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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updated 6/12! pics from the Springfield Armory Museum collection- not on display....

Greetings fellow Browning belt fed fans! Today I was fortunate enough to go behind the scenes at the Springfield Armory Museum. This was facilitated by my association with the Varnum Armory Museum in East Greenwich, RI....the curator, Patrick and I were offered a tour as a chance to learn more about preserving and protecting our own modest collection at our little corner of history.

I tried to take many pictures but was quickly overwhelmed! They had dozens of Brownings....1917's, 1917a1's, 1919's of all stripes, M-2's, M-2 HB's, M-3's, water cooled .50's, and on and on.....Most of the belt feds were laid flat on narrow shelves and we simply didn't have the time to pull them all out to look at....

I've tried to get a few of the better pics for you here....

M1917 Browning painted by GI's in Europe





Early .50 BMG



Row upon row of 1919 derivatives..



Browning .50 with reciprocating charging handle...





MKb-42(H), MKb 42(W), MKb42(H)x2















Chrome plated beauty.....





Miscellaneous pics

























Cutaway Maxim (could be a Vickers, don't remember, picture too small here)



Just because I love FAL's, too



This is what happens when you shoot an Energa grenade with a ball round. Rifle was a Garand



Swedish K converted for electric primed ammo





One of several dozen M-60 prototypes....(I was an M-60 gunner for two years and served 8 in the Infantry with them- I love the '60)






Johnson belt fed and regular johnson



StG's, MKb's and FG-42's...



.30 carbine Grease Gun



Serial Number....1







37mm Maxim

 

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WOW!! Thanks so much for posting these pics, it must have been one absolutely awesome day! It's good to know that these pieces of history are being preserved. :thumbup:
 

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To bad someone wouldn't do a book on all the variations of the 1919, everyone known to exist. Or maybe someone has??
I find that fascinating seeing all the ideas there. Excellent pics!
Steamer
 

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Thank you for the mini tour and the great pictures.

It was a very good day.......

AZB
 

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Last summer I went to Springfield with a friend who wanted to talk to the director about helping to raising some money for the Museum, and I recall that the director said the museum had completely renovated their offices, and their storage areas for the guns and accessories. It is clear in these pics that they did a very nice job of setting up the collections for easy access in lighted well constructed shelves. Very nice. The collection is a gem!! We didn't have time for a tour, but I plan on going back sometime…..
More than ten years ago I went there with Folk Myrvang, who came to the US specifically to inspect and photograph the MG42s that the Army unsuccessfully attempted to convert to 30-06 so could include them in his MG34/42 book. He did include a write up abut them, and we were lucky to gain access to them. The curator at the time was very unhappy at his job, in a very bad mood, kept us on a short leash as best he could, and the first thing he did was extort a promise of a free book when the book was published. No promise no inspection privileges! At that time, the collection of MGs was in a basement interior room, with racks of low, ten tier shelves filled with the guns laid onto the shelves. Only a few overhead lights, no windows, quite dark and gloomy, and fortunately, very dry! I estimated that there are several thousand MGs on those shelves. While Folke argued with the curator about removing the MG42s from the shelves and room so we could inspect them I ran around the room looking at guns, pulling them out half way to have a look and pushing them back in. Many hundreds of BMGs of all types with many variations of all sorts, and just about every other type and make of MG, many variations, with experimental and unusual additions. The Russian HMGs were of real interest to me, as well as various other countries' guns that are not in the NFRTR or in US collections at all, and many that an MG collector will never see anywhere. Outside in the hall were a collection of vintage AA mounts that were extremely rare and unusual. We did get to look over the two .30-06 MG42s after a bit, with the usual white gloves, and they were really fascinating. I asked to see the accessories, like tripods, field repair kits, carriers, ammo boxes and other stuff, but the curator wasn't going to put up with us any longer, so we didn't get to see anything else.. He want to quit that job, move to the back woods and make pottery!!
Very glad to see that the museum has finally taken seriously its obligation to protect and preserve the guns in their hands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think that you will have a different experience next time! Definitely not the same person in charge. There is information for researchers to gain access, they were very accommodating for us. They were also really info the collection! Amazing place!


