Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Vault

Luftgekühltes Maschinen Gewehr 08/15 (Video)

I recently had a chance to do some shooting with a friend’s luftgekühltes maschinen gewehr 08/15 – the air cooled, lightened version of the German MG08 Maxim gun. These were one of the standard armaments for German aircraft in WWI (mounted in fixed positions on the fuselage or cowling and fitted with synchronizer gears), and [...]

Slow Motion: lMG 08/15 Maxim

Today we’re looking at a luftgekühlt maschinengewehr 08/15 in slow motion – a lightened and mair-cooled version of the Maxim used on German WWI aircraft. This particular example is set up as a Zeppelin gun, with a buttstock and pistol grip (guns mounted on fixed-wing aircraft had different fire-control mechanisms). It is also missing the [...]

Vintage Saturday: Salvage

Plane’s broken, but the Maxim guns will still work! (photo from SA-Kuva)

Finnish troops salvaging Maxim guns from a downed Russian Polikarpov R5 bomber shot down near Suistamo, Finland.


Quad MG81 Anti-Aircraft Mount

by Tom Laemlein

As World War II progressed, the Luftwaffe looked to increase firepower wherever possible, from deploying large-caliber air weapons or increasing the rate of fire with smaller, rifle-caliber weapons. Such is the case with the MG81, chambered in 7.92 x 57mm, belt-fed and firing at up to 1,600 rounds [...]

MG17 Adapter, and Some Grainy Old Video

First up, you may recall that a while back we had some photos of an MG17 belt-feed adapter salvaged from the wreck of an Me-109. The fellow who owned that piece was hoping to restore it to functionality, and use it on his MG15 ground gun. Well, he did finally get it completely disassembled and [...]

Vintage Saturday: Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

Parabellum 1914 MG in gunnery school, Belgium, 1918 (photo from Drake Goodman)

Browning 1919 Experimental Belt Box

About a year ago, I wrote a post about some Browning 1919 feeding devices that were patented but never went into production. Well, reader Alex found photos of one of them in the Springfield Armory archives. Thanks, Alex!

It’s a belt box designed to be clipped onto the top cover of a slightly modified Browning [...]

German Machine Gun Nomenclature

One would think that Germany, of all places, would have a logical and consistent system for identifying service machine guns. Any yet we see things like the WWI MG08/15 and the WWII MG15. What gives?

The answer is that Germany didn’t have one logical naming system – they had several in sequence. So in order [...]

MG17 Belt Feed Mechanism

The MG17 is one of the lesser-known German machine guns used in WWII, used for aircraft armament. Mechanically, the MG17 is basically the same as the MG15 ground gun, but with some aircraft-specific features like propeller synchronization, belt feed, pneumatic charging, and of course no grip or shoulder stock.

MG17 with ammo (photo from [...]

Turkish Manual for the Colt MG40

I recently found this in a private library, and I believe it’s the first Turkish-language manual I’ve come across. It’s dated 1936, and although the cover illustration shows a 1917 type water cooled gun, the manual actually covers the MG40 aircraft gun. This was a lightened, air-cooled Browning with dual feed, so it would be [...]