Mythbusting with the .30-06 American Chauchat: Reliability Test

Everyone knows, of course, that the Chauchat is the worst gun ever, and can’t normally get through an entire magazine without malfunctioning. Well, let’s try that out…and with an ever worse culprit; an M1918 Chauchat made for the AEF in .30-06.

In total, I fired 120 rounds, using Wolf steel-cased .30-06 ammunition (I figure the steel case is just fine for a long recoil system, and the allegedly slightly reduced power of the ammo will be good for the gun). I started getting an odd malfunction after 110 rounds, sort of a reverse runaway. The gun would occasionally stop firing even though I was holding the trigger down. Releasing and pulling the trigger would cause it to fire again, and I’m not yet sure exactly what was happening. I decided to stop the experiment at that point, as I don’t want to damage this hundred-year-old piece. Definitely more to come!