Oerlikon FF

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The FF were a series of 20mm autocannon introduced by Oerlikon in the late 1920s. The name comes from the German term Fl├╝gel Fest, meaning wing mounted, fixed, being one of the first 20mm guns to be small and light enough to fit into a fighter aircraft's wing. The FF series inspired many 20mm cannon used in World War II , including the French Hispano-Suiza HS.404 (adopted by the British and U.S.), the German MG FF, and the Japanese Type 99 cannon.

The original design, introduced as the FF, fired a 128 gram 20x72mm round with a muzzle velocity of 600 m/s at a cyclic rate of 520 rounds per minute. The gun weighed only 24 kg. The low muzzle velocity was of some concern, so additional developments led to the 30 kg FF L using a longer 20x101mm round which gave 750 m/s, and the 39 kg FF S firing a 20x110mm round at 830 m/s at a slightly slower 470 rounds per minute. The original guns became known as the FF F from this point on.

The MG FF, like all pre-World War II Oerlikon guns, was an API blowback recoil-operated weapon and embodies certain features which are not found in other automatic cannons. The most important of these are: 1) a barrel which does not recoil; 2) a heavy breechblock which is never locked against the breech and actually moves forward when the gun is fired.

The FF F was licensed by the Japanese and produced as the Type 99-1, along with the FF L as the Type 99-2. Hispano-Suiza built the FF S as the...
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