Why I still hate the MG-34

Yesterday while out working at the range we also brought out my nemesis the MG-34. Keep in mind this is my 3rd MG-34 that I have owned and they have all been the same. Everyone else’s MG-34 seem to work great,but mine always seem to be to have an issue. The current one that I own used to belong to a friend of mine and it worked like a champ until I bought it. I have had the gun run away when I shot it, multiple jams, the ammo not firing and every other problem that you can imagine.

I brought out spare barrels, bolts ,belts, springs and grips. My friend and owner of a perfectly operating MG-34 also brought out enough parts to rebuild my gun twice including barrel jackets and butt stocks. We had enough parts to make a WW2 German armorer jealous. This gun was going to work or else.

Now for the rest of the story.

The machine gun was placed on the original tripod and would only shoot in semi auto even though it was set to full auto. The Axel fix was a piece of cardboard.


It wasn’t until after we got home that we found the problem with the tri-pod. However that was not the only issue. The gun would fire a few rounds then stop. The primer strikes were heavy, so it was thought to be the ammo. A second strike would always fire the round. This is the same ammo that I use in the MG-42 and 1919 and it always works. Romanian 8×57 is good stuff. A number of attempts were made to fix the issue. Bolts were changed as well as the pistol grip, top cover and barrel. All of this was to no avail. the only time it even ran a complete belt was when we had a run away gun that would not stop firing.

After giving up on the machine gun it was time to go home and start over, again. This time like all the others we went through every assembly and sub assembly. every spring was checked, every contact surface was checked again and all the sub assembly’s were taken apart and checked. extra barrels and bolts were cleaned, oiled and rebuilt as necessary.

It was back out to the shooting spot. This time there was some success.

The video of the MG-34.

It has only taken 6 years, however I only take it out once a year due to the aggravation factor. On the next trip out will see if it still works or goes back on the blink again



12 comments to Why I still hate the MG-34

  • Robert Zimkas

    I guess I’m lucky my Mg34 dot 1944 run’s like a sewing machine. I’m just now completing a conversion set up for 7.62×51
    It will be rewarding when you figure the problem out, keep us posted !

  • Rhett Wiggen

    Hey, why dontcha change the wingnut behind the buttstock? ;).

    -Your “Hitler’s Revenge”(MD ORD) did what mine did until I replaced the Muzzle Booster Cone with a stainless steel one from Allegheny Arsenal (know anybody there?;). Don’t know why but it now runs like a Wehrmacht glockenspiel.
    -How didja get an MG34 to run on 7.62×51? That’s a goldmine!!!! Wanna buy it yesterday!!! Call me!!!
    -Which one of those MG34s wants a new home? Call me…
    -Shirley would know.

    Your Nevada Wehrmacht Wingnut.

    • Wally

      I can supply parts for the MG34 / 7.62×51 conversion. Next batch of chrome lined barrels will be done in a couple of months. Sounds like you had marginal function with the stock booster cone, and have gone to a smaller one to get it to cycle reliably? There may be some underlying issues with the gun that the booster is hiding, though, so I’d suggest sending the gun in to Chuck so we can go over it stem to stern and get it humming in 8 & x51.

      • Rhett Wiggen

        Thanks, but I don’t know of a caliber “8×51″? (Would rather have 7.62×51 NATO!). Thanks for the offer, though. Congratulations on a great achievement!
        When I get my FrankenFAL back, I’ll consider sending in my MG34 (so far turnaround time is over a year).
        Perhaps let me know what you’ve done to the MG34 system to make it run reliably on 7.62×51 that NATO/Norway/Folke Myrvang (whom I met) couldn’t accomplish. If I can replicate that, I’ll pay you for the expertise/information. I just don’t want to lose my toy for over a year. I’ve got LOTS of MG34 parts/kits/reference material. Just lacking safe, reliable 7.92x57mm in quantity lots.
        Do you have a video of the conversion functioning in 7.62×51? THAT would be awesome marketing!

        • Wally

          That was 8 _and_ x51, as the conversion is easily reversable. The gun in the video Chuck posted at about 8 seconds in is running 7.62×51. The 308/762×51 conversions work well, I had one out last weekend and ran 300 rounds without missing a beat.
          Here is another video showing the cartridges clearly :

          • Rhett Wiggen

            Wally: Thanks for the caliber clarification (I missed the comma!). I am interested in your conversion system and would like more info as to cost, delivery and support. The video is quite impressive so congratulations again! Looking forward to hearing from you…hi to Shirley (Chuck obviously has forgotten how to type or use cellphones ;)…

          • Robert Zimkas

            I would be happy to send you pictures of some of the conversion parts, such as feedpaw and two different feed tray set ups. Feed trays have become spendy, I bought two out of Russia that were ground dug. My machinist removed all af the corrosion and found both to be made of very hard steel. They were then phosphate finished and fully functional.

          • Rhett Wiggen

            O.K. Could you post the conversion photos on this wonderful GunLab site? Thanks for the responses Wally and Robert, perhaps we’ll be able to meet up at the SAR Show in December?

          • Wally

            My setup is a little different from the Norwegian style, which may be a good thing.

          • Rhett Wiggen

            OK…what’s it gonna take to get one? What do you call it?

  • JB黒狐

    Do you wax you steel cased 7.92x57mm? According to Folke Myrvang it was supplied to the wehrmacht etc waxed. I can check what page it was on if you want to confirm it.

    Do you have his books on the MG34&42?

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