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Lewis Gun 1916 Lewis Gun 1916. Invented in the USA in1911 by Colonel Isaac Lewis, he could not interest the US Army in his weapon. He started to manufacture his gun in Belgium and then moved to the UK just before the start of WW1. The Lewis was one of the most effective light machine guns used during the war. It was light enough to be carried by one man to provide fire support after an advance, before the heavy machine guns could be brought forward. It was also light enough to be carried in aircraft. This animation show the operating mechanism. The Lewis is a gas operated machine gun, using a coiled spring to force the bolt forward on firing. Aluminium fins around the barrel provide cooling. The Lewis has a 47 round drum magazine, increased to 94 rounds on aircraft guns.

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