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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up pretty early LMG08/15 parts kit. I thought some of you guys might like to see it. Serial number 115 which would be early 1916. Had to be one of the first guns firing through the props. Considering the first kill was made in July 1915 using a prop mounted gun,

Serial number 115. The low LMG08/15 seen is number 58. About 24,000 were made during the war.


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Normally an interrupter gear is attached with 4 screws and one rectangle hole is cut in the front of the bottom plate. How many variations has this gone through?
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
You can see the attachment points add to the feedblock to receive the belt.
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Here you can see how the rear of the gun was attached to the plane.
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The feedblock is the very early style MG08/15 feedblock with a sloped edge what will not take the rain cover.
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I wonder how many ways it was set up to catch fired brass?
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Matt, that would go nicely with my early Mg08, or even Bob's early "08.
I think you should sell it to one of us. :D
Nice score!
CaptMax
 

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Great find Matt :D What a piece of history. Thanks for taking the time to take pictures and share them with us.
 

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there was a complete C&R gun in the fall RIA auction, I got to look it over and bid on it, but it went just to rich for the condition and the fact that you would never find the parts needed to make it "fire". thy are very cool- and the info in Dolf's book on them makes them interesting from a technical perspective
 

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Great find and pictures! Amazing how much the muzzle attachment/flash hider resembles the USGI M6.
 

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Congratulations on your early LMG parts kit! Did it come with a cocking mechanism?
 

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Will it ever become operational Matt, or will it just be a wall hanger?
I am having mine built into a semi and picking it up at the creek this Fall. :D
CaptMax
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Matt, that would go nicely with my early Mg08, or even Bob's early "08.
I think you should sell it to one of us. :D
Nice score!
CaptMax
Sure I will sell it for the right price! :)

there was a complete C&R gun in the fall RIA auction, I got to look it over and bid on it, but it went just to rich for the condition and the fact that you would never find the parts needed to make it "fire". thy are very cool- and the info in Dolf's book on them makes them interesting from a technical perspective
Yeah its hard to bid a lot on a LMG since you know the you are not going to be shooting it much. I mean you can put a pistol grip on it but... why not just get the MG and be able to shoot without burning up your barrel. I might be able to find the parts needed! :) I have sold LMG parts before including some of the parts I will likely need for this gun. However, yes they are few and far between.

Congratulations on your early LMG parts kit! Did it come with a cocking mechanism?
Its complete with all the cocking mech it ever had. This is an early example. I think it actually had one even earlier mechanism that was removed. The early ones had a curved lever on the left side. It snapped off to easy and did not work well. Then they went to the roller lever on the right side. This is actually the second version of that with the longer handle on it. Later they would rivet them in place or make it one piece so that it could not be de-engaged.

Will it ever become operational Matt, or will it just be a wall hanger?
I am having mine built into a semi and picking it up at the creek this Fall. :D
CaptMax
Well this makes my Third LMG parts kit. I would love to make semis out of them as they are not worth FA plates IMHO. The only trouble is how to fire them? Are you have a MG or LMG built into a semi? If LMG, how to you plan to fire it. I mean you could add a pistol grip but frankly it seems a bit weak to me. I would like to figure out how to do it using the Interrupter gear or something that would look like the interrupter gear. Odd thing is... these guns pretty much operated like crank guns being connected to the engine. The interrupter gear is nothing more than a 2 or 4 position crank that would shoot the gun much like the 1919a4 crank-fire units.

So can you crank three guns at once? I would think it would be really cool to use the MG3 Lafette as a base and mount two of these on there. I will admit, it will probably be years before I get around to getting this working but that is the plan eventually. Life is just a bit to busy now.
 

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That's a great find Matt! As for the building it to live fire again I'd be on the fence. I have a 1918 Vickers aircraft gun kit and after researching it have decided to keep it as original as possible and not build it into a firing gun. To do so I would have to cut/ weld original Colt parts and they are just too scarce to do that.

HOWEVER - on the other hand I could see building it to semi with a 1910 Maxim lock using the same mod's as the 08/ 1910 semi and making a simple setup to replicate the firing mechanism of the aircraft. You already have the slot in the bottom plate to get to the trigger along with mounting holes for a bracket. A miniature prop or model could be used for demonstration purposes. A simple bench mount fixture could be welded up to support everything. Maybe wrapped in canvas and painted red....

That's a pretty neat rear sight there.

