Original WWI Austria-Hungarian Schwarzlose 8mm MG M.07/12 Display Water Cooled Machine Gun with Tripod
Original Item: Very few available. Made to BATF specifications this impressive rare display gun is non-firing and comprised of all original parts on an original demilitarized receiver.
The Schwarzlose M. 7 was a water-cooled, belt-fed weapon designed by a German named Andreas Wilhelm Schwarzlose. It was typically mounted on a tripod and looked broadly similar to the family of Maxim-derived machine-guns such as the British Vickers and the German Maschinengewehr 08. The Schwarzlose, however, was of simpler design and featured an unusual, delayed blowback mechanism which contained only a single spring. The initial variants of the M.07/12 had a cyclic rate of about 400 rounds/m, but this was later increased to 580 rounds/m during World War I by fitting the mechanism with a stronger spring. The Schwarzlose was a robust and reliable weapon in its intended role as an infantry weapon, but unlike the highly adaptable Maxim-derived machine guns, met with less success when it was used in roles it had not been designed for. The simplicity of its design however, made the weapon very inexpensive to manufacture.
The Schwarzlose enjoyed moderate export success in the years leading up to World War I. Apart from the armies of the Austro-Hungarian empire (8mm caliber) it was adopted by the armies of Greece (6.5mm caliber), the Netherlands (6.5mm caliber) and Sweden (using the 6.5×55mm cartridge and designated kulspruta m/1914). In addition, the British ammunition company Kynoch produced a machine gun based on the Schwarzlose patent in 1907, using the .303 British cartridge. The Netherlands used an modified version, the Schwarzlose M.08, in production from 1918 (2,006 made). After the First World War the Schwarzlose continued in use with the new nations that emerged from the fragments of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Captured examples of the Schwarzlose saw some sporadic use by Russian and Italian units during the First World War. During World War II the Schwarzlose saw limited action in North Africa as an anti-aircraft weapon in Italian service. It was also the standard MG issued to Italian colonial troops. Besides, captured Schwarzlose machine guns of various types saw service with second line units of the Nazi German army, especially during the desperate fighting that took place in the final phases of that conflict.
The Schwarzlose MG M.07 is a Toggle-delayed blowback, water-cooled machine gun. The mechanism incorporates a device that oils cartridge cases to ease extraction.
For infantry use, the Schwarzlose was usually employed as a traditional, tripod mounted, heavy machine gun served by a crew of at least three soldiers, one of whom was the commander, usually an NCO, a gunner who carried the weapon, a third soldier who served as an ammunition carrier and loader and he would presumably also carry the tripod although in practice a fourth soldier might be added to the team to carry the tripod. Another less commonly seen method of deployment was the more compact 'backpack mount'. In this configuration the gun was fitted with a backwards folding bipod attached to the front of the water jacket near the muzzle. The backpack mount itself consisted of a square wooden frame with a metal socket in the center. When the gun was fully deployed the frame was laid on the ground, the gun's central mounting point that usually attached to a tripod now had a small mounting pin attached to it instead which was inserted into the mounting socket in the center of the wooden backpack frame and finally the bipod was folded forward. The Schwarzlose would also have seen service as a fortress weapon in which case it would have been deployed on a variety of heavy and specialized fixed mountings and it also saw some use as a naval weapon aboard ship. During World War I the Schwarzlose was also pressed into service as an anti-aircraft gun and as such it was deployed using a variety of often improvised mountings.
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