Hungarian Weapons - Solothurn Machine Guns
After WW1 the countries of the Central Powers were prohibited to develop new weapons during the next 10-12 years. Many talented weapon designers moved to Switzerland. This Solothurn machine gun was developed by Louis Stange, engineer at the German Rheinmetall company. Rheinmetall was part-owner of Solothurn.
The dual trigger system provided single fire or full auto operation. It featured a quick-change barrel system. The magazine was side-mounted. The gun was able to function as semi or full auto. A heavy, 19.1kg tripod was available.
The 31.M ready for action on 6/22/41 at the Bug river in Galicia (now belongs to Ukraine)
A modification of the 31.M for aircraft use: A muzzle booster was added to allow the increase in the rate of fire. Each of the drum magazines were used alternately for each firing, to prevent the center of gravity from being affected as the firing continues.
In 1943 Hungary officially adopted the 7.92x57 Mauser cartridge. Existing 31.M barrels were replaced with new 7.92mm barrels and complete new guns were also manufactured by the Budapest factories. The old 25-round magazine was replaced with a 30-rounder for the new cartridge.
Manufacturing continued even after the Red Army surrounded Budapest. Delivery was direct from the assembly line to the front. Before the Soviets took over
the weapon factories in a street-by-street fight, the workers took the half-finished guns and parts and movable machinery and scattered it all over the
city, setting up different gunshops to finish and assemble as many weapons as possible. Heroic street fighting by the Hungarians was continued long after
the Red Army declared that Budapest is taken.
It was only 12 years later when the Hungarians were fighting the Soviets again in Budapest during the 1956 Hungarian Freedom Fight.