Komet weapons: MK 108 cannon

The MK 108 gun

The Machinekanone (MK) 108 gun was developed by Rheinmetall-Borsig between 1941 and 1942. Its big advantages were: low weight, small dimensions (which made it ideal to build into existing planes), and 80 % of the weapon was made of pressed sheet metal which made it cheap and ideally suited for mass-production. Its major disadvantage was the low muzzle velocity that made it quite unsuitable for use at longer range. However, for fighters in the anti-bomber role, using Mineshells (M-geschoss) it was an extremely powerful weapon. A direct hit of a mineshell on a fighter’s wing would rip the wing off instantly; for a heavy bomber three direct hits were enough to bring it down. The Me 163B was armed with two MK 108 guns, mounted in the left and right wing root with 60 shells per gun.

Length 1070 mm
Weight 58 kg
Calibre 30 mm
Rate of fire    600 rounds per minute

Jim Spaw sent these photos he took at the USAF Museum:

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