to fire more rounds of a smaller caliber ammunition and as such tend to use a belt of ammunition; this allows them to fire for longer periods of time without the need to reload. Other modern light machine guns, such as the FN Minimi, are capable of firing from either an ammunition belt or a detachable box magazine.

elected examples

The following were either exclusively light machine guns, had a light machine gun variant or were employed in the light machine gun role with certain adaptations:

1900s–1920s

*Madsen machine gun (Multi-caliber)
*M1909 Benet-Mercie (.30-06 Springfield)
*Hotchkiss Mk I (.303 British)
*Lewis machine gun (.303 British)
*Bren (.303 British)
*Browning Automatic Rifle (.30-06 Springfield)
*Fusil-Mitrailleur Mle 1915 'CSRG', 'Chauchat' light machine gun (8x50mmR Lebel)
*Degtyaryov light machine gun (7.62x54mm R)

1950s–1970s

*RPK (7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm)
*RPD & RPDM (7.62x39mm)
*MG51 (7.5mm GP11)
*FN MAG (7.62x51mm NATO)
*M60 (7.62x51mm NATO)

1970s-present

*FN Minimi (5.56x45mm NATO)
**M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (5.56x45mm NATO)
**Mk 48 Mod 0 (7.62x51mm NATO)
*IMI Negev (5.56x45mm NATO)
*CETME Ameli (5.56x45mm NATO)
*Heckler & Koch MG4 (5.56x45mmNATO)
*Ultimax 100 (5.56x45mm NATO)
*L86 LSW (5.56x45mm NATO)
*Heckler & Koch MG36 (5.56x45mm NATO)

ee also

*General purpose machine gun
*Medium machine gun
*Heavy machine gun
*Squad automatic weapon


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