KWK 30/38 semi-automatic or automatic

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ChuckFourth
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KWK 30/38 semi-automatic or automatic

Post by ChuckFourth » 23 Apr 2007 09:17

Hi All

The book "Leichte Panzers In Action", book no. SSP2010 in the squadron/signal series of books states that the panzer IIs main gun is semi-automatic. This agrees with my thinking as I dont think the vehicle carries enough amunition to allow for automatic fire. However elsewhere the gun is mentioned as being automatic.
I wonder if anyone can solve this for me?
Best Regards Chuck.

LV
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Post by LV » 25 Apr 2007 13:51

Didn't the vehicle carry something like 180 rounds for the main gun? It's quite enough to allow automatic fire. Since the rate of fire wasn't quite too high (~400-500 rpm), it was most likely easy to fire single shots if required. I don't know if anybody has the Waffen Arsenal "book" about the German tank guns. It could have some info.

It would be interesting to know from which gun was the 2 cm KwK 30 developed (MG FF, MG 151 or an AA gun), or was it an independent project.

ChuckFourth
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Post by ChuckFourth » 25 Apr 2007 13:55

Hi Lv
Thanks for your reply
KWK 30/38 was developed from the flak 30/38.
Best Chuck.

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PPoS
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Post by PPoS » 25 Apr 2007 16:33

AFAIK the KwK 30 had a rate of fire of 300rds/min and the KwK 38 had 480rds/min. The Panzer II carried 180 rounds for it's main cannon. The weapon was derived from the Flak version and could fire both in full automatic and semi-automatic. But I don't think there was any control for switching between the two fire-modes, instead the gunner had to press the trigger really fast to fire single rounds. But since the KwK 30 fired 5rds/sec it seems almost impossible to fire "single shots" so maybe there were a control to switch anyway. If you've seen some movies from the Battle of France in 1940 one can see a Sd.Kfz.231 (8rad) firing single shots with it's KwK 30.

LV
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Post by LV » 25 Apr 2007 17:57

PPoS wrote:...since the KwK 30 fired 5rds/sec it seems almost impossible to fire "single shots" so maybe there were a control to switch anyway.
A good post. I'd like to point out ,however, that it's possible to fire single shots using the full automatic mode while shooting even faster-firing weapons than KwK 30 or 38. By first-hand experience I can tell that it is possible to fire single shots on full auto with weapons that have a rate of fire of 700 rpm (7,62 Rk 62 [assault rifle]) or 650 rpm (PKM [LMG]). Sometimes it was possible to fire single shots even with the 7,62 KvKK 62 LMG, whose rate of fire is appr. 1000 rpm.

Does anybody know if the KwK 30/38 used electric or percussion-primed rounds? What about the firing mechanism, was it operated mechanically by pushing a firing button/pulling the trigger or was a solenoid fitted?

You had some good info about the KwK 30/38. Could you probably recommend any websites or books?

TommySoelbergDK
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Pz II semi

Post by TommySoelbergDK » 27 Apr 2007 15:04

Hi Chuck
I am not an expert in weapons but anything automatic that early, doesn't sound right to me. Semi is better.
Was it a 20 or 50 mm gun?
If it's a 20 mm, it sounds better, but not 50 mm.
kind regards
Tommy

Tony Williams
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Post by Tony Williams » 29 Apr 2007 03:17

Strictly speaking, the KwK and FlaK 30 were developed in parallel with each other - one wasn't developed from the other. The starting point was a 1920s Rheinmetall design which they handed over to Solothurn, their Swiss subsidiary, in 1929. Solothurn developed it as the S5-200 and sold some abroad, in small numbers, before Rheinmetall further developed it into the FlaK and KwK 30 (and the much rarer MG C30/L). The initial starting point for these guns was the late-WW1 20mm Ehrhardt; the mechanism bore no relationship to the MG 151 or MG-FF.

The 20x138B ammunition was percussion-primed.

The only book I know which provides details of the 20th century automatic cannon (and their ammunition) used by all three services, is my own: details on my website 8-)

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum

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Tony Williams
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Post by Tony Williams » 29 Apr 2007 03:20

The guns were automatic.

See also my post on the other thread.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum

ChuckFourth
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Post by ChuckFourth » 29 Apr 2007 13:38

Thanks Tony for your reply,
Great job on the work you have done and made available on your website.

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 30 Apr 2007 09:33

Chuck

I split your inquiry about the PM system out and answered it:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=119987

All the best

Andreas

ChuckFourth
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Post by ChuckFourth » 30 Apr 2007 13:51

Thanks for your help
Best Chuck

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