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Packing

I have and shoot several water cooleds ( 3 Maxims, Vickers, 1917, M-52 Colt, MG-15)). I use O rings exclusively. Easily replaced in the field if need be, no fitting required after you determine the correct ones, just stock up. As to the packing, you might consider heat trace/race car header insulation. It comes in 2" wide rolls (x many feet) at most speed shops. Unravel a thread (about .080 round) and pull off as much as you like, it is fiberglass cloth. Packs well, accepts almost any heavier gease, almost never leaks. One of the problems encountered w/packing is getting it too tight. I once made a single shot out of an '08 Maxim that way.
 
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