I have not posted here in a while, so to make up for my lack of activity I thought some out there would appreciate a few pictures of my fully restored, fully functional, fully transferrable, WWII vintage, Rock Island Arsenal 1917A1 Browning water cooled machine gun. I acquired her from a museum in Portsmouth Virginia (USA) in November 2010.
This 1917A1 was part of an order placed with RIA in September of 1941 prior to the US entry in WWII. Based on its serial number, she was manufactured in November of 1942 and delivered to the US Navy (actually the US Marine Corps). Based on best evidence she saw service in the Pacific Theatre and was battle damaged. In 1948 she was scrapped as surplus war material and ended up on a scrap pile in Portsmouth. She was then purchased along with a 1940 dated RIA tripod by an 18 year old kid for $50 and was deactivated per then US law. The kid then used automotive body putty to cover up the battle damage and deactivation scars and kept it in his basement for 50 years. She was then sold to the museum which had her on display for 12 years. When the museum closed its doors, I purchased her and had her BATF status changed to a live machine gun. It took me two years to find the correct pieces and parts for the restoration.
Here are some "before" pictures:
Here are some "after" pictures:
The "after" pictures were taken when we were shooting 7.62 NATO ammo and not original 30-06 Springfield. But, that's a different story...