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Ckm wz.30

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Ckm wz.30
Wz30
General Historical Information
Place of origin Poland
USA
Manufacturer Państwowa Fabryka Karabinów
Produced In Poland
Type Heavy machine gun
Rate of Fire 500 round/min
Magazine 250-round belt
Ammunition 8×57mm IS
General Ingame Information
Used by Poland
Finland
Germany (Captured)
Ckmwz30
Ckm wz.30 (short for ciężki karabin maszynowy wz.30; "heavy machine gun Mark 1930") is a Polish-made clone of the American Browning M1917 heavy machine gun. Produced with various modifications such as greater caliber, longer barrel and adjustable sighting device, it was an improved although unlicensed copy of its predecessor, and was the standard machine gun of the Polish Army since 1929.

DesignEdit

Initially the Hotchkiss machine gun, adapted to the standard Polish 7.92 mm round and proven during the Polish-Soviet War, had the most supporters. In late 1924 and early 1925 approximately 1,000 were ordered from France and the Polish Ministry of War started talks on buying the license for manufacturing copies in Poland. However, the first tests of the post-war Hotchkiss machine guns proved that the new production were well below both Polish needs and maker's specifications, and the talks came to a halt. By the end of 1927 the ministry organized a contest for a new standard all-purpose heavy machine gun.

Only three companies took part in the competition: the American Browning company with the Browning M1917, a Czechoslovakian-built copy of Schwarzlose M.7/12 (Schwarzlose-Janeček vz.07/12/27) and the British Vickers machine gun. All initial tests were won by Browning. The tests were repeated in 1928, and again the American weapon proved to be the best so the Polish ministry decided to purchase a license. However, it turned out that neither the Colt company nor its European representative, the Belgian company Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, had patented the design in Poland. In addition, the documentation of a recently-purchased license for Browning Automatic Rifle of the same designer was faulty. Because of that, the Polish ministry decided to order the preparation of a local version of the Browning M1917.

Following the first tests, a series of additional modifications was introduced. In 1938 the trigger mechanism was replaced with a completely new, more reliable system. In addition, the lock was replaced for easier handling and keeping the weapon in good condition. The modified design received the designation of ckm wz.30a, though the name was rarely used by the soldiers themselves. The new version was also the basis of a ckm wz.30/39T design, designed for export to Turkey and adapted to Turkish standard 7.65×53mm Argentine ammunition. However, the design was never introduced in large numbers as the Turkish competition was halted after World War II broke out. In the late 30s, Wilniewczyc and Skrzypinski designed experimental barrels with a rifled oval barrel bore ("Lancaster rifling"). The barrels were very expensive to produce, but gave a significant increase of the accuracy and longevity of the barrel. Altogether, between 1930 and 1939, the Fabryka Karabinow ("Rifle Factory") in Warsaw built 7,861 ckm wz.30, most of them for the Polish Army. Small numbers were exported to Republican Spain, Nationalist Spain and Romania.

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