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Thread: MG.34 Disassembly (not 56k friendly)

  1. #1

    Default MG.34 Disassembly (not 56k friendly)

    MG.34; the first universal machinegun (GPMG).

    They were produced from 1935 until 1945 when the war ended. Although the MG.42 officially replaced them in 1943 production was continued in limited numbers for use with vehicle mounts. The Czech arms manufacturer BRNO was one of the producers and was never bombed so was able keep up production right up until there were overrun by the Red Army in 1945. For this reason DOT 1943+ dated MG.34s are the most common.

    After the war the remaining BRNO guns were assembled and sold to Israel who was desperatly trying to arm the IDF. My gun is one of these, with a 1945 date and Israeli property stamps it is un-likely it ever saw German service. When I got it it had the ZB-30 style bi-pod and a carry handle which I replaced.

    To me these guns really are a mechanical work of art that has to be experienced to be truely appreciated.

    Enough rambling on to the pictures:

    MG.34 with 50 round belt in it's drum:

  2. #2

    Default Part 1

    Unload the weapon:

    Located at the back end of the feed cover is the catch that locks it close:

    Grip it, push forward and lift the feed cover up:

    Take a firm hold of the belt drum and with your thumb press the locking lever down and remove the drum and belt:

    With the feed cover still up, locate the stock latch under the receiver at the back:

    Press this down:

    And give the stock a quarter of a turn to the left. Don't let go as the stock is under tension from the recoil spring:

    On the underside of the stock there is a second latch.

    Press this and give the forward piece a quarter turn then pull clear of the stock:

    Stock, recoil spring housing and spring:

    The spring housing can be used without the stock to save space in tanks and bunkers:

    Close up of the receiver showing why the cover must be lifted before removing the stock:

  3. #3

    Default Part 2

    Locate the feed cover hinge at the front of the receiver:

    Push in the screw on the right side:

    Lift the feed cover slightly so that it you can pull it clear from the retaining pin:

    Top side:

    Underside, showing the feed claws on the right and the bare steel motion arm:

    Pull the plate holding the feed claws forward:

    Slide the inner plate out:

    Top view:

    View showing how the arm moves the feed claws. The bolt has a groove at its end that the track rides in. In this photo the bolt would be locked back:

    Bolt forward:

    Remove the motion arm:

    Other side:

    Turn the arm so that it is at a right angle to the main body:


  4. #4

    Default Part 3

    On the feed cover hinge remove the screw head:

    Lift the feed tray:

    And remove:

    At the point where the receiver meets the barrel jacket underneath on the right side is a latch that locks the cocking handle forward:

    Press this down and pull the cocking handle back (on my gun this is very stiff):

    Pull the cocking handle all the way to the back to remove the bolt:

    The Bolt will slide out the rear of the receiver:

    Underside of the bolt, the firing pin is cocked:

    Top view, the grove that the feed arm runs in is at the back of the bolt on the right side of this photo:

    Rotate the bolt head to release the firing pin. In this photo the pin is about to fire. You can see behind the wheel on the left a latch. The latch is about to touch an angled section of the bolt body. As the head rotates this section wedges beneath the latch and lifts it and releases the firing pin forward:

    View of the bolt in a locked and fired state. The head has completed its rotation (guided by ramps on the barrel) the bolt is locked into the barrel (via the dual grooves on each side of the bolt head forward of the wheel) and the latch has been lifted.

    View of the bolt face showing the protruding firing pin. No misfires here!

    A the back of the bolt is the firing pin nut:

    Push the latch to the right and rotate it forward:

    Unscrew the firing pin nut and remove:

    Slide the bolt head out of the main body:

    The firing pin is retained by a "bayonet mount" and is under tension:

    Reverse the bolt main body, notice that the hole is oblong:

    Insert the firing pin. Keeping a firm grip push them together and rotate the firing pin to free it:

    Let it go forward:

    Remove spring and firing pin:

    *****ped bolt:

  5. #5

    Default Part 4

    At the back of the receiver, press the stock latch and remove the cocking handle. It slides out the right rather than out the back:

    It slides out the right rather than out the back:

    On the left side, on the barrel jacket forward of the receiver is the barrel release latch:

    Press this:

    And rotate the receiver down and to the right:

    The barrel will now slide free:

    *****ped receiver, jacket and barrel:

    On the right side of the barrel jacket is the pin that locks the receiver to the jacket:

    Push the pin up and pull the receiver clear:

    *****ped receiver right side:

    Left side

    View inside showing the trigger; the MG.34 fires from an open bolt, but the action is locked to the barrel at time of firing:

    View from the rear of the receiver, look at the machining that went into this!

  6. #6

    Default Part 5 (lucky last)

    Remove the bi-pod; again this is retained by a latch under the barrel jacket:

    Press hold the latch in and rotate the bi-pod 180 degrees up and pull it free.

    The flash suppressor / muzzle booster is also secured by a latch:

    Lift it and unscrew the booster:

    Barrel jacket, muzzle cone and flash suppressor:

    All done; one MG.34 in bits:

    More on how the bolt operates, bolt head and barrel face.

    The bolt engages the barrel face.

    The forward movement of the bolts causes the wheels on the bolt head to turn it. As the head turns the ridges on the side of the head meet with groves on the inside of the barrel and the firing pin latch lines up:

    The bolt has finished it's rotation, is locked to the barrel and the firing pin has been released!

    That's the last of them. Hope you enjoyed it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member StuRat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Wow, thanks very much for the posts.

  8. #8
    Banned user
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    Dec 2006
    Union of Socialist Youth Honorary Member


    very nice

  9. #9
    Banned user
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    banned at own request


    Nice work. You're a lucky guy to have such a weapon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Enjoying a maple-flavored breakfast sandwich


    Those pictures are awesome. You can really see how much of that weapon was machined. Guess they started making the MG42 for a reason. Thanks for posting that.


  11. #11
    Bite my shiny metal ass! beNder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Compare your lives to mine and then kill yourselves!

    Thumbs up

    Very nice. Thanks for your time to post this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Turku, Finland


    Very nice pics. I've always loved MG 34, very high quality weapon with sturdy milled parts. No cheap stamped plates here, which of course was a shortcoming from economical perspective. The design is also very compact and elegant.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Norwegian Nomad


    I've always wanted to see how the MG34 looked in bits and how to ***** it, i was expecting it to be much more like the MG42/MG3 than this, but that's how wrong one can be...
    Nice thread!

    Btw, if you you have access to a MG42 i'd love to see this MG *****ped as well, to see how much it differs from the MG3.

  14. #14
    Senior Member hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Enjoying a maple-flavored breakfast sandwich


    Quote Originally Posted by Marsuitor View Post
    Btw, if you you have access to a MG42 i'd love to see this MG *****ped as well, to see how much it differs from the MG3.
    Hollis, pretty please?


  15. #15
    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Stuck in the rain and mud again.


    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    Hollis, pretty please?


    I admire the effort that went into photographing the disassembly of a MG34. I am not sure if I want to do that.

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