Machine Gun Quiz


Do you know when machine guns were first mounted on aircraft? Good. You should ace this quiz!

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Question 1 of 10

In which war did machine guns see their first major use?

American Civil War
Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II

... The Gatling gun, invented in 1861, was first used by the Union Army in the Civil War. It saw limited action, but was a successful test for the continuously firing weapon.


Question 2 of 10

What feature gave “machine guns” their name?

Their large size
They had to be made in factories
Their automatic loading mechanism
Their rapid rate of fire

... Machine guns allowed the operator to load (then fire) multiple rounds through an automatic mechanism. This mechanism was known as the “machine.”


Question 3 of 10

What “machine” loaded rounds into the first model of the Gatling gun?

An internal electric motor
An external electric motor
High pressure gas
A hand-operated crank

... The Gatling gun had 10 revolving barrels positioned in a cylinder, with ammunition dropped from a hopper into the top barrel. Turning the crank revolved the barrels and brought the next one to the top, automatically reloading the weapon. The hand crank was replaced by an electric motor in the 1890s.


Question 4 of 10

What was the first fully automatic (not hand-operated) machine gun?

Gardner gun
Maxim gun
Browning M2
Vickers gun

... Sir Hiram Maxim debuted his Maxim gun in 1884, which used the recoil force of the cartridge explosion to reload the barrel after each shot. This advancement allowed the gun to fire more than 500 rounds per minute.


Question 5 of 10

The blowback system is an automatic reloading/cocking mechanism for a machine gun.


... The blowback system uses the explosive gas from a fired cartridge to slide the bolt backward. A spring behind the bolt then pushes it forward into the next cartridge, firing it and beginning the process over again.


Question 6 of 10

Machine guns were first mounted onto aircraft during World War I.


... At the beginning of WWI, planes were used only for reconnaissance and were unarmed. Soon after the war began, however, machine guns were mounted in the observer’s seat — turning the airplane into an offensive weapon for the first time.


Question 7 of 10

Which German machine gun developed during World War II was known as “Hitler’s buzz saw"?

Maschinengewehr 42
Panzerfaust 60
Sturmgewehr 44
Walther P38

... The MG42 shot around 1,200 rounds per minute, twice as many as the American Browning and the British Vickers machine guns. Its power was greatly feared; the U.S. Army made training videos to help soldiers deal with the psychological trauma of facing the weapon on the battlefield.


Question 8 of 10

What device holds cartridges side-by-side in a single row to assist them being fired from a machine gun.

The clip
The magazine
The belt
The box

... The belt can be made of metal or canvas and it is good for handling high volumes of ammunition, but the belt's reloading time is generally longer than cartridges or clips.


Question 9 of 10

The Minigun — famously fired from U.S. helicopters during the Vietnam War — is derived from the Gatling gun of the 1860s.


... The Minigun is basically an electrically powered Gatling-style gun, which means it employs multiple rotating barrels. The six barrels can fire 4,000 rounds per minute without overheating.


Question 10 of 10

The M2 Browning machine gun, the heavy machine gun used by the U.S. Army, is also known by what nickname?

Rapid Roy
the fifty

... In service since 1933, the M2 gets its nickname because it fires .50-caliber cartridges.


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