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Military Rust by MikeDoscher Military Rust by MikeDoscher
This is my dummy MG42 (okay M-53 dammit =P) and my partial MG34. The differences between them in terms of construction details are really quite striking. It's also possible to tell a little about their histories and the long journeys they've been on from the markings and other clues.

The MG34 shroud is marked 'DOT 1944', which means it was make in occupied Czechoslovakia in 1944, in Brno. That factory was never bombed, and produced the MG34 right up until the city was overrun by the Soviets. This example has had the swastika-bearing acceptance marks ground off, and has been reblued a deep blue-black almost like hematite. These mark it as a gun that was probably used by the Czechoslovakian army. The bipod is a prewar example, as it has the logo of Gustloff Werke (of Suhl) stamped on it, rather than a three letter code like the barrel shroud.

The MG42 is mostly a Yugoslavian M-53, which was a postwar copy manufactured on captured tooling. Some of the internal parts have wartime codes, but no waffenamts (military acceptance codes). The codes place the parts as being made in the eastern part of Germany, but never making it into government hands. These facts tell a story of the parts going into Yugo hands from the GDR after WWII, but before Tito and Stalin fell out in 1948. Potentially, this weapon served in the Balkans Wars in the 90s, but I can't be sure. The finish on these is a much more matte brown/black/gray, indicating that the finish is parkerized, rather than blued.

With welding facilities and practice, I may eventually do rewelds of these to make legal semiautomatic weapons, but I'm in no hurry.

The line of questions that comes up with things such as these is often troubling: I am not a Nazi, nor am I any of a laundry list of other things. Including Batman. As to 'why do you need that lol' the answer really boils down to 'It pleases me to do so' (thank you, Mr. Lawrence). You could say that such things are a cure for Gnosticism, if you wanted to be obscure... and being obscure is one of my hobbies (Hey Jude).

I may do some foam copies someday, for the trooping and Pvt. Ryan crowds.
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:iconkaitimar:
Kaitimar Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014
Would you believe if I told you I was taught to operate one in school? Former Yugoslavia, late eighties. Seems so surreal now. 
And I do believe Brno is in Chech republic.
Love your work by the way!
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Professional General Artist
You're very right, I had the country wrong. What an embarrassing typo on my part!

With the way Yugoslavia was caught in the middle of things then, I'm not surprised. I'm glad you like my work. You do some very nice things as well. :)
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:iconkaitimar:
Kaitimar Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
Thank you! I have been neglecting my deviant account, but I will try to rectify that.

If you find the time I recommend checking out Redemption falls by Chris Wooding - www.amazon.com/Retribution-Fal…
A dieselpunk world of airships and jet aircraft. When I first saw your ships they looked like something from that universe. If I ever find the time I might develop my doodles into some fan art. Influenced by your work, I am not ashamed of saying.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Wonderful! I like what you've been putting up, and thank you for the link. I'm flattered you like my work, and am of course curious what you might come up with.
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:iconmillitrix:
Millitrix Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Student General Artist
What branch where when you were serving the military? 
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
I was never actually in the military myself, but growing up in southern California it was something that surrounded me. Miramar, Pendleton, Hughes and the Cold War were things that got me thinking about conflict in all its facets, I suppose.
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:iconmillitrix:
Millitrix Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Oh, okay.
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:iconwas471:
was471 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
In a doco i watched not long ago, i saw a Pakistani soldier manning an MG42 on a border checkpoint. Anyway, these weapons are not that old, they're still deadly.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yes, I'd seen a video still with something like that! I understand that they're also in current use in Iran and Austria, though with somewhat different pedigrees. From the soldier carvings on mine, I'm assuming it saw service in the Balkans in the 1990s. It's strange how these weapons travel, not just individually, but as part of a body of engineering and tactical doctrine.
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:iconwas471:
was471 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012
Interesting, i assume they're also in use in various parts of Asia,South America and Africa. Also, in Europe during WWII,it killed more Allied soldiers than any other weapon. Source-WWII magazine, July/August 2012, page 64; Hitler's Saw.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
Oddly, the MG42 doesn't seem to crop up in quantity outside of Europe or the near east. The MG34 shows up everywhere, though. Vietnam captured a significant quantity from the French, but quickly mothballed them as supplies of 8mm Mauser dried up. Norway actually was using rechambered examples until the 1990s.

