H070182 MG34/42 AMMUNITION BASKET DRUM. (Gurttrommel 34)
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 H.Fzm, Heeresfeldzeugmeisterei, (Army Ordnance Department), 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. With a rate of fire of nine hundred rounds per minute, the MG34 utilized assorted length ammunition belts, the seventy-five round capacity saddle baskets and the fifty round basket drums for the 7.92mm ammunition. The basket drums were issued in pairs and came with an opened sided carrying case. The drums primary function was for use during assaults as the belted ammunition was impractical and unsuitable for use when the MG squad was on the move. Of Note: In 1937 due to the high cost and the long manufacturing time to produce 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 fifteen hundred round per minute rate of fire MG42 general purpose machine gun in late 1941, although the MG34 was still produced for the duration of the war. The fifty round capacity, ammunition basket drums were also compatible with the MG42 and were utilized through-out the war.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Field-grey paint (looks to be over painted), tooled and stamped, magnetic sheet metal construction, cylindrical basket drum with embossed, vertical, corrugated sides and a capacity of fifty rounds of ammunition. The drum has a hinged, swivel, carrying handle brazed to the top which also serves as the locking mechanism for the fold back, hinged, top lid. The carrying handle slides over a hinged, locking clip, which is brazed to the side of the drum. The top lid also has a spring loaded, pressure locking clip to secure it to the MG. One side of the drum has a vertical, semi-circular depression and an access opening with a sliding door closure with a spring loaded locking clip. The locking clip will secure the door in either the open position for firing or the closed position for transportation. The interior of the top lid has a large, circular, spring loaded, sheet metal plate to keep the ammunition coiled in the proper position.
GRADE *** 3/4 PRICE $198.00
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