|Full text name||Haenel/Schmeiiser MKb.42(H) machine carbine/assault rifle|
|Caliber cartridge||7.9x33 PP Kurz (7.92 PP Kurz, 8mm PP Kurz)|
|Overall length, mm||940|
|Barrel length, mm||364|
|Weight empty, kg||4,9|
|Magazine capacity, rounds||30|
|Cyclic rate of fire, rounds/min||500|
In 1939 HWaA (Hitler’s army Weapons command) issued a contract for the development of a “Maschinen karabiner”, or machine carbine (MKb forshort), chambered for the new 7.92×33 Kurz cartridge, to the company C.G. Haenel Waffen und Fahrradfabrik. Initial development took placeunder the designation of MKb.42 – Maschinen karabiner, 1942. The newweapon was intended as a replacement for submachine guns, bolt actionrifles and, partly, light machine guns for front troops and was intended to have an effective range of 600 meters or so.
The famous designer Hugo Schmeisser led the Haenel development team, which produced the first working prototypes of new weapon by 1942. In accordance with the specification, the new weapon inherited several features from MP-40 submachine gun, such as the left-side charginghandle with slot safety and magazine housing with button release.Because the new weapon had to be made with the maximum usage ofstamping and welding, Haenel was joined by the Merz Werke, a company with no knowledge in firearms but a great deal of experience in steelstamping and forming. The first weapons were issued to front line unitson the Eastern front by the mid-1942, and the low-rate mass productionbegan in late 1942. A total of about 10,000 MKb.42(H) were produced forthe German Army before its production was ceased in favour of an improved design, the MP-43 / Stg.44.
TheMKb.42(H) is a gas operated, selective-fire weapon. It uses along-stroke gas piston, located above the barrel in a long gas tube.The barrel locking is achieved by tipping the rear part of the boltdown into the locking recess, cut in the machined steel insert in thestamped steel receiver. The gun fires from an open bolt at all times,and the only safety is the MP-40-type slot, cut at the rear of the charging handle slot, in which the charging handle can be hooked whenthe bolt is open. The cross-bolt type fire mode selector is located above the trigger guard. The MKb.42(H) could be fitted with standardbayonet, and has a wooden butt.