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MG17 inspired belt feed mechanism?
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  justin22885

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Posted: August 24 2017 at 10:47pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

i was looking at a disassembly and demonstration video of the MG17, and it is an extremely simple recoil operated machine gun, but what i was mostly paying attention to was the MG17s belt feed mechanism

the belt feed mechanism of the MG17 seems to be built into a tubular structure with a simple rotating cog and a couple feed trays for a push-through type of belt.. it is controlled simply by a ratcheting mechanism with a cam groove on it, the bolt rides through the cam groove turning the ratcheting mechanism in one direction where it gets pushed out then falls back in place behind the next notch, and when the bolt returns in the opposite direction, it rotates the cog one position over where the round could be fed

im wondering if it would be possible to replicate this system built inside a piece of steel tubing and somehow adaptable to existing rifles?.. i wonder if such a mechanism could be utilized to lock in to an AK magazine well for example, and using one of the lugs on the bottom of the AK bolt to turn the mechanism, provide a detachable belt feed system?
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  backbencher

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Posted: August 24 2017 at 11:39pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Could you replace the AK dust cover w/ a belt feed?
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  justin22885

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Posted: August 25 2017 at 12:04am | IP Logged Quote justin22885

no, the oprod/piston would be in the way which is why the PKMs piston is on the bottom, essentially upside down
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  backbencher

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Posted: August 25 2017 at 6:52am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Oh, duh.  I've really got to take my predecessor's AK apart and learn that platform.
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  justin22885

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Posted: August 25 2017 at 11:34am | IP Logged Quote justin22885

i just thought itd be interesting if a detachable belt feed device was possible on the AK because that lower bolt lug on the AK rides between the feed lips of the magazine to strip a new round off.. but this means at least a portion of the mechanism has to fit up inside the AK for it to work.. im not sure it could.. if i cut open the magazine well so a larger portion of the mechanism can fit up inside, it certainly will but then no more AK mags.. it might be cool for a permanent modification to have a belt-fed AK

hmm, do you remember that STG45 project i had where i cut the top section off a G3 bolt, then added a buffer to the back to make up the lost mass and also provide an interface to function with AR-15 buffer tubes and springs?.. i wonder if the MG17 esque mechanism could work with that or one of my other tube based ideas?
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  backbencher

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Posted: August 25 2017 at 11:38am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

What if the belt feed mechanism clips into the regular magwell on the AK, but is driven by the action of the bolt harnessed from the top?  So clips on the side and replaces the magazine and the dust cover?
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  justin22885

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Posted: August 25 2017 at 12:05pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

that sounds very convoluted when the lower lug of the bolt could likely do the same thing without having to do all that
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  backbencher

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Posted: August 25 2017 at 1:53pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Would be convoluted, but you wouldn't have to cut any metal (important for legal full-auto) and you would preserve the ability to convert back to mags (important for early adopters).
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  justin22885

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Posted: August 26 2017 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

i can see why the flat pawl system seems to be popular in a lot of MGs, its not necessarily because its better, but it does sit a lot flatter and doesnt interfere with the sights mounted on top where most feed trays are.. aircraft machine guns do not have sights on them

i do believe though that such a feed tray can reliably by adapted to just about any one of my tube-based upper receiver designs just by the magazine well by nature being 3-dimensional cut along a curved surface vs the flat surface of say an AK.. something without a quick change barrel is probably better off using drum and pan mags anyway
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  weaponeer

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Posted: August 30 2017 at 10:30pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

I would love to see a video of this system.  I'm trying to picture it, but the only thing I'm picture is the Gatling gun belt feed system  lol
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  justin22885

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Posted: August 31 2017 at 1:33pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZSq7qXHE3g
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  bikergunnut

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Posted: August 31 2017 at 10:02pm | IP Logged Quote bikergunnut

For some strange reason I had to approve your post.
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  justin22885

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Posted: September 01 2017 at 1:31am | IP Logged Quote justin22885

i have no idea what thats about
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  backbencher

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Posted: September 09 2017 at 3:44am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

justin22885 wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZSq7qXHE3g


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Posted: September 09 2017 at 3:50am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

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  justin22885

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Posted: October 03 2017 at 11:49pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

ive finished up pretty much the internal components for something based on the MG17 mechanism

i went with a 6-tooth sprocket because it allows me a large enough sprocket to get a spring and an axis pin inside of, while also allowing enough spacing between teeth that it should work with M249 links.. theres a spring inside the sprocket piece that pushes it backwards

theres a second piece behind this with a cam on it, when the bolt moves back it  turns this, pushing the sprocket forward until it locks with the next position on the cam piece, when the bolt goes forward it'll rotate the sprocket component 1/6th of a turn and hold it in place.. i have to make sure the cam turns completely though before the the bolt reaches the sprocket so it can actually feed the next round

i still have to design some kind of housing for it that'll hold the belt, but that shouldnt be too hard.. it might be cool to use my DI tube rifle with this and make a gas operated, fixed barrel rifle similar in looks to the MG17
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  backbencher

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Posted: October 04 2017 at 6:35am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

If you're dealing w/ a belt feed, don't you want some weight to the operating system for reliability, as low heat as you can go (ie, not DI), and a removable bbl?
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 04 2017 at 12:46pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

im not really looking to make an LMG, i mean, belt fed as a stationary crew served weapons work for military, but for something mobile youre better off with a heavier built AR-15 or an RPK with drums

im curious as to how light this could be.. perhaps this device plus 200-300 rounds of linked ammo will weigh less than the magazine well + 10 loaded magazines?.. but there are obvious downsides, grabbing the belt while shooting will probably cause a jam, and if the ammo touches the ground it may carry dirt into the action with it.. so it may be lower maintenance and cost overall, but would it be more reliable?.. perhaps not
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  backbencher

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Posted: October 04 2017 at 1:55pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

The Army and much of NATO seem happy w/ the FN Minimi; the Marine Corps switched to mag fed HK piston ARs.
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  justin22885

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Posted: October 04 2017 at 5:03pm | IP Logged Quote justin22885

it seems our military is replacing them with M27 IARs as they can fill the role of the 249, while also being accurate enough to act as a DMR in semi auto making it not only less than half the weight, but also able to fill more roles and be mostly compatible with a lot of standard parts

unless youre on a bipod or tripod with full auto, needing to suppress from a stationary position, belt feed is pretty pointless
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