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Machine Guns - 1

Please note that the weapons listed are not on display at the Museum

Weapon No 123
7.92 mm MG 34 on Tripod

Designed by Mauser, at the direction of the Waffen Armt, this was the first general purpose machine gun to be manufactured in large quantities. It's design incorporates many of the best features of previously developed weapons and has some outstanding features of its own, eg a good method of changing barrels, a simple method of field stripping, major components held together with bayonet type catches and many others. After the end of the 1914-18 war the Treaty of Versailles prohibited the Germans from making heavy machine guns, they got around this by producing this model which could be called a light machine gun. It was developed at the Solothurn factory in Switzerland and is recoil operated, assisted by gas.

Weapon No 124
6.5 mm Colt/Browning M1895/1914

The first 'successful' gas operated machine gun, from a basic design by John Moses Browning offered to Colt by Browning in November 1890.

The first Colt 95 model was nicknamed the 'Potato Digger', a name it still carries in some of the far corners of the world, where models of this gun are still in use. The name derives from the fact that there is a very heavy operating lever below the barrel which swings in a half arc. If the tripod is set too low, or the earth happens to be soft at the point of mounting, under progressive fire the tripod burrows in and the operating lever will churn up the ground.

These Colt 'Potato Diggers' were the decisive element that saved the lives of the inhabitants of the Foreign Legations at Peking in the Boxer Uprising.

Weapon No 125
Italian Breda Model 37.8 mm Heavy MG

Although it has some peculiar features, it was by far the best of the Italian machine guns used in World War 2. A gas operated gun, it is fed by feed trays from which the empty case is reinserted before the feed tray is ejected. The reason for this tidy arrangement is rather mysterious, since the utility of feed trays with empty cartridge cases to a heavy machine gun crew in battle is as useful as a deep freeze to an Eskimo. Be that as it may, this Model 37 was a very reliable weapon and was used in varying climate conditions with good results. This model in 7.92 mm calibre was made for Portugal and was designated the Model 1938 by them.

Weapon No 126
6.5 mm Breda Model 1924 (LMG)

This is one of the first Italian light machine guns. It is, except in details such as the stock and use of a thumb operated trigger, basically the same as the 6.5 mm Model 1930 Breda, which was the standard Italian light machine gun in World War 2.

Weapon No 127
7.62 mm SGM (Modernised SG 43) Goryunov

REME Weapon 126 - 7.62 mm SGM (Modernised SG 43) Goryunov

A modified Goryunov SG 43, which appeared during World War 2 and has replaced the Maxim M1910 water cooled gun in the Soviet Army. The older model (SG 43) is apparently still in service in the USSR along with this one. The original Guryunov had a wheeled mount that could be fitted with a shield. This modernised model appeared with two mounts, a wheeled mount and a light tripod mount. As a matter of interest, it should be noted that the Soviets use the term 'Ruchnoi', which means hand, for light machine guns, and the term 'Stankovy', which means mounted, ie a gun on a mount.

Weapon No 128
Fiat 8 mm M35 (Revelli) MG

Although essentially a modified Revelli Model 1914, many of these Model 35 are actually converted model 1914, but some are of new manufacture. This was not a successful gun and it was in fact worse than Model 1914. Unlike the Model 1914, it fires from a closed bolt with resultant cookoffs after periods of sustained fire. This gun earned the nickname of 'Knuckle-buster' because of the hazardous proposition of clearing the gun with a cartridge in a hot barrel. Needless to say, the weapon is no longer in service.

Weapon No 129
7.92 mm Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)

REME Weapon 129 - 7.92 mm Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) REME Weapon 129 Detail - 7.92 mm Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)

Produced by FA since the early twenties, this is the equivalent of a light machine gun. Prior to World War 2 the Model 30 was manufactured in the greatest quantity at the Fabrique Nationale D'armes de Guerre of Herstal in Belgium. These weapons were used by many countries throughout the world.

Weapon No 130
Rifle 30 inch Browning M1918

REME Weapon 130 - Rifle 30 inch Browning M1918

There are actually four basic Browning Automatic Rifles (BAR) which have been officially adopted by the United States. This Model 1918 has no bipod, is capable of selective fire and is relatively light (16 lbs;, 7 kg) compared with later models. A simple tube type flash hider is used. There is no shoulder support strap hinged to the butt-plate and the rear sight and butt-plate are similar to those of the 1917 Enfield Rifle.

