What is generally seen as the ideal rate of fire for a machine gun? I've read that in WWII, the US Browning .30 cal was about 550 rpm. And the German MG 42 was about 1200 rpm. That seems a big difference. What rpm would be ideal, and why? Stuff I've thought of on my own: -- high rpm goes through ammo faster -- high rpm maybe heats up barrel too fast -- 550 rpm seems pretty fast to me, count 1,2,3...10 as fast as you can, and 550 would be faster. Also, how does a machine gun chamber a round without squishing the belt into the chamber?