Original German WWI Maxim MG 08 Spare Parts Grouping - Water Jacket with Barrel and Lock

Item Description

Original Item: One of a kind. Opportunities like this do not come along very often at all! Over the years, many collectors end up with odds and ends, and so it was with the collector we purchased this set from. They managed to find a stripped barrel jacket, along with a barrel and a lock, all for the Legendary German Maxim MG 08 Machine gun. This was one of the primary weapons used in the trenches of WWI, and was known as "The Grim Reaper" of the First World War.

All of the items are in good condition, with the expected wear from age. This nice grouping consists of one each of the following:

  • German MG 08 Stripped Water Jacket, marked DWM on the front. This indicates manufacture by the legendary Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Aktiengesellschaft (German Weapons and Munitions public limited company), one of the major manufacturers of weapons for Imperial Germany. This was one of only three makers of the MG08.  The water jacket is painted green, and does look to be missing the front sight. It looks to be fully intact, though the threads for the rear filler cap have one of the rivets popped, so it moves around.
  • German MG 08 Live Barrel, marked Br. with German Imperial Eagle Proofs. This barrel is in good used condition, and still has rifling in the bore, though it is worn.
  • German MG 08 Functional Lock, also marked DWM. It is marked with serial number 561 / A on several components, so it is at least a partly matching lock, though other parts may have been replaced during servicing. Most interestingly, it is marked 6. R. M.G. on the top, which would indicates it was issued to the 6th Regiment of Machine Guns at some point.  Condition is nice, with the expected wear from service. The lock cycles correctly and dry fires, showing the firing pin.

This is a great set of spare parts, and would be perfect to complete a partial set. Ready to display or use to complete a set. 

History of the MG 08-

The Maschinengewehr 08, or MG 08, was the German Army's standard machine gun in World War I and is an adaption of Hiram S. Maxim's original 1884 Maxim gun. It was produced in a number of variants during the war. The MG 08 served during World War II as a heavy machine gun in many German infantry divisions, although by the end of the war it had mostly been relegated to second-rate fortress units.

The Maschinengewehr 08 (or MG 08)- so-named after 1908, its year of adoption - was a development of the license made Maschinengewehr 01. It could reach a firing rate of up to 400 rounds per minute using 250-round fabric belts of 7.92x57mm ammunition, although sustained firing would lead to overheating; it was water-cooled using a jacket around the barrel that held approximately one gallon of water. Using a separate attachment sight with range calculator for indirect fire, the MG 08 could be operated from cover. Additional telescopic sights were also developed and used in quantity during the war.

The MG 08, like the Maxim gun, operated on the basis of short barrel recoil and a toggle lock; once cocked and fired the MG 08 would continue firing rounds until the trigger was released (or until all available ammunition was expended). Its practical range was estimated at some 2,000 metres (2,200 yd) up to an extreme range of 3,600 metres (3,900 yd). The MG 08 was mounted on a sled mount (German: Schlittenlafette) that was ferried between locations either on carts or else carried above men's shoulders in the manner of a stretcher.

Pre-war production was by Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) in Berlin and the government arsenal at Spandau (so that the gun was often referred to as a Spandau MG 08).

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