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Buying an MG08/15

Article about: Evening everyone - Okay - it appears that even though I want to save my towns MG08/15 war trophy it just might not be possible. If this is the case, let me ask - what does a person need to d

  1. #1

    Default Buying an MG08/15

    Evening everyone -

    Okay - it appears that even though I want to save my towns MG08/15 war trophy it just might not be possible.

    If this is the case, let me ask - what does a person need to do in order to purchase a DEWAT MG08/15? Do you need a special license or is that just for live MGs? If it helps I live in Kansas - I know you need a special license for a live one but couldn't find anything dealing with DEWATs.

    Also, since I'm just wanting this to be a display piece, is it easier to buy a parts kit or one that's already put together?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Why wouldn't this be possible? You can buy display/ model weapons all over the internet... is this some local law that I'm oblivious to?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Why is your town disposing of it???

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    I'm trying to find out if I need some sort of special license in order to buy a DEWAT MG. I can't find any legal info about this for the State of Kansas.

    - - Updated - -

    I live in a really small town in Kansas USA. The MG belongs to my town's VFW/Legion post. They can no longer maintain their building and there just are not enough people involved anymore. So, they are looking at shutting down.

    I was friends with the guy who ran the place and he would let me borrow the MG when I displayed my WWI collection. I even have a dent in the dining room floor from where it fell over.

    It's a DEWAT and is in a sad state of affairs. It's also missing about 30% of it's parts (mostly the parts that make it work). There is no water can or hose and no belts or drums. The flash hider is there but it flops around for some reason. It's been a long time since I've had a chance to look at the MG but from what I recall all the movable parts are gone as well as the barrel(?), this could be why the flash hider flops around.

    Anyway, they guy died and his son has taken over (I'm friends with him as well). About three years ago I found out that the MG was taken down from it's display shelf and placed in a closet. Evidently someone complained about it being on display when they had their wedding reception in the Legion Hall. It has sat in that closet since.

    When I first expressed interest in acquiring the MG, about a month ago, I told the guy what I was wanting to do. I'd like to restore it to a better display condition and place it, on loan, in the local Historical Society Museum of which I'm a member. If I own the MG I would also be able to display it when I set up my display as well.

    Our town also has a nasty habit of just tossing stuff - including historical items. For example, when my father was with the city the city crew found an original wooden pipe. He thought it should be preserved bu the city council thought it was a waste and threw it out. Another group tried to buy an old brick building that housed the first power source for our town, the city council thought it was a waste an mowed it down. The high school - when it expanded they actually tossed (in the trash dumpster) all the old trophies that had been in storage - some going back to the 1880s. They also tossed out all the old Civil Defense supplies that had been stored in a shelter under the school. And these are just a few examples.

    Last Saturday, this guy and I, along with my father-in-law, were talking about the city just getting rid of stuff with no thought of preserving the past (the guy is involved with the museum as well) and how it's got to stop. About an hour after this talk he mentioned the possibility of selling the MG if they do shut down. He was thinking of putting it on the open market for the highest bidder!

    That was like a kick in the nads.... I know the history of this thing - the citizens, during the war, raised bond money for the troops. Back then cities who did this won a 'war trophy' based on the amount they could raise. Our tiny town raised enough to get the MG08/15. So, it has ties to the community. I live in the community and want to preserve it.

    I can't afford much to make an offer and in it's condition it isn't worth a lot IMHO. However - he's thinking "let's throw it on the net and get the highest amount"!!!!!!

    You see them for sale on the net for $8 - $10 thousand dollars, but they are mint and actually fire. This thing is a DEWAT and, as mentioned, is in bad shape. I might be able to cough up $1000 to buy it but some guy who want's it for the parts could go $2000!!!

    It just really chaps my butt. Now I have to figure out a way to get it, and keep it here, without sounding desperate and pitiful.

    Any advice on how to proceed? Any thoughts on a value?

    One other thing - as far as I know there is no paper work from when the War Trophy Amnesty took place in the 60s, so this thing might not be registered. I know that if the guy just throws it on the net for sale there might be legal issues. I also know that if he goes to the local LEOs they very well may confiscate it and destroy it.

    In the past, when I've borrowed it for my display, the local LEOs didn't give a rat's *** since they knew it didn't/couldn't fire (the original guy told me it had been cut and welded).

    Any thoughts and/or suggestion in regard to this?

    This is a part of my communities history and I don't want it to go bye-bye.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    As long as it's a permanant Dewat, I can't see why there should be Any need for a special license or permit for it-basically, it's like buying a toy gun. Kansas is a Very lenient state for gun laws.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Sounds like you are on quite the mission, I applaud you!!!

    We haven't lost too many trophies here in Australia.....if a town has to move or get rid of them, they go to Canberra and the Australian War Memorial......though some have been moved from the original location, one set of German guns was moved to a children's playground!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Just scrape together as much cash as you can afford. I applaud your sentiments. Good luck!

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    As long as it's a permanant Dewat, I can't see why there should be Any need for a special license or permit for it-basically, it's like buying a toy gun. Kansas is a Very lenient state for gun laws.
    I hate to ruin your day but as long as you have the side plates of the MG 08/15 one of them , don't remember which one, is the controlled part and that alone is considered a machine gun. The MG without paperwork is considered contraband and not a toy. Even if you had only the side plat and nothing else that alone is a machine gun. That is the reason why you see just side plates that are the controlled part of a 1919A4 for sale and the price is almost the cost of an entire A4. The Legion might have gotten away with displaying it or perhaps were told it is illegal to possess and that is why it is in the closet. Without paperwork there is no way to make it legal and register it. I would stay far away from it. I have a number of friends who bought Dewat's and had to go thru the same procedure I did to get my MG's transferred to me. 2 form 4's, 2 passport photos, 2 finger print cards, Certificate of Compliance and a CLEO approval with a $200 check made out to BATF. But that option is not available to you if the MG is not registered and there is no paperwork.

    Additionally while the 08/15 is relatively cheap the parts are very expensive and hard to come by. I applaud your sentiments to preserve a part of history but if you want an MG 08/15 you are better off buying a complete one.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Dummy sideplate 08/15s in the States are very cheap compared to Europe. However it sounds as if your 'war trophy' example is in a bad way - do you have any photos?
    Unless it has a capture history and is of US significance I would agree with the others and 'let it go'. The parts needed to make it whole are expensive and often exceed the purchase of a complete one. However if you are happy with the condition 'as is' I would not offer more than US$1000 depending on what it still has. I cannot give you a fair evaluation without seeing it. If you look at my 08/15 thread you will perhaps see complete examples. Hope this helps but if they are going to throw it away, then arguably you should get it for nothing and buy them a beer!!

  10. #10
    BJS is offline

    Default Re: Buying an MG08/15

    Hey buddy just joined this thread and noticed you like to collect parts for the MG 08/15. It just so happens I have a vet bring back that I aquired from an old buddy. It is not complete, but has the complete structure, water cooler and steel frame with both right and left plates and an original barrel. It is in very good shape with a few dings in the water cooler. Ther is no inner parts or stock. Willing to discuss price. Let me know if you or anyone you know is interested.

    Take care

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