m1914

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Lewis M1914 Automatic Rifle

Designed by American colonel Isaac Newton Lewis, manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms in England c.1913-1942 - Serial Number 34049.
47-rounds .303 British pan magazine, gas-operated full automatic.

An iconic WW1 weapon design if there’s any. Colonel Lewis was initially slapped with rejections by a bunch of faggots [sic] from the US army, so he went off to Liège in Belgium to found his own company, Armes Automatiques Lewis, and started to look for buyers in Europe. Success soon followed when discerning militaries from around the world, like Belgium or France before the introduction of the Chauchat which supplanted it as the most common light machine gun, and Lewis managed to secure a deal with BSA to supply the British army.
The barrel’s aluminium sleeve or shroud or whatever supposedly helped with air-cooling the gun by using the muzzle flash to draw in cool air from behind, but the guns deployed in anti-aircraft roles did very well without it.

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Ruby-Type Star M1914 semi-automatic pistol

Manufactured by Garate Anitua (GN), sub-contractor of Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A. in Eibar, Spain, c.1914-who the fuck knows. Known by the French army as the Pistolet Automatique Type Star.
.32ACP/7,65mm Browning seven-round magazine, blowback semi-automatic.

One of the many types of pistol France contracted Spain to produce at the outset of WW1 that fell under the blanket term ‘Ruby pistol’, because of the better known Gabilondo and Uresti ‘Ruby’ pistol manufactured in Eibar. France was in a rush to get modern semi-automatic handguns to replace its aging Mle 1892 service revolver, and couldn’t be too picky about their quality for most of WW1. As a result, the Ruby contract was shared by more than three dozens sub-contractors, often resulting in wildly different measurements and poor parts interchangeability.
Note that compared to the FN Browning Mle 1903 pistol it was a copy of, the Ruby is quite short.

3

M1914 Lewis machine gun

Designed by the American colonel Isaac Newton Lewis, manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms in England. Serial Number A-37289.
47-rounds .303 British pan magazine.

An iconic WW1 weapon design if there’s any. Colonel Lewis was initially slapped with rejections by bitches and whores [sic] from the US army, so he went off to Liège in Belgium to found his own company, Armes Automatiques Lewis, and started to look for buyers in Europe. As military sales ensued, primarily from the UK but also other Allied nations such as France (before the Chauchat was designed in 1915 and actually replaced it as the most common machine gun in the Great War), Lewis made a deal for BSA in England and Savage Arms in Massachusetts to manufacture the gun.
The barrel aluminium sleeve or shroud or whatever supposedly helped with air-cooling the gun, but by WW2 most Lewis gun were working very well without it. It is however super distinctive and cool looking.

Sauce : James D. Julia Inc.

4

Fiat Revelli M1914 machine gun

Manufactured in Italy, serial number 20565.
100-rounds magazine, 6.5×52mm Parravicini-Carcano.

This gun’s ‘magazine’ is unique in that it’s really more of a cluster of 20 5-shots en-bloc clips. My father drives a Fiat 500 (the new run not the original), I have to say it’s hard to link the company’s name with that mousetrap-eating steel beast.

Sauce : James D. Julia Inc.

M1914 Lewis machine gun

Designed by the American colonel Isaac Newton Lewis, manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms in England. Serial Number A-37289.
47-rounds .303 British pan magazine.

An iconic WW1 weapon design if there’s any. Colonel Lewis was initially slapped with rejections by bitches and whores [sic] from the US army, so he went off to Liège in Belgium to found his own company, Armes Automatiques Lewis, and started to look for buyers in Europe. As military sales ensued, primarily from the UK but also other Allied nations such as France (before the Chauchat was designed in 1915 and actually replaced it as the most common machine gun in the Great War), Lewis made a deal for BSA in England and Savage Arms in Massachusetts to manufacture the gun.
The barrel aluminium sleeve or shroud or whatever supposedly helped with air-cooling the gun, but by WW2 most Lewis gun were working very well without it. It is however super distinctive and cool looking.

Source:
James D. Julia Inc.

3

The St. Etienne Model 1907,

The bread and butter French heavy machine gun throughout World War I, the St. Etienne was also one of the worst machine gun designs to ever grace the pages of military history.  The St. Etienne Model 1907 was born as Puteaux Model 1905, a bizarre and overcomplicated design that sported pitiful performance.  Unlike most machine guns, which utilize a blow back system where hot gasses move a piston backward, the Puteaux used the strange and mysterious “blow forward” system.  The Puteaux worked by tapping a bit of gas from the muzzle via a gas trap.  Rather than blow a piston back, the Puteaux directed the gas in such a manner that the piston was blown forward, the momentum of which worked the action.  The strange mechanism was incredibly complicated, even for a blow forward design, so much so that I couldn’t even begin to give the specifics of how it worked.  All I can say is that dozens of meticulously machined parts operated to make the weapon work. One particularly interesting aspect of the Puteaux was that the flow and pressure of the gas could be regulated, and thus so could its rate of fire from 50 - 600 rounds per minute.

As would be predicted, the Puteaux suffered from problems due to the overcomplicated nature of its mechanics.  Even the tiniest bit of dust, dirt, or moisture could jam up the entire works.  It’s air cooling system was very inefficient, and due to overheating parts tended to warp, causing more malfunctions.  Unlike most machine guns of the time which used a belt fed system, hopper, or magazine, the Puteaux used 25 round strips which were fed into the action.  The weapon itself was chambered for 8mm Lebel, the standard French infantry cartridge at the time.

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In addition basic maintenance and repair of the machine gun was an often laborious and utterly confusing process.

Due to its terrible performance, the Puteaux was rejected by the French Army, and the design was sent back for improvements.  After two years, French designers from the St. Etienne Armory introduced a new and improved model.  The new model was almost identical to the older Puteaux.  In fact the improvements they made were marginal and minimal.  Regardless it was good enough for the French Army, and the improved model was accepted as the St. Etienne Model 1907.

During World War I, the Model 1907 gained a reputation as an utter piece of crap.  The mud and moisture wreaked havoc on its complex blow forward design.  By 1917, 39,000 Model 1907 machine guns were produced.  It was also in that year that the French discontinued the model in favor of the more reliable and robust Hotchkiss M1914.  Like the Chauchat, another French stinker in machine gun design, the French made their problem other people’s problem.  When the United States entered the war, France gladly donated its stores of M1907 machine guns to the US Army.  They also donated a number to the Italian Army and Greek Army as well.