Original German WWII MG 34 Display Machine Gun with Display Saddle Drum Top Cover and Magazine - marked dot 1945
Original Item: One of a Kind! This is an original WWII issue MG34 display machine gun, and it is definitely one of the best and most interesting that we have had in recent times. Most are familiar with the standard MG34 using 50 round belts with starter tabs in basket belt carriers. However, there were some that ended up outfitted with top covers and feed trays that enabled them to use the use the DT15 Doppel Trommel 75rd "Saddle Drum" magazines originally designed for the MG 15 machine gun. They had large numbers of these drums made, which were obsoleted when the Luftwaffe moved to larger caliber guns in their bombers.
Unfortunately, these top covers are extremely rare and highly desirable, usually selling for thousands of dollars for a good example. However DT15 magazines are relatively plentiful, and it is such a classic look that the person who built this display gun had a display top cover custom made so that Saddle Drum would be able to attach to it. It is in no way functional, but it does the job for display, making this a great looking display gun!
This MG 34 display gun is also coded along with multiple German wartime markings and has multiple Waffenamts. It bears original serial number 8048 / b on the barrel jacket, along with dot / 1945 for the Brno factory in Czechoslovakia. There are some great markings on this very fine example of the most prolific German issued Light Machine gun of WWII.
Comprised of nearly entirely original WWII parts, this display gun was reconstructed using a BATF approved receiver with 2 inches totally replaced with solid bar stock, making this an inert non-firing display gun. We have not had these available for years!
The included DT15 drum is itself marked with a serial number, as well as the Luftwaffe stock number. It is also maker marked awt 40, for Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik AG in Geislingen (Steige), 1940 production. The bipod included is of the early design, with a central height adjustment knob, and is in excellent condition. It looks like most the wartime markings were scrubbed, however one leg still has an intact Waffenamt WaA815 marking. There are also multiple Waffenamt inspection proofs all over the display gun.
Front and rear sight still flip up and function correctly, and the bipod folds away and locks in correctly. A fine display MG 34 LMGs and one the very last we have to offer, complete with a wonderful display top cover with a saddle drum. 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 they may have markings in Hebrew, such as on this example.
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).
This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
New Jersey, Washington
This product is not available for international shipping.
- This item is completely legal within the USA. International Military Antiques, Inc observes all Federal, State and Local laws. Everything for sale on ima-usa.com is completely legal to own, trade, transport and sell within the United States of America. Every display machinegun and machine gun parts set and gun sold by IMA, Inc is engineered to be inoperable according to guidelines provided by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF). Please note that the requirements for each display gun are decided on a per case basis by the BATF, and may require deactivation of omission of some internal components. For more information on this display gun, please contact us. Not available for Export.
Deactivated magazine will be sent if shipped to the following states due to high capacity magazine restrictions:
California - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Connecticut - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Hawaii - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Maryland - 20 round maximum for all magazines.
Massachusetts - 10 round maximum for all magazines
New Jersey - 15 round maximum for all magazines.
New York- 7 round maximum for all magazines.
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