Originally developed by John Browning for Colt, the "Potato Digger" used an early style gas port system for power, linked to a relatively novel lever action mechanism. This mechanism uses a long, heavy swing arm to drive the action, which could strike the ground during the firing cycle (hence the nickname), but which also helped keep the cyclic rate to a manageable level. It would see limited use with the U.S. military as an infantry and vehicle weapon, as well as being contracted by Russia and Italy. Fitted with a blade front and flip-up elevation adjustable rear sights, heavily ribbed barrel and a wooden pistol grip. The barrel and receiver are both Marlin marked, with "NO.699" on the former and "NO.467" on the latter. Included with the lot is a green painted brass tripod, with integral traverse and elevation adjustment, proper clearance for the swing arm, and a swiveling wood seat, the latter fitted with a small metal tag marked "CO.B.29.M.G.BN.", suggesting issue to Company B of the 29th Machine Gun Battalion, which was formed from a number of companies taken from the 29th Infantry Brigade, active c.1918-1920.
Fine, with over half of the blue finish present. Much of the surface is covered in a coating of hardened lacquer or varnish, with the uncovered areas showing some mild spotting, bright edge wear and some areas of gray patina. The grips are good, with some dings. Mechanically needs adjustment; some components absent. 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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