The KE-7 was the product of two Swiss designers, Pal de Kiraly and Gotthard End, and was introduced in 1929 by the Swiss manufacturer SIG. It was a recoil operated design and fired from an open bolt. The guns were not adopted by the Swiss military, and were exported primarily to Latin America and China, being mostly made in 8mm Mauser. They were tested by many European nations, and were offered in a wide variety of calibers. The rate of automatic fire would vary depending on caliber, but was not less than 550 rpm. Magazines were typically 25 rounds.

KE-7 light machine gunThe gun did have a quick-change barrel, and could fire in either single shot or automatic mode. It didn’t use a selector switch, though – pulling the trigger back slightly gave single shots, and a further pull gave automatic fire. This was a relatively common feature of submachine guns at the time, although not seen so much in light machine guns.

KE-7 LMG cutaway

Photos

This KE-7, with an extended magazine, is in the collection of Reed Knight:

Manuals

SIG KE-7 Sales Brochure (English)
SIG KE-7 Sales Brochure (English)
El Fusil Ametralladora KE7 Report (Spanish)
El Fusil Ametralladora KE7 Report (Spanish)
Fusil Mitrailleur KE7 Overview (French)
Fusil Mitrailleur KE7 Overview (French)
Mitraillier-Gewehr KE7 Anleitung und Handhabung (German)
Mitraillier-Gewehr KE7 Anleitung und Handhabung (German)
Leichtes Maschinengewehr KE7 (German)
Leichtes Maschinengewehr KE7 (German)

4 Comments

  1. Dear Sir,
    I was writing an article regarding to the Sig KE7 in China Civil war in 1930-1940. Do you know why the Swiss Army didnot adorpt this kind of light machine gun, which defects in this gun?
    many thanks in advance!
    william

    • May be cause the Swiss army had already adopted the Furrer Lmg-25 in 1925. Since the Furrer proved a pretty satisfactory design (it remained in service until the 60s) and the KE-7 entered production in 1929, I’d say SIG’s gun was 4 years too late…

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