I can easily believe the casualty figures. Unlike a WWII US army squad, which used light automatic weapons to support the rifleman, German squads were the other way around. That is, the riflemen were there to support and protect the MG crew. This would make the MG42 proper much more deadly, especially in a defensive posture.
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:iconwas471:
was471 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012
Thanks for the info, keep up the good work, cheers.
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:iconbeltminer:
beltminer Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
that is a beautiful little lady, and i am green with envy.
g
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:iconmistikfantasy:
Mistikfantasy Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i've used this in real life, it's quite heavy to take in the arms
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:iconscifiwarships:
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can very well understand why you are facinated by this sort of thing. The Norwegian army use the MG3 which is almost identical to and derived from the MG42. A fantastic weapon that has seen longer service than the AK47.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
Oh yes, and the MG42 or its descendants are still current issue weapons with the armies of Iran, Pakistan, Austria (as the MG74) and Brazil.

I was surprised to find out that the MG34 had actually been used by Norway up until the 1990s, though they rebarreled them for 7.62 in the 1950s. The different between the two weapons couldn't been more striking, both in terms of materials and operation. The MG34 is very precise, and very complicated. The MG42 is *clever* for lack of a better word. Much lower part count, and much more resistant to dirt. It seems like around the trunnion is the only place anything needs to meet up precisely.
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:iconscifiwarships:
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Apparently you can still find Wermacht and swastika stamps on the deadbolt(?) of some of the Norwegian army MG3's
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Professional General Artist
Maybe. Those probably wouldn't be proper MG3s, though- The MG3 was a postwar derivative that was used by West Germany starting in the late 1950s, and were made from all new parts. Usually those just had ten digit serials and manufacturer logos on the smaller parts. Now, the MG1 was a different story- those were really just MG42s rechambered in 7.62 NATO. Those were mostly converted from wartime production MG42s, and as such had a lot of the original markings. I say 'maybe' though because a lot of the MG1s were later converted to the MG3 standard with the new flash hider/barrel bearing setup and the new AA sight.

I'm not totally sure, but it makes sense that Norway was using MG34s and early model MG42s postwar that had been left behind after the occupation. These would likely have been upgraded to NATO standard as time and resources allowed. These really are extraordinary weapons in that they travel far, and that both the nation that first made them, and many that used them, no longer exist. Just last week I saw a photo of a cache of weapons captured from the Zeta cartel in Mexico. Among the ubiquitous ARs and AKMs were a couple MG34s! I have no idea if they were functional, but I would very much like to have seen the manufacturer and date codes on the barrel shrouds.
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:iconscifiwarships:
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the reason why is because the norwegian army used the wermacht weapons exclusively up until 1970. Rheinmetal started MG3 production for the Bundeswher (German army) in 1969 apparently. A year after they started phasing in the MG3 here in Norway. A lot of the spares here were from MG42's and since most parts were interchangeable except from the barrel and adaptation to different ammo, these interchangeable parts continued in use and can still be seen in army issue weapons here today. (I'm quoting the norwegian wikipedia) (Norway don't spend a lot of money on the millitary:-) Currently our airforce consists of 72 F-16 fighters. A Nimitz class carrier will hold 90 aircraft... Good thing we're on the same side or else the old vikings would be well and truely f****d
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
That makes sense. From Folke Myvang's book it seems like the MG34 was heavily utilized as well, which is unusual for a postwar force. Of course, he was with the Home Guard, and served pretty early so the issued equipment might likely have been different. Your timeline for MG3 adoption makes a lot of sense. Sure, the Norwegian is a lot smaller, but it still has an excellent reputation. :)
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:iconscifiwarships:
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When my dad served in the coastal guard in the sixties he's told men he used Wemacht equipment. Only the uniform was Norwegian issue. all of the weaponry, boots, helmet, belts etc was German surplus.
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:iconteztor123:
TezTor123 Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
Guns are cool for the same reason Hot Rods are cool. Some idiots just don't get that.

"But guns are made for killing!"

Well - cars have killed a lot more people than guns ever have or ever will.

There are some videos on You Tube of people doing automatic weapons shoots.

You can get a permit to do it ... it's just expensive and hard to obtain.

The biggest problem with shooting real automatic weapons is - that ammo is expensive - that or you load your own ... which if you're going to fire off a lot ... is a lot of work doing it by hand.

Oh ... and one more gun that was based on the MG-42 - is the American M-60.

There was a show in the History Channel where they interviewed a guy who'd been an MG-42 gunner in WWII and he described it as a sort of long range shot gun. You'd spit out a good bit of lead per burst giving you a good chance of getting one or more hits. The biggest problem with that was ... you needed to have a good bit of ammunition. Later in the war, the Germans would hold their positions as the Russian Infantry waves attacked them - until they ran out of ammo ... and then they'd have to leave.

