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27 December 2012
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Swiss Machine Guns - An overview of Solothurn developments and technical data of the most important Solothurn weapons. ...

The First World War had changed the world. Never before had such major progress in military technology been achieved in so short a time. So it’s no surprise that the end of the war did not bring a decline in demand for military goods, but rather a worldwide pursuit of more effective weapons and ammunition.

The development of automatic weapons was still in its infancy, but the results achieved at the front spoke for themselves. Machine guns were indispensable in a modern war. The same loomed ahead for submachine guns, but they came too late to show their full potential in combat.

After losing the war, an ongoing development of weapons technology in Germany was inconceivable. The Reichswehr was reduced to 115,000 men (including Navy), the conscription was abolished and all military schools were closed. But it wasn’t only the loss of sales that caused trouble. The victors claimed high reparations payments and dismantled German machinery.

The well-known company Mauser had to sell 1,500 machines to the Czech Republic and a further 800 machines to Yugoslavia. The production program was reorganised to machine tools, automobiles and other civilian products.

The once mighty German and Austrian arms industry was economically depressed – and foreign companies sniffed their big chance to fill the gap in the international arms business with their own products.


The full article on Rheinmetall and Steyr in Switzerland appears in the January/February 2013 issue of The Armourer, available here.


An overview of Solothurn developments

- submachine gun MP S1-100 (formerly Rheinmetall MP 20)

- machine gun MG S2-100 (formerly Rheinmetall MG Rh 29 resp. Söda-MG / magazine-fed)
- machine gun MG S2-200 (new designation of the MG S2-100 in serial production)
- machine gun MG 30 (MG S2-200 for Austria in caliber 8 x 56 R)
- machine gun MG 31 (MG S2-200 for Hungaria in caliber 8 x 56 R)
- machine gun MG 43 (MG S2-200 for Hungaria in caliber 7,92 x 57, made at Steyr)

- machine gun MG T6-200 (fixed aircraft-MG based on S2-200, but belt-fed)
- machine gun MG T6-220 (pivoted MG T6-200 belt-feld from double-drum)

- MG-tripod S7-300 (“Heuschrecke”) for MG S2-200

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- machine gun S3-200 (similar to S2-200, but belt-fed)

- 13 mm AA machine gun S14-100 (magazine-fed)
- mount S15-300 (quadruplet)
- aircraft-MG T14-210 (MG S14-100 modified for trials)

- 2 cm machine cannon S5-100 (formerly Rheinmetall ST 5 resp. ST 52)
- mount S9-100 for machine cannon (socket)
- mount S9-200 for machine cannon (anti-aircraft resp. anti-tank use)
- mount S9-300 for machine cannon (twin)

- 2 cm machine cannon S5-106 (with improved AA-sight)
- mount S9-101 for machine cannon (socket)
- mount S9-201 for machine cannon (anti-aircraft resp. anti-tank use)

- 2 cm machine cannon T5-150 (for use in vehicles)

- 3,7 cm AA-machine cannon S10-100

- 2 cm aircraft cannon S12-100
- 2 cm aircraft cannon T12-120
- 2 cm aircraft cannon T12-201
- mount T13-111 for aircraft cannon (suitable for all three models)

- submachine gun S17-100 (for tank crews / ground use possible with tripod)

- 2 cm anti-tank gun S18-100 (muzzle velocity 600 m/sec.)
- 2 cm anti-tank gun S18-1000 (muzzle velocity 850 m/sec.)
- 2 cm anti-tank gun S18-1100 (with possibility of automatic fire)

- 2,54 cm machine cannon S19-100
- mount S20-100 for machine cannon (ground use)
- mount S20-200 for machine cannon (light tripod)
- mount S20-300 for machine cannon (AA-twin)


Technical data of the most important Solothurn weapons

Anti-tank gun S18-1000:
Calibre: 20 mm
Length: 2160 mm
Vo: 850 to 900 m/s (depending on the ammunition)
Rate of Fire: 8 Rounds/Min
Penetration: 40 mm on 100 m and 27 mm on 500 m
Normal fighting distance: 500 m
Max. distance of sight: 1500 m
Weight: 50 kg (thereof 20.5 kg for barrel and muzzle break)
Length of barrel: 1300 mm

MG 15:
Calibre: 7.92 mm
Vo: 755 m/s (with sS-rounds)
Length: 1078 mm
Rate of Fire: 1000 rounds/min
Weight: 10.6 kg (less double drum)

MG S2-200:
Caliber: 8 mm (8x50.5 R)
Vo: not known
Length: 1172 mm
Rate of Fire: 600 rounds/min
Weight: 9 kg (empty)
Magazine: 25 rounds (curved)

MG 30 (S2-200):
Caliber: 7.92 mm
Vo: 755 m/s (with sS-rounds)
Length: 1162 mm
Rate of Fire: 550 rounds/min
Weight: 9.5 kg (empty)
Magazine: 30 rounds (curved)

MP 34(ö):
Calibre: 9 mm
Vo: 380 m/s
Length: 850 mm
Rate of Fire: 450 rounds/min
Weight: 4.25 kg (empty)

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