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Unread 10-30-2022, 12:04 PM   #1
G.T.
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Default Darned if you do!

Hi to all, well, I got to thinking, (always a bad thing for me to do!) and I realized that a lot of the queries and questions I get on drum magazines are from the very first time users? And, most all of them are geared to initial operation, or failed efforts on loading or correctly using the drum? How tough can it be? Well, sometimes the, "baby turtle stage" can be a pretty rough, on people and parts!
On the drum operation, it all boils down to the winding lever and the mainspring. You cannot be timid or weak in your operation of this item or you're going to have serious regrets about owning a drum in the first place. And, you might get hurt as well.
So, lets look at the drum right out of the box. Initially, I was packing the drum with the winding lever locked at full strength position, with a sticker across it stating that you better be ready for the strong spring and lever rotation, because once you unlock it, the rodeo was about to begin! Failing to do so has resulted in smacked fingernails, drums flying across rooms, drums flying into gun cabinets, sprains, bruses, and the list goes on.
So, I decide to ship the drums with the mainspring, and winding lever in the relaxed position, but this caused another issue, the follower can pop out of the mag tube because of when the mainspring is relaxed, it puts max pressure on the follower spring! What to do!
Well, I decide to make a small dummy like Delrin plug that contains the follower spring for shippment, and so the customer can learn about the winding lever spring from the bottom up rather than from the top down. I still put a warning lable on the winding lever, but, I took for granted every one would see the plug as just that and neglected to note that it needs to be removed prior to loading, and as a result, it jams the mag every time. Soooo, I am now making the plug out of aluminum, and wraping a "REMOVE" lable on it so we have a fighting chance first time out!
I now realize that to the first time user, it might as well be a German landmine in their hands. There is no substitute for experience and knowledge, and extreme caution needs to be used until you become familier with the drum and its quirks.. Hope this helps a bit on those drums being purchased lately... best to all, til....lat'r.....GT..
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Unread 10-30-2022, 08:11 PM   #2
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Seems simpler than making an aluminum plug would be attaching a tag to the delrin plug. "Remove plug before use"
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Unread 10-30-2022, 08:23 PM   #3
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Do you expect that the original designers faced the exact training issues that you are now doing....?

How could they not...?

Is there some gizmo out there laying around the battlefields that has gone unrecognized for a century that nobody remembers was invented out of necessity by your predecessors...?

how many German thumbs were missing in action...?................
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Unread 10-30-2022, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default same only different!

Hi Tom, I think that due to it's brief lifespan, the drum probably presented more problems then it resolved! But, the problems were different from todays issues! The original drums, as well as the repros, needed lubrication to function, but, the military ammo was sealed and as such you could preload the drum and have less worry about lube seeping past the primers and bullets, and killing the round? Also, the mil spec ammo was consistant in OAL and the drum was specifically designed around this ammo.
As for operator skill, I think they came up to speed pretty fast, and most soldiers at the time, had mechanical skills that are not needed now? Fortunatly for the Germans, the learning curve on drums was short! I think the average soldier appreciated having the advantages a drum mag would provide, despite problems that went along with their deployment. It would be interesting to go back and see how they were introduced and the instruction that went along with them?
I'd bet more got used on 4" Lugers even though we have them linked to the artillery models... Pretty nasty pice of kit either way! Best to all, til....lat'r....GT
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Unread 10-30-2022, 09:59 PM   #5
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enjoyed your answer....keep on keeping on.......................Tom
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Unread 10-31-2022, 01:11 PM   #6
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Hi Glen, The Delrin rod I used was relitively tight in the feed lips and would not allow for a label to be attached. The 3/8" aluminum rod had adaquate room and is relatively easy to machine. But, the real fly in the Delrin ointment was expense, it cost a lot for a piece of plastic! Still it is amazing stuff, and I use it when ever the needs arise.Best to you, til.....lat'r....GT...
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