Yup very cool!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's a great find Matt! As for the building it to live fire again I'd be on the fence. I have a 1918 Vickers aircraft gun kit and after researching it have decided to keep it as original as possible and not build it into a firing gun. To do so I would have to cut/ weld original Colt parts and they are just too scarce to do that.

HOWEVER - on the other hand I could see building it to semi with a 1910 Maxim lock using the same mod's as the 08/ 1910 semi and making a simple setup to replicate the firing mechanism of the aircraft. You already have the slot in the bottom plate to get to the trigger along with mounting holes for a bracket. A miniature prop or model could be used for demonstration purposes. A simple bench mount fixture could be welded up to support everything. Maybe wrapped in canvas and painted red....

That's a pretty neat rear sight there.

Yup very cool!!!!!!!!
I plan to modify very few if any rare parts. Most of these parts can be switched out and I will keep the LMG parts. Use a 1910 8mm Lock conversion lock. I have two already. Trade out right recoil plate or both recoil plates. New sideplate anyway... Very little will be butchered to get it running. Frankly with the gun being worthless to shoot on the ground anyway... who cares. As a display piece you could not tell the difference!

Maybe you should sell me the Vickers so got with the LMG collection... however I sold my Marlin Digger AC parts kit. So unless I find a great deal on a Vickers AC kit, I will not likely do one of them. You could use common parts on your AR gun too. Most of the parts you modify could not be used as replacement parts anyway.
 

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One doesn't need to put a butt stock and pistol grip on an LMG to run it. Mine came with a custom cradle that mounts on an M2 tripod. The gun mounts to the cradle and you shoot it much like you shoot a 1919A4.

These LMG 08/15s operate exactly like MG 08/15s. Instead of a pistol grip with a finger actuated trigger, there was a cable operated external trigger that actuated the lock's trigger to fire the weapon. This cable mechanism mounted to the LMG's receiver box exactly like a pistol grip assembly mounts to an MG 08/15. The two/four lobe interrupter mechanism slightly moved the external trigger mechanism away from the lock's trigger at specific timing points in the airplane propeller's 360 degree cycle to prevent the Maxim from firing a round through the propeller itself. The interrupter mechanism does not cycle the action in any manner.

Cocking mechanisms and safety assemblies were attached to the weapon during the fitting of these guns to a particular aircraft at the aircraft plant itself. These are unique as to the type of aircraft they are attached to. One can determine what type of aircraft an LMG came from by examining the cocking mechanism and safety assembly, if any. David Watts is the man to contact for more detailed information on the LMG 08/15.

I'm sure I posted these pictures of my LMG previously:






(the loop ended wire at the bottom left of the receiver box is the trigger)








(the little finger protruding from the fusee spring cover in the upper left is for a veeder round counter that was originally mounted on the back plate)
 
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One doesn't need to put a butt stock and pistol grip on an LMG to run it. Mine came with a custom cradle that mounts on an M2 tripod. The gun mounts to the cradle and you shoot it much like you shoot a 1919A4.

These LMG 08/15s operate exactly like MG 08/15s. Instead of a pistol grip with a finger actuated trigger, there was a cable operated external trigger that actuated the lock's trigger to fire the weapon. This cable mechanism mounted to the LMG's receiver box exactly like a pistol grip assembly mounts to an MG 08/15. The two/four lobe interrupter mechanism slightly moved the external trigger mechanism away from the lock's trigger at specific timing points in the airplane propeller's 360 degree cycle to prevent the Maxim from firing a round through the propeller itself. The interrupter mechanism does not cycle the action in any manner.

Cocking mechanisms and safety assemblies were attached to the weapon during the fitting of these guns to a particular aircraft at the aircraft plant itself. These are unique as to the type of aircraft they are attached to. One can determine what type of aircraft an LMG came from by examining the cocking mechanism and safety assembly, if any. David Watts is the man to contact for more detailed information on the LMG 08/15.

I'm sure I posted these pictures of my LMG previously:






(the loop ended wire at the bottom left of the receiver box is the trigger)








(the little finger protruding from the fusee spring cover in the upper left is for a veeder round counter that was originally mounted on the back plate)
SWEET! Now that is what I'm talking about. :D
CaptMax
 

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Beautiful gun. Great that it is as complete as it is - most I have seen lately are missing the cocking lever /mechanism, as well as interrupter / trigger actuators. I do remember the photos you posted earlier - it was what made me go look at the RIA gun. (Heavy sigh)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One doesn't need to put a butt stock and pistol grip on an LMG to run it. Mine came with a custom cradle that mounts on an M2 tripod. The gun mounts to the cradle and you shoot it much like you shoot a 1919A4.
Yes this is easier on a FA gun.

