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Greetings from Alabama

1453 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SHOOTER13
Hello! I've joined the forum in the hopes of finding some (and possibly sharing some) information on the Colt/Marlin potato digger machine gun. I am in the process of going through a selection of Marlin machine guns in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of World War One (WWI) I have a group of Model 1906/1917s, some USN MK Vs, and a couple M-1918s and a M-1914. Within these, I have a series that have the original serial numbers lined through and the numbers A1X through A15X added, although not all inclusive. I am familiar with serial numbers being lined out on a portion of a gun if the weapon underwent a barrel change of a barrel removed from an unserviceable receiver, however, in this case, all of the lined out serial numbers matched. I also have a couple of M-1918s with US Cal. 30 in 1 inch letters stamped on the side, as well as one gun that has offset sights on the left side of the gun. I am also aware that Marlin made a training gun for the Army in WWI that was a potato digger but with improved internals, however, I do not know how to identify that gun, whether it would have specific markings or would be different from a standard issue weapon how??? Or is there something I should be looking for that I'm not aware of yet? As such I have Mark Vs with oval charging handles, and 1 M-1918 with an L shaped charging handle. I would appreciate any and all feedback as I don't know a whole lot about the potato digger. Thanks for any assistance I can get in advance. Regards, Jim
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Welcome to the camp from Allen County, Indiana. Have a seat on that stump over there. Help yourself to the coffee. It's got some grounds in it. The only WWI or "Great War" firearms I have currently is my original Model of 1917. I had a great uncle participate in that exercise but never heard him speak of it.
Welcome to the forum
Welcome to the Marlin Forum !!

The Colt–Browning M1895, nicknamed "potato digger" because of its unusual operating mechanism, is an air-cooled, belt-fed, gas-operated machine gun that fires from a closed bolt with a cyclic rate of 450 rounds per minute. Based on a John Moses Browning design dating to 1889, it was the first successful gas operated machine gun to ever enter service with the US Military.

Submachine guns include:

  • M2 Hyde, a WWII submachine gun prototype
  • United Defense M42, a WWII submachine gun for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

In World War I Marlin Rockwell became one of the largest machine gun producers in the world for the US and its Allies, building the M1895 Colt-Browning Machine Gun and a later variant called the "Marlin gun" optimized for aircraft use.
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