MG34 7.92mm Barrel Sets
1:35 comparison

Review by Terry Ashley

The barrel sets:

The Maschinengewehr 34 GPMG (MG34) was developed in 1934 as the standard infantry support machine gun and remained in service throughout WWII due to the insatiable desire for such weapons and the later MG42 not being produced in enough numbers.

The MG34 could be fed by a 50 round belt, 75 round drum with a rate of fire at 800-900 rounds per minute and could be fitted with a simple bipod or tripod for AA use or mounted on a Laffette in the sustained fire role.

There is now a choice of five replacement brass barrels for the MG34 with the release of the new ABER barrel (set #35 L-70) which includes two barrels for good value and I have updated this comparison review to include this new barrel on the scene.

The four barrel sets compared are from ABER (set #35 L-70), Adlers Nest (set #ANM-35006), armorscale (set #B35-030) and Schatton Modellbau (Set #3512) with all four having the barrel in two parts, the outer perforated jacket and inner barrel with the flash suppressor included. The ABER barrel also includes additional etched parts for the barrel fittings.

Note; Modelpoint also make a metal MG34 barrel (#MPT35100-1), but as I don't have access to this it is not included in this comparison.

The main difference in the parts is that the ABER and Adlers Nest barrels pass right through the cooling jacket to include the locating pin while the other two have the pin as part of the outer jacket with the barrel inserted inside the enclosed jacket, not a big deal really just a different approach.

Individual barrel parts
Adlers Nest
Schatton Modellbau

There is an issue with the armorscale barrel where the inner barrel section doesn’t extend all the way inside the cooling jacket and at certain angles you can see straight through the jacket.

The flash suppressor is hollowed out on all four but the armorscale flash suppressor is very shallow with quite thick edges and the Schatton Modellbau is a little deeper with the edges a little thinner while boht the ABER and Adlers Nest suppressors are much deeper with very thin edges and looks the better for this.

Flash suppressor details
ABER (left), Adlers Nest, armorscale and Schatton Modellbau (right)

ABERAdlers NestarmorscaleSchatton Modellbau

At the tip the armorscale and Schatton Modellbau are very plain with just a couple of indentations added and some raided ribs around the Schatton Modellbau barrel for as lightly better look. The Adlers Nest barrel has the two small flat sections at the side of the barrel tip and the two raised rib fittings at the front for the bipod attachment, also included are the small indented notches around the suppressor housing and the flat sides to the suppressor attachment at the front and the holes just before the flash suppressor for much more detailed barrel.

While the ABER barrel has some good detail it omits the flat sections included on the Adlers Nest barrel

There is another issue with the amrorscale barrel where the holes are not correctly postioned with those at the rear of the jacket in the wrong positions while correct on the other three.

Assembled barrels showing details
Adlers Nest
Schatton Modellbau
Image of actual barrel showing the details included on the Adlers Nest barrel.

The cooling jacket holes are cleanly machined on all barrels but there is a bit of excess metal on the inside of the ABER and armorscale barrels which can be trimmed off as you insert the inner barrel using the barrel as a plunger. But take care doing this initially and you may have to push the barrel in and out a few times to fully remove the fine burs.

The spacings of the holes on each barrel match reference photos with only very minor differences that are not really worth bothering with as there is nothing you can do about them anyway, apart from those mentioned above on the armorscale barrel.

Length wise the actually barrel length is 627 mm which is 17.914mm (18mm rounded) in 1:35 scale and all four differ slightly to this but are all under 1mm and so is not really a concern unless using the barrels together.

The actual lengths are give or take a fraction of millimetre;
ABER 17.8mm
Adlers Nest 17.25mm
armorscale 17.5mm
Schatton Modellbau 17.5mm

Fitting the barrel to the target gun is basically the same for all where you cut off the plastic/resin barrel drill a small hole and insert the brass barrel with a small drop of cyanoacrylate (super glue) to hold in place. You have to ensure with the Adlers Nest barrel that the small flat sections at the side are orientated correctly but as the others don’t have this detail they can just be glued in place.

Assembled barrels fitted to donor gun receiver showing details
Adlers Nest
Note see through look of the short inner barrel
Schatton Modellbau

The ABER barrel as mentioned has additional fine etched parts for the foresight, AA sight fitting and the bipod mounting bracket while for the other three you have to carefully cut off these smaller kit gun details from the donor gun to add to the metal barrels for the final detail touches.

ABER barrel fitted to the Dragon Gen2 MG34,
Note it comes with it's own etched details but lacks a few details as mentioned above.

Adlers Nest barrel fitted to the Dragon Gen2 MG34
with the finer details removed from donor gun and added to metal barrel

Adlers Nest
armorscale barrel on Dragon MG34 Gen2
with the finer details removed from donor gun and added to metal barrel.

Tank Model MG-34 set #A-13 fitting with the Schatton Modellbau barrel
Schatton Modellbau



All four offer improvements over plastic or resin barrels with the excellent definition of the cooling holes and inner barrel but the added details on the ABER and Adlers Nest barrels make these stand out from the others, with the two barrels in the ABER set adding to the value.

I would rate the new ABER barrel and the Adlers Nest barrel the better of those available with the Adlers Nest including additional detail not found on the other barrels while the ABER barrel has the etched fittings as well as providing two barrels in the set. The Adlers Nest barrel is slightly shorter but only fractionally and on a purely detail basis is the more accurate of those available.

The others are rather plain in comparison with the Schatton Modellbau rated third and the armorscale last due to the short inner barrel and the flash suppressor being overly thick and not fully opened out.

Page created July 30, 2006
Updated June 7, 2008