Thumpy

What to know about mp40s

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Hey fellas I’ve been kinda looking at mp40s and have a few questions... what should I be looking for in them are certain factories make them better? certain markings make them more valuable? Or more sought after? What problems have you had with them? Reasons to stay away from them reasons to buy something else. Pretty much just educate me on them if you could thank you all in advanced for your advice and time.   

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MFG doesn't matter as much as condition and matching parts normally
They don't ever have problems 

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Well, it all kind of depends on what you want the gun for. Do you want a shooter gun or do you want a collector gun? If you want a shooter gun then you might consider a tube gun made by either Erb or Wilson. I owned an Erb tube gun for almost 20 years. It ran like a raped ape. I traded it off plus some cash for a C&R gun. Honestly, you could NEVER compare the quality of a tube gun to a C&R gun they just don't compare. A C&R gun is  superior in quality. If you want to spend the extra money then you might consider a C&R MP40. I would suggest you do this because if you buy a tube gun trust me you WILL want a C&R gun. Very little compares to German quality (well, maybe the Berettas but that is about it in my opinion). If you want a strict collector gun then you will want to look for an all "matching" gun. This simply means that all the parts of the gun are numbered and match like the endcap, trigger guard, stock arms, receiver tube, rear site, bolt, firing pin, recoil spring assembly, sling ring, barrel, front site, resting bar, and mag well. Some even had the Bakelite numbered!!! Also watch out for "forced" matches where someone tried to make a non-matching gun matching. Remember original finish matters. The nicer the finish the more you will pay. Whatever you do just remember to buy it because you like it and not as an investment because if you buy it as an investment you may be sorely disappointed one day very soon. Most guys end up with at least two MP40s. One to look at, fondle and enjoy and the other to look at, fondle, enjoy and shoot. Ask me how I know haha If you need help or have other questions, you are free to PM me. I have studied them about 25 years certainly not an expert but I know enough to be dangerous haha

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Oh, forgot to add.some guys like to collect by maker. The makers were either Steyer (code 660 or bnz), Haenel (code 122 or fxo) or Erma (code 27 or ayf). I prefer the Haenel guns because I think the finish and quality are a bit better than on the other two. The most common seem to be the bnz coded guns. I would try to take a look at as many different makers as you can and see what finish you like if you are looking for an original finish gun. They are great guns and you will have little or no problems with them.

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I'll second Schmeisser Guy in that the first thing you need to resolve for yourself is whether you are a shooter or a collector.  If you are a shooter, get a tube gun and go shoot the piss out of it.  The MP-40 is one of the most dirt-simple mechanisms ever made and they rarely need any attention to keep running and running.  If you are a collector, find an original gun and try to maintain its condition while you own it.  This means you have to baby it a bit more unless you are OK with losing some value.

Personally, I'm a shooter.  If you want a collector's item, buy a painting and hang it on the wall.  Guns are made to be shot.

 

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On 1/9/2020 at 6:28 PM, Schmeisser Guy said:

Well, it all kind of depends on what you want the gun for. Do you want a shooter gun or do you want a collector gun? If you want a shooter gun then you might consider a tube gun made by either Erb or Wilson. I owned an Erb tube gun for almost 20 years. It ran like a raped ape. I traded it off plus some cash for a C&R gun. Honestly, you could NEVER compare the quality of a tube gun to a C&R gun they just don't compare. A C&R gun is  superior in quality. If you want to spend the extra money then you might consider a C&R MP40. I would suggest you do this because if you buy a tube gun trust me you WILL want a C&R gun. Very little compares to German quality (well, maybe the Berettas but that is about it in my opinion). If you want a strict collector gun then you will want to look for an all "matching" gun. This simply means that all the parts of the gun are numbered and match like the endcap, trigger guard, stock arms, receiver tube, rear site, bolt, firing pin, recoil spring assembly, sling ring, barrel, front site, resting bar, and mag well. Some even had the Bakelite numbered!!! Also watch out for "forced" matches where someone tried to make a non-matching gun matching. Remember original finish matters. The nicer the finish the more you will pay. Whatever you do just remember to buy it because you like it and not as an investment because if you buy it as an investment you may be sorely disappointed one day very soon. Most guys end up with at least two MP40s. One to look at, fondle and enjoy and the other to look at, fondle, enjoy and shoot. Ask me how I know haha If you need help or have other questions, you are free to PM me. I have studied them about 25 years certainly not an expert but I know enough to be dangerous haha

Thank you for the response sir

 

 I love history but I buy my mgs to get shot if it’s in my collection it’s a shooter anything else is worthless to me.

Lol and the statement “most guys end up w 2 mp40s” worries me hahaha 

and nope as I’ve said before none of my mgs are investments I buy them because I like to shoot.. I’d be happy if they repealed the nfa and all my mgs took a loss personally because then I could have tons more lol

ill just pm

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14 hours ago, DINK said:

I'll second Schmeisser Guy in that the first thing you need to resolve for yourself is whether you are a shooter or a collector.  If you are a shooter, get a tube gun and go shoot the piss out of it.  The MP-40 is one of the most dirt-simple mechanisms ever made and they rarely need any attention to keep running and running.  If you are a collector, find an original gun and try to maintain its condition while you own it.  This means you have to baby it a bit more unless you are OK with losing some value.

