Original British WWI .303 Lewis Gun MG Drum Pan Magazine
Original Item: These are quite scare today. Original standard British WWI era Lewis 47 round drum magazines for infantry use. Limited quantity available. Offered in very good to excellent condition. Will come packed in cosmoline for you to clean, as they have been stored for years. Markings vary.
The Lewis gun (or Lewis automatic machine gun or Lewis automatic rifle) is a World War I-era light machine gun of American design that was perfected and widely used by the British Empire. It was first used in combat in World War I, and continued in service with a number of armed forces through to the end of the Korean War. It is visually distinctive because of a wide tubular cooling shroud around the barrel - often omitted in World War I when used on aircraft - and a top-mounted drum-pan magazine. It was commonly used as an aircraft machine gun, almost always with the cooling shroud removed, during both world wars.
The Lewis gun used a pan magazine holding 47 or 97 rounds. Pan magazines hold the rounds in a radial fan. Unlike the more common drum magazines, which hold the rounds parallel to the axis and are fed by spring tension, pan magazines are mechanically indexed. The Lewis magazine was driven by a cam on top of the bolt which operated a pawl mechanism via a lever.
The Lewis gun was invented by US Army Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis in 1911, based on initial work by Samuel Maclean. Despite its origins, the Lewis gun was not initially adopted by the American militarymost likely because of political differences between Lewis and General William Crozier, the Chief of the Ordnance Department. Lewis became frustrated with trying to persuade the US Army to adopt his design and so ("slapped by rejections from ignorant hacks", as he said), retired from the army. He left the United States in 1913 and headed to Belgium, where he established the Armes Automatique Lewis company in Liège to facilitate commercial production of the gun. Lewis had been working closely with British arms manufacturer The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) in an effort to overcome some of the production difficulties of the weapon. The Belgians bought a small number of Lewises in 1913, using the .303 British round, and in 1914, BSA purchased a license to manufacture the Lewis machine gun in England, which resulted in Col. Lewis receiving significant royalty payments and becoming very wealthy. Lewis and his factory moved to England before 1914, away from possible seizure in the event of a German invasion. The Belgian Army acquired only a handful of his guns, probably only just in double figures. They were not on general issue in the Belgian Army. They were used only in a few forays by motor vehicles, south of Antwerp, against the flank of the invading German Army.
The onset of World War I increased demand for the Lewis gun, and BSA began production (under the designation Model 1914). The design was officially approved for service on 15 October 1915 under the designation "Gun, Lewis, .303-cal. No Lewis guns were produced in Belgium during World War I; all manufacture was carried out by BSA in England and the Savage Arms Company in the US.
This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York
This product is not available for international shipping.
- Magazines are stored and shipped from our PA location
High Capacity Magazine Laws & Restrictions
Due to State & Federal law we do not ship magazines that exceed the following capacities to the following locations, and a deactivated magazine will be sent:
California - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Colorado - 15 round maximum for all magazines.
Connecticut - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Hawaii - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Illinois - 15 round maximum for Chicago and Aurora. 10 round maximum for Oak Park and Cook County.
Maryland - 20 round maximum for all magazines.
Massachusetts - 10 round maximum for all magazines
New Jersey - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
New York- 10 round maximum for all magazines.
Washington, D.C. - 10 round maximum for all magazines.
International- No gun magazines can be exported from the USA.
- Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon