SIG KE-7 Light Machine Gun

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.

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. An interesting idea, but probably not the most practical in the stress of combat.

We have two pieces of KE-7 documentation, though  neither is in English. One is an overview of the gun in French published by SIG, and the other is a typed report on the gun in Spanish.

KE7 Factory overview (Spanish)

KE7 Factory overview (French)


  1. Nice gun !
    I think it must had performance similar to BAR.
    Agree about the trigger system (not so practical in combat stress).
    Seems China bought every new developed gun of that era.
    I think it would be better to have a light bipod attached (like BAR).

  2. Good thing I paid attention in French class!
    Wasn’t Pal Kiraly a Hungarian who later moved to the Dominican Republic? Did I miss something?

  3. Thanks for posting this (the KE-7 is truly a forgotten weapon)! It was proposed to the Portuguese military in the mid 30s, but it was rejected in favour of the ZB 30; the later deal, however, fell apart because the Czechs suspected the Portuguese were just acting as proxy bidders for the Spanish Nationalists. After this, the Portuguese ended up buying the MG-13 instead.

  4. The two-stage trigger is currently incorporated into the design of the Austrian made Steyr AUG. It’s really interesting to see where that idea may have come from.

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