What is the manufacturer’s name? Also, whats a good website to ID this myself?
I just found a source that shows “Stocko” as the maker in 1939 for the MG34 belt marked “ST”. I corrected my earlier info. JH
I have this marking listed as: Stocko Metall Waren Fabriken, Wappertal - Elberfeld. Later Stocko used the code cvo instead of ST.
An earlier version of this belt was the “Patronengurt 33” which was 250 rounds in length and used in fixed installations. This was followed by a 25-round version called the "Patronengurt-Zwischenstuck 34 which was replaced by the 50-round Gurt 34. Most of the earlier 25-round belts were converted to 50 rounds, few survive in their original configuration. Re-worked belts can usually be spotted by close examination of the links and connecting spirals, the centre of the 50-round conversions may show differences in adjacent links. Fake Patronengurt-Zwischenstuck 34 have been made by reversing the conversion process.
Mine is a 50-round Gurt 34, and I can’t detect any difference in the middle links in. How fast does a 25 round belt go through “the machine”? Probably a couple of seconds? It feels like a waste of belt installation time in the battlefield to have 25 round belt. Am I wrong?
The speed that the belt length runs through the gun is not really the issue as the belts are joined together in longer lengths when filled. The belt section length only really affects how many empty pieces you have left on the ground as the belt separates as each “joining” cartridge is fired. It is easier to grab the longer lengths to drop into the box for re-use, possibly less fiddly to make up the long belts too.
They are only broken down into the short sections (50) for the gun whilst on the move, it gives the gunner a ready use supply in case the gun is required in a hurry. Does your belt have both a leading and trailing joining link still fitted? If so you can connect them with a loose 7.9 x 57mm (or 7.62 x 51mm) round to produce a loop.
Another issue is the empty non disintegrating belt hanging from the gun during assault firing. The shorter the segments, the less chance of catching the empty belt on something. RPD belts commonly are 25 round segments. The disintegrating link solves this problem. Browning MG’s with long fabric belts being dragged about empty were a serious problem early on. While German MG belts certainly were able to be used many times over, most were left where they fell in a combat situation, much like a rifle charger. JH
Stocko manufacture (ST/CVO) 1939, 40, 41, and undated late war MG34/42 50 round belts. JH