This is a beautiful example of a very scarce early Marlin Arms Corp. Model 1906 light weight machine gun. This model was originally developed by John M. Browning in 1895 and is only one of 2,816 produced. In his original design, John Browning used a gas-operated small "swing-lever" mechanism mounted on the underside of the barrel to operate and cycle the gun. This downward swinging motion of this lever during operation gave the machine gun the distinctive name "Potato Digger". These were originally produced by Colt prior to WWI, with the production of the arm taken over by Marlin Rockwell at the time of WWI. They received the rights and tooling to manufacture these machine guns, as well as the standing military contracts for the Russian and Italian governments. These weapons saw limited use by American Forces during WWI; however, they were used as a training weapon after WWI. The Marlin Company eventually redesigned it after WWII for both aircraft and tank armament use. They were also issued and used by some of the National Guard units and the North Russia and Siberia Expedition Forces sent to intervene in the Russian Civil War. Measuring 42 inches in overall length, the Marlin is fitted with a blade front and a flip-up elevation adjustable rear sight, and a heavily ribbed barrel and a wooden pistol grip. The top breech end of the barrel is marked in two lines "MARLIN ARMS CORPORATION/NEW HAVEN CONNECTICUT" over "CAL .30 (to distinguish it from the earlier 30-40 and 30-03 rounds) /U.S.A./No. 1616". The very front edge of the receiver is also marked "U.S.A./INSPR J.A.D. 1917/MODEL 1906/NO. 1616". It comes complete with an original green painted tripod with the small swing rear seat, an original and correct wooden ammo box with sliding top mounted on the left side plus three additional later style hinged lid wooden ammunition boxes and an original belt loading machine in its original wooden storage box.
Excellent original condition with 95% plus of the original blued finish overall with thinning/light wear mixed with some browning on the flat sides of the receiver. The tripod and additional wooden ammunition boxes are all in very fine plus condition. A really nice high condition and all complete early Marlin Firearms Corp. It hand cycles and dry fires correctly. 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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