Original German WWII Era MG 42 Sustained Fire Lafette Tripod
Original Item: Only one available. This MG42 Lafette (German for Gun Carriage) ground tripod is possibly an original World War II era German manufactured mount or it was made after the war by Yugoslavia for use with surplus German WW2 machine guns and later produced M53 Machine Guns. There are almost no markings on this mount.
This tripod was reconditioned postwar production ex Macedonia, which is why it has a Macedonian data plate.
Features precision German engineering representative of the nation's arms and accessories of the time with fully-functional telescopic base and extension legs that provide increased ground clearance for sustained fire and allow the tripod to be used in an anti-aircraft role. The rear remote trigger works well, and we assume this mount to be fully functional.
The T&E mechanism is in excellent working condition and allows for zeroing in the traverse and elevation. Unlike some, this example does not have the left side opticts mount, and does not look to have had one attached in the past. The spare bolt case also survived through the years. Spare bolts were an important consideration, especially after variations of the MG42 (MG3) had varying rates of fire that depended on the weight of the bolt.
History of the MG 42-
The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or "machine gun 42") is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general purpose machine gun designed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht during the second half of World War II. Intended to replace the more expensive and time-consuming to manufacture frontline MG 34, it ended up produced side by side until the end of the war.
The MG 42 has a proven record of reliability, durability, simplicity, and ease of operation, but is most notable for its ability to produce a high volume of suppressive fire. The MG 42 had one of the highest average cyclic rate of any single-barreled man-portable machine gun: between 1,200 and 1,500 rpm, which results in a distinctive muzzle report.
The MG 42 weighed 11.6 kg in the light role with the bipod, lighter than the MG 34 and easily portable. The bipod, the same one used on the MG 34, could be mounted to the front or the center of the gun depending on where it was being used. For sustained fire use, it was matched to the newly developed Lafette 42 tripod, which weighed 20.5 kg on its own. The barrel had polygonal rifling and was lighter than the MG 34's and heated more quickly, but could be replaced in seconds by an experienced gunner.
The optimum operating crew of an MG 42 for sustained fire operation was six men: the gun commander, the No.1 who carried and fired the gun, the No.2 who carried the tripod, and Nos. 3, 4, and 5 who carried ammunition, spare barrels, entrenching tools, and other items. For additional protection the commander, No.1 and No.2 were armed with pistols, while the remaining three carried rifles. This large team was often reduced to just three: the gunner, the loader (also barrel carrier), and the spotter. The gunner of the weapon was preferably a junior non-commissioned officer (or Unteroffizier).
U.S. doctrine of the era centered around the rifleman, with the machine gun serving a support role. German doctrine was the reverse, with the machine gun placed in a central role and rifleman employed in support. This meant that German forces deployed far more machine guns per equivalent-sized unit than the allies and that allied troops assaulting a German position almost invariably faced the firepower of the MG42. It was possible for operating crews to lay down a non-stop barrage of fire, ceasing only when the barrel had to be replaced. This allowed the MG 42 to tie up significantly larger numbers of enemy troops. Both the Americans and the British trained their troops to take cover from the fire of an MG 42, and assault the position during the small window of barrel replacement. The high rate of fire of the MG 42 sometimes proved a liability, mainly in that, while the weapon could be used to devastating effect, it could quickly exhaust its ammunition supply. For this reason, it was not uncommon for all soldiers operating near an MG 42 to carry extra ammunition, thus providing the MG 42 with a backup source when its main supply was exhausted.
The MG 42 is 7.92x57mm Mauser, air-cooled, belt fed, open bolt, recoil-operated machine gun with a quick change barrel.
The roller-locked bolt assembly consists of a bolt head, two rollers, a striker sleeve, bolt body, and a large return spring, which is responsible for pushing the bolt assembly into battery (the locked position) and returning it there when it is unlocked and pushed backwards by the recoil of firing or by the charging handle. As the striker sleeve is movable back and forth within the bolt assembly, the return spring is also responsible for pushing the striker sleeve forward during locking (described below). The bolt assembly locks with the barrel's breech (the end the cartridge is loaded into) via a prong type barrel extension behind the breech. As it is recoil-operated and fired from an open bolt, the weapon must be manually charged with the side-mounted charging handle.
The roller-locked recoil operation functions as follows: two cylindrical rollers, positioned in tracks on the bolt head, are pushed outwards into matching tracks in the barrel extension by the striker sleeve and lock the bolt in place against the breech. Upon firing, rearward force from the recoil of the cartridge ignition pushes the striker assembly back and allows the rollers to move inwards, back to their previous position, unlocking the bolt head and allowing the bolt assembly to recoil, extracting the spent cartridge and ejecting it. The return spring then pushes the bolt assembly forwards again, pushing a new cartridge out of the belt into the breech, and the sequence repeats as long as the trigger is depressed. The MG42 is only capable of fully automatic fire. Single shots are exceptionally difficult, even for experienced operators, due to the weapon's rate of fire. The usual training objective is to be able to fire a burst of no more than three rounds. The weapon features a recoil booster at the muzzle to increase rearwards force due to recoil, therefore improving functional reliability and rate of fire.
The shoulder stock is designed to permit gripping with the left hand to hold it secure against the shoulder. Considerable recoil otherwise causes the stock to creep from its intended position. If the weapon is not properly "seated" on the bipod, a prone gunner may be pushed back along the ground from the high recoil of this weapon.
The sighting line consists of a type post or an inverted "V" height adjustable front sight on a folding post and a leaf rear sight with an open V notch sliding on a ramp, graduated from 200 to 2,000 meters (219 to 2,187 yards). There is an antiaircraft rear peep sight hinged on the open rear sight base. An auxiliary anti-aircraft ring sight is kept in the maintenance kit, and fitting on the barrel jacket to be used in conjunction with the folding antiaircraft rear peep sight attached to the rear sight base.
Another unique feature of German World War II machine guns (and which continued to be used by the German Bundeswehr after the war) was the Tiefenfeuerautomat. If selected, this feature walked the fire in wave-like motions up and down the range in a predefined area. E.g., being unsure whether the real distance was 2000 meters or 2300 meters, the gunner could make the mount do an automatic sweep between the elevations for 1900 to 2400 meters and back. This sweeping of a given range (Tiefenfeuer) continued as long as the gun fired.
- This product is not available for international shipping.
- Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon