MANUFACTURER(S): W+F Bern - Switzerland
ACTION: Recoil-Operated; Box-Fed; Automatic Fire
CALIBER(S): 7.5x55mm M1911 (GP11)
LENGTH (OVERALL): 1,163 millimeters (45.79 inches)
LENGTH (BARREL): 585 millimeters (23.03 inches)
WEIGHT (UNLOADED): 19.07 pounds (8.65 kilograms)
MUZZLE VELOCITY: 2,450 feet-per-second (747 meters-per-second)
RATE-OF-FIRE: 450 rounds-per-minute
RANGE (EFFECTIVE): 2,625 feet (800 meters; 875 yards)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Furrer Model 25 (M25) Light Machine Gun (LMG).
Entry last updated on 8/5/2015.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
In 1925, the Swiss Army adopted a new Light Machine Gun (LMG) design as the "Furrer M25" (or "Model 25"). This weapon came from the mind of Swiss Army Colonel Adolf Furrer and relied on a recoil system of operation based on an arrangement similar to that as seen in the German Parabellum pistol. Well made and reliable, the M25 was simply too expensive for many armies of the world to adopt in number. As such, it remained only in use with the Swiss. Manufacture of the firearm was through W+F Bern.
The weapon weighed 8.65 kilograms and featured an overall length of 1,163mm with a barrel measuring 585mm long. It was chambered for the 7.5x55mm M1911 (GP11) cartridge and fired at a rate-of-fire nearing 450 rounds per minute. Effective range was out to 800 meters and feeding was from a 30-round detachable box magazine. Sighting for ranged fire was through a basic iron arrangement. The body of the weapon utilized a wooden stock and underslung (straight) pistol grip with a charging handle set to the side in the traditional way. The barrel was jacketed for air cooling and a short muzzle apparatus attached at the business end of the gun. A folding metal bipod was fitted under the muzzle for frontal support of the weapon when firing from behind cover or from the prone position.
The Model 25's internals were similar in scope to that as seen in the Parabellum pistol though described as "turned on its side" which required use of a side-mounted magazine. The recoil return of this weapon was considered rather good with much owed to Colonel Furrer's work on the matter - the firing action occurred while much of the recoil mass was moving forward, the mass brought back against the pressures of the exploding cartridge. While effective, this application (particularly for a machine gun) required considerable attention to manufacturing precision which, in turn, led to higher production costs - a major reason this firearm was shunned by world powers of the day.
Furrer also applied his firing operation method to other period developments including large-caliber anti-tank rifle and anti-aircraft guns. A twin-barreled version of his Model 25 was also revealed as an aircraft weapon.