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Discussion Starter #1
I stumbled on these WWI era photos over on Swiss Rifles and thought some here would appreciate seeing them. They appear to show Swiss MG11s being used during training exercises as their belts are empty.





A buddy bought a mint museum grade MG11 from Forbes Mathews a while back. It came with every accessory imaginable. It looked to be unfired and was built like a Swiss watch.
 

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Cool pictures, Thanks for posting them Dan.
CaptMax
 

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Just to set the record straight, Forbes Mathews never owned an Mg11 and wouldn't know one if it bit him!
As an Mg11 owner I know of all the guns in the US, which are very few, and none belonged to him.
Gotta be from someone else......

Bob Naess
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Crappy English.

Just to set the record straight, Forbes Mathews never owned an Mg11 and wouldn't know one if it bit him!
As an Mg11 owner I know of all the guns in the US, which are very few, and none belonged to him.
Gotta be from someone else......
Bob Naess
I was at Keith Allison's ranch in Normangee when Eric Wilson and Ryan Holder drove up. This was about 12 years ago. Eric told us he had just driven back into Texas from Georgia where he picked up an MG11 from Forbes. He stopped by on his way home in Dallas to show us what he got. Keith and I helped Eric and Ryan unpack the MG11 from the bed of his pickup and set it up to see exactly what he got. It was absolutely gorgeous! Eric didn't realize there was supposed to be a spare barrel located within the rear leg of his tripod. So we propped the rig on its front legs and sure as shooting there was the spare barrel. We pulled it out and it was serial numbered to the gun. Maybe Forbes brokered the deal or everyone met at his place to do the transfer.
 

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I know Eric and Ryan and I know the gun that you mentioned, which certainly might have been at Forbes place for some reason or other. They are beautiful guns, never having been to war and the few Mg11s in the US are all about new, and also are sideplate guns.
Update. Having thought about this for a bit, I realised that the only tripod that has such an arrangement is the Chinese M24 Maxim tripod, so the tripod was Chinese. Both the Swiss and Chinese guns are copies of the DWM Commercial 1909 Model, and also have a bayonet style mounting flange on bottom of the jacket. An MG11 will fit the Chinese tripod. Interesting to know that particular MG11 has a Chinese tripod with it. Lots of Swiss tripods in the US, though.
I have seen and own many Swiss tripods and, unfortunately, none have such a storage method for a spare barrel. Dolf Goldsmith brought in about 75 Swiss Maxim tripods in the eighties and made adaptors for them to hold MG08s, and these show up a lot with 08s or by themselves with the adaptors. For a while I had a lot of them as they we inexpensive and are very well made and preserved.

Bob Naess
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Eric's tripod looked very similar, if not identical, to the Finnish tripod I got with my '14 Spandau MG08. Of course Eric's was in mint beautiful condition and mine was an old war horse. I remember we had a ***** of a time swiveling the rear foot away to release the barrel. My Finnish tripod, with mounting hardware, currently sits at Keith's place as he has a Post Sample '08 and needed something to shoot it from. I picked up a Polish repo sleigh to mount my '08 on.
 

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After ruminating a bit, the fog cleared and I revised my post when I realised tripod is Chinese, which is why it looked like the Finn mounts. I have a couple Chinese tripods but they are not stored in my shop or I'd go look at one. They have a quite large trail tube with a rectangular box end and cap that holds a Maxim barrel. The foot is below the end of the trail tube, if I remember correctly. They are the heaviest of the Maxim tripods in my experience!
The Polish repro tripods are quite an accomplishment! Good for them......