Last summer I went to Springfield with a friend who wanted to talk to the director about helping to raising some money for the Museum, and I recall that the director said the museum had completely renovated their offices, and their storage areas for the guns and accessories. It is clear in these pics that they did a very nice job of setting up the collections for easy access in lighted well constructed shelves. Very nice. The collection is a gem!! We didn't have time for a tour, but I plan on going back sometime…..
More than ten years ago I went there with Folk Myrvang, who came to the US specifically to inspect and photograph the MG42s that the Army unsuccessfully attempted to convert to 30-06 so could include them in his MG34/42 book. He did include a write up abut them, and we were lucky to gain access to them. The curator at the time was very unhappy at his job, in a very bad mood, kept us on a short leash as best he could, and the first thing he did was extort a promise of a free book when the book was published. No promise no inspection privileges! At that time, the collection of MGs was in a basement interior room, with racks of low, ten tier shelves filled with the guns laid onto the shelves. Only a few overhead lights, no windows, quite dark and gloomy, and fortunately, very dry! I estimated that there are several thousand MGs on those shelves. While Folke argued with the curator about removing the MG42s from the shelves and room so we could inspect them I ran around the room looking at guns, pulling them out half way to have a look and pushing them back in. Many hundreds of BMGs of all types with many variations of all sorts, and just about every other type and make of MG, many variations, with experimental and unusual additions. The Russian HMGs were of real interest to me, as well as various other countries' guns that are not in the NFRTR or in US collections at all, and many that an MG collector will never see anywhere. Outside in the hall were a collection of vintage AA mounts that were extremely rare and unusual. We did get to look over the two .30-06 MG42s after a bit, with the usual white gloves, and they were really fascinating. I asked to see the accessories, like tripods, field repair kits, carriers, ammo boxes and other stuff, but the curator wasn't going to put up with us any longer, so we didn't get to see anything else.. He want to quit that job, move to the back woods and make pottery!!
Very glad to see that the museum has finally taken seriously its obligation to protect and preserve the guns in their hands.
 

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Very enlightening pics. It would be a nice coffee table book just to have pics of all the weapons squirreled away in museums all over the world.
 

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Hi Tim,

Thanks for the photos!

Glad you like the FAL. My mates and I spent some days at the Lithgow museum in Australia where we photographed every FAL and L1A1 in the collection and gathered all the data- hope some day to publish it.
 

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*had to sit down, put my head on the desk and breathe slowly*

I am totally and completely speechless.


Thank you for posting these pics OP!
 

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on my visit

I went to tour the Armory back in the 70s with my Special Forces Company. I was overwhelmed!!!! too much to see and the racks downstairs were so close together you would be viewing one piece and the next would catch your eye and so on till you completely were unable to remember what you saw. The factory area was great and I saw the barrel straightening tool used on M14 rifle production. . I am not sure but thought they had a complete garand built from plastic as a machine gage test product. Barrels of 45 pistols for air drop and grease guns and carbines as well. I was told allot of stuff disappeared once the Army turned it over to the Civilians. The same happened at Aberdeen.
 

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Tim thanks for taking the time to post the pic's here we need more threads like this :thumbup: great collection! It must of been painful to leave I know I would have a hard time being there are just not enough hours in the day to look at everything in detail. Well done. Russ
 

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Some of the specimens hit 9.5 on my Weird Shitometer great photos. I had to breathe into a paper bag! Thanks
 

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Wish you had gotten more pics of the 1919 tank gun with the 1919 tank gun emergency tripod hanging off it. Nice to know they have one. Thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Abominog, I know your name from the FALFiles! (I'm FALaholic #113)

I'll post some more pics shortly. I had the tour Saturday and left Sunday for California. Drove home to Rhode Island....just getting back to business today...........

Tim




Hi Tim,

Thanks for the photos!

Glad you like the FAL. My mates and I spent some days at the Lithgow museum in Australia where we photographed every FAL and L1A1 in the collection and gathered all the data- hope some day to publish it.
 
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