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Jim's New Lewis Gun - Just Added To Collection


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#1 dalbert

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:51 PM

I am posting this content for jimc351...this is his post, although my name appears on it. - David Albert

Here are some pictures of my Model 1914, .303, Lewis Light Machine Gun as
manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms in early 1918.



If most people are like me, when they see a picture of a Lewis Gun, two things catch their eye.

1. The stove pipe covering the barrel assembly, which give the impression of a water cooled MG. Incorrect,--its air cooled.
2. The flat pan magazine that rotates as the gun is fired.

The following pictures will show some of the less noticed details of the gun.




The second 2 pictures show the receiver/stock group complete. Right and left side. You will see the cocking handle on the left side view. It is reversible and can also be installed on the right side.




This next set of 2 pictures show a close up of the right and left side of the receiver. You will note the beautiful job of machining the contours. I can't think of another light machine gun with such elegant lines. While the 303 rd is 2 times longer than the 45 acp, the Lewis receiver is 2 inches shorter than the Thompson. At 11 3/8 inches the Lewis is more compact than most of its competitors which had large rectangular boxes, riveted together.



This picture shows the top of the receiver. It shows the mechanism that removes the rounds from the pan magazine, and feeds them into the chamber.



This is a picture of the receiver cover and rear sight, showing the model year and manufacturer.



This shows the rear end of the receiver showing the holes for the bolt and Op Rod.



This picture shows the bolt and Op Rod prtially withdrawn from the receiver.



This picture shows the receiver, bolt/Op Rod, trigger group, and clock spring.

The clock spring was a part that failed most frequently. That being said, there were 2 good reasons for using it. First; Col. Lewis feared that putting the spring under the barrel, as in the US M1 rifle, might result in over heating and loss of temper. Second; By not having the recoil spring in the stock, a spade grip could replace the buttstock. The spade grip was required for many applications, such as armored cars, aircraft, tanks, and anti-aircraft mounts.

I am told that the bolt/op rod design is used in the US M60 MG.

While the Lewis didn't have a quick change barrel as in newer guns, it had an
aluminum radiator covering the full lenght of the barrel. Air flowed freely thru the radiator. The aluminum radiator also acts as a giant heat sink that reduces overheating. Unfortunately, it also made the gun 10 lbs heavier.

Jim
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#2 Mike Venturino

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 05:23 PM

dalbert: Thanks for that. In 2010 I bought a Japanese Naval Type 92 Lewis gun in the infantry configuration. It runs perfectly for the few hundred rounds I've fired through it without cleaning. I finally found a manual on the Internet so perhaps now I can figure out how to take it down for cleaning.

Mike Venturino
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#3 jim c 351

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 05:48 PM

QUOTE (Mike Venturino @ Feb 3 2011, 05:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
dalbert: Thanks for that. In 2010 I bought a Japanese Naval Type 92 Lewis gun in the infantry configuration. It runs perfectly for the few hundred rounds I've fired through it without cleaning. I finally found a manual on the Internet so perhaps now I can figure out how to take it down for cleaning.

Mike Venturino


Mike,
Nice Lewis and super wife.
Check out www.youtube.com/user/c2builder.
Jim Taylor has a nice video on his site for disassembly/ assembly the Lewis gun, plus setting the clock spring.
Jim C
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#4 dalbert

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (Mike Venturino @ Feb 3 2011, 05:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
dalbert: Thanks for that. In 2010 I bought a Japanese Naval Type 92 Lewis gun in the infantry configuration. It runs perfectly for the few hundred rounds I've fired through it without cleaning. I finally found a manual on the Internet so perhaps now I can figure out how to take it down for cleaning.

Mike Venturino


Mike,

I saw you mention in your "600th Gun" article that your wife bought you a Japanese Lewis. Very cool!

I have a few different, original Lewis Gun manuals in stock at the moment.

David Albert
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#5 dalbert

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:05 PM

All,

I missed posting 2 of the Lewis Gun pictures yesterday, and they have been added to the original post.

David Albert
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#6 7.7x56r

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:26 AM

Jim C:
That is one beautiful Lewis Gun!!! I am very impressed!!! I am amazed at how much blueing is still left on it. I'm assuming it is a WW-II re-issue piece? I have never seen a Lewis that has been adapted to use a Bren sling? That's pretty cool! How many rounds have you fired through it so far? Run good? What type of ammo are you shooting through it? Is this your first Lewis? Sorry for all the questions but I'm a curious boy! I'm actually very excited for you. I remember what I felt like when the papers came through on mine. My head almost exploded!
Well, good luck with it, you certainly got a beauty and I'm sure it will run like a sewing machine!

