The MG 13 itself fired the 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser cartridge and it could fire these rounds at a rate of fire of up to 500 rounds per minutes, and was air-cooled. The total weight of the MG 13 was 10.9 kilograms with its accompanying bipod and a total length of 146 centimeters. The weapon was normally fed with 25 rounds box magazines though it had the option of having 75 rounds drums or even a double drum for anti-aircraft roles.
The stock of the weapon was foldable and for transport it featured an extending carrying handle. The box magazines had the ability to be reloaded using stripper clips while the double drum itself was usually ignored because of the fact that it was simply too complicated to manufacture and load in the field.
The MG 13 entered service in 1930 as the standard medium machine gun for the Wehrmacht. It was later withdrawn from service and replaced with more advanced machine gun designs such as the MG 34. It did, however, remain in service with the Luftwaffe as a tail gun for the Junkers Ju 87 as well as serve inside the tank corps as the standard machine gun armament.