Chauchat Followup

We had a lot of feedback on Tuesday’s post on the CSRG Chauchat light machine gun, so I figured I should do a bit of followup today. Leszek in Poland sent us these photos of a Chauchat captured by the Germans and converted to 8×57 caliber:

German Chauchat in 8x57mm
German Chauchat in 8x57mm (click to enlarge)

The magazine is of particular interest here – a mostly-straight mag was necessary for the Mauser cartridge, but the magazine catch on the gun was designed for the half-moon Lebel magazine. So the German solution was to add that front brace or extension to the magazine, so that it could use the gun’s existing catches.

Leszek also sent us these to photos of what seems to be a Chauchat designed for aerial use, with a top-mounted magazine. We have no other information on this particular pieces, though. FWIW, both sets of photos came from a German booklet published by the Reichswehr IWG in 1926, entitled “Maschinengewehr-Entwicklung”. If anyone happens to know where we might find a copy of it for our library, we would love to hear from you!

Aerial Chauchat
Aerial Chauchat (click to enlarge)

We also got a brief video from another friend of the site showing a standard M1915 Chauchat in use. Although short, the video does a good job of showing the gun’s rate of fire and general operation. You can see the open magazine design that caused so much trouble, and see how the heavy reciprocating bolt and carrier cause the gun to bounce as it fires.