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200 round .50 cal "tombstone" magazines...
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:48 am
Post subject: 200 round .50 cal "tombstone" magazines...

A couple of questions on these ammo cans, such as the ones used on Maxon mount .50 cal installations:

What did a loaded one weigh? Extrapolating from standard cans, it's got to be a minimum of 70 lbs. & I'd guess closer to 80. As they have two handles, it's still got to be a chore for a slightly built G.I. to lift into position precisely when servicing the gun. Was this routinely done by one or two "loaders"? Any videos around of this process?

Not having thought to examine one of these when I had the chance, what's going on in the top half of the can? As the can splits, I assume that the 200 rounds are loaded "level" in the lower half and what looks like an axis pin in the upper "rounded" half might support a roller mechanism(?) Is this the case? That is, is the belt fed over a roller in the top half and why would this even be necessary? It looks like a lot of space and a complicated path to the feed tray that would lift the belt higher than would be necessary if just fed from the can bottom with a simple ramp. Any pics or diagrams of the interior of this can would helpful.

Thx in advance.
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Dennis_Smith
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:24 pm
Post subject: Re: 200 round .50 cal "tombstone" magazines...

Apparently the upper part is a spring wound feed mechanism that helps the gun pull the belt out of the can.

www.bmgparts.com/50cal.html




TM 9-223 Twin 50 Cal MG 1944 might go into greater detail. I see it available on ebay, and some websites have it available as a download.
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Dennis_Smith
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:40 am
Post subject: Re: 200 round .50 cal "tombstone" magazines...

I downloaded TM 9-223. This is the information about the 50 cal. M2 chest:



Close up:



That shoots my spring loaded ammo feed mechanism down in flames.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:40 am
Post subject: Re: 200 round .50 cal "tombstone" magazines...

Thx, that's a start. Presumably the crank handle is for loading the magazine from the original ammo boxes?
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binder001
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:02 pm
Post subject: Re: 200 round .50 cal "tombstone" magazines...

As to weight, your guess of 70-80 pounds should be about right. I remember reading in a manual that .50 caliber MG ammo weighs in about 30 lbs per 100 rds, that would be 60 pounds just for the ammo, plus the weight of the steel can.
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