MK 103 - German 30mm Autocannon

Published: July 22nd, 2018     
Product Image
Kit contents
Reviewed by: 
Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Master Model
Price: $8.00
Product / Stock #: AM-48-145

Master Model is a Polish company. The owner is Piotr Czerkasow who is a mechanical engineer by trade. Piotr is also a scale modeler. Master model has a broad range of accessories for aircraft, military vehicles, and ships in several of the popular scales. In addition, they also offer a blackening agent until their Tools and Supplies tab.

Background

The Rheinmetall-Borsig MK 103 ("MK" - Maschinenkanone) was a German 30 mm caliber autocannon that was mounted in German combat aircraft during World War II. Intended to be a dual purpose weapon for anti-tank and air-to-air fighting, it was developed from the Mk 101. Compared to the MK 101 the Mk 103 was faster-firing and was originally intended to develop a higher muzzle velocity than the MK 101. Unlike the MK 101, the MK 103 used a belt feed, allowing it to potentially carry a larger ammunition load. The MK 103 used electrically primed rather than percussion primed ammunition. The operating mechanism differed from the recoil-operated MK 101 in that it used a combination of gas and recoil operation. After firing, gas pressure served to unlock the breach, while barrel recoil was used to cycle the action (eject spent cartridge and load a fresh one).

The Do-335B-2 was fitted with two, wing-mounted 30mm cannon, along with a 30mm cannon firing through the spinner, plus two 20mm nose-mounted cannon. This aircraft never saw operational use by the Luftwaffe.

A limited-production series of the Fw 190A fighter and Fw 190F ground attack fighter (which utilized a particularly strong wing/fuselage design) incorporated two MK 103 cannons, one mounted under each wing in a conformal, gondola-style pod. Later in the war the MK 103 was also used as a ground-based anti-aircraft (AA) weapon, using single or dual mounts.

The Henschel Hs 129B-2 B-2 received the upgraded cannon pack using a 30 mm Mk 103 cannon instead of the earlier Mk 101. These guns both fired the same ammunition, but the Mk 103 did so at almost twice the rate.

Contents Description

This set includes two turned brass cannon barrels and matching reducers. In addition, there are two pairs of resin muzzle brakes with different brake configuration styles.

Instructions

The instructions for the detail set are included on a single page with mounting directions clearly noted, along with dimensions as appropriate.

Conclusion

The brass and resin parts in this set contain some unbelievable detail and are well worth the expense to add to any appropriate aircraft model. I highly recommend the Master-Model set AM-48-145 for dressing up the model kits of the famous German World War II aircraft.

I wish to thank Master-Model and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build and review this set. Thank you Master-Model! Thank you IPMS USA.

Also, thank you to Wikipedia for background and historical information on the aircraft and weapon.

  • Package contents
    Package contents
  • Two barrels
    Two barrels
  • Barrel layout
    Barrel layout
  • Instructions
    Instructions
  • Kit part for comparson
    Kit part for comparson