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Thread: Talk me out of a M1919a4?

  1. #1
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    Talk me out of a M1919a4?

    Hi everyone,

    I hope this post finds you well. Iíve been into Macs for awhile and am looking to branch out. I feel like an M1919a4 would be something very different. I donít think the Uzi is for me, the Sten isnít very different from a Mac, and the HKs/M16s I go back and forth on ďare they worth itĒ based upon Lage and similar offerings.

    Although heavy and high ammo volume is there anything that should be known about m1919a4s? Are they very hard to get gunsmith work done on them?

    Kind Regards,

  2. #2
    Registered User DINK's Avatar
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    The A4 is probably the number one choice for a first belt-fed. It isn't as glamorous as some of the others and it is awkward to use by today's standards as you need a tripod or other mount and can't shoulder-fire it, but it is VERY rugged and reliable, easy to work on, and run. Parts are still readily available and it's easy to swap calibers among .308, 8mm Mauser and .30-06. With a little more work, 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R are also available. I have one that I have pounded many thousands of rounds through and I'm still running mostly on the original parts. Barrels get worn out fairly quickly when your "bursts" are 250 rounds long, but it's worth it! Replacement barrels aren't as cheap as they used to be (I was buying Israeli .308 barrels for 3 for $100) but they are still a lot cheaper then most belt-fed barrels and easy to swap out. You can use links or cloth belts and there are many accessories like spade grips around.

    Go for it.

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    You came to a gun owner forum expecting to hear folks talk you out of buying a gun?

    This hobby is very much about personal tastes. For around the same money as the 1919, you could find an m16 that would offer a lot more versatility as far as configurations of caliber, size and accessories. But, if you would enjoy the belt fed more, then that is what you should get, imo. Some guys are into saturday night specials and others collect antique revolvers; everybody has their niche - and that includes the '1 of everything' crowd.

    I also say go for it, though =)

  4. #4
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    A Beltfed has its own appeal, but an RDIAS or RLL is more versatile

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    I want one too, but have no facility to shoot it at. I want a side plate for future use, but I see it the same way you do that it's a real belt fed for a reasonable price considering it's capability. I have heard from multiple owners that the logistics of transportation is the biggest hurdle, and knowing how hard it is for me just to get to the range at all, an item taking more time and effort just to get set up isn't practical for me at this time.

    I think this best suited for someone who has their own land and range. Preferably imho a driving course of fire and an old pickup truck to mount the 1919 in the bed of.

    Also, one FFL told me there is an additional fee for a 1919 on the transfer as it takes up so much space in a safe.

  6. #6
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    1919/1917 is def the least expensive path for robust beltfed
    It is a one trick pony, though...

    Hk sear will give you more options, but is more $$$
    16RR or Lightning link can work for a fightlight

  7. #7
    Registered User MG34_Dan's Avatar
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    Firing my RIA 1917A1 will put a smile on your face.





    And when aircraft come a little too close, you can say "Hi there".




  8. #8
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    I had a 1919 and a Ma Deuce for a while, but over time it gets old dragging around the belt feed unit, bipod, ammo, and spare parts like a barrel and extractor to keep it going. I finally got rid of them for lighter weapons.

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    Very interested in the responses here. I'm in the same boat as you... looking to branch out and it's probably gonna come down to a 1919a4 or an M16/AR15 registered receiver. Can't decide if I want to prioritize practicality or sheer awesomeness.

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    Correct answer is always get both!


    1919a4 is a great choice. Hk23e or hk21e is a bunch more $$$.