Cheers!
Tess
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#7 jim c 351

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:28 PM

Jim C:
That is one beautiful Lewis Gun!!! I am very impressed!!! I am amazed at how much blueing is still left on it. I'm assuming it is a WW-II re-issue piece? I have never seen a Lewis that has been adapted to use a Bren sling? That's pretty cool! How many rounds have you fired through it so far? Run good? What type of ammo are you shooting through it? Is this your first Lewis? Sorry for all the questions but I'm a curious boy! I'm actually very excited for you. I remember what I felt like when the papers came through on mine. My head almost exploded!
Well, good luck with it, you certainly got a beauty and I'm sure it will run like a sewing machine!

Cheers!
Tess


Tess,
Thanks for the compliments, but please don't get too carried away. Doug Stump is jealous enough as it is.
Its a WW2 reissue and stamped with an "A" prefix serial number. Original number in the 73,xxx range
The BREN and Lewis sling are close to the same lenght and I decided on the original BREN sling instead of a repro Lewis sling. This was suggested by C2 builders in Texas.
I've fired about 1000 rds out of it so far. Mostly reloads with 175gr M72, 30 cal Match bullets, 35.5 gr 3031, CCI primers , Mixed cases, Rem/Win/PRI. I intend to really baby the gun. No long bursts.

Its very dependable with 7/9 drums . I'm working on the 2 problem drums and hope to solve the problem.
Its my one and only Lewis and my one and only LMG. I'm a steel plate SMG shooter who didn't want to discover that everyone had a LMG but me .
Thanks for the kind words and I'll try to figure out how to get the video posted.
Jim C
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#8 DougStump

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:12 PM

I finally got around to taking some better photos of my Lewis.

Posted Image

Posted Image

I tried to take a photo through the anti-aircraft sights, it didn't come out too good.

Posted Image
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#9 dalbert

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:13 PM

DougStump,

I really like your Lewis Gun! You know, I've been around them for years, and they never really have called out to me as a gun I would add to my collection, but seeing the pictures of yours today makes me think maybe I should acquire one sometime...
I like the patina on the shroud.

Very cool old machine gun...

David Albert
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#10 DougStump

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:39 PM

David,

The patina is remnants of the original trench applied camouflage paint. The Lewis is a very interesting MG, ands the only one that can do tricks. Show me another MG that can stand on its nose!
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#11 jim c 351

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:11 AM

David,

The patina is remnants of the original trench applied camouflage paint. The Lewis is a very interesting MG, ands the only one that can do tricks. Show me another MG that can stand on its nose!


Doug,
Nice pictures. Now we have proof positive that it was your Lewis that took down the "Red Baron".
Jim C
Doing any shooting or is it still too hot down there??
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#12 DougStump

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:21 AM

Jim,

Our MG range is closed until after deer season. The guy that lets us make noise on his land has a bunch of hunting leases out in the impact safety zone, for some reason he doesn’t want us to take out a paying customer.

I rebuilt an early Savage .30-06 pan; it had been taken apart in the past and was put back together with bolts. It needed flat head rivets that I had on hand, and luckily the rivet holes are the same spacing as the British pans so my assembly jig worked. It’s on it’s way back to the owner, everything seems OK but of course I couldn’t test it on my .303 Lewis.

Doug
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#13 jim c 351

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:27 AM

Jim,

Our MG range is closed until after deer season. The guy that lets us make noise on his land has a bunch of hunting leases out in the impact safety zone, for some reason he doesn’t want us to take out a paying customer.

I rebuilt an early Savage .30-06 pan; it had been taken apart in the past and was put back together with bolts. It needed flat head rivets that I had on hand, and luckily the rivet holes are the same spacing as the British pans so my assembly jig worked. It’s on it’s way back to the owner, everything seems OK but of course I couldn’t test it on my .303 Lewis.

Doug


Doug,
The Thompson boys have a man named Merle who is an expert drum repairman.
Looks like you are fast becoming the "go to guy" for Lewis pans. Congratulation.
Jim C
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#14 emmagee1917

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:29 PM

Next time you're out , put a target between the sights and have the camera focus on that , then remove it for your shot. That should bring the sights more into focus and blur the plane.
Chris
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#15 DougStump

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

Chris,

I tried that, but it still didn't come out that good. I'll try it on a sunny day so I can use a smaller apperature to get more depth of field. Or try putting the camera on a tripod so I can use a slower shutter speed. I love my Nikon D40, but I'm still learning its fine points.

Doug
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