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Marlin Machine Gun

Printed From: Cross & Cockade
Category: WW1 Aviation Modelling
Forum Name: Modelling Discussion
Forum Discription: General discussion about WW1 aviation models
Printed Date: 21 Mar 2023 at 17:18
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.03 -

Topic: Marlin Machine Gun
Posted By: stan
Subject: Marlin Machine Gun
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 00:20
I'm building a 1/4 scale Ni28 and want to put a Marlin Machine gun on it. Does anyone have some detailed drawings, or better still a 3d printer file of one?

Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 10:21
I assume that you are not making a Great War Nieuport 28, as these were fitted with one, later two, Vickers guns in AEF service ?

Posted By: stan
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 13:01
Actually Nick I read that before they had enough Vickers guns some were fitted with Marlins, but no I'm not building a Great War one, rather a "Dawn Patrol' Version.

Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 14:04
My understanding is that before they had enough Vickers guns the AEF flew unarmed, and then they fitted only one gun ! The M1918 Marlin development of the Colt M1895 didn't become available until later.

According to :
Carl G. Swebilius, a longtime Marlin engineer originally from Sweden, designed a stripped down version of the 1895, dubbed the M1917 that was sold to the Army in quantities as a machine gun for tanks. The M1917 used a linear gas piston that ran parallel along the bottom of the barrel instead of the old Browning-Colt lever action (there isn't a lot of room for a swinging lever inside a tank!) This stepped the old design up from its original 400-rounds per minute to nearly 650-rounds per minute, as the piston was a shorter action than the original pivoting lever design. 

An even further improved version, the M1918 that used many aluminum parts to conserve weight, was sold to the Army for use in airplanes. These guns used stantinesco synchronizing gear and were twin mounted on DH-4, SPAD, Salmson and Brequet airplanes, firing through the plane's spinning propellers. These were well received as the Lewis guns used before their adoption often froze solid at high altitude. After they were tested, the following note was sent to Army Headquarters, "Marlin aircraft guns have been fired successfully on four trips from 13,000 to 15,000 feet altitudes at a temperature of -20 degrees Fahrenheit. On one trip guns completely covered with ice. Both metallic links and fabric belts proved satisfactory." They were additionally subjected to an endurance test of 10,000 rounds without a single stoppage or malfunction. Impressive even today. 

An internet search turned up a reprint of the manual for the M1917, and the IWM has a manual for the M1918 - - so there must be other about.

The guy you need is Harry Woodman, interested in both aircraft machine guns and 'Dawn Patrol' models. Alas, too late.

Posted By: Paul R Hare
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 19:25
There are scale drawings of the marlin on page 80 of "WW1 Aero" magazine issue No. 126 if you have access to a copy.
Publication recently ceased and all material was given to Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome but I don't think that they are selling back issues.
You may get one on the internet though.

Posted By: stan
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 21:22
Thanks for that Paul. I know where I can lay my hands on a copy.

Nick, my source was the Profile publication by Peter Powers which states that ..."some American Squadrons used the American Marlin for short periods".

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