The M1919A6 bipod-mounted MG is a .30 design
of the famous John Moses Browning. This machine gun was a pretty cool
weapon that seems to be neglected by 1/6 manufacturers (at least as of this date). The tripod-mounted
M1919A4 and water-cooled M1917A1 versions have been done (and
re-done) by many manufacturers, it seems.
Maybe this is because only approximately 43, 500 were manufactured, while 390,000 tripod-mounted A4s were produced.
Although the M1919A6 wasn't as stable as the tripod-mounted version and couldn't
maintain the same sustained fire rate as the water-cooled version, it was
faster to get into action and wasn't so cumbersome to transport.
The M1919A6 had a detachable shoulder stock, a folding bipod, carrying
handle (similar to a Bren handle), and a lighter barrel than its predecessors.
The "A6" would throw 174 grain bullets downrange at around 2800 feet per
second, with a fire rate of somewhere between 400 and 550 rounds per minute!
With a maximum range out to extreme distances, its practical range is considered
to be around 800 yards. Here's a pic of the A6 with ammo box (at right), ready for
(For more info on the 'A6, see http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/30cala6.htm, or American Rifleman magazine, "Limited Standard" - The M1919A6 Machine Gun, p.62.)
I wanted to come up with one for 1/6 scale action figures. The shoulder
stock is just a piece of sheet plastic, so it is easily to repair or replace if/when broken (there are kids around
here who play with Joes!). My shoulder stock doesn't look much like the original, but it's fine as a toy. An authentic bipod would be too fragile, too, so I made a heavy-duty one. The bipod also needed to be tall enough for Joes to hunker down behind. A scale version would likely have been too short, absent sandbags or some other rest.
I made it from a 1970s knockoff
.30 MG. The bipod itself was made from leftover sprue from a plastic model. Pieces
of the sprue were cut to shape and glued in place. The hinge was made from
sheet plastic and a bit of wire was used as a hinge pin. The bipod is wider
and taller than on the original. You'll also note that the shoulder stock
is attached more firmly as well.
This MG has seen some extensive playtime and has yet to break (I guess I must have careful kids). It's a bit more beat-up than it was when I made it, but since this project was built in 1996, it's around 6 years old already... so I guess it's holding up pretty well.
LMK what you think of this project, or any
other stuff you stumble across on my website!