The thing most people don't know - is that the thing that helped the Allies to win more than anything else - was Detroit Steel - that is ... trucks. Most of the German Army from the beginning of the war to the end used the same horse drawn transport as they had in WWI. Thanks to Detroit - America's allies had large motorized armies. The Russians still used a lot of horses but their mobile units were mostly equipped with American Trucks they drove up through Iran. They'd have had more ... but ... a lot got wrecked along the way.

*shrug*
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yeah, the reflexive answer from the nanny types is that 'Guns are made to kill people!' like it's always a bad thing. There's a powerful ambivalence about them.

There are a fair number of legally transferable machine guns out there, but the weapons I find most interesting are some of the most expensive to buy, expensive to feed, and difficult to keep in good working order. At the low end you can find stuff in the $5K-7K US range, but you're talking stuff like the MAC-11 which doesn't really have an interesting history. MG42 seems to go for about $25K+, closer to 35K if it's all matching.

True, the M60 does use the same sort of feed mechanism as the MG42, which is very elegant in that it feeds forward both on the action going forward as well as going back. Less jerky that way, so fewer jams. For the life of me I will never understand the impulse to make the front sight part of the removable barrel. Oddly, the CZ 52 pistol also using the same roller locking mechanism as the MG42.

That History Channel bit sounds pretty right on- The whole squad carried ammo for, and supported the MG team.

I hear what you say about trucks, too. I don't know who said this originally, but I like it anyhow: 'Experts talk about logistics, amateurs about tactics, and wannabes argue about gear.' Heh.
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:iconteztor123:
TezTor123 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
Yeah ... those are some pretty expensive toys ...


It's like these WWII aircraft ... I was looking in the Air Trader one day and saw one that while not practically in my reach ... was sorta theoretically in my reach ... but ... those things cost a fortune to maintain. I remember once watching something about ... maybe Oshkosh ... or whatever ... some air show ... and they had this guys trophy wife on talking about her husbands B-17. She was actually fairly knowledgeable. She was talking about how much gasoline it used and such but what surprised me ... was all the oil it used. I hadn't thought about it but those radial engines don't have an oil reservoir, they just squirt oil into the cylinder heads to lube them - which is why you always see these oil stains coming out of the exhaust on radial engine aircraft.

The thing with military equipment is - it was designed to be operated by Nations ... not individuals ... so unless you're really rich ... other than a rifle or pistol ... you're going to have problems maintaining the more complex items.

So ... I guess my dreams of operating a Corsair are for naught ...

Ha! Ha!
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:iconmighty5cent:
mighty5cent Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Cool stuff! I've been lucky enough to shoot full auto versions of both (my dad has some awesome friends). Even if you don't make them into working models, though, they are beautiful pieces of engineering!
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:iconregis-and:
Regis-AND Featured By Owner May 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Great man!!! "im not a Nazi too, and I like MG-42, its's just a awesome weapon for me. I started like it in the hands of my first Gi Joe action figure, Rockn' Roll. Nice pic, nice gun, and nice history!!!!!!!!!!!
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:icontaibu:
taibu Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010
When i was army, i use MG-3 :) its good weapone :P
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:icondasadam:
dasAdam Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2010
great stuff! and yeah it really looks like the MG3. i was lucky enough to shoot with it when i was in the army =) just the muzzle break looks different here.
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:iconplugz:
plugz Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010  Professional General Artist
I am a part of both SPR and troop crowds. So hey, why not have an MG34. And though I would use it for my Dogs of War: panzer cops cosplay
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:iconlord-shot:
Lord-Shot Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
nice gun
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:iconatholthedestroyer:
AtholTheDestroyer Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You so need (deactivated) ammo belts for the guns, espesially the M-53 :D
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:iconrob-cavanna:
Rob-Cavanna Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Congratulations: You just turned a bit of military surplus into an awesome story!

Psychometry, dude!
I admire your commitment to curiosity.
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:icondurnstaros:
Durnstaros Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nice! Here in Sweden I'm pretty much restricted to airsoft versions
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Condolences. If it's any comfort, there are several states here I can't legally bring these into- but they're places I don't want to live anyways.
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:icondurnstaros:
Durnstaros Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
At least I have my hunting rifles, that's more than most here.
Have fun with those two
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks. :) Good hunting!
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:iconburningbernd:
burningBernd Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
The German MG-3 still looks like the MG42. This shows how good this concept seems to be.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
I agree completely.
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:iconburningbernd:
burningBernd Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
=)
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