Hello All, I've been lurking for awhile and reading all the great info regarding the MG42/M53. Just bought a M53 from J&G in Arizona and picked it up from my FFL yesterday. After reading tons of the posts from here I was a bit nervous and still am to be honest. I read the manuals that came with the rifle and plan on getting several books from John as well as the gauges if they are still available.
First thing I did upon receipt was grin my butt off! What a neat piece! Got all the usual stuff with the exception of a belt starter tab. No big deal as the can be found on the net. 6 belts, a .308 ammo can, and a piece of dowel for a bolt hold open. Kinda cheesy but looks like it will work fine to show a safe weapon.
I figured I should do a good visual inspection and look for common problem items that I discovered here. The rifle has a two piece firing pin which is missing the front pin spring. Gonna contact Wiselite about that... Looked for stuff that I learned about here. Found that the flash hider retainer was too long as was posted here. Used a dremel and fixed that. The barrel change door works flawlessly and the barrel is easy to take out. The pressure plate looks a bit worn but I will wait until it's fired to decide whether to change that. It pogos well so the recuperator is in good shape although the bushing was caked with crud. A little Sweets 7.62 took care of that. The charging handle assembly is really a weak point on this particular rifle in my opinion. The machined groove it rides in is shallow and thin I think. Time will tell if it really is.
I want to thank all the great minds here for talking about this weapon system. It has helped educate me not only on problems but how the thing works. I'm looking forward to some range time in the near future and will post pics soon.
Ps, ordered a lafette from SARCO for 445.00. Sould see that sometime next week. No optics or mount but it's a start!
welcome aboard Nothing is cheesy for a bolt hold open.. look at my vid od my m53 on a mg3 mount. begining you see me taking my shoelace loop off the charging handle, that I use as a hold open. if it works, was cheap, its not cheesy imho. Get funny aquainted with it before firing, so if there is a issue on the range, you can take it apart and hopefully correct it.
Hello again fellas! Thanks for the welcome! John, I will be paying your site a visit this week for the manuals and gauges. I find it fascinating that you have done so many! That is just too cool!
A shoelace? Great idea! Never thought about something like that. The dowel will work good too. I saw a vid on YouTube of a guy who had a specially made wood block that slid in the ejection port to hold the action open. May figure that one out too.
As far as really learning the weapon before I take it out to shoot, that's my plan. I have gotten that from here where the old salts have said it over and over again. Makes sense with any new weapon. I collect old stuff so it's kinda how I do things anyway. I have had the whole rifle torn down already and had to check back on here about assembly as I had stuff going together the wrong way causing some problems. Figured it out pretty quick then felt like a dork!
I noticed two different markings on my belts that have me wondering. I know they are not German and have seen the figure on one of them on this site but do ya think I can find it again? Haha. Gear shape with a sword through the center then some other set of letters and numbers on the other two belts. Any ideas?
Hello Again Guys, posting again as I have talked to Wiselite about the firing pin spring and have also just received my SARCO lafette without optic mount. Wiselite has a spring in the mail. Should have been there to begin with but at least they are sending one.
My lafette appears to be post war Yugo as there are no visible waffenampts but the legs are strait, the brush is present and in great shape and no bad rust. The only noticeable defect is one of the rear leg cradles was broken at some point and was welded back on. Not a great job of it but I can't weld so no complaints here! The gun has a dented/crunched front mount catch so I had to dremel that some and it is a bit wide. Have to slowly polish til it fits nicely.... Wiselite QA? Maybe....looks like the block was dented before it was riveted back on so they must have overlooked it.
I was wondering how the search fire mechanism works... Any takers before I attempt to find it on my own here? Haha. I love this site!
I still haven't taken good pics of a reasonable size so when I do I will post here. After Christmas I am going to do a tear down on the lafette and repaint it in ordinance tan...
Heritage0343 wrote:I was wondering how the search fire mechanism works... Any takers before I attempt to find it on my own here?Scott
I have a manual for that.... it's really pretty neat how it works, using the recoil of the gun to elevate and lower the muzzle to deliver searching fire. D 124/2 explains the whole thing. It's generally recommended to NOT take it apart, unless you're an experienced automatic transmission mechanic looking for entertainment.
I have taken the search fire apart. I would have to agree that the novice should not attempt it unless you are very mechanical inclined. Take lot's of pictures while doing it. I'm an aircraft mechanic by trade (now cable guy....very sad...very sad indeed but the the free cable is worth it. ) I have lot's of pictures if you do decide to take it apart. I didn't want to take it apart. But my curiosity got to me. Must be the tomcat in me.
Thanks Fellas! I still have to visit John's website and order manuals. I was guessing you would have one John so I need to get to it! Pretty cool to have the gun "search". I dont reckon I will be taking the thing apart past taking it off the tripod to clean it well. Does the large knob on the left control elevation? I would assume so but mine seems to want to stay in one spot. The wingnut on the back seems like a lock but when loose the knob will still not turn far. Guess I better get the books and do some reading.
if the wingnut on the back is loose and the large knob still won't turn, then I suspect the grease in the gears may be hard. Also, that knob pulls outward to allow more movement up and down for elevation.
Still cannot get the elevation knob to turn. Finally got it pulled out past the limit flags but it still seems to have some mechanical bind. Is there a way to take the elevation track open without taking apart the search fire? The lock wing nut on the back is loose but should it be under spring tension to pull it in? I may hose it with gun cleaner too...
No guts, no blue chips... Jumped in with both feet and took the elevation section apart. I think the problem was the thing sat for how many years since it was last used. The grease was fluid enough but the knob had been turned down to the limit and must have gotten stuck there. I also noticed while putting it all back together several times that the big spring under the knob gets stuck and won't let the knob turn free. I lubed it up with some gun grease and made sure it was on correctly and it works great now.
Flippin Henry! Now that I got the lafette working I have another problem with the gun. The front mounting cleat under the shroud broke off! It was bent down when I first noticed it but didn't realize it was for the lafette until I went to mount the gun. It appears it was damaged before they finished the gun. I have sent them an email but I'm still waiting for the front firing pin spring they promised at the beginning of the week so who knows...
Anyone have an idea how hard that part is to get and how hard it would be to fix? I will attach a pic in the am from a pc. Hard to do with iPad...
Riveted and ground smooth-I can't see any signs of weld.The rivet heads are behind the barrel door.I would contact Wiselite about this.If you need to replace it yourself,let me know,I have a section with this piece. ---bil I see our posts crossed! It looks like it may have been undercut and snapped off.See what WL says. TC-That job isn't too bad-I watched the movie they made about youur exploits the other guy-that Larry guy was great! Now to hear from DA!
"I dream of a world where I can buy alcohol,tobacco and firearms from the same drive-up window,and use them all on the way home from work!" Dogbert
Thanks Guys! TC, does that new part require drilling/ tapping the shroud? Looks like it would work. I have already emailed WL and am waiting on a response. I'm disappointed it broke as I just got the mount...