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Old October 15, 2012, 07:23 AM   #1
wogpotter
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MP43/StG44 question.

What is the function of the short ball-end rod projecting foreward from the gas block retaining bolt?
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Old October 15, 2012, 07:35 AM   #2
Willie Sutton
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Based on looking at them thru the glass in several museums, it's a half-length cleaning rod that unscrews and pulls forward. And yes I know that in photos it looks like thefront sight will prevent this. When peering thru the glass it does not appear that it's a problem.


Could be wrong... but this is how it appeared from about six inches away at the military museum in Prague (where they have an EXCELLENT collection of US, German, Czech, and Russian small arms.. absolutely world class).


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Old October 15, 2012, 08:15 AM   #3
JT-AR-MG42
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Stacking rod.

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Old October 15, 2012, 11:29 AM   #4
Willie Sutton
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^^^ very likely.

Better than my answer, which was an educated guess after peering at several but not handling.


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Old October 15, 2012, 01:00 PM   #5
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I can't answer the question precisely, but it's not a cleaning rod nor is it a stacking rod. I found a copy of the German army manual for it (all of nine pages long) but I couldn't real the name. It almost looks like a gas regulator adjustment, though that seems doubtful.
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Old October 15, 2012, 06:14 PM   #6
Willie Sutton
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^^^^

Ich spreche Deutsch, so if you can post the nomenclature in German I can have a go at it. This is assuming that the name is not so technical as to be outside my vocabulary. My firearms vocabulary is fairly good though.

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Old October 15, 2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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Its the gas-block screw
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Old October 16, 2012, 05:37 AM   #8
JT-AR-MG42
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I thought the OP was referring to the extension on the plug.

It is indeed the gas plug. Fine threads on the cone shaped plug to prevent it from being screwed in too far.
The hole through the square head that extends out of the gas tube allows a tool in the butt compartment to be used to unscrew it for cleaning.
There is no adjustment of the gas system.

It is still my belief that the extension was used as a stacking rod. There is no other explanation for it being on there, at least that I have ever heard.

JT
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Old October 16, 2012, 06:13 AM   #9
BlueTrain
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I couldn't read the name because the word was blurry in the reproduction of the manual but gas plug is about right. Still seems to be longer than necessary.
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Old October 16, 2012, 06:52 AM   #10
wogpotter
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Quote:
I thought the OP was referring to the extension on the plug.
I was. Specifically the long, protruding ball-end rod extending forward of the nut with the hole in it.
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Old October 16, 2012, 07:32 AM   #11
Skans
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Quote:
It is still my belief that the extension was used as a stacking rod.
Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by "stacking rod"?
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Old October 16, 2012, 08:44 AM   #12
Willie Sutton
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Stacking rods allow three rifles to be connected together at the top in order to let them be made into a self standing tripod-affair, to keep them from being laid on the ground in encampment.

Even M1 Garands have a stacking swivel, the "C" shaped thing that looks like a sling swivel.. but isn't. It's for connecting three rifles together to stack them as a tripod muzzle-up.

See:

http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=16772




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Old October 16, 2012, 08:45 AM   #13
JT-AR-MG42
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The 'stacking rod' refers to the method of stacking three rifles vertically with their barrels crossing in a tripod shape in the field.

Keeps the actions out of the soil, snow and such. Mausers, Arisakas, and others used the cleaning rods under the barrel to do this.
In fact, many late war Arisakas only use a 'cleaning rod' that is a little over 4" to still allow the rifles to be stacked.

The U.S. Garands and '03s instead used the forward swivel that is notched to allow stacking since there was no cleaning rod.


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Old October 16, 2012, 10:05 AM   #14
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I'm glad I asked! I was trying to figure out what the heck could possibly be stacked on that little protruding rod. When it comes to guns, I never stop learning.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:13 AM   #15
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You may remember that the M-14 has no stacking rod or similiar appliance. Stacking of arms was accomplished using the sling. I can't say I could do it just now.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:45 AM   #16
wogpotter
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Thanks to all for the wide variety of opinions. Suitably motivated I did some more extensive research for myself & discovered:

a: The rod is a fixed part of the plug, not in any way a seperate component.

b: There is no "gas adjustment" for the mp43/StG44 that I can find any record of anywhere.

c: the gas piston/bolt carrier & bolt are removed from the rear, it is not possible to remove the "gas piston" from the front as it is too deep where it engages the bolt.

d: This little tidbit on "cruffler.com"
http://www.cruffler.com/historic-february00.html
Quote:
“The Maschinenpistole 43 (MP43) prototype was developed in the final months of 1942 and was an evolution of the MKb 42(H). Improvements included a change to a closed bolt firing system. This necessitated the replacement of the striker firing system to one with an internal hammer. The gas cylinder tube was simplified, and a new stacking pin formed the upper part of the gas plug.”
Thanks for all the input folks.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:08 PM   #17
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The gas cylinder plug unscrews from the front, and there is a wrench in the buttstock that is made for that purpose. Once the piston is removed from the rear, the gas cylinder can be cleaned all the way through using the issue pull-through swab.

Everything I can find, in German and English, indicates the short rod in question is a stacking rod, "Zusammenstellgerät" or "Zusammenstellvorrichtung", both meaning roughly "stacking equipment". It looks like the stacking rods used on many older rifles, like the Kar. 98AZ. I think it possible that the stacking rod was revived because of the muddy conditions being encountered on the East Front. (The K.98k has no stacking rod or swivel as such; the cleaning rods are used to interlock two rifles and then either a third is set up betwen them or two more are interlocked and set at a right angle.)

Jim
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Old October 17, 2012, 09:57 PM   #18
Willie Sutton
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Zustammen means "together", and Gerat means "apparatus", so it looks like the right translation.


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