The M30 Luftwaffe Drilling Survival Weapon
The M30 Luftwaffe drilling (“triple”) was a survival weapon issued to Luftwaffe pilots during World War II. It was intended to be used in the event that a pilot was shot down, for defense and for hunting game to stay alive until rescue.
For maximum versatility the M30 featured two 12 gauge shotgun barrels, and a 9.3x74mmR rifle barrel. They were manufactured by the German firm JP Sauer.
If you’re wondering why the rifle looks similar to a hunting rifle. Drilling has been a tradition of high German hunting culture dating back to the 19th century. The drillings were not guns for the common hunter but for the upper class, as they were heavily decorated. (Tis the reason why they are worth a lot of money – $25K)
The M30 drilling featured two 12 gauge barrels and a rifle barrel chambered for 9.3x73mm.
The M30 was issued with with 20 rounds of 12 gauge birdshot shells, 25 twelve gauge slugs, and 20 rounds of 9x74mmR. It was typically stored disassembled in a crate with ammunition and accessories.
From the standpoint of survival the choice for such a weapon was ridiculous. At 42 inches in overall length weighing 7.5lbs they were large for a survival weapon, taking up a lot of valuable space and weight on an airplane.
Compare the M30 to other survival rifles, such as the American M4, which is small, light, inexpensive, and yet probably a much more effective survival rifle. While not as powerful as the M30, it was ideal for hunting small game, and it’s unlikely that a stranded airplane crew is going to shoot a moose and go living off the land for over 20 days.
As you can tell the M30 was very expensive, firing this ammunition was very expensive and uncommon. One of the questions that came up with historians was. Why did the Luftwaffe bother with such an expensive rifle? According to historians the decision was made by Luftwaffe head Herman Goering, who was an avid hunter and the Chief of German game commission.
He obviously thought of hunting as survival in mind. And, he believed that the pilots should be equipped with the finest traditional German hunting guns available. On the record only 2,500 drillings were produced out of 4,000. Probably due to the high costs and a waste of resources, just not feasible.
Sources: Wikipedia, Antiques.blognook