The Lewis gun (or Lewis automatic machine gun or Lewis automatic rifle) is a First World War-era light machine gun of US design that was perfected and mass-produced in the United Kingdom, and widely used by British and British Empire troops during the war. With its distinctive barrel cooling shroud and top mounted pan magazine, the Lewis saw service to the end of the Korean War. It was also widely used as an aircraft machine gun, almost always with the cooling shroud removed, during both world wars.
Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis
The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited
|MANUFACTURER||The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited or BSA|
Savage Arms Co.
Light Infantry Pattern
|WEIGHT||28 pounds (13 kg)|
|LENGTH||50.5 inches (1,280 mm)|
|BARREL LENGTH||26.5 inches (670 mm)|
|WIDTH||4.5 inches (110 mm)|
|RATE OF FIRE||500–600 rounds/min|
|MUZZLE VELOCITY||2,440 feet per second (740 m/s)|
|EFFECTIVE FIRING RANGE||880 yards (800 m)|
|MAXIMUM FIRING RANGE||3,500 yards (3,200 m)|
|FEED SYSTEM||47- or 97-round pan magazine|
|SIGHTS||Blade and tangent leaf|
Street and Menzies examine an Anti Aircraft Lewis Mk II at Puckapunyal (June 1940).
A soldier firing a Lewis gun over a parapet of sandbags at an enemy aircraft.
Renescure, France. Unidentified soldiers from the 28th Battalion training with Lewis guns (Sept 1917).
A Machine Gun Company gun post on the lookout for enemy aircraft in the Ypres salient. One Australian is using binoculars whilst another mans a Lewis gun under the spotters directions. In the distance on the right is Bellewaarde Lake and in the background to the left is Chateau Wood (Sept 1917).