MANUFACTURER(S): Productos Mendoza - Mexico
ACTION: Gas-Operated; Open Bolt
CALIBER(S)*: .30-06 Springfield (30-caliber M1906)
SIGHTS: Offset Iron Front and Rear
Detailing the development and operational history of the Mendoza RM-2 Light Machine Gun (LMG).
Entry last updated on 8/1/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Mexican engineer Raphael Mendoza found success with his C-1934 Light Machine Gun which was accepted for service with the Mexican Army prior to World War 2. The weapon was chambered for the 7x57mm Spanish Mauser cartridge and proved to be a reliable system, easy to produce and cheap to manufacture while not lessening the quality of the weapon. In 1945, the weapon was refined to become the Model 45 with its shorter barrel, perforated muzzle brake and refined receiver while being chambered for the powerful American .30-06 Springfield cartridge. During World War 2, there arose a pressing American need for weaponry of any kind and Mendoza moved to rework his light machine gun series to perhaps land the lucrative defense contract from the spending American government.
The initiative produced a revised light machine gun that was chambered for the .30-06 Springfield cartridge as well as sans the "quick-change" barrel feature of the original production models (something of a drawback considering this to be an air-cooled, heavy volume, repeating fire weapon system). The new weapon was known as the "RM-2" and was designed to fulfill roughly the same function as the M1918 BAR. The weapon fed from a 20-round magazine fitted into the top of the receiver which forced the rear and front sights to be offset for aiming. A bipod helped to control the forward weight of the weapon when planted. A new slotted muzzle brake was fitted while the forward handguard and shoulder stock were wood fixtures. The receiver and barrel assembly were completed in metal. The charging handle was set to the right side of the body while a fire selector was set to the left - offering a safety, semi-automatic and full-automatic fire mode. Despite the changes, the RM-2 was still lighter than her contemporaries and cheaper to produce. Field-stripping of the weapon was facilitated by a hinged shoulder stock and rear receiver region that opened down to expose the internal workings.
Unfortunately for Mendoza, the war ended by September of 1945, bringing an end to the hope that the American military would be requiring large scores of automatic weapons. Mendoza then tried unsuccessfully to market the weapon to the Mexican Army who were still utilizing his 1934 and 1945 creations in number. In 1947, some 50 prototypes were sent to the Mexican Marines for evaluation but this endeavor came to naught. To make matters worse, strict Mexican export laws concerning weapons negated their sale overseas, essentially bringing an end to the Mendoza line of machine guns. Some RM-2 examples fell into museum hands while the lineage more or less fell to history.