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  1. #41
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    Since there doesn't seem to be any info out there regarding the unicorn: the trigger groups of semi-auto open bolt conversions, I thought I'd make an attempt at describing it in a bit more detail.

    Of course, there is plenty of info out there regarding converting MG42s to lame a$$ semi-auto closed-bolt monstrosities, but fortuneatly, cheesy NFA and ATF regulations don't apply to the whole planet

    trigger group parts.jpg

    In the original MG-42 trigger, when you pull back on the trigger (which pivots on hole #1) a pin in hole #2 pushes up on the forward section of the sear (B), causing the back section of the sear, which catches the bolt, to drop, allowing the bolt to move forward.

    In the semi-auto trigger, the pin in hole #2 is removed, and instead replaced with part D, which now acts on the sear. As Part D pivots on Hole 1 and thus the same axis as the trigger, the original MG-42 disconnector is removed and replaced with part C, which is sprung. In situ, Part C is actually rotated 90 degrees from the position shown, and actually rests under hole 1, where it presses up against part D. An additional piece of metal has also been welded onto the trigger, but I'm not entirely sure what that does. It contacts the sear and at first glance appears to stop the trigger from moving too far forward. You can also see where a bit of material was ground off on the sear to make room for Part E.

    IMG_2950.jpg

    Part C locks against Part D and thus the two move together in order to push up on the sear. However after a certain point Part D (I think) contacts the large angled surface on Part E causing the lock between Part C and Part D to break. Part D then returns to its starting position where it can no longer act on the sear, and the sear, under the pressure of mainspring pressing up on the rear, is now free to return to its starting position.



    Part E functions as a trip when the bolt recoils. Partially depressing the trigger causes Part E to raise into the path of the bolt lugs, and when the rear bolt lug contacts Part E, the lug forces it down, where that angled section pushes on Part D, breaking the lock between Part C and Part D, and thus resetting the sear and further helping to prevent full-auto fire. As you can see in the photos a large chamfer has been ground onto the rear lug on the bolt as part of the semi-auto conversion, presumably to facilitate engaging this trip mechanism.

    IMG_2956.jpg
    Last edited by joe6167; 07-26-2019 at 06:47 PM.
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  2. #42
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    As I discovered when I initially went to reassemble the trigger group, the layout shown in an earlier photo is not quite correct.

    Part C should be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise, under Hole 1, while the short end of the main spring has to be rotated counter-clockwise 180 degrees, to rest under the tail of the sear.

    In the original MG42 trigger group this end of sear spring actually sits inside the trigger, so I was thrown off at first when I was trying to put it back together. But eventually I figured it out!

    As well, when reassembling this, you have to hold Part C down, against that spring pressure, in order to install Part D, the trigger, and the corresponding pin back into the pistol grip! Paracord came in handy for that as well.

    IMG_1710.jpg

    The long tail on the Sear (3) is what engages the crossbolt safety, which is also the one part on the gun that the Yugoslavs seem to have modified from the original German design. They added a small detent block under the actual safety button, thus necessitating the addition of the square cutout on the grips. So MG-42 grips won't fit on an M53.

    Y = Safe
    O = Fire

    I should also note that it appears that this modification was not carried over to the MG3.

    IMG_2490.jpg

    IMG_2603.jpg
    Last edited by joe6167; 07-26-2019 at 06:55 PM.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    I could never afford this but it's nice to see someone passionate enough about it to keep it alive. Kudos

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinbad View Post
    I could never afford this but it's nice to see someone passionate enough about it to keep it alive. Kudos
    Oh its not so bad. Building that C7A2 clone cost almost double what this did!
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  5. #45
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    More MG goodness: The Belt Loader (Gurtlader)! In this case a Yugoslav made version. A neat piece of kit, and built solid. The whole affair weighs like 17 lbs. Note the red stripe on the ammo can. As I've seen photos of other Yugo Belt Loaders with a red stripe on the case I'm guessing that was their way of denoting cans containing belt loaders.

    IMG_3467 - Copy.jpg

    IMG_5444 - Copy.jpg

    IMG_5447 - Copy.jpg
    Last edited by joe6167; 08-09-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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  6. #46
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    Last edited by joe6167; 08-10-2019 at 05:37 AM.
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  7. #47
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  8. #48
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    In this video I demonstrate one of the lesser mentioned design features of the MG42, the ability to load a new belt with a starter tab with the bolt in battery, AND with the top cover closed.

    With the bolt in battery, feed the starter tab in and pull the belt in two-clicks (engaging the inner feed pawl and then the outer one).

    Here, the dummy loop on the starter tab engages the feed pawl, so that when the bolt is retracted, the feed mechanism lines up the first round in the belt to be fed into the chamber.

    Note that this method does not work with the bolt cocked, as the dummy loop on the starter tab will not go past the feeding position, so that when the trigger is pulled, no round is chambered. Also probably won't work without a starter tab. (To load without a starter tab, leave the first two loops on the belt empty to facilitate loading by opening the top cover, while the bolt is cocked, Close the top cover and the gun is ready to fire.

    Seems like a sensible idea, when you run out of ammo and hear click instead of bang, you can load a new belt, cock the bolt and away you go, without the inconvenience of having to open the top cover and potentially allowing the ingress of dirt, and more importantly, maintaining a lower profile.

    I'm guessing that (in an ideal world) the belts in ammo cans (typically divided in belts of 100 and 150), as well as the belts on drums (gurtrommel) would all have starter tabs on them.



    And here's what's happening inside the top cover:

    When you load the belt (with starter tab) with the bolt in battery, (1) the dummy link and first round click past both feed pawls so that when you cock the bolt back (2), the first round is in firing position. When you try to load the same belt with the bolt cocked (3), the dummy link can't be pulled past the firing position, so you would have to pull the trigger and cock the bolt again to finally get the first round to chamber.

    Feed Mechanism.jpg
    Last edited by joe6167; 08-30-2019 at 10:25 PM.
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  9. #49
    Senior Member RobertMcC's Avatar
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    I think they designed it to load with the feed tray cover down. Because the high rate of fire. Produces alot of heat. There be a greater chance in a cook off. And It shaves some time in the reloading.

    But the rounds being fed. Will catch grass, dirt, mud.. So its doesn't lessen less mud in it, by opening it.
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  10. #50
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    Some MG discussions.

    A youtuber named Lindy Beige made a terrible video a while back comparing the MG34 and MG42 against the Bren, that really seemed to annoy a lot of people (me included), and here is one of the rebuttals to it. British people talking about guns that they've never seen or handled before just feels weird...

    But all this talk makes me wonder how things would have been in the Bren and BAR were just belt fed.



    The second is a conversation with a guy who owns and operates both the 34 and the 42. Some interesting comments about dealing with milsurps. At one point he remarks how it's a miracle these things even work at all, given that springs might be worn out, components may have wear, and the ammo we have today is probably not to the same specifications as those the gun was designed for. So at what point do all those factors add up and cause various failures.

    Also some good commentary on the experience of firing them both. The 34 is quite pleasant, while with the 42, your whole world shakes.

    Last edited by joe6167; 09-03-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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