The ZG 1229 Vampir 1229 (ZG 1229), also known in its code name Vampir, was an active infrared device developed for the Wehrmacht for the Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle during World War II, intended primarily for night use.
Vampir gear was first used in combat in February 1945. However, small arms infrared device introduction took place in early 1944. 310 units were delivered to the Wehrmacht at the final stages of the war. Eastern Front veteran reports consist of snipers shooting at night with the aid of ‘peculiar non-shining torches coupled with enormous optical sights’ mounted on their rifles. Similar infrared gear was fitted both to MG34 and MG42 machine guns.
MG34 and MG42
The MG3 (originally the MG1) is the MG42 design rechambered to 7.62 x 51mm NATO caliber. It is the primary general-purpose machine gun of the modern German armed forces (Bundeswehr). A number of other armies around the world have adopted versions of the original, especially the MG3, and it remains in widespread service today. Its belt-feed mechanism was copied and used in the design of the M60 machine gun. The trigger mechanism of the FN MAG or MAG-58 is a virtual copy of the MG 42’s and the MAG-58’s belt-feed is also very similar.
The rate of fire of the MG3 is 1200 rounds per minute.
The MG3 is still in use in about 35 countries, including Denmark, Norway and Germany.