These LMG 08/15s operate exactly like MG 08/15s. Instead of a pistol grip with a finger actuated trigger, there was a cable operated external trigger that actuated the lock's trigger to fire the weapon. This cable mechanism mounted to the LMG's receiver box exactly like a pistol grip assembly mounts to an MG 08/15. The two/four lobe interrupter mechanism slightly moved the external trigger mechanism away from the lock's trigger at specific timing points in the airplane propeller's 360 degree cycle to prevent the Maxim from firing a round through the propeller itself. The interrupter mechanism does not cycle the action in any manner.
I am fairly sure that not how most of them worked. The gun was fired from the so called interrupter gear. It actually does not interrupt at all but actually fires the gun. As those lobes turn, they hit the trigger using some little balls. This trigger pulls the trigger arm on the lock firing the gun. When the trigger was pulled, you were actually tying the gun to the prop and the prop speed would actually set the rate of fire.
David Watts is the man to contact for more detailed information on the LMG 08/15.
Yeah I always shoot Dave over pictures of all the LMG parts I get. I have not heard back from him yet on this one.



So how many kits is enough? (FYI) its hard to tell from the picture but all three are demilled right plates. Some demilled both plates and I just have them held in position for display.

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From the inter-web:

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
From the inter-web:
Yes, this was the very very early version. However I have not seen a gun in, other than in a museum, with this early systems. Most you see in the US had the later version. From the same wiki page:

The Fokker Zentralsteuerung gear

Twin guns synchronized by the Zentralsteuerung system in a Fokker D.VIII fighter. The "pipes" connecting the guns and the engine are flexible drive shafts.
This was designed in late 1916 and took the form of a new synchronization gear without any rods at all. The cam that generated the firing impulses was moved from the engine to the gun itself; the trigger motor in effect now generated its own firing impulses. The linkage between the propeller and the gun now consisted of a flexible drive shaft directly connecting the end of the engine camshaft to trigger motor of the gun.[39] The firing button for the gun simply engaged a clutch at the engine which set the flexible drive (and thus the trigger motor) in motion. In some ways this brought the new gear closer to the original Schneider patent (q.v.).

A major advantage was that the adjustment (to set where on the propeller's disc each bullet was to impact) was now in the gun itself. This meant that each gun was adjusted separately, an important feature, since twin synchronized guns were not set to be fired in strict unison, but when they were pointing at the same point on the propeller disc. Each gun could be fired independently, since it had its own flexible drive, linked to the engine camshaft by a junction box, and having its own clutch. This provision of a quite separate set of components for each gun also meant that a failure in the gear for one gun did not impinge on the other.

This gear was available in numbers by mid 1917, in time for installation on the Fokker Dr.I triplane and all later German fighters. In fact it became the standard synchronizer for the Luftstreitkräfte for the remainder of the war, although experiments to find an even more reliable gear continued.
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Note that this pictures has the gearing on the front of the receiver box. I know your gun, being a later war gun, would have had this system. Not the one you had quoted above. Thats why I said "most" of them did not work that way. Very few of the early ones survived.

I will note that it says this system did not come in until late 1916 and my guess is that I have an early 1916 gun. So I wonder if mine started with this system. I got a first note back from Dave, some interesting parts below:

I'll get any history tomorrow, when I can get to my research material.

For sure you can see in the last photo remnants of the early firing system where there was a curved handle coming from under the spring cover curving up to above the top cover at the butt stock plate. This handle, when pulled would engage a interrupter system where a vertical roller finger would rise and fall on a bossed hub behind the prop.

For sure were talking production in the spring of 1916. Likely an early E. type aircraft. The mounting will help in nailing it down.

For sure the booster is later fitted, odds are the gun was used well into the war and was retrofitted with a later synchronizer before being captured.
So I am hoping to learn more about the Interrupter system he is talking about. It sounds like one you posted above but I have no hole in my receiver box for any rods or the room inside to put that assemble shown in that picture of how it was done on the MG08. Hope to learn more. I will let you know what Dave comes up with.
 
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