.303 Lewis Gun at the Range

I really enjoy the Lewis Gun, and it’s been a long time since I had a chance to put some rounds through one. This particular example is a Savage-made gun marked USN, and I think (but can’t prove) that it is one of a small number purchased in .303 British caliber for the US Marine Corps. It also has the heavy-duty bipod system used by the Marines, which I have never tried before. So, let’s give it a try!

For a great series of World War One machine gun content, check out my Project Lightening collaboration with C&Rsenal:




  1. I would think that this bipod was ment to go over a sandbag. and the sandbag would be the proper rear “elbow” rest.

  2. This gun could not be fired in any other mode than “in anger” 🙂
    Ian attempts this cobra-like position to have job done, but I’d call it highly un-ergonomical. Resulting crew fatigue must have been enormous.

    Overall, great gun for its time. Maybe only Hotchkiss 1914 would compare, but that one cannot be fired form hip.

  3. As for ergonomics… as Ian said, this was a dubya-dubya-one weapon. As a support weapon, it wouldn’t have been fired prone. More likely, stepping up to the edge of a trench to fire while standing.

  4. I found a document published in 1916 that reported the US made an emergency purchase of 353 Lewis machine rifles in .303 British.

    • The 353 Lewis guns in .303 British were taken by the USA from a Canadian shipment from the Savage Arms Company. They were tested against the Benet-Mercie. The Lewis guns had fit and finish issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.