Troubleshooting the Mg34
This page is dedicated to solving the operational problems associated with the Mg-34.
The Mg-34 was a well made light machine gun that was used extensively during World War
Two. Many legal, registered Mg-34's are owned by collectors today and this page is
dedicated to solving the quirks and problems found in the MG-34. Contributions are
encouraged. All information presented is the opinion of the author and carry no guarantee
of working with your particular firearm.
Ammunition: Make sure the ammunition used in the weapon is of high quality.
Original W.W. II ammunition still in good condition should work well in most guns.
Beware of any new lots of ammo to come on the market until they have been tested.
A good example is the Turkish ammo presently on the market. DO NOT USE THE SURPLUS
TURKISH AMMO in any full auto weapons. We have repaired several weapons destroyed by
A good start to getting your MG-34 to work well is to match up barrels and bolts.
Start with four to six barrels and the same number of bolts. Shoot the gun with a bolt
and barrel combination, change barrels until a barrel works well with the bolt in the
gun. Take that barrel and bolt and keep them together. Take the remaining barrels and
bolts and try to match them up as above. In general out of six sets you should get
two to four matches. Keep those sets together to use with the gun.
Some of the parts that cause particular problems:
Recoil spring. Make sure it is full length. If the gun has been cocked for an extended
period of time it will probably be compressed or set and you will probably experience
Ejector pin and ejector plate. The ejector pin is the movable pin at the front of the
bolt, if worn or chipped it may cause ejection problems. Similarly the ejection plate
located on the right side of receiver on the surface underneath the top cover. If the
underside of the plate is worn or pieces of the plate are broken ejection problems may
A worn sear may cause the gun to "run a way" or not stop shooting when you release the
trigger. The sear is located
in the bottom of the receiver above the trigger group. Replacement of the sear requires
removal of the trigger group and bolt assembly.
Lockup problems, timing and feed problems may be the fault of worn cams. The cams are
located in the front of the receiver and this is the area the bolt starts to lock up
with the barrel. There are a set of two cams. On first glance they may appear to be
part of the receiver but are seperate pieces rivited in place. It is best to have a
professional replace these if they are worn.
The best trouble shooting guide to fix the Mg-34 is the new book by Folke Myrvang.
Every owner of a Mg-34 or Mg-42 should have a copy of this book on your bookshelf!
MG34-MG42: German Universal Machineguns
by Folke Myrvang
Deluxe First Edition, 2002
496 pages, 646 illustrations.
Limited supply $79.95
The author, a First Lieutenant in the Norwegian Home Guard, has produced this unique,
in-depth study of the MG34 and MG42 (the German Universal Machineguns of World War II)
by combining his military expertise with his experiences as an avid recreational
machinegun shooter and collector.
Taking their cue from the MG16, proposed during WWI as the first-ever
Einheitsmaschinengewehr (universal machinegun), an audacious programme was begun in
secret in Germany in 1930 to develop one new weapon which would combine the advantages
of the light machinegun and the heavy machinegun, and be capable of performing all the
functions previously allotted to both.
The book contains much profusely illustrated material on the historical development,
fielding, tactical use of and modifications made to these remarkable guns and their
myriad accessories and ancillaries, plus authoritative tips on Troubleshooting the MG42,
and especially the MG34, today.