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Parabellum M1914 (MG14)

Air-Cooled Aircraft Machine Gun [ 1913 ]

The Parabellum MG1914 was the lightened, air-cooled aircraft version of the land-based, water-cooled MG08 machine gun.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/18/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Parabellum MG1914 (alternatively the "MG14") machine gun was of German Empire origination and essentially the lightweight, air-cooled form of the land-based, water-cooled "Maxim Machine Gun" (also known as the "Maschinengewehr 08", detailed elsewhere on Military Factory) intended for German combat aircraft. The design served extensively during the war years 1914-1918 and saw extended lives in the Polish-Soviet War of 1918-1921 where it was used by the Poles. The Latvian Army was another global operator of the weapon with about 115 examples taken into service and utilized into the 1930s.

Design of the machine gun is credited to Karl Heinemann with manufacturing handled primarily by Mauser of Germany.

For its aerial role, the gun was reworked internally to have the toggle system movement turn upwards with a tube set within the wooden stock housing the return spring - resulting in a slimmer overall profile for the gun when compared to its original form. Besides the addition of the shoulder stock, a down-turned pistol grip handle was added with the trigger loop set directly ahead. The weapon was belt-fed by way of drum (or "reel") magazine and the barrel surrounded by a heavily perforated heat shield for maximum cooling of the assembly during sustained fire - as the water-cooled reservoir used in the original gun did was not a possibility on warplanes (the exception being on German Zeppelins (airships) where heat and hydrogen did not mix)). Sighting devices were set over the receiver and just over the muzzle section.

The weapon was chambered to fire the ubiquitous German 7.92x57mm Mauser rifle cartridge through a recoil-operated action, achieving a rate-of-fire of 600 to 700 rounds-per-minute.

Overall weight was 20.9 lb with an overall length of 48 inches, the barrel measuring 27.56 inches long.

In this revised form, the MG1914 succeeded as an aircraft gun where it could be installed as a trainable solution to protect more vulnerable reaches of a fighter or bomber from incoming aerial threats. This usually resulted in the machine gun be mounted to rings to provide the gunner with the needed traversal when engaging moving targets at-range from, itself, a moving platform. Despite its origins in the MG08, the MG1914 was essentially an all-new weapon with no parts interchangeability possible.

In 1917, the MG1914 series was evolved to include the MG1914/17 design which was used in both the air and on the ground. A carrying handle and bipod support structure was added which aided the latter and the barrel shroud was dimensionally smaller. Internally, this version remained faithful to the original aerial form. German infantry deployed with these guns during the critical assaults of 1918.

After the war, the MG1914 series fell out of use with Germany, though it continued on in service with outside parties for a time longer. For its part in The Great War, the MG14 was used in such aircraft types as the Albatros C, Halberstadt, and Rumpler biplanes.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Imperial Germany national flag graphic
Imperial Germany


Air-Cooled Aircraft Machine Gun

Mauser - Imperial Germany / German Empire
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of modern Germany National flag of the German Empire German Empire / Imperial Germany
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
1,220 mm
48.03 in
Barrel Length
700 mm
27.56 in
Empty Wgt
20.94 lb
9.50 kg

Iron Front and Rear.



(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


7.92x57 Mauser

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 7.92mm Mauser rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

Belt-Fed from Drum.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.

MG1913 (MG13) - Prewar variant.
MG1914 (MG14) - Base Series Designation; model of 1914.
MG1914/17 (MG14/17) - Model of 1917 for both aircraft and infantry use; smaller barrel shroud; carrying handle; bipod assembly.

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