Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Plastic Muzzle Covers - Bakelite??


Topic:



Topic author: arisakadogs
Subject: Plastic Muzzle Covers - Bakelite??
Posted on: 03/17/2005 10:49:25 PM
Message:
I've been curious about this for some time. These muzzle covers are often described as being made of Bakelite. I did some research on Bakelite & found that it will not deform or crack. It will break, but not crack. Well, we often see these muzzle covers that are deformed (from being left on the rifle for too long) and many are cracked in the square cutout. Bakelite is a thermal-setting plastic & has a very high resistance to heat. I daresay these muzzle covers probably do not. I suspect these are another form of early plastic like maybe gutta-percha. Hope to generate some good input on this!

Replies:

Reply author: leondes
Replied on: 03/18/2005 01:30:30 AM
Message:
Hi Rob,

I think the standard muzzle covers are some sort of a composition plastic type material. They did make some bakelite muzzle covers but they seem to be rare.

Here is a link to pictures of my one example. I have heard of others. You can lightly tap on the muzzle covers with a hard instrument and definitely hear the difference between the "standard" and the "bakelite" covers.

http://lmd-militaria.com/page90.html

Regards, Leon

Reply author: Ronin48
Replied on: 03/18/2005 07:57:49 AM
Message:
Dog, Give Jim Langley a call. Don't remember the details (As Garfield says, I have a mind like a sieve!) but Jim was repairing (?) an original cover for someone. He eiher turned in a lathe or heated it or, but he said the smell was something very distinctive and he mentioned what the composition was. Let us know what the "Ancienthombre" says.

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 03/18/2005 08:48:14 AM
Message:
Leon, now THAT looks like Bakelite! Never seen one of those before!

Eloldefartuno, I'll check with Jim. Thanks!

Reply author: Jareth
Replied on: 03/18/2005 09:12:11 AM
Message:
The type of cover Leon & I have is made from a different material than the standard green/brown covers. Mine looks like it might even have a swirl of wood chips/dust mixed in! I've only seen two others like this & they were brown in color & a bit thicker than normal.

Reply author: GunNut1975
Replied on: 03/18/2005 1:11:47 PM
Message:
Hi guys,From personal experience I can tell you when you heat Bakelite it smells like burning hair.Not very plesent,but very distinctive.Totally off topic but the Germans had field trials with Mauser Kar98K rifles with stocks made entirley from Bakelite!They did it to save weight but the stocks proved too fragile.I/O has one listed on their site for a heinous ammount of money.

Reply author: leondes
Replied on: 03/18/2005 2:52:26 PM
Message:
Hi gunnut1975,

The K98k stocks that you are referring to were actually made of phenolic resin over a canvas type material. Still pretty hard but not as brittle as bakelite.

This is OT but here is a link to pictures of one.

http://lmd-militaria.com/page80.html

Regards, Leon

Reply author: 03man
Replied on: 03/18/2005 3:20:57 PM
Message:
I didn't want to go back there, but I pulled out my organic chemistry book to check out Bakelite.
Bakelite is the commercial name for phenol-formaldehyde resin. Later related plastics and resins were formulated using different types of phenol molecules. So you are all really talking about varieties of the same generic family of resins. Pigments or extenders(fibers) can be added, or it can be used to infuse canvas as noted in the stocks above. This type resin is brittle and as someone pointed out, does not melt but rather burns, giving off nasty fumes in the process. It is not a thermoplastic resin, which by definition deforms when heated and resolidifies when cooled, without undergoing any basic change in chemistry. Hope this helps a little.

Reply author: leondes
Replied on: 03/18/2005 5:42:02 PM
Message:
Hi 03man,

Thanks for the information. It was my understanding that they were different. The material that the K98k stock is made of sure seems to be softer than say, P.38 grips but I guess I must stand corrected.

Regards, Leon

Reply author: GunNut1975
Replied on: 03/18/2005 6:45:51 PM
Message:
The one being advertised for eccentric ammounts of money on I/O's web site has a black stock.Different materiel?Coloring compound?Just curious.

Reply author: leondes
Replied on: 03/18/2005 7:06:46 PM
Message:
Hi gunnut1975,

I almost hate to comment at this point (HAHA) but I do believe all the stocks were originally a reddish brown color. I would like to examine that black stock but I suspect it was either exposed to something that changed the color or it was painted at some point. They were experimental and most were damaged from trials. It is possible that the stock had a lot of repair that showed up as a different color and someone tried to make it look better. Just a WAG.

BTW, the last example of the resin (Bakelite) stocked K98ks that was original to the period that I know of that sold went for $12K and it was duffle bag cut and had a mismatched part. It was a nice looking gun, from what I was told.

Regards, Leon

Reply author: GunNut1975
Replied on: 03/18/2005 7:51:43 PM
Message:
Hi Leon,The rifle in question is on Interordnance.com .Do a search.I put in the list price($14,000)and it popped up.In the picture,the stock was a VERY dark brown or black.All matching numbers except bolt.(According to them).Interesting gun.http://www.interordnance.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=INTERORDNANCE.com&Product_Code=K98PS100

Reply author: leondes
Replied on: 03/18/2005 8:19:11 PM
Message:
Hi gunnut1975,

I have seen that rifle before on their site. I believe I know where it came from and, if it is the same rifle, it was supposed to be in pretty poor condition. From what I heard, they bought it for about $5K. I would love to actually examine it. Thanks for the link.

