The Mendoza Model 45 was the C-1934 Light Machine Gun chambered for the American .30-06 cartridge and a few other refinements.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Left side view of the Mendoza Model 45 Light Machine Gun
While the original Mendoza C-1934 light machine gun was already in circulation with the Mexican Army prior to and during World War 2, the Mexican Army found itself with large stores of American .30-06 cartridges. The two nations held something of a close relationship in terms of military sales and the global war boosted all sorts of defense-minded military production, often leading to excesses throughout. While the original C-1934 series made use of the 7x57mm Spanish Mauser cartridge, this cartridge had certainly passed its prime by now and opened the Mexican military to a move that proved to be logistically well-minded - chambering an existing weapon to fire the American cartridge.
Raphael Mendoza and his Productos Mendoza concern went to work on a refined form of his C-1934 in an effort to produce a new light machine gun chambered for the full-power American .30-60 (30-caliber M1906) rifle cartridge. The barrel assembly was shorter in length for a more compact form and further capped by a perforated muzzle brake to help offset recoil. The receiver was cleaned up for the better while all of the inherently good qualities of the C-1934 remained: ease-of-production, cheap manufacture and light weight. The weapon also fired from a similar 20-round capacity magazine inserted into the top of the receiver and, because of this placement, the iron sights were offset to work around the vertical magazine. The new light machine gun became the "Mendoza Model 45" of 1945.
The Model 45 sported an overall length of 45 inches with a barrel length of 24.5 inches. The weapon weighed in at 18lb and operated at a rate-of-fire of 500 rounds per minute, retaining its gas-operated function with its open bolt nature. Muzzle velocity was raised to 2,750 feet per second.
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