H001581 MG34/42 HOT BARREL REMOVAL PAD. (Heiß Gewehrlauf Polster für MG34/42)

BACKGROUND: Among other restrictions, the Treaty of Versailles banned Germany from developing any type of general purpose machine gun. To circumvent this, German development of an all purpose machine gun was secretly being done in Switzerland in the early 1930's. By 1934 designer Louis Stange of the Rheinmetall armaments factory had made improvements to the secret machine gun developed in Switzerland and the MG34 was introduced as an all purpose selective fire weapon. In spite of the relatively high production cost, the MG34 was accepted by the HwaA, Heereswaffenamt, (Army Ordnance Office), a subsection of the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), that was responsible for testing, evaluation and eventual issue of all ordnance and deliveries of the MG34 began in 1936. In 1937 due to the high cost and manufacturing time of the MG34 development began on another general purpose machine gun which utilized stamped and pressed components making it cheaper and quicker to produce. Further developments resulted in the introduction of the MG42 general purpose machine gun in late 1941. Of Note: With a rate of fire of roughly nine hundred rounds per minute, the MG34 was a formidable weapon with automatic and semi-automatic firing capabilities and production continued even after the cheaper and higher rate of fire, (1,500 rpm), MG42 was introduced. Both the MG34 and the MG42 were manned by a three person crew with one individual being designated the "#1 gunner". The gunner was equipped with a specific, gunner’s belt pouch which carried special tools and accessories for the weapons and included a hot barrel removal pad. Due to the high cyclical rate of fire of up to nine hundred rounds per minute for the MG34 and fifteen hundred rounds per minute for the MG42 both weapons had the capability of actually melting their barrels. As a result both the MG’s were designed with a quickly detachable barrel and came equipped with replacement barrels with specific spare barrel carrying cases and cloths or mittens to protect the operators hands when removing the heated barrels.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 16cm x 13cm, coarsely woven, dual-layered, grey fabric pad with machine stitched outer seams, for removing hot MG barrels. The pad has two diagonally angled rows of reinforcement stitching running to the opposing corners of each side creating a large, "X". One side of the pad has a machine stitched on, white canvas, loop to secure the pad to the user’s hand. Scarce.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $359.00

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