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Nonfire Problem/Question


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#1 Armydoc0115

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 09:42 PM

Hey all,

New MG42 owner here. Had her since April and just now had an opportunity to take her out to fire. Unfortunately, on our first outing, she didnt want to fire, so you can imagine my disappointment.

I'm more of a historian, and not as savy with the technical aspects of firearms, but as best I can tell, I'm not getting a good strike from the firing pin on the primer. On each attempt there was barely any evidence that anything struck the primer. I took the bolt apart and everything seems to be working. The rollers are stiff, but that's not unusual.

Do I need to replace the bolt? Firing pin? Is there something else I should be looking at/for?

Appreciate the input.

-David
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#2 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 08:28 PM

top cover, belts, ammo, main spring.   All can cause the bolt to not hit home hard enough?  Did you push the charging handle forward after you retracted the bolt?  I've forgotten a few times and that can draw out enough energy to kill the first round?  Start with simple and obvious before digging deep into conspiratorial theories about parts combo's etc.  HTH


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#3 Armydoc0115

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 06:47 PM

I did. I checked to make sure it wasn't moving or anything either while trying to fire. No luck.

I tried a different belt too. Same problem. I think I have a bad pin, but the recoil spring is not a bad thought either.
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#4 Armydoc0115

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 07:35 PM

So I got a replacement bolt and tried it out. At first, I just took the new firing pin and pit it in the old bolt. That didn't work. Same problem, actually, where it looked like I was getting a light strike on the primer. So then I just put the whole new bolt in and BOOM, got a round off. But just a round.

Not sure what's up with the first bolt. And maybe I'll try a new recoil spring next.
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#5 BELinNC

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 10:29 PM

My partner and I are C2 SOTs in Fayetteville. We have several MG42s and are very familiar with them. If you are near Fayetteville you would be welcome to come by and we could trouble shoot your problem.


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#6 Armydoc0115

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 05:37 PM

That would be great!
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#7 BELinNC

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 07:51 PM

shoot me an email at blefeve@aol.com


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#8 Armydoc0115

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 11:21 AM

Problem solved!
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#9 83Baron

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 01:39 PM

Armydoc, were the recuperator springs in good shape or did you have to replace them. I have an mg42 as well that I havent gotten around to shooting yet so was just wondering. Thanks, Andrew
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#10 DZelenka

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 01:49 PM

Armydoc, were the recuperator springs in good shape or did you have to replace them. I have an mg42 as well that I havent gotten around to shooting yet so was just wondering. Thanks, Andrew

Replacing the recuperator springs is a game changer. Mine was running very rough and breaking parts. I changed the recuperator springs and it is smooth (as smooth as a 42 can be) and really runs well. I did find that it liked some belts better than others.


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#11 83Baron

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 02:30 PM


Armydoc, were the recuperator springs in good shape or did you have to replace them. I have an mg42 as well that I havent gotten around to shooting yet so was just wondering. Thanks, Andrew

Replacing the recuperator springs is a game changer. Mine was running very rough and breaking parts. I changed the recuperator springs and it is smooth (as smooth as a 42 can be) and really runs well. I did find that it liked some belts better than others.


Thank you. I believe thats what Ill end up doing to be safe. I really cant wait to see this ROF first hand!
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#12 Armydoc0115

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 04:32 PM

Hi!

Bob Naess of Black River Militaria had replaced the recuperator on mine not long before I bought it, and he does great work. Plus, the old German manuals say you can check the integrity of the springs by removing the flash hider and that they should support the weight of the gun standing on it's barrel bushing. Push the gun down on the muzzle to compress the recuperator springs and then release the downward pressure. The springs should easily lift the gun back up.

-David
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#13 83Baron

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 07:46 PM

Thanks David. Thats exactly my plan. Ive spoken with Bob about it and look forward to doing it. You answered my question though since it seems that to be sure you got to replace them. Hope its all the excitement and more you expected! Best.
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#14 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 07:59 PM

So are you going to share what the problem was? 

Yes the recouperator test is in the late manuals as well.  Most of them don't need replacing, but it is cheap and easy to do.


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#15 Armydoc0115

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 04:36 PM

I will.  I think the problem was two-fold.  First, I got myself a new firing pin (and actually, a whole new bolt).  On closer inspection the pin appeared to be chipped a bit at the end, so I wonder if that was just enough chipping to cause an incomplete hit on the primer, resulting in a non-fire.  So after replacing the bolt, I was able to get a round, or ever 2-3 rounds off at a time, but it was slow.  Ben and I played around with this, and to make a long story short, I needed a 11.5 booster, which in my ignorance, I didn't realize was missing when the gun was sent to me.  So I got myself a booster, took it out last week, and it ran like a dream.

So felt a little like a dummy, because it's often something simple, as was the case here, but I learned something in the process and I got it up and running the same as if she just came off the assembly line in 1945 (which is my 42's birth year.)

-David


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#16 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 24 July 2018 - 07:22 PM

Awesome!  I tear down every gun that comes in for many reasons including a trip to the range with a minty lewis that I did not check over.  It too was a single shot.....missing a feed pawl!  Lots of guns remain in collections that have never been fired so no one really knows if they ever worked or if stuff is missing.  A guy sent me an M11/9 with a rounded over sear and "forgot" to mention it, runs great he tells me.....last time I ever put more than 2 rounds in a mag on an untested gun.  Fortunately that ride was over in just over a second before I could think about reacting.


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