Personally, I'm a shooter.  If you want a collector's item, buy a painting and hang it on the wall.  Guns are made to be shot.

 

I’m most definitely a shooter lol thank you for the reply and advice sir

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Ive had a shooter grade wilson tube MP40 for maybe 10 yrs now. Never had any issues with it but I dont shoot it a lot at all. The mags just suck to load, the gun is HEAVY, and rof is way to slow for me. Im an MP5 dude. That said its certainly a reliable and cool looking historical MG. No doubt there. Mine just doesnt see much actual shooting like say the Uzis and MP5s and AR15s. But thats an aside. 

 

Basically just go buy any erb or wilson non cr mp40 and you should be fine...but im no expert...which is good as I only become well versed in weapons that fail often and i have to troubleshoot...

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I've had my Erb tube MP40 for 20 years.  It has always run perfectly no matter what I feed it.  You must have a magazine loader to load the magazines.  Prices on real WWII magazines and loaders have climbed in recent years, but they are well built and should last a lifetime.

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Here's some real world info concerning wear. Virtually all MP40s were upgraded to a sliding safety on the cocking handle that is used to lock the bolt in forward position for safety. The stud holding the sliding safety is peened on the inside of the bolt to secure it. Over time and use the peening will loosen, and the whole cocking handle loosen, and in many case flys out of the bolt when firing, onetime getting lost.This is repairable and I have repaired a large number of them. Verify the tightness of the handle in there bolt of any gun you consider. Keep in mind that original sliding safety handles are not available any more unless you are lucky to find one. A company in Eastern Europe is reproducing the MP40 parts and may be making the safety handles.

Folding stocks will have vertical play when extended, from very minor to very sloppy. Sloppy play is a serious annoyance and detracts from the pleasure of handling and firing the guns. Unfortunately, the design and construction of the hinge and lock are not robust and will loosen up from stress with use over time. Some guns have play but the compression of the assembly of the hinge is such that there is quite a bit of friction and the play is dampened. Handle any prospective MP40 if you have the opportunity.

The spring loaded plunger on the bottom of the foreshock that locates and retains the upper tubular receiver in the lower fits into a slot cut into the bottom of the receiver tube. The plunger is retracted, the receiver tube rotated while trigger is pulled to lower the sear from rising through the tube, and the upper receiver removed form the lower. Often the slot in the bottom of the receiver tube has enlarged slightly from rotational force on the upper and many disassemblies of the upper from the lower. This results in the receiver tube having rotational looseness in the lower, another source of annoyance. Repair can be done but is invasive.

Recoil springs can be soft and compromised just from use and time, resulting in failure of the bolt to fully recoil to catch on the sear but will recoil enough to pick up the next round and the gun will "tun away", firing until the mag is empty. Probably most shooter Mp40s have had the springs replaced to spec but I still get a couple for repair every year.

Replacement barrels are very expensive, both repros and especially vintage. If the barrel on an original, matching gun is damaged and ringed by a squib round, there is no replacement for the matching barrel with subsequent loss of value. Use only ammo on the market that is well known for reliability. Check barrel of any prospective purchase for excellent condition and no rings.

Barrel nuts and muzzle nuts will loosen up and the muzzle nuts fall off and possibly get lost if not monitored or tightness. A small dab of lactate can keep them inlace and not bond them too tightly.

There are other practices that you will hear about for protecting vintage parts, etc that are not germane to my observations above, but about which you will hear if you should acquire and MP40. FWIW










 

                                                                                            

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BRMCII aka bubba hit the nail on the head.  My gun has all of these issues including my rear site fell off and I still just pick it up and shoot it anyway.  I have a well used beat up shooter grade tube gun and I still would not trade it for anything,. To much history and fun, I love to watch WWII documentarys with Whermacht troops carrying these weapons.  Buy one and you will have many Happy Trails.  Buck

Edited by jamesbucklin
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Additional thoughts:

Don't be put off by the asking prices of WW2 MP40 mags on auction sites.  Post-war Vigneron magazines are very reasonable and with five minutes on a belt sander will fit and function perfectly.  Just hit all four sides where they fit in the magazine well until they fit and lock properly.  I use cold blue to re-touch them and then mark then with a white sharpie so they don't get mistaken for un-modified mags.

Reproduction magazine loaders work just as well as the originals; OK, but not great.  Vigneron loaders are a better choice as they have leverage to force rounds down.  A minor tweak will make these fit MP40 mags just fine.

WW2 extractors can be weak as quality worsened towards the wars end.  Get a spare.  The Portuguese FBP bolt and  recoil spring assembly work just fine in an MP40.  And are considerable less expensive. 

Don't use low-powered ammo.  Wolf steel-case and Remington bulk pack are notorious for causing runaways in open-bolt subguns due to low power.  The WW2 German ammo was 124gr and equal to NATO-spec.  I stick to that with my guns.  GECO 124gr is clean, boxer-primed, and quality ammo at a good price.

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When you reassemble the gun, make sure the rear of the recoil spring is in the mounting hole of the lower receiver. If not assembled properly, the little tubes of the recoil spring assembly will bend when the bolt is pulled back.

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