Original Imperial German WWI MG 08 Maxim Machine Gun Sled Mount - Serial No 3550

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an exceptionally rare sled mount for the German WW1 Maxim MG08 Machine Gun. The MG 08 was usually issued on a sled-type mount of adjustable height (SchlittenLafette08). This mount allowed the gun to be dragged through the battlefield, or to be carried like a stretcher by two or more soldiers. The mount was provided with traverse and elevation mechanisms with rough and fine adjustments.

This very nice example was purchased from the estate of a collector, and is honestly the best example that we have ever had. It is very solid and functional, and all important traverse and elevation mechanisms still work! It also still has the top retaining claim for the water jacket of the MG 08, which is often missing.

It has both galvanized steel lock boxes still intact, with working latches and complete wood inserts in great shape. It's got the small galvanized small parts bin on the lower left intact, as well as the spare barrel clamp on the lower right, which locks the breech end of the barrel. The muzzle end is retained on a cup near the front of the mount, which is also intact.

The mount is marked 3550 on the upper flat of the right side leg, and has other markings in multiple locations. The mount was painted in black paint, much of which has flaked off, and could probably easily be removed as part of a total restoration if wanted, or left as is. The leather pads on the legs and rear of the mount are unfortunately degraded due to age.

Original usable sled mounts like this are exceptionally hard to find, in fact there is one that was once listed for $30,000 USD!!!

Here is your chance to finally have a genuine MG 08 Sled Mount from the Great War to complete your Maxim display.

History of the MG 08:

Germany was one of the first buyers of new machine guns, designed in UK by Sir Hiram Maxim. In 1892, the German company Ludwig Loewe obtained a 7-year manufacturing license from Maxim. Manufacture of German guns commenced in 1894, and in the same year the German Navy adopted the Maxim MG in 7.92x57mm. The license expired in 1899, and at that time a newly established company, Deutshe Waffen und Munitionsfabrik (DWM) began production of the same gun for the German army as the MG99. It was similar to all other Maxim type guns made in the same period, except for the mounting, which was somewhat unusual in appearance. Unlike most mountings, which had three legs, it was a four-legged sledge-type mounting, known as Schlittenlafette (Sleigh or Sled Carriage). This weapon was slightly updated in 1901, when the bronze barrel jacket was replaced by a more economical steel one.

The definitive pattern of the German Maxim appeared in 1908, when the basic weapon was significantly lightened. Known as the MG 08, or more properly, s.M.G. 08 (schweres Maschinen Gewehr- heavy machine gun), it was produced by two factories: DWM and Koniglishe Gewehr- und Munitions fabrik in Spandau. The latter word was stamped in large letters on the top of the receiver of Spandau-made guns, so it eventually became the nickname of German machine guns (although mostly related to lMG 08/15). These guns were widely used during the Great War (World War 1), and took a heavy toll on Allied forces. After the war, MG 08 machine guns were used by German army until appearance of the more modern guns, such as MG 34.German-made Maxim guns were also widely exported before the WW1, and close copies of MG 08 were built in China during 1930s as Type 24 machine gun.

The MG 08 Maxim machine gun is short recoil operated, water cooled, full automatic only belt-fed machine gun. All Maxim guns fired from closed bolt, which was not a problem for water-cooled guns. Water jackets were made from sheet steel.

The basic toggle-lock action, patented by Hiram Maxim, used two struts, connected by the hinge, and located between the breech block and a barrel extension in such a manner that when breech block was in battery, struts formed a straight line and transferred the pressure, exerted by the hot powder gases through the base of the cartridge, directly to the barrel extension. This caused the entire barrel / extension / breech block group to recoil inside receiver, against the tension of the spring, located under the separate cover outside of the left receiver wall. After short recoil, the cocking handle, which was located on the rear axis of the toggle system, struck the pin installed on the right receiver wall. This caused the cocking handle to rotate up and forward, thus breaking the toggle down. The cocking handle served as both unlocking member and a breech block accelerator, as its shape caused the toggle to open rather fast. During the opening movement of the breech block, the empty cartridge was extracted from the barrel, and the separate breech face, with integral T-slot that held the cartridge case by its rim, was slid down ward, to put the fired cartridge case below the barrel and in alignment with short extraction tube, that was located under the barrel and emerged from the front of receiver. At the same time, the fresh cartridge that was picked by the T-slot during the previous cycle, was lowered and put in line with the chamber. The closing movement of the toggle was controlled by the return spring, located on the left side of the receiver. Unlike most other weapons, the return spring was extended during the recoil, rather than compressed; it was attached to the pivoting lever, located co-axially with cocking handle on the rear toggle axis. Thus, upon counter-recoil cycle, this spring forced the toggle to straighten up from its bent position, pushing the breech block (with fresh cartridge above and fired case below both held in in the T-slot) forward, and entire barrel / breech block system into the battery. Upon final part of closing movement of the bolt, the sliding breech face was risen up, to leave spent cartridge in the ejection tube and to catch the next fresh cartridge from the belt by its rim. If the trigger was still pushed, the firing pin was released by the trigger ling, which engaged the sear, built into the breech block. The trigger itself was located between dual spade grips, at the backplate of receiver; it was pushed by thumbs.

The feed system used non-disintegrating belts, made from cloth or tarpaulin, with metallic struts. Feed was from the right side only; feed system was operated through the horizontally pivoting pin / levers system by recoiling barrel group.

The muzzle booster was of an indigenous design, with a conical flash-hider. Additionally, the muzzle of MG 08 machine guns was often fitted with small circular shield, which protected the front of the thin-walled water jacket (made from sheet steel) from shrapnel, low-velocity bullets and other fragments. The return spring was easily adjustable for tension, with a special scale provided on the spring cover. The receiver backplate was hinged to the receiver.

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