This awesome post is courtesy of ARFCOM user, cool-e who was very kind to let me post it here today.
I bought it sight unseen from a collector from Norway who bought it from Ohio Ordnance Works but never took possession on it. He bought it sight unseen from them and then after owning it for some years he decided his plans to ship it home were not going to work so he offered it to me. The mount had been sitting in a Swiss Rail crate at OOW for years. Rumor was it came from a bunker in Belgium, but I do not really know the origin. n 2003 a gun show guy from OOW brought it to the Houston Gun Collectors Show (before the show started to suck) and I picked it up there. Cost me a case of beer and I had to return the box to him, which it did.
Called a Panzernestlafetten, or Armoured Loophole Mount, this on is 1944 dated with makers mark CNX, for Gustav Appel Machinenfabrik, Berlin-Spandau. When I got it, the thing was dirty, missing parts and had some bluish paint poured over parts of it. Some parts are still missing, notably the shoulder stock. I think it was broken off so it would fit in the crate, but who knows.
Designed to be inside a concrete pillbox, the top of the mount retracts when not in use. The access port in the bunker wall would be opened and the mount swung up so the front ball fits into the wall opening. The PZzF1 scope sights through a small hole in the ball. One of these sold about a week ago on Gunbroker for $800 or so. I got this one years ago on ebay (before it sucked) for $175.
Mounts like this and other set ups in vehicles required right hand feed which the MG42 could not do. It is one reason MG34’s were produced throughout the war as they could be set up for right or left hand feed.
The last pics show a page from a manual on these things and pic of one (with a different style base) rusting away in a bunker in Norway ( I think).
How it looks now, and also showing how it retracts.
Here is how it looked when I got it an taking it apart to try to restore it a little bit.
There was a major part missing: the part that attaches the gun to the mount. This thing is complicated and also acts as a soft mount, in that the gun recoils on a spring action in the attachment piece. A friend in Norway who has a mount allowed a local machinist to borrow his a duplicate it, otherwise I never would have this part. Original on right.
The parts he duplicated. You can see how complex just this one item is.
Both together: original and duplicate. Original shows a lot of erosion from rust. To attach the gun to the mount, you line up the rear bipod attachment on the MG34 barrel jacket and turn the wing nut looking lever on the right; It spreads apart the mechanism to lock the barrel jacket into place. The springs inside of this attachment allow the gun to recoil without affecting the rest of the mount and the sight. Yep, overly complex for sure.
Another interesting feature is the headrest on the sight. It attaches to the scope using one of two groves cut into the post of the headrest. There is flap on the back the headrest that can move from one side or the other. The purpose: to allow the shooter to angle the headrest for sighting use the right eye or left eye and the flap to cover the other eye. More overly complex engineering and work, but pretty cool.
Set up for using the right eye.
Left eye set up
250 round ammo can on right side of mount. Below is the inside of the can showing baffles to bear the weight of the special 250 round belt. Belt is made of aluminum.
Scope attached to mount and a view of the small hole in the ball the scope sights through.