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machine gun, light

On display
Object / Artefact › History
  • Other titles
    • Lewis MK1 .303 inch light machine gun (descriptive name)
    • Lewis automatic gun; Model 1914 Pat.
  • Description
    Lewis MK1 light machine gun, circa 1914
    Lewis auto gun, Mk 1; Mod. P1914 Pattern; .303 inch calibre; gas operated; with sight .303 Mk VII; complete with bipod and drum magazine
    AA Batt grip & AA stand clamp
    on barrel jacket: 35394 / A
    on magazine housing: A / 25394 / E
    on magazine housing: NZ [broad arrow] D / 263
    on sight housing: 62092
    on left body: LEFT 1* B.S.A.
    on right body: B.S.A.
    on magazine: .303 Mk VI & VII / E
    British proof & view marks; Birmingham marks; Military acceptance marks; NZ Issue marks
    manufacturer BSA [Birmingham Small Arms Company], England for Armes Automatique Lewis, Belgium, c1914
  • Place
  • Other Number
    W1492, CR 286218
  • Accession date
  • Collection area
  • Item count
  • Display location
  • Record richness
machine gun, light W1492
machine gun, light W1492


  • Credit
    Collection of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, W1492
  • Notes

    Lewis MK1 light machine gun, circa 1914
    New Zealand issue
    Lewis .303 in. Mark I machine-gun, World War I. Air-cooled gas-operated .303 inch calibre machine-gun. Made by the Birmingham Light Arms Company (B.S.A.) in 1914. In 1913, after his gun was turned down by American authorities, Colonel I.N. Lewis set up a gun factory in Belgium. Then with the outbreak of war most of his staff fled to Britain & the company continued production at the B.S.A. factory in Birmingham. The Lewis gas-operated air-cooled machine-gun was one of the first light machine-guns and was used by the British, Belgian and Italian armies becoming one of the most important aircraft machine-guns of the war. Indeed the Birmingham factory was soon devoted entirely to the production of Lewis machine-guns.
  • Production
    Birmingham Small Arms Company Ltd (gunmaker)
    Armes Automatique Lewis (made for)
    BirminghamWest MidlandsEnglandUnited KingdomEurope
    Circa 1914
    World War 1, 1914-18, Wars
  • Signature/marks
    35394 6209Z, 35394/A, A35494 E & NZ [arrow] D/263  (firearm serial number)
  • Consists of
    • 0 - Whole › steel
      steel, wood
    • .1 - gun › wood
  • Dimensions
    • .2 - magazine diameter : 205mm
    • .1 - gun length : 1285mm
      (length: 1285mm width: 115mm height (with tripod out): 460mm height (folded): 195mm)
    • .1 - gun height : 195mm
    • .1 - gun height : 460mm
      (with tripod)
    • .1 - gun width : 115mm
    • .2 - magazine depth : 30mm
  • Classification
  • Record created
    22 December 2014

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