Our boy Eric Daniel who runs the Kit Up! section of Military.com posted a pretty cool entry the other day on a favorite little piece of war bootie he seized while on duty in Iraq.
I know everyone at Defense Tech seems to get a kick out of Soldiers using non-issued weaponry, so I figured Id throw out some red meat into the ring for all you contraband lovers.
One of the byproducts of conducting security operations in Iraq is you end up with a lot of confiscated weapons, and over the years, quite a respectable collection had been assembled by the various units rotating through the IA mission on our FOB. Naturally we had such staples as the AK-47, AKM, RPK, RPD, and PKM, but we also had some pretty cool specimens as well, like Dragunov SVD sniper rifles, a working DShK, RPGs, even such oldies but goodies as a couple of Mosin-Nagant M1891bolt action rifles and a PPSh-41 sub-machine gun (non-functional unfortunately, otherwise this thing would have been a blast.)
The piece dresistance, though was a brand-new, never been fired, fully functional German MG3.
We came about this little gem after detaining a collection of Iraqi oil and pipeline security folk who were conducting illegal shakedown checkpoints out in the hinterlands. In the process of cataloguing their equipment the scribing NCO described the MG3 as some sort of Star Wars blaster rifle, and so its true nature went undiscovered until I happened to see it propped up against the wall in the supply room, whereupon I discerned the true nature of this fine piece of warmongery.
The machinegun itself was in a sorry state. It was bone dry (a blessing as it would turn out), packed with dust, and had never been fired. Since it had never been lubricated (that I could tell), cleaning it up was simply a matter of field stripping it, blowing the majority of the dust out and then giving it a good bath and scrub in solvent. Once clean, dry, lubricated, and reassembled, my MG3 and me went out to the range to convert some linked 7.62 NATO into heat and noise.
For those of you who have never had the opportunity to fire an MG3, it is quite possibly the finest, single barreled medium machinegun ever built. Based on the German MG42 of WWII fame, the MG3 is essentially the MG3 rechambered from 7.92mm Mauser to 7.62mm NATO. Its ROF is 1,200 rounds per minute and it is an absolute dream to shoot.
Had we simply found the weapon in a raid I would have ditched my M16 and hauled that sucker with me everywhere, but alas and alack, I had to give it back when we eventually released the Iraqis we had detained. I shudder to think now what state my MG3 is in, but for the week or so we were together, and the thousands of rounds we fired together, I was in absolute heaven.
-- Eric Daniel