Charming the Belgian Rattlesnake: Firing a Lewis Gun (VIDEOS)

The Lewis was designed by a U.S. Army officer but initially couldn’t get any love in the states, but would you like to see one along with its PITA pan mag in action?

The Lewis light machine gun was a construct of one Col.Isaac Newton Lewis in 1911. Unable to pass it on to the Army here in the U.S., he marketed the gun overseas where it was produced by BSA and others. Easily identifiable by its aluminum barrel-shroud and 47-round top-mounted pan magazine that rotates as it fires, the Germans nicknamed the Lewis “The Belgian Rattlesnake” when they heard it in action in 1914 with the Brits opposing them in Belgium. The USMC adopted them briefly and the Navy used some well into WWII, but most Lewis guns served in the militaries of allies rather than the Colonel’s own country.

The above video, from the fine firearms collectors over at C&Rsenal, is an excerpt from their Primer series on classic service weapons and Mae gives it a spin. You remember Mae, don’t you?

Would you like to know more?

Othais and Mae with C&Rsenal have an in-depth (hour and a half) video on the ‘Snake and Mr. Samuel McClean (who worked up the general idea before Lewis) below that will take you through your lunch break and then some. Enjoy!