This is a solid example of an original dewat (deactivated) WWI 1915 French “Chauchat” machine gun, chambered for the 8mm Lebel cartridge, While called a machine gun by our terms, it is actually called an automatic rifle by the French. It was one of several type of squad level machine guns used by the French throughout WWI. It has a very unique operating mechanism in that it has a rotating bolt or bolt head during the locking and unlocking mode similar to a Johnson rifle and can be fired in both the fully automatic and semi-automatic fashion like the Browning BAR. It operates in a direct blow back manner that uses a long-recoil type mechanism, mounted on top and to the rear of the receiver itself and is feed from a large curved type magazine fitted to the bottom of the weapon. Throughout the war it never proved itself as a very reliable machine gun as the side of the magazine, the opening for the operating rod and bolt area were all exposed to dirt and debris from the battlefields, causing it to jam. The left side of the receiver is marked “Sidarme”, along with “C.S.R.G. along with the serial number, next to a small boxed “SA” proof indicating capture or use by the Finnish Army at some point. It has a walnut stock, pistol grip and forward support handle with a fixed front sight with a fully adjustable rear sight that has been fitted with a anti-aircraft aiming circle.
Conditionis very good overall with most of the original blue finish remaining overall, with some areas showing mottling and handling marks. The stock, pistol grip and forward grip handle are all in good to very good condition showing a few pressure dents and dings in some places. It has been Dewated by welding a plug in the breech end of the barrel and the face of the bolt, leaving the markings clear and sharp, with internal welds allowing the magazine to be removed, and the action “cock and click” to the old specifications. (Grandfathered). The rifle is complete with it’s bipod, the original issue WW1 sling and field bag, 2 extra magazines (all pinned), the anti-aircraft sight, pull through cleaning cloth, armourers tool, and 5 rounds of period ammunition, made to be inert. A very rare firearm in better than average condition.
Dewat. No PAL or registration required.