Regards, Leon

Reply author: GunNut1975
Replied on: 03/18/2005 10:09:35 PM
Message:
No problem with the link Leon,I'd like to get my hands on that rifle too.If I ever win the lottery.....By the way, I enjoyed the links you posted earlier.Very good pix of an interesting gun.Stock looks almost like modern fiberglass casting.Rather advanced for late 1930's.Too bad it didn't work.

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 03/18/2005 10:29:31 PM
Message:
So - any ideas of what the green & brown covers are made of??


Reply author: 03man
Replied on: 03/19/2005 07:23:28 AM
Message:
Plastic, probably polystyrene. Have you ever tried to "glue" one with model airplane cement? If it works its pretty sure that it is polystyrene. Other early "plastic" could be plexiglass(polycarbonate) with pigment added, or melamine. Guess you have figured out I don't know.

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 03/19/2005 09:57:08 AM
Message:



quote: Originally posted by 03man

Plastic, probably polystyrene. Have you ever tried to "glue" one with model airplane cement? If it works its pretty sure that it is polystyrene. Other early "plastic" could be plexiglass(polycarbonate) with pigment added, or melamine. Guess you have figured out I don't know.

Thanks, I kinda had the plastic part figured out.
Has polystyrene been around long enough? Pexiglass is an interesting possibility. Any chemists among us?

Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 03/19/2005 10:05:05 AM
Message:


quote: Originally posted by Eloldehombre1

Dog, Give Jim Langley a call. Don't remember the details (As Garfield says, I have a mind like a sieve!) but Jim was repairing (?) an original cover for someone. He eiher turned in a lathe or heated it or, but he said the smell was something very distinctive and he mentioned what the composition was. Let us know what the "Ancienthombre" says.

Just heard from the "Ancienthombre". He says you must have finally ODed on cheap beer - as he hasn't a clue what you're talking about!

Reply author: 03man
Replied on: 03/19/2005 2:58:59 PM
Message:
I was worried a little about polystyrene, it is not that strong. Did a search on plastic history and guess what pops up, the oldest commercial plastic:
Celluloid, been around since 1866, tough enough to make billiard balls, and if formulated right, flexible enough to make photographic film.
I am now inclined to say the "common" plastic covers are made of celluloid.

Commercial introduction of other old plastics: Bakelite since 1907, vinyl since 1929, Pvc since 1926, nylon since 1939, polyethylene in quantity since 1936.

I used to be a chemist, but I forgot.

Reply author: RayG_Wisconsin
Replied on: 03/19/2005 3:30:42 PM
Message:
My muzzle cover is cracked and bent. I tried heating it in hot water to try to straighten it but it would not move. My guess, maybe made of Celluloid. I think a plastic material would have bent a little when heated. Ray


Reply author: arisakadogs
Replied on: 03/19/2005 3:43:17 PM
Message:
Very cool! Thank you all!!

Reply author: 03man
Replied on: 03/20/2005 08:56:21 AM
Message:
One last post, maybe. All these materials we have been discussing are "plastics". Thermoplastics can be heated and deformed, cooled and re set, multiple times. Thermosetting plastics are deformable when initially heated or producted, and set when cooled; reheating has no (or little) effect.

The deformation in Ray G's cover would be consistant with a thermoset plastic, like celluloid of a Hard fromulation. The deformation being from the spring tension and gradual over months or years.

Reply author: Fred J. Wahl
Replied on: 03/21/2005 12:53:39 AM
Message:
Hi, All,
I vaguely remember reading something, MANY years ago, that one of the first, or perhaps THE first use of plastic, was on the MP-38 or MP-40 Schmeisser 9 mm Subgun barrel, it's purpose was to act either as a "heat sink", or protector of some sort! At 68 years old, my memory is not what it once was, but think it was an article in the NRA's "American Rifleman" magazine. I have seen one, and if memory serves me correctly, it was a reddish color, and had a "L" shape, mounted directly under the barrel.
Cheers,
Fred (Honcho)

Reply author: 03man
Replied on: 03/21/2005 08:04:14 AM
Message:
Fred,
your memory is pretty good, except the piece was aluminum and indeed was a heatsink/suppport.

Reply author: garfield
Replied on: 03/21/2005 4:01:00 PM
Message:
Fred:

I believe your memory served you rather well. Quoting from The MP40 Maschinenpistole, Frank Iannamico, at page 45:

"Another new feature was a resting bar located under the barrel. This bar was to aid in firing from the side of an armored vehicle or similiar cover. Some early MP38 and MP40 examples have resting bars made of aluminium and even sheet metal stampings. The resting bars were later changed to a plastic fiber material. The plastic fiber worked better in absorbing the vibration created when firing while resting against the armor of a vehicle."

Reply author: CW
Replied on: 03/21/2005 6:39:18 PM
Message:
Another old plastic substitute is celuloid. I used to have an old celluloid box from the 20's that had a warped lid. maybe this is a similar form of plastic?


Gunboards : http://old.gunboards.com/
© 2000-2006 Gunboards



 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Top