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With all the great pictures I have from the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, I thought the best way to show them off was to group them into a couple posts. This first one will show off some of the awesome water cooled machine guns and some of the older gats on the firing line.

Water cooling was an ingenious solution to a major problem. The mechanism of a machine gun could operate almost indefinitely if kept properly lubricated, but the barrel would heat up rapidly and start causing massive issues. Thanks to a water cooled jacket the heat from the barrel can quickly be dissipated and the gun could continue to fire.

Early machine guns fed from the right side of the gun, placing the ammunition source on that side. The Vickers machine gun (pictured), for example, has a beautiful brass feed ramp on the right side to direct ammunition into the gun. Modern machine guns, such as just about everything by Browning, feed from the left.

The Vickers machine gun was in direct competition with Hiram Maxim’s similar invention. The two guns look strikingly similar, from the rear sight to the ribbed water jacket. The dead giveaway for a Maxim is the lack of a forward catch for the cocking mechanism on the side of the gun and the more utilitarian feed ramp for the belted ammunition.

That’s all classy and stuff, but everything is always better when its all shiny and brass.

In any conversation about water cooled machine guns Browning must never be overlooked. And they certainly were out in force at the shoot, especially a particularly snazzy looking Colt 1928 model 37.

Speaking of old machine guns check out this DP-28. Sure she is a little rusty, but such is the perils of using salt based primers. Note the interesting placement of the charging handle — underneath the gun. Having fired one, let me assure you that it hurts like a sonofabitch if you get your hand in the way of that thing. This one has been modified to get rid of the grip safety and insert a pistol grip.

Water cooled MGs are well and good, but honestly the coolest looking (old) machine gun on the line had to be this old Lewis gun I saw

Yes, I really did just post this low word count article just to show off some pictures of guns. Expect more in the near future. Because guns are pretty.

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  1. Lewis Gun FTW!

    Why do old machine guns have the belt on the right and newer ones on the left? Slavish copying of St. JMB or did he have a reason?

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