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Old October 27, 2018, 11:21   #1
FALaholic #: 81552
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Mansfield, Ohio
Posts: 604
Worst or weirdest machine gun ever.

I know that the Chauchat would probably top the list for most, but here's some analysis on that issue. First, the gun was cheaply built for production reasons (like the Sten SMG during World War II), and most of the gun's jamming was from crap getting into the open magazine. Reportedly, 75% of the weapon's malfunctions were magazine related.

It should be noted that, mag issues aside, the 8mm Lebel versions actually usually worked--somewhat at least, until it overheated due to the different expansion rate between the steel barrel and the aluminum cooling shroud. The .30-06 versions were horrible, mostly because of improper chamber dimensions.

That all being said, I'd say that the Italian Breda Model 30 was even worse. It was complex and expensive to manufacture, not particularly reliable, especially in dirty or dusty conditions, and used a short recoil mechanism that didn't allow for sufficient primary extraction, so the cartridges needed to be oiled before chambered.

Also, in the weird entry, there's the Italian Fiat Revelli M1914. It was a heavy as a Maxim MG, but chambered for the relatively under-powered 6.5 Carcano round. It used a short recoil/almost delayed blowback action similar to the Revelli M1910 automatic pistol, but the strangest part of the weapon was the feed system. It used a "cage" magazine that consisted sort of of 10 Carcano enbloc clips welded together. In addition to being simply odd, it was easily damaged and wore out quickly.

There was also an attempt to modernize the M1914 as the M1935. It was rebarreled in 8x59mm Breda, converted to belt feed and was air cooled instead of water cooled. It should've lead to a better weapon, but it didn't. It actually resulted in one of the worst medium machine guns I could name. It fired from a closed breach, which in combination with the air cooled barrel, meant that the barrel rapidly overheated. And though the M1914 was able to extract rounds without a oiler, the M35 needed a fluted chamber and sometimes oiled rounds to ensure extraction.

Anyone got thoughts or opinions on these or other MGs?
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