Weapon No 131
Hotchkiss 7 mm LMG M 1922

REME Weapon 131 - Hotchkiss 7 mm LMG M 1922 REME Weapon 131 Detail - Hotchkiss 7 mm LMG M 1922

The Hotchkiss is a basic weapon, with the French type being heavy and unwieldy. This one, of 7 mm Calibre, was used in Spain.

Weapon No 133
7.9 mm Browning MG Model 38

REME Weapon 133 - 7.9 mm Browning MG Model 38 REME Weapon 133 Detail - 7.9 mm Browning MG Model 38

Another product of Fabrique Nationale D'Armes de Guerre, these were produced for Poland. Polish Browning guns are basically the same as those used by the United States.

Weapon No 134
.30 inch Chauchat LMG M1918 CSRG

REME Weapon 134 - .30 inch Chauchat LMG M1918 CSRG REME Weapon 134 Detail - .30 inch Chauchat LMG M1918 CSRG

United States Forces used this weapon during World War 1, purchasing 15,988 in 8 mm and 19,641 in .30 inch calibre. The latter were made specifically for the United States Army and have a straight 16 round box magazine rather than the crescent shaped magazine required by the rim and taper of the French 8 mm cartridge. The gun was adopted by Belgium in 7.65 mm form after World War 1 and by Greece, where it was called the Gladiator in 8 mm Lebel. The Americans called it the 'Shosho', whereas the English call it the Chauchard.

Weapon No 135
7.5 mm Chatelleraut 1924 M29

REME Weapon 135 - 7.5 mm Chatelleraut 1924 M29 REME Weapon 135 Detail - 7.5 mm Chatelleraut 1924 M29

Called an Automatic Rifle by the French and used as the Squad Automatic Weapon, it had extensive combat use and is a very popular weapon with French troops. The basic design, except for the top mounted magazine and the double trigger, is quite similar to the US Browning Automatic Rifle Model 1918. The original Model 1924 was issued chambered for the 7.5 mm Model 24 cartridge. When the cartridge was shortened, the machine gun was modified to chamber the new cartridge and redesignated Model 1924 M29. This weapon may be found in any of the former French colonies or mandates.

Weapon No 136
8 mm (Madsen) M1929 LMG

REME Weapon 136 - 8 mm (Madsen) M1929 LMG REME Weapon 136 Detail - 8 mm (Madsen) M1929 LMG

One of many variations of the Madsen machine guns, which have been among the most popular in the world since their introduction in the early 1900s. These guns are expensive to manufacture and require quality ammunition for reliability of function. These factors limited its use amongst the major powers during the World Wars. In 1926 Madsen produced a water cooled model, a quantity of which were sold to Chile. Madsen machine guns have been sold to 34 different countries in a dozen different calibres. One model was made for the Dutch East Indies Forces, which were captured and used by the Japanese.

Weapon No 137
7.62 mm DP LMG

REME Weapon 137 - 7.62 mm DP LMG REME Weapon 137 Detail - 7.62 mm DP LMG

The first originally developed Soviet machine gun which appeared in 1926. The prefix 'DP' indicates a 'Degtyarev' machine gun for infantry use. There was also a 'DT' version for use in tanks and a 'DA' for use in aircraft. The 'DT' model may still be found on older Soviet armoured vehicles in the Soviet satellites.

Weapon No 138
Rifle 7.92 mm (BAR) Browning Auto Rifle

REME Weapon 138 - Rifle 7.92 mm (BAR) Browning Auto Rifle REME Weapon 138 Detail - Rifle 7.92 mm (BAR) Browning Auto Rifle

The same as the Browning Automatic Rifle (Weapon No 129), but manufactured in Poland during the German occupation in 1940 with only one or two design changes in design.

Weapon No 373
7.62 mm DP LMG

REME Weapon 373 - 7.62 mm DP LMG REME Weapon 373 Detail - 7.62 mm DP LMG

Detail as for Weapon No 137.

Weapon No 374
MG GEW-MOD SM (Parabellum) 1913

Detail as for Weapon No 161.

Weapon No 891
Machine Gun Maschinengewehr Modell 13

REME Weapon 891 - Machine Gun Maschinengewehr Modell 13 REME Weapon 891 Detail - Machine Gun Maschinengewehr Modell 13

An air-cooled rebuild of an old World War 1 Dreyse MG15 water-cooled machine gun. It entered service with the German Army in 1932, but by 1938 most of these guns, known as the MG13, were sold off to Portugal. Some, however, remained and were used in small numbers by various second-line units. Others cropped up on the second-hand market. From this latter source some were obtained by Russia and others were used by various resistance forces.


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Page produced by Peter Eldred - Last updated 3 August 2004