This is a rare example of an early pre-WWII German MG17 aircraft machine gun. The MG17 was actually a redesign of the MG30 infantry machine gun that was produced at the Rheinmetall-Sommerda factory. These modifications included removal of the buttstock, switching from magazine to belt-fed ammunition, and from open-bolt operation to closed bolt operation to allow it to be installed in synchronized applications, firing through the propeller arc. These later MG17s were manufactured at the Rheinmetall-Borsig factory for use as a fixed mount, forward-firing offensive machine gun by the Luftwaffe in both fighters and bombers aircraft, as well as fixed, remotely-fired tail guns in various aircraft. The primary uses were in the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter and Bf 110 fighter/bomber, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Junkers (Stuka) Ju 87, Junkers Ju 88C Nightfighter and the Heinkel He 111 medium bomber. Later during WWII the Luftwaffe replaced the MG-17 with the heavier-calibre MG 131, which resulted in many of MG17s later modified for infantry use, with approximately 24,271 being converted by January 1, 1944. The MG30 and later MG17s were the basis for the famed MG34 and MG42 light machine gun designs. This example is marked on top of the receiver with "MG17/Nr. 417338/FL.47500". Part of the firing mechanism on the side of the receiver and the top of the barrel jacket are marked: "4117338". The rotary feed mechanism on top of the gun is stamped with a, "Luftwaffe Eagle/2" acceptance proof over "38/1473". It also comes with some very rare extra parts such as a spare barrel jacket, two original barrels, the rear half of the receiver group, what appears to be a part of the bolt and sliding bolt carrier mechanism and several electronic solenoid parts (all untested).
Very fine overall with 85% plus of a dark black metal finish showing only minor wear on the edges and high spots. The parts appear to all be very good except for the electronic solenoid parts that are untested. Certainly a very rare WWII German aircraft machine gun; there can't be many available in the world. NOTE: This item is restricted as a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) that is classified as a "Curios or Relic" as defined in 27 CFR, 478.11. These weapons are still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.
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