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The Maxims are being retained to bolster Territorial forces in light of the war. It capitalizes on work done in Finland by Lahti at VKT. We did not have a mission in Helsinki till 1936, our affairs generally being handled by an honorary consul and the Stockholm embassy. 

The Finns tried to sell us Suomi Kp/31 SMGs and LS-26 LMGs. The Suomi is heavy, very well made and is controllable despite the very high cyclic rate but it does nothing much better than the M35. The 35 was offered in return but the Finns are quite keen on self-sufficiency. 

The M33 self-loading rifle elicited some interest, though they seemed rather confused by the inertial delayed operating system. Unfortunately, their standard calibre is the Russian 7.62x54mm rimmed cartridge which would require substantial design rework.

To this end, a few 20-round magazines for their LS-26 LMG have been sent to us. These are double-stack single position feed. The Russian cartridge is a complete pain with it's huge rim diameter. It's much worse than the .303. The LMG itself is a short recoil, tilting lock design. It's a little lighter than the M30 and that is about the extent of it's positives.

What we did find interesting was their M-32/33 Maxim updated by Lahti. A redesigned accelerator, components and a metallic belt give it a cyclic of 850rpm. This is quite desirable for AA work and also short bursts. An agreement was reached in which we agree to pay the Finns for the use of their modifications on our MG-08/30s. Tankovina arsenal is doing the necessary work to adapt our Maxims.

The twin AA mounts are derived from what we saw with the Swedish ksp36 Brownings. A buffered cradle, which they need for their heavy recoiling 8x63mm.

 

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7mm Mauser is sub-optimal even by the standards of rifle calibers. Conversion to 8mm or is this expedient not worth the effort?

With regard to Finland, we have a policy of not selling arms to belligerents but it is an academic question for two reasons. We have our hands full with orders of various neutral nations already and there is the USA. Sub-machine Guns and delayed blowback Carbines can be obtained form various manufacturers and at least one also has the technical data packages for modern mortars, anti tank rifles and a machine gun. 

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The 7mm Mauser is a better caliber for general infantry usage, especially now we have self-loading rifles. In many ways it is a more optimal cartridge for anything other than shooting aircraft. 

Browning MGs from FN have dried up. This is a problem because they are used for our vehicular MGs. The Military Attache in Stockholm has been sent to enquire about getting some from the Carl Gustafs State Arsenal and was told that it could be considered if we would supply them M30s in return. 

Edited by Simon Tan
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35 minutes ago, Simon Tan said:

The 7mm Mauser is a better caliber for general infantry usage, especially now we have self-loading rifles. In many ways it is a more optimal cartridge for anything other than shooting aircraft. 

I could not agree more but I though it was mainly supposed to be an AA-machine gun. Wrong impression of mine.  

 

Quote

Browning MGs from FN have dried up. This is a problem because they are used for our vehicular MGs. The Military Attache in Stockholm has been sent to enquire about getting some from the Carl Gustafs State Arsenal and was told that it could be considered if we would supply them M30s in return. 

Between the orders from the Netherlands and so on and having to fill the gap of the Brownings, we can't. Unless the political decision is taken to give Finland(via Sweden) priority, Auto Ordnance is their best, well only option. How quickly they can deliver in quantity is going to be a problem though. 

 

Edited by Markus Becker
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MG08/30s are primarily used as sustained fire machine guns of tripods. AA for the Territorials gives them more MGs and for morale purposes with tracers. Even the heavy 8x63 Swede has similar effectiveness against contemporary aircraft. There is no point in adding another caliber into the supply chain.

The Dutch are buying M30s? I was not aware we were offering them for export. The Dutch would want them in 8mm Mauser. We do have 8mm blanks BUT we don't have 8mm barrels currently in stock. To be brutally honest, I would prefer to trade M30s for Brownings.

 

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As the Tankovian military was not interested in the M30 it was exported throughout the 1930s with varying degrees of success*. 

Oh, you want to sell M30s to Sweden so we can get Brownings for our AFV. At first I thought the idea was to provide M30s, so Finland could get machine guns from Sweden. Anyway, the Browning might be the better gun but M30 is something we make. Anyway, we'll take the blanks and let others decide who and how the complete guns are used.  

 

*China, Spain and Germany(SS) for example. 

