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241
MACHINE-GUN


their campaigns against the Mahdists. But the Gatling had many advantages over its newer rivals as regards simplicity and strength. Theodore Roosevelt, who commanded sections of both types in the Spanish-American War, speaks with enthusiasm of the old-fashioned weaponl while somewhat disparaging the Colt automatic.

The Gardner was another type which had a certain vogue” and was used by the British in savage warfare. But, next to In' this weapon the barrels are placed horizontally, and have no movement. A box containing the locks, bolts, strikers and spiral springs, one of each corresponding to each barrel, moves Nordenfeldt straight backwards and forwards when worked by the an handle of the lever on the right. When the box is drawn back the cartridges fall from the holder on the top into the carriers simultaneously. When the box is pushed forward the bolts push the cartridges into the barrel, cocking-catches compress the spiral springs, the lever releases the catches one after the other at very minute intervals of time, and the cartridges are fired in rapid

FIG. 5.-Nordenfeldt Machine-Gun. 1-IO, Parts of frame;

15-18, 23-31, Lock and trigger parts; 41-44. Parts of hand-lever; II, Breech plug; 19-22, Locking action; 45-49, Traversing action; 12, Striker; 32~35, Loading action; 50-55, Elevating and trailing action; 13, Extractor; 36-39, Cartridge receiver; 56, 57, 'Hopper and slide. 14, Cartridge receiver; 40, Cover; the Gatling, the most important of the hand-operated machine guns was the Nordenfeldt, which was principally designed for naval use about thertime when torpedo-boats were beginning to be regarded as dangerous antagonists. The U.S. pattern Gatling hardly differed except in details from the model, above described, of twenty years earlier. The drum had been set horizontally instead of vertically and improved in details, and a “ gravity feed, ” a tall vertical charger, was also used. The barrels were surrounded with a light casing. Tests made of the improved Gatling showed that the use of only one barrel at a time prevented overheating. On one trial