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Here is a WW2 German Lafette tripod, which started off as a tripod for the MG34, this particular unit was modified after the war by the Austrian government to utilize the MG42/MG3 weapons. So this tripod is called a Lafayette 34/42. This tripod is marked "eat 43 - 2614 h" which stood for Rudolf Schluckebier & Co, Eisenbahnbedarf (made units 1943-44), the serial/production number is 2614 and year of manufacture is 1943. It has what appears to be a primer coat of red under the green paint and has seen some usage. There are numerous Waffenamt stamps on various parts of the tripod. The tripod itself was very adaptable to the situation, you could raise or lower the height as needed, and by using this tripod, stabilized the weapon for sustained fire. There was an operating handle in which the weapons trigger was connected to to fire from. 

The Laying- & Search fire mechanism is marked "cql RH 1658", which stood for: Heinrich H Klüssendorf Werkzeuge, Berlin-Spandau, RH: 1943, and serial/production number 1658. The Tripod also includes a MGZ40 Scope, marked "gug 233" gug stood for Ungarische Optische Werke AG, Budapest, Hungary, which was part of the Siemens company.  

The way to tell if this was an Austrian re-work is to look at the forward weapon mount, which has a "BH" for Bundesheer with the Austrian Eagle and a serial number. The forward weapon mount has been replaced as well, original german types had a step looking appearance on the right side versus the Austrian types which had none. The bolt carrier box appears to be a post war replacement as well. 

Also shown is a deactivated MG42 for scale. Last few pictures show the tripod being folded up, which could be done very rapidly. 

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Excellent. However the correct word is "Lafette".   Lafayette was the name of a French aviation squadron with almost completely American volunteers 1915-17, named after the French Admiral, who assisted during the American war of independence, 1776-1783.

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Hey Fritz, yes my mistake, been having a Migraine most of the week, driving me nuts. Must have had aviation on the brain!

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Just curious, are these tripods easy available in Europe? If so, what types are seen more often, the MG34 or 42 types. 

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We used to get them in all the time, but due to the new EU laws de-acts are not turning up as often as before, only the new specs can now be sold and they are only just coming onto the market. Most collectors can't sell their old specs which has reduced the amount of de-acts on the market , however there is talk that once we leave the EU we should be able to legally sell them again, whither this is the case or not we will need to wait and see.  From memory I think we used to get  Mg42 Lafettes more often than the Mg34's. However allot of them were ex Yugoslavian army with Yugoslavian paint, it was quite rare to find them with the original German paint and when we did we could at least double the price, especially with the original pads.   

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Interesting, hopefully you will be able to wheel and deal again. When these tripods come up for sale here, they are a gamble, usually cobbled together re-works. I have not seen a untouched, nice original painted one outside a museum here. 

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Most MG 42 items offered are simply Yugo postwar or even Bundeswehr copies, not even original WH, they would cost a fraction of the price.

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I agree with you Fritz, pretty much all the accessories I have seen for the MG42 are all Yugo types. While close in appearance, not always accurate. but like you said, generally much cheaper. 

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