Original German WWII Early Pattern MG 34 Display Machine Gun by Rheinmetall-Borsig AG with Basket Belt Carrier
Original Item: Only One available! Comprised of nearly entirely original WWII parts, this display gun was reconstructed using a BATF approved rewelded receiver with a section equal to 20% (2+ Inches) of the receiver length totally replaced with solid steel bar stock, making this an inert non-firing display gun. Included with the gun are some internal components that were not used in the construction of the display gun. We have also included a belt drum repainted with our replica spray paint to complete the look.
This is one of our original WWII issue MG34 display machine guns, and is one of the earliest examples that we have ever offered. While the original date and markings on the barrel jacket were removed, the B in a Star in a Circle logo of Rheinmetall-Borsig AG of Sömmerda is still visible over re-marked serial number 2687. This is one of the companies that developed the MG 34, and this type of marking is only seen on very early production models, made before the final version of the MG 34 was approved in 1939.
The top cover has also had the serial number remarked as 2687, and it has a distinctive logo in the middle, and a partly worn away Waffenamt WaA497 marking. This is a number associated with Johannes Grossfuss of Dölbeln in Sachsen, a known maker of feed trays and top covers for both the MG 34 and 42. We believe that the top cover was most likely manufactured by them, though we cannot find any record of them using a logo like shown. There is also stamp next to the Waffenamt that we cannot identify. There are serial numbers and German proof marks on many other parts of the display gun. There really are some great markings on this very fine example of the most prolific German issued Light Machine gun of WWII, with lots of potential for research.
The feed tray is marked with arz for subcontractor Deutsche Kühl- und Kraftmaschinen GmbH, a metal stamping business that also supplied receivers for the MG42 to many of the makers. The feed mechanism on the top cover bears a Waffenamt WaA4 marking, which is also seen on the rear sight, associated with Berlin Suhler Waffen- und Fahrzeugwerke (Berlin Suhl Weapons and Vehicle works or BSW), later known as Gustloff-Werke, Waffenfabrik, a known maker of the MG 13, MG 34, and MG 42.
The bipod included is a VERY early example, with the central height adjustment knob, and is in very good condition. The central portion is marked with K S surrounding an early "Stick Eagle" Waffenamt over 144, with another Eagle over 49 to the right. We have not been able to identify this maker, but these early inspection marks are only seen on the earliest of MG 34s produced.
The front and rear sight still flip up and function correctly, and the bipod folds away and locks in correctly. The top cover opens, and the basket belt carrier can be removed, though there is a bit of a clearance issue with the top cover, so it can take some working with to get the fit right. The rear wooden butt stock is in very good condition, with serial number 2070 on the side. It does show service wear and is cracked on the left side, with what looks to be a small repair.
The internal parts included with an original MG 34 bolt assembly, along with the recoil / main spring. Also included are the recuperator with spring, the ejection port cover with its spring, and a few other small components.
A fine display MG 34 LMGs and one the earliest designs we have ever been able to offer, just perfect for your collection.
Please note that there may be various post-war markings on this display gun, in addition to the German WW2 markings. Many of these were acquired out of Israel, so many parts may have markings in Hebrew and "Star of David" proofs.
The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG 34, is a German recoil-operated air-cooled machine gun, first tested in 1929, introduced in 1934, and issued to units in 1936. It accepts the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge, and is generally considered the world's first general-purpose machine gun.
The versatile MG 34 was arguably the most advanced machine gun in the world at the time of its deployment. Its combination of exceptional mobility - being light enough to be carried by one man - and high rate of fire (of up to 900 rounds per minute) was unmatched. It entered service in great numbers following AH's repudiation of the Versailles Treaty in 1936, and was first combat tested by German troops aiding Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. Nonetheless, the design proved too complex for mass production, and was supplemented by the cheaper and simpler MG 42, though both remained in service and production until the end of the war.
The MG 34 was based on a 1930 Rheinmetall design, the MG 30. The Swiss and Austrian militaries had both licensed and produced the MG 30 from Rheinmetall shortly after patent. The MG 30 design was adapted and modified by Heinrich Vollmer of Mauser Industries. Vollmer modified the feed mechanism to accept either drum magazines or belt ammunition. He also increased the rate of fire. The MG 34's double crescent trigger dictated either semiautomatic or fully automatic firing modes.
In the field, the weapon could operate in offensive or defensive applications. The offensive model, with a mobile soldier, used a drum magazine that could hold either 50 or 75 rounds of ammunition. In a stationary defensive role, the gun was mounted on a bipod or tripod and fed by an ammunition belt. Belts were carried in boxes of five. Each belt contained 50 rounds. Belt lengths could be linked for sustained fire. During sustained fire, barrels would have to be changed at intervals due to the heat generated by the rapid rate of fire. If the barrels were not changed properly, the weapon would misfire. Changing barrels was a rapid process for the trained operator and involved disengaging a latch and swinging the receiver to the right for the insertion of a new barrel. Accordingly, stationary defensive positions required more than one operator.
The MG 34 was the mainstay of German Army support weapons from the time of its first issue in 1935 until 1942, when it was supplanted by the next generation Maschinengewehr 42 or MG 42. Although the 34 was very reliable and dominant on the battlefield, its dissemination throughout the German forces was hampered due to its precision engineering, which resulted in high production costs and a relatively slower rate of production. For its successor, the MG 42, the Germans instead used mass production techniques similar to those that created the MP 40 submachine gun. However, the Germans nevertheless continued widespread production of MG 34s until the end of the war.
The MG 34 was used as the primary infantry machine gun during the 1930s, and remained as the primary armored vehicle defensive weapon. It was to be replaced in infantry service by the related MG 42, but there were never enough quantities of the new design to go around, and MG 34s soldiered on in all roles until the end of World War II. The MG 34 was intended to replace the MG 13 and other older machine guns, but these were still being used in World War II as demand was never met.
It was designed primarily by Heinrich Vollmer from the Mauser Werke, based on the recently introduced Rheinmetall-designed Solothurn 1930 (MG 30) that was starting to enter service in Switzerland. Changes to the operating mechanism improved the rate of fire to between 800 and 900 rpm.
The new gun was accepted for service almost immediately and was generally liked by the troops, and it was used to great effect by German soldiers assisting Nationalist Spain in the Spanish Civil War. At the time it was introduced, it had a number of advanced features and the general-purpose machine gun concept that it aspired to was an influential one. However, the MG 34 was also expensive, both in terms of construction and the raw materials needed (49 kg (108.0 lb) of steel), and its manufacture was too time-consuming to be built in the numbers required for the ever-expanding German armed forces. It was the standard machine gun of the Kriegsmarine (German navy).
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