Bob Naess
 

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Very interesting thread this has become. I love hearing, learning, and reading this stuff.
Dan can you post a picture of that reproduction sled?
Bob, thanks for your insight too. I remember Dolf's adapters. :D
CaptMax
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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Dan can you post a picture of that reproduction sled?
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OK. Here's how it looked when I got it:















Here's how it looks today with my 1914 Spandau MG08 mounted on it:



To put some faces with the names mentioned above; from one of Mongo's older videos:


Keith Allison at 0:17 shooting Eric Wilson's Minigun
Eric Wilson at 0:32 shooting the **** out of his PKM
Eric again at 1:09 shooting his Minigun
Ryan Holder at 1:16 wearing the leather apron waving Eric on
Dolf at 1:46 shooting Eric's Minigun

The beginning sequence shows Eric's pickup truck bed with cans of 7.62 NATO ammo for the shoot. At the time, all that ammo cost $17,000.
 

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So where is the source of a new made sled mount ? I have an original, but a new one would be cool to actually use. I use a trench mount, bolted to a 2x10, and screw that onto the bench......
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So where is the source of a new made sled mount ? I have an original, but a new one would be cool to actually use. I use a trench mount, bolted to a 2x10, and screw that onto the bench......
OK, here's the story on it. I got it via a friend in Canada who had a friend in Seattle. The Seattle guy and my Canadian friend go scrounging for US and Canadian military vehicles during the summer months along the Canadian American Highway. As I understand it, both country's militaries built the road in a rush as it was needed to build the Alaskan Oil Pipeline. When any military vehicle stopped, for whatever reason, and could not go any further, they just abandoned it and moved on. The Seattle guy runs a business where he gets these abandoned vehicles, brings them back to the US, restores them, and sells them to collectors, museums, movie studios, etc. He had just restored a very early Willies Jeep and was on his way to deliver it to a customer in New Jersey. The New Jersey customer bought the tripod from a Polish importer in Florida and sold it to the Seattle guy. The Polish importer was using some of his friends back in Poland hand make them as displays for the US collector market. The sleighs are completely hand built and no two are alike. If you look closely, the left side pieces don't even match the right side pieces. You can see plainly the hammer marks. As an aside, the Seattle guy recovered the Ma Deuce used in the original First Blood movie staring Sylvester Stallone as John Ramo. He was pointing out stuff on that Ma Deuce that indicated it was a Canadian version and not a US version.
 

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Mmmm mg11's. Neat pics Dan!
Bob, I'm sure Forbes has probably been bitten in the ass by a Swiss maxim over the years. Lots of things have bitten him. He was bitten by one of doc's Gatling that ruptured a barrel next to him one year and said he was the first person injured by that gun since it went up San Juan hill.
I missed you at the creek and had hoped to talk Swiss maxims with you. I even had a extra line badge and you could have come up and shot the aluminum maxim with us. Oh well I'm going to wallow in the joy of the one type of maxim I have fired and you have not for whatever brief moment that lasts! Also I will try and call you this week when I'm caught up so I can get my mg11 to you for some r and r.
 

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Yeah, I gotta catch up on shooting the AL Maxim! Maybe at fall KC if Doc brings it over.
I imagine that MG11 kit is hollering at you to make it right. I have a dozen projects around here like that, in boxe or on shelves, mumbling and making wisecracks at me all the time. Constant background noise.....

Bob Naess
 

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Thanks for posting pictures of that sled Dan. I love seeing hand built stuff that is of quality.
Your custom paint job really sets it off.
CaptMax
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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Your custom paint job really sets it off.
I cannot take credit for it. My neighbor's son did it while I was out of town. It looked OK, so I just shrugged it off and let it go. I have some interesting neighbors.
 

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I have some interesting neighbors.
I should have figured, you live in Texas. :rofl:
If it were not for those border jumpers I would move there in a minute.
CaptMax
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was convinced to leave it alone.



But seriously, I took my neighbor and his son to a shoot when the son was 13. While there, I made a comment on how nice the camouflage paint was on an old German WWI helmet. A couple weeks later, I had a trip out of town and my neighbor's family too care on my house. The kid took it upon himself to repaint my sleigh in camouflage. He worked hard on it and I figured I would thank him and just leave it alone.
 

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It really does look good Dan, it makes it unique.:thumbup:
CaptMax
 
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