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Well, my 8mm French Chauchat finally cleared transfer, as did my application to reactivate it. This was a “dewat”, or “Deactivated War Trophy” – a machine gun put on the NFA registry but modified to be non-firing. This is not the same as legal destruction, as the receiver of the gun remained intact. The method of deactivation on such things can very significantly; in this case the chamber was plugged with weld, the bolt face welded up, and the barrel extension welded to the receiver. I did have an intact spare bolt and barrel assembly, however.
I removed the weld holding the barrel assembly in place, cleaned it up a bit, and dropped in my new parts.
Legal note: this was done after the receipt of an approved Form 5 from ATF, complete with tax stamp.
Today I took it out to the range for the first time, to see if any further work would be needed. And yeah, there was a bit of tweaking necessary. The feeding and extraction are solid, but the ejection requires some work. So, after swapping in a better extractor, I headed back to the range for another test run.
This time is ran great, with the exception of one bad magazine (3 of 4 being 100% reliable is better than I expected, given their age and construction). So now, I have a fully functioning Chauchat and three known-good magazines. Next up? Two-gun match! Stay tuned…
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At Forgotten Weapons I think the most interesting guns out there are the most obscure ones. I try to search out experimental and prototype weapons and show you how they work, in addition to more conventional guns that you may not have heard of before. You’re much more likely to find a video on the Cei Rigotti or Webley-Fosbery here than an AR or Glock. So, do you want to learn about something new today? Then stick around!