One of the two primary machine guns of the Fallschirmjäger was the MG-34.
Here shown from both sides, mounting a 50 round drum magazine. The gas connectors
on the bottom of the magazine are modern modifications as this gun has been
converted to propane and is no longer a live machinegun.
Here is a really great detailed web site detailing the MG-34.
And there is more information on the MG-34 at Wikipedia.
Wartime educational film on the MG-34.
Clockwise from the center; Ammunition belt starter tab, 50 round drum magazine, dual
magazine carrier with one 50 round magazine, belted ammunition..
An excellent article from the 6th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment of Washington.
Got Gas? A Discourse on the Function, Hazards and Merits of Liquefied Fuel Gas and Oxygen
Powered Machinegun Simulators By: Marc M, 6th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment
My MG-34 Gas Gun
Here I present what I learn about owning, repairing and using an MG-34 Gas Gun.
A gas gun uses propane and oxygen ignited by a spark plug to simulate the sound of
a machine gun. For those of you that want to quibble about realism... I'd be happy
if you purchase a live machine gun for me. Hoever this is reenacting and there are some
obvious economic constraints; the war was 60 years ago, we don't use live ammunition at
our events and no the cat isn't a 1942 version either though he is listed on
Cats that look like Hitler.
As you can see most of the operating 'guts' are housed within the 50 round ammunition Drum.
In this picture you can see the breech cover is open and that the receiver of the gun is mostly
solid aluminum. No possibility of this gun firing a live round. On the bottom of the drum you
can see the quick attachment fittings for the propane and oxygen lines as well as for 12 volt
A top view with breech cover open you can see the high tension lead for the spark plug and
one inlet line for the oxygen into the firing chamber. The propane line enters underneath at
a slight offset to promote the maximum mixing of the gases in the chamber prior to ignition.
While it cannot fire a live round the gasses are hot and heat the barrel and can injure one
who is in close proximity to the muzzle when fired.
Here are the working 'guts', the wiring, the gas valve selenoids and the spark coil. As you
can see the wiring is a little 'home made' looking and I will be cleaning this up before I put
the gun into service. I'll also add a unidirectional quick connect that is a little neater
below the ammunition drum. It looks kind of ratty now. You can also see from the rust in the
drum that the temperatures have been too high at times.
This is the circuit board attached to the cover of the ammunition drum. One thing of concern
to me is the obvious overheating of one of the components on the board. I think this is an
"MGS3" gas gun board.
It's fixed! I spoke with Steve Smith who manufactures these boards and he repaired it for me
at an extrodinarily low price! ...and turnd the repair around in two days! What service. Here's
how it looks with the board repaired and my rewiring of the internals.
Here's the current housing for the propane and oxygen with regulator valves..
An interior view of the gas bottles.
Important Disclaimer! - This is a non-political web page dealing with the history, equipment, life and campaigns of the World War
II German airborne soldier (Fallschirmjäger) and World War II reenacting. This website is contains historical information as well as
reenacting and living history information. This information includes reenactment photos, historical information covering operations, equipment
and photos of World War II Fallschirmjäger in action. The information is catalogued and presented to preserve a clear eyed view of military
history and present to the public an accurate representation of a World War II German airborne unit. We do not tolerate or condone any form
of racism, radical or extremist activities, or persons with supremacist, fascist or racist political motives or beliefs and we do not support nor
glorify the reprehensible policies of the Nazi Party. We do not tolerate, support, or condone any activities of any neo-nazi party
organizations, any extremist, anti-immigrant or anti-semetic organizations.