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Rheinmetall MK 108 30mm Cannon

DAYTON, Ohio -- Rheinmetall MK 108 30mm Cannon (far left) on display in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Rheinmetall MK 108 30mm Cannon (far left) on display in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Displayed at the museum is the 30mm MK 108, which was a belt-fed, low velocity cannon with electric ignition. In addition to the two 13mm MG 131 machine guns mounted above the engine, the Bf 109G-10 carried either a 20mm MG 151 or a 30mm MK 108 cannon that fired through the propeller hub. Although the MK 108 had a relatively slow rate of fire, it often took only one or two hits from this powerful weapon to bring down another aircraft. The MK 108 also armed the Me 262 jet and the Me 163 rocket fighter.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Weight: 135 lbs.
Muzzle velocity: 1,600 ft./sec.
Gun length overall: 45 in.
Barrel length: 23 in.
Maximum rate of fire: 450 rounds/min.

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