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    Benaj, correct answer, get both, 1919a4, tons of fun, m16 a few more options ( fun), hk a few options , lots of money, but still fun
    Have fun, get them all

  12. #12
    Registered User Uncle Billy's Avatar
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    if this was 2001 I would talk you into getting a M1919, because they could be had as a already assembled gun in the A4 configuration for around 1000 bucks from places like RAPID FIRE, and surplus 7.62 NATO ammo was fricken dirt cheap. I a "tub" of south african, 1260 rounds. was like 120 bucks.

    but now.............fricken 1919s are in the 2800 bucks or more, an that is just the gun.........ammo is super expensive, simply not worth it spending that kind of bucks on it, unless you got the money to feed it

  13. #13
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    Uncle Billy brings up a good point...we are talking full auto, correct? The 1919a4 is the swiss army knife of medium belt-fed machineguns and their reliability rivals that of an anvil. Parts are very plentiful, but costs have increased over the years. There's still plenty of good smiths out there who can build a gun up from a side-plate to completely finished gun or any point in between. There are options other than just shooting them off a tripod...such as an A6 configuration. This is my favorite (poor man's M240B) and it also has an open-bolt kit installed...

    Last edited by hkg3k; 05-07-2021 at 09:34 AM.
    hkg3k
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Billy View Post
    but now.............fricken 1919s are in the 2800 bucks or more, an that is just the gun
    I assume he's talking about transferrable machine guns, they're a few more $$s than that...

    I had an M37 sample, they're fun guns to shoot. Got tired of lugging it all around, cleaning it up and loading belts after a few range sessions, flipped it.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkg3k View Post
    Uncle Billy brings up a good point...we are talking full auto, correct? The 1919a4 is the swiss army knife of medium belt-fed machineguns and their reliability rivals that of an anvil. Parts are very plentiful, but costs have increased over the years. There's still plenty of good smiths out there who can build a gun up from a side-plate to completely finished gun or any point in between. There are options other than just shooting them off a tripod...such as an A6 configuration. This is my favorite (poor man's M240B) and it also has an open-bolt kit installed...
    Where's the +1 button, that's a pretty sweet setup.

  15. #15
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    Finally found your 240 set up......I still have Emory's original....Yes you get dibbs.

    1919.....so many choices and I think I have nearly all.....except FA.

    SG ,S.G. ,BCI ,RIA ,BA of course ,A5 ,C5A1 ,M37...I'm forgetting a couple I think.

    Oh yea...The watercooled ...17a1 ,1928 colt /argy...still a toss up

    Its a horrible addiction.....$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Mounts , loaders ,tripods of every breed ,belts ,huh ammo?

    If you dive in prepare to go deep.

  16. #16
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    I'd shoot it in 7.62x39 because that's the only affordable option now that 54r is gone.

  17. #17
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    Go M16 and spend more time shooting less time hauling adjusting etc etc that’s just me. I do have a belt fed FN-32 in 8mm in nearly mint condition if you’re interested- it’s an aircraft gun, ready to fly.
    Live BRAVE, Live FREE!

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  18. #18
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    M16’s are fun with options, but shooting a 1919a4 full auto, is so much fun, it seems illegal

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkg3k View Post
    Uncle Billy brings up a good point...we are talking full auto, correct? The 1919a4 is the swiss army knife of medium belt-fed machineguns and their reliability rivals that of an anvil. Parts are very plentiful, but costs have increased over the years. There's still plenty of good smiths out there who can build a gun up from a side-plate to completely finished gun or any point in between. There are options other than just shooting them off a tripod...such as an A6 configuration. This is my favorite (poor man's M240B) and it also has an open-bolt kit installed...

    Is this full auto? Is there a thread with details anywhere? Very cool!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by theduke View Post
    I still have Emory's original....Yes you get dibbs.
    Thanks...I'll be here when you're ready to sell or trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaujo View Post
    Is this full auto? Is there a thread with details anywhere? Very cool!

    Yes...full auto, uniquely configured with a combination of off-the-shelf and custom parts.

    Details:

    Brit F/A open-bolt kit installed (US 1919a4s are closed bolt operation)

    Back half (pistol grip & buttstock) of TNW m230 kit

    16" 7.62 Izzy barrel w/ cut-down shroud and M6 booster/hider

    Izzy 1919a6 bipod boss with Izzy FAL spring-loaded quick deploy bipod legs grafted on
    hkg3k
    Browning, Maxim, Vickers
    Beltfeds: Real Machineguns

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