Original German WWII MG 42 Display Machine Gun with Anti-Aircraft Sights and Belt Carrier
Original Item: Only One Available. Constructed years ago from a legally demilitarized (de-milled) parts set; this is an ALL German WW2 MG42 Display Gun. This nice example comes complete with all German WWII issue parts, and is covered with German issue markings. Included are original front and rear Anti-Aircarft sights, only the second set we have had in years! Also included is a post war repainted original basket belt carrier to complete the look. This is a very nice MG 42 setup, a worthy addition to any collection!
The rebuilt inert non-firing BATF approved receiver with a 2" new made section unfortunately no longer has the usual markings that would be on the rear right section. During the deactivation of this example, the rivets for the internal rails were ground off, and this resulted in the markings being removed, before the end was subsequently flame cut. However, the multiple issue markings confirm that this is a German gun.
The wood butt stock is in good condition, with only a few minor cracks and dents, and is painted with the standard thick black paint. The top cover and feed tray are both marked with cof, for Carl Eickhorn, Solingen, a prolific manufacturer of edged weapons, who also made feed trays and top covers for the MG34. The barrel quick change system on this display gun still operates, and the original live barrel can be removed easily. There are also multiple Waffenamt proofs, highlighted with red paint, visible on these parts.
The bipod, which is in excellent condition, with a great finish and functional height adjustment central knurled knob.
The Anti-Aircraft front and rear sign are items we used to have, but which have not been available for some time, particularly the rear sight, which flip up and locks in place. The belt drum in good shape, with a post war apple green paint over red primer, some of which is visible.
Offered in excellent condition this is a very hard to find all German WWII mg42 Display Machine Gun with some great accessories. We do not have these available very often at all, and this is probably one of the last that we will be able to have, especially with a complete Anti-Aircraft sight set.
Note: as these were in service post war, some components may display Yugoslav stock markings in addition to German wartime markings.
The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or "machine gun 42") is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general purpose machine gun designed in NSDAP Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II. It was intended to replace the earlier MG 34, which was more expensive and took much longer to produce, but in the event, both weapons were produced 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 rates of any single-barreled man-portable machine gun: between 1,200 and 1,500 rpm, resulting in a distinctive muzzle report. The only Allied automatic ordnance of any type with a similar calibre that was designed to exceed this rate of fire was the Soviet Union's .30-calibre ShKAS machine gun for aircraft armament, due to its "squirrel-cage" layout, ten-round "pre-feed" mechanism giving it a firing rate of 1,800 rounds per minute.
One of the weapon's most notable features was in its exceptionally high rate of fire of about 1,200 rounds per minute, twice the rate of the Vickers and Browning machine guns, which fired at a rate of about 600 rounds per minute. So effective was the weapon in laying suppressive fire that the United States Army created training films to aid its soldiers in dealing with the psychological trauma of facing the weapon in battle. The MG 42 fired at such a high rate the human ear could not easily discern the sound of individual shots being fired, instead hearing a sound described as like "ripping cloth" or a buzzsaw, giving rise to the nickname "AH's buzzsaw" (and the German soldiers' AHsäge ("AH's saw" or "bonesaw").
The gun was sometimes called "Spandau" by British troops, as was the MG 34, a traditional generic term for all German machine guns, left over from the famous Allied nickname for the MG 08 Maxim-derivative used by German forces during WWI, which was derived from its manufacturer's plates noting the city where some were produced.
The MG 42's high rate of fire resulted from analysis concluding that since a soldier typically only has a short period of time to shoot at an enemy soldier, and muzzle rise quickly throws off initial aim, it was imperative to fire the highest number of bullets possible in the shortest time to increase the likelihood of a hit before the recoil overcame the inertia of the gun and pushed the aiming point upwards. The disadvantage was that the weapon consumed exorbitant amounts of ammunition and quickly overheated its barrel, making sustained fire problematic. Thus, while individual bursts left the weapon as highly concentrated fire at 1,200 rounds per minute, the Handbook of the German Army (1940) forbade the firing of more than 250 rounds in a single burst and indicated a sustained rate of no more than 300-350 rounds per minute to minimize barrel wear and overheating, although the excellent quick-change barrel design helped a great deal. Burst limits are typical on non-water-cooled automatic weapons, and slower-firing Allied guns such as the M1919 also had limits; they fired at a slower rate, but lacked a quick-change barrel, and so the operator had to limit his fire to a few hundred rounds per minute to allow the barrel to cool between bursts. Due to the slower firing rate, this led to a longer period of time spent shooting, but a roughly equivalent total number of rounds fired. Operationally, the MG 42's main drawback was that it could consume ammunition at such a high rate that it was very difficult to keep firing during offensive actions, because ammunition had to be carried forward on a continuous basis. This was also a problem at the end of the war with inexperienced German troops. Good fire discipline was necessary, and the level of training that the German infantry was receiving at that time was poor.
The method of barrel change made the MG 42 unsuitable for secondary or co-axial armament on World War II era German tanks with the exception of the Jagdpanzer IV. Early versions of the Jagdpanzer IV carried two standard (no modification made) MG 42s on both sides of the gun mantlet/glacis, firing through a ball slot which was protected by an armored cover (with the MG 42 retracted) when not in use. Later version Jagdpanzer IVs carried only one MG 42 on the left side.
In the German heavy machine gun (HMG) platoons, each platoon served four MG 34/MG 42 machine guns, used in the sustained fire mode mounted on tripods. In 1944 this was altered to six machine guns in three sections with two seven-man heavy machine gun squads per section as follows:
Squad leader (NCO) MP40
Machine gunner (private) MG 34/MG 42 and pistol
Assistant gunner (private) pistol
Three riflemen (privates) rifles
Horse leader for horse, cart and trailer (private) rifle
The MG-42 incorporated lessons hard-won on the Eastern Front. Both the cocking handle and the catch for the top cover to the working parts were designed so that the gunner could operate them wearing mitts or with a stick or rod. This was vital for winter conditions where contact by bare flesh on cold metal could cause severe injury, such as instant frostbite.
The MG42's effect was so devastating that Allied troops were trained before the D Day landings to distinguish its unique sound when fired, which was like cloth being ripped or the sound of a buzzsaw. Allied troops were trained to charge an MG-42-equipped pill box only at the time of its one weakness, which was when its overheating barrel needed to be changed.
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