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Yugoslavian M53

Article about: Hello folks. The pride and joy of my deact collection. Also the most I'd ever spent on a piece, until I purchased my old spec Sten. A Yugoslavian MG53, or simply M53, also known colloquially

  1. #1

    Default Yugoslavian M53

    Hello folks.

    The pride and joy of my deact collection. Also the most I'd ever spent on a piece, until I purchased my old spec Sten.

    A Yugoslavian MG53, or simply M53, also known colloquially as the 'Sarac.' A near spot-on copy of the German MG42, being produced in the same factories with the same machines after the Germans were pushed out of the country. None of these saw use in the Second World War, but they are a much more affordable alternative to the 'real deal' and so that drove me to buy one.
    The differences between this and a wartime 42 are minor, with the grips and buttstock being slightly different, and lacking the cutout on top of the barrel jacket for an AA spider sight. There are factory markings on this one, although I'm unable to translate the Cyrillic. My understanding is that '44' is the factory number, and not the date of manufacture.

    Apart from a few minor rust stains, this one is in great shape. Virtually all of its finish still in place, with only a few superficial dings and scratches. It is a deactivated example, of course, done to old UK specifications. It cocks and dry fires, and a decent amount of field stripping can be done. The buttstock, buffer, spring and bolt can all be slid out of the receiver, and the top cover can be opened and detached. The barrel is welded and pinned to the receiver, as per normal, although the door for quick-changing the barrel does open and close. The booster cone is also pinned in place by a tack weld.

    It is WaffenAmt marked on the right side of the feed tray (WaA147 or 747) leading me to believe that a replacement must have been salvaged from original German factory stocks. All other parts are Yugoslavian, appropriately stamped and all matching. Even the front sight matches!

    I also have a few accessories for it.
    A fifty round belt, of which the links and starter tab are German.
    An ammunition box, Yugo marked beneath the paint.
    And what I at first believed to be a Yugo basket drum. However, upon picking away some of the paint, I've found an original German three-letter code underneath. No date, though. All the bluing appears to be perfectly intact, as well. May need to figure out how to clean the rest of it.

    Ramble over. Enjoy the photos!

    Regards, B.B.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Yugoslavian M53   Yugoslavian M53  

    Yugoslavian M53   Yugoslavian M53  

    Yugoslavian M53   Yugoslavian M53  

    Yugoslavian M53   Yugoslavian M53  

    Yugoslavian M53   Yugoslavian M53  

    Yugoslavian M53   Yugoslavian M53  

    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  2. #2

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    Great looking gun!

    The cyrilic thing on the side says "PREDUZEĆE 44" - Factory / institute 44. Serial number B-11685.
    "FNRJ" on the top - Federativna narodna republika Jugoslavija (Federative peoples republic of Yugoslavia)

    Early ones were original german ones, with markings grinded off. They kept all the spare parts and thats why some of the parts have the waffen amts.
    The drum you have is an original german one, yugoslav reissue.

    All the parts with the small square and "BK" (VK- vojna kontrola/military control) are Yugo manufactured parts.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote by LeonardoL View Post
    Great looking gun!

    The cyrilic thing on the side says "PREDUZEĆE 44" - Factory / institute 44. Serial number B-11685.
    "FNRJ" on the top - Federativna narodna republika Jugoslavija (Federative peoples republic of Yugoslavia)

    Early ones were original german ones, with markings grinded off. They kept all the spare parts and thats why some of the parts have the waffen amts.
    The drum you have is an original german one, yugoslav reissue.

    All the parts with the small square and "BK" (VK- vojna kontrola/military control) are Yugo manufactured parts.
    Appreciate the information!
    Honestly, I'd sell this one on to fund the purchase of a 42 if I could, but that's not possible anymore. I'm stuck with it now. Happily stuck with it, but stuck with it all the same!

    B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  4. #4

    Default

    Yep, stuck with it, but that's fine! What code is on the gurtrommel drum? Many got reissued in Yogoslavia as well as in the Bundeswehr with the MG3.

  5. #5

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    Quote by BlackCat1982 View Post
    Yep, stuck with it, but that's fine! What code is on the gurtrommel drum? Many got reissued in Yogoslavia as well as in the Bundeswehr with the MG3.
    It's 'ddf'
    Can't see any other markings, though the paint is very thick in places.

    B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  6. #6
    ?

    Default

    Very Nice BB!!!
    Being a deact or not that will display nicely in any ones collection
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  7. #7

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    Quote by AZPhil View Post
    Very Nice BB!!!
    Being a deact or not that will display nicely in any ones collection
    Semper Fi
    Phil
    It's a nice display piece, alright. A shame I have no room to actually display it!

    B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  8. #8

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    Quote by BrodieBartfast View Post
    It's 'ddf'
    Can't see any other markings, though the paint is very thick in places.

    B.B.
    The paint will be easy to remove, unless you want to keep it 'period-correct' for display with the M53.

    I think 'ddf' = Lohmann-Werke, A.G., Bielefeld.

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi B.B,

    A cracking M53 you have got yourself my friend.
    One small point, which is more of a myth that M53s were produced in the same factories using the same machines. This is not the case. No Mg42 was made by the Yugos.
    However in my opinion a lot of the Mg42s that were Russian Capture ended up with the Yugos who post war were still using the 7.92mm and not a Soviet round. Hence the large number of Yugo used Mg42s as apposed to Russian Capture Mg42s which are rather rare. In comparison Look at the Huge number of Russian Capture Mg34s today.
    Off topic a little, but a rather nice M53!

    Jonathan.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote by severin View Post
    Hi B.B,

    A cracking M53 you have got yourself my friend.
    One small point, which is more of a myth that M53s were produced in the same factories using the same machines. This is not the case. No Mg42 was made by the Yugos.
    However in my opinion a lot of the Mg42s that were Russian Capture ended up with the Yugos who post war were still using the 7.92mm and not a Soviet round. Hence the large number of Yugo used Mg42s as apposed to Russian Capture Mg42s which are rather rare. In comparison Look at the Huge number of Russian Capture Mg34s today.
    Off topic a little, but a rather nice M53!

    Jonathan.
    For some reason, it never occurred to me that the Russians would have used captured German machine guns. Were they of the same nature as captured K98s, as in being reassembled from totally mismatched parts?

    B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

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