Original U.S. WWI .30-06 Lewis Gun 47 Round Drum Pan Magazine

Regular price $995.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Very Few Available. 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 WW1 Lewis Light Machine Gun, be it British .303 caliber or U.S. .30-06 caliber issue,

is a rare bird today and hugely sought after in that the First World War is now 100 years in the past.

The infantry Lewis guns were issued with 47 round shallow pan magazines while Aircraft used a much larger and deeper 97 round drum magazine. Interestingly today British 97 drums never seem to appear only the 47 round version and in the U.S. the reverse seems true. One sees 97 round .30-06 U.S. Drums now and again, but almost never the 47 round version.

By great good fortune we have been able to acquire just a few of these very scarce 47 round .30-06 USA manufactured Lewis Gun Pan Magazines.

Each is fully marked on inside:

PAT. MAR. 21.1903 - OCT. 22. 1912

30, U.S.

Each offered in very good condition.

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 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 its wide tubular cooling shroud around the barrel and its 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 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 military—most likely because of political differences between Lewis and General William Crozier, the Chief of the Ordnance Department.[2] 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.

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