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3 hours ago, Simon Tan said:

...The Dutch would want them in 8mm Mauser. ...

They have used 6.5x53R Mannlicher and 7.92x57R Dutch for the most part. First one was widely used, in Mannlicher rifles, Madsen and Lewis LMGs and Schwarzlose and Vickers HMGs. 2nd one was introduced in 1925 and was supposed to replace 6.5x53R in HMG role. It had a same rim diameter as 6.5x53R, so only barrel would need to be changed.

*They also had some MG-08 in 7.9x57mm, but those were in minority and relegated to AD).

Edited by bojan
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2 hours ago, Simon Tan said:

M30 is ZB vz. 30 LMG made under license. We are choosing to interpret that the no export restriction is no longer in force as ZB no longer exists. 

Do you mean your Dreyse LMG?

 

Yes, I mixed up the designations.  My bad. M(19)31:

 

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That raised eyebrows in Kazanlak! We're selling to the Dutch? 

The proposal is to sell to M30s to the Swedes and buy Ksp m/39 from them to replace our FN Brownings. To simplify matters, we are going to produce the 7mm barrels locally as the Swedish do not have 7mm barrels. The M30 LMGs are specified as no re-export to satisfy the Soviets. 

Both the Yugoslavs and Greeks have been pressing for weapons with increasingly alacrity since September as they are Entente friendly and Mussolini is on their frontiers. The pompous Italian ambassador (I call him Mr. Sparviero) has of course has hinted that we would be on Il Duce's shit list if we provide them with materiel, for which I am inclined to do so just to spite them.

 

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Keeping the designations straight wasn't helped by the details of the deal. The Swedes want M30 light(!) machine guns in exchange for M1919 medium(!) machine guns. In my mind I automatically assumed they wanted mediums for mediums. And they want them in 7mm, even though they make their own FN type BARs in 6.5mm under license? A strange choice but it's their choice.

As far as Greece and Yugoslavia are concerned. Give ahead, sell them what you can, we at Lokomotive already do, to Romaina too.(See page 47)

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They want them in 6.5mm. Production of Kg m/37 (BAR-D) is too slow to meet their demands for expansion and the M30 is a better LMG, esp. with a no.2 gunner. Well, we just so happen to have 6.5mm barrel tooling from our Greek contract Mannlicher-Schonauers and 6.5x55 runs well enough from a 7.92x57 magazine that we already have tooled up for. I understand they are also talking to the Germans about buying ex-Czech stocks of ZB26, in which case we would only supply barrels and ranging drum for the rear.

What caliber are you selling the Dreyses to the Dutch in? Are they going to KNLI?

 

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The Italian ambassador is talking out of his arse. France and Britain embargoed German coal exports to Italy*, so expect them to order lignite from us. The two would also like us to stop selling heavy fuel oil to Italy. We reminded them that Italy is neutral like we are and that embargoes are rather antagonistic actions. Which is why we don't embargo the sale of lathes and milling machines. That shut them up.

Right now we do only one caliber to maximize output. The Yugoslavs ordered first and most, so 8mm it is. The guns are for the Dutch home forces. You know of anything in the far east we should be aware of?

And one more thing. Once the M40 is ready there is not much point in continuing MG 31 production. Other than completing guns on order of which we have a lot but in the long run we'd like to retool the line for the M40. Or is there something more important/lucrative we could make?


*Just like IRL.

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Historically KNLI is the better equipped force. 

M40 is planned to have both belt-fed and box-fed versions. The latter involves installing a top feed magwell in place of the feed cover and tray. This will phase out M30 upper receivers and streamline production. 

Due to demands on LMG and SLR lines, the Pistol line is being packed up to free up production space and manpower in Kazanlak.

Perhaps Lokomotiv would like to take the lead on the production of Browning MGs instead? Specifically we need FN Mitrailleuse d'Avion 13.2mms for our planes and 13.2mm AAMGs for the Army and Navy. The latter use water cooled guns. We are waiting on the Army to decide which way they want to go.

 

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1 hour ago, Simon Tan said:

...M40 is planned to have both belt-fed and box-fed versions...

Bad idea. If it is tuned for box feed it will lack power for belt, and if tuned for belt it will tear cartridges when used with box. Gas regulator mitigates this somewhat, but never enough.

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3 hours ago, Markus Becker said:

...
Right now we do only one caliber to maximize output. The Yugoslavs ordered first and most, so 8mm it is. The guns are for the Dutch home forces. You know of anything in the far east we should be aware of?
...

Yugoslavia was producing ZB-30 as M.37J (original Czech ones were just M.37) by the late 1938, and by the early 1941. there was enough for all regular troops and 1st call reserves, so I doubt those would be ordered. I could see belt-fed MGs being ordered as original order for ZB-53 from 1938. was postponed after Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, only delivered by Germans in the mid-late-1940.

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2 hours ago, bojan said:

Yugoslavia was producing ZB-30 as M.37J (original Czech ones were just M.37) by the late 1938, and by the early 1941. there was enough for all regular troops and 1st call reserves, so I doubt those would be ordered. I could see belt-fed MGs being ordered as original order for ZB-53 from 1938. was postponed after Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, only delivered by Germans in the mid-late-1940.

The MG 31 is a belt fed MMG. Not as good as an MG 34 but better than an M1919A6(low bar again). 

Box and also belt fed: Could different feed blocks help? I seem to recall one of Ian's videos that someone got it to work, albeit post war.

 

4 hours ago, Simon Tan said:

Historically KNLI is the better equipped force. 

Perhaps Lokomotiv would like to take the lead on the production of Browning MGs instead? Specifically we need FN Mitrailleuse d'Avion 13.2mms for our planes and 13.2mm AAMGs for the Army and Navy. The latter use water cooled guns. We are waiting on the Army to decide which way they want to go.

 

Exactly why the home forces buy like crazy. They are not 2,000km away from the nearest war.

We have been making HMG since the early 20s, so consider it on the way to be done. 

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9 minutes ago, Markus Becker said:

The MG 31 is a belt fed MMG...

MG-13 derivate? I doubt it would fulfil practical RoF criteria.

 

Quote

Box and also belt fed: Could different feed blocks help? I seem to recall one of Ian's videos that someone got it to work, albeit post war.

Negev got it right kinda, but still mag fed is considered emergency and after mags are used in it they are forbidden to be used in M16/M4 (my guess is that it bends mag lips enough that they cause problems).

OTOH there was no such limitation with Galil mags.

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7 hours ago, bojan said:

Bad idea. If it is tuned for box feed it will lack power for belt, and if tuned for belt it will tear cartridges when used with box. Gas regulator mitigates this somewhat, but never enough.

If the regulator hasn't enough range, I'm sure Lokomotiv has enough nouse to provide two gas plugs :)

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M40 MG

Not two gas plugs, but separate piston/bolt carriers. It is not intended to change out the roles in the field but at depot level. Of course if it fails, we can still build M30 receivers but that is not as handy as a common receiver. Initial M40 production will be all as belt-feds to displace MG08/30.

M31 MG

The MG13 is a closed bolt gun. This and the barrel change issues is why it was not adopted by the Army in spite of vociferous campaigning in Parliament and in the media. It all comes back to the way the barrel on the Dreyse-Schmesisser system connects to the barrel extension/locking system. There is no way change the barrel without pulling everything out the back. The only way to manage this to an extent is to have a heavy barrel. 

This all sounds a lot like the Browning M1919 and I imagine that it would be the basis for many of the decisions made for the MG31. I can just about see how you could put together a Browning-Schmeisser MG but it would be real close to JMB's patents. 

Perhaps this the cost of getting an Army contract as vehicular MG? The delay could be a protracted legal dispute with FN. This way, we don't have to try and get Ksp M/39. Lokomotiv just bites the bullet and agrees to pay royalties to FN.

 

 

 

 

 

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And now for something different than machine guns*, we have news from the USA:

The preliminary 'light rifle's trials have ended in error so to speak. While all met the accuracy, reliability and durability requirements the lightest contestant was Marlin's with just over 7 pounds but it's gas delayed action is indeed not useful for anything other than hunting. The rest of the carbines are around 8 pounds* and that's not sufficiently lighter than an M1(9lb).

Ordnance has asked the companies to try and lighten their guns(plastic stocks, handguards?) and come back at a later date.
 

*To be revisited later. 
**See Christobal Carbine.

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