Browning 1895 ‘Potato digger’

John Browning’s 1893 patent for an automatic machine gun was taken up by the Colt company, resulting in the Colt-Browning 1895 machine gun. Initially chambered for the 6 mm Lee Navy cartridge, it was later converted to fire a variety of cartridges, including the .30-06 Springfield and British .303 rifle cartridge. The initial design was built with a very heavy barrel to absorb the heat of firing. Rate of fire was about 400 rounds per minute. When used on a low profile tripod, the swing arm had a tendency to dig into the mud, giving the gun the nickname ‘potato digger’. In 1914, the design was revised to use an easily replaceable finned barrel. The Colt 1895 had limited use in WW1.

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