History[edit | edit source]
The S2-200 was originally designed in Germany by Louis Stange of the Rheinmetall firm. However, domestic production of the weapon was blocked by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, so Rheinmetall outsourced production to Waffenfabrik Solothurn AG of Switzerland. Solothurn, in turn, purchased the Steyr factory in Austria and produced the gun there. Production began in 1930 and although it was not adopted by the Germany Army as intended, it achieved international export sales to Bolivia, Bulgaria, and El Salvador. It was adopted by Hungary in 1931 as the 31.M, and was also adopted by the Austrian Army as the MG 30. After Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, the Waffen-SS pressed quantities of MG30s into service and used them during World War II. Production ceased in 1940.
A belt-fed version, known as the S3-200, was also produced. The S2-200 served as the basis for the German MG15 aircraft machine gun.
Design[edit | edit source]
The S2-200 was a lightweight recoil-operated machine gun with a two-stage trigger that allowed the user to fire single shots or automatic fire. The entire receiver and barrel were encased in a single tubular body, and the return spring was contained within the stock. The S2-200 featured a bolt locking mechanism that consisted of a ring of locking lugs fitted around the barrel extension. When the bolt came into contact with the lugs, the lugs would slide into grooves in the back of the bolt and the ring would rotate, preventing the bolt's immediate return. The S2-200 could be fed from a 30-round box magazine or a 50-round drum. The S3-200 was fed from a belt. In both cases, the sources of ammunition were fed into the left side of the receiver.