Image courtesy of Australian War Memorial. Lewis Gun[/caption]
This particular weapon is a highly significant relic of the Australian Imperial Force. In the hands of a known number of Australian soldiers it played a role in the complete service history of a highly decorated South Australian unit, the 27th Battalion, on the Western Front from 1916-1918.
Weighing in around 13 kilograms fully loaded with a distinctive round shaped magazine containing 47 rounds of ammunition, the Lewis Gun was one of the main weapons used by the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War.
The Lewis gun saw extensive service with British and Australian forces during the First World War as a ground and aerial machine gun. During the Second World War it was also used by on a much lesser scale by all three services (Navy, Army and Air Force) of the Australian Defence Force.
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|
A soldier firing a Lewis gun over a parapet of sandbags at an enemy aircraft.