to manufacture and market what, is considered by most students of military small arms, the world's first successful light machine gun--the Let Maskingevaer Madsen (Madsen Light Machine Rifle
As a consequence, the United States Expeditionary Force was initially armed with the truly dreadful Chauchat Machine Rifle
, chambered for the 8mm Lebel rimmed cartridge.
It was with great interest that I read Richard Venola's May "Rounds Down-range." I'm sure he's aware of the .345 Machine Rifle
designed by Frank Burton in the 1916-17 period.
While the excellent Lewis light machine gun was available at the time, the vast majority of American soldiers were equipped with French automatic arms, primarily the Hotchkiss Mitrailleuse Modele 1914 machine gun and the Fusil Mitrailleur Modele 1915 (Chauchat) machine rifle
The Light Machine Rifle
used a variation of the rifle's unique action but suitably strengthened, and used a spring loaded magazine to improve feeding.
Performance of the new Lewis gun quickly overshadowed that of the Benet-Mercie machine rifle
, the only other light automatic in widespread Allied use.
Their squad automatic arm was the .30 caliber FN Type D machine rifle
, a modified look-alike of the U.S.
military parlance as a "Machine Rifle
" it was easily designed to be transportable and would fill the void between the effective--but heavy and cumbersome --belt-fed machine guns and the bolt-action service rifle.
This concept, familiar from the Browning Auto-5, but rarely used to operate military firearms, is the key to understanding what became known as the Chauchat Machine Rifle
On May 1, 1917, the United States Army, which had entered the Allied war effort against Germany less than a month earlier, officially adopted a prototype "machine rifle
" developed privately by genius firearms inventor John M.
At time of the film the Army possessed only 1,100 machine guns including the Model 1909 Benet-Mercie Machine Rifle
, Model 1904 Maxim and Model 1895 Colt machine guns.