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--Belts, Links, Linkers and Belt-Loaders

Whether your 1919 is a 30.06, 8mm, or .308, it will run on cloth belts or disintegrating links without modifications to the feed device.

There are two types of links:
A) the US 30.06 Links (which will work w/ 8mm or 30.06)
B) the Israeli Links or "Izzy" links (which work w/ 30.06, 8mm, or .308).

The Israeli 1919 links can be purchased for $70 per 1000 from Ohio Ordinance ( http://www.ohioordnanceworks.com/index.htm ), and are available in new/unused condition. The US 30.06 Links are much cheaper at about $20 per thousand. Links are reusable. Links should be washed in hot soapy water after use, if you are firing corrosive ammunition.

Note: M60 links won't work in the 1919.

If you go with links, you'll need a "Linker". A Linker is a device that you put 10-20 links and 10-20 rounds into a tray, and pull a lever to push the rounds into the links. These go for about $100-265. The $265 units are made from real US GI Issue .50 cal linkers that have been modified to work with .308/8mm/30.06. These will last a lifetime. The other units are aftermarket and quality varies. However, most people report that the $185 aftermarket unit from Ohio Ordinance Works, and an aftermarket unit made by Laminatrap, works really well. Some units you have to change the tray plate in the linker to change calibers (extra cost). Other units will load all three calibers.

If you're using links, it's probably a good idea to purchase a "trunnion protector" to protect the trunnion feed-way from wear/scaring. The trunnion protector keeps the links from directly rubbing on the feed-way. They snap-on in seconds and cost about $14 from Guiette Mfg. http://www.guiettemfg.com/catalog.html

Note: The Guiette Mfg. trunnion protector will reduce clearance in the feedway, which may cause feeding problems on some guns with tight clearances.

Cloth belts run about $15-40 each depending on condition (most are 100 or 250 round). No change of parts is required to go from links to cloth belts. The 1919 was designed originally to use cloth belts. Cloth belts tend to be a little more finicky, as rounds tend to shift around and fall out of the cloth belt. Cloth belts can be hand-loaded, but owners report this as being very tedious, time consuming, and painful to the fingers. You really need a "GI Issue 1918 belt loader" if you want to use cloth belts, and these go for around $900-$1200 and only work with 30.06 & 8mm (after-market conversions to .308 are available). Most seasoned 1919 owners agree that the cloth belt is preferred because it offers increased feeding reliability and less wear and tear on the gun. However, most people agree that links are the way to go due to the high cost of a 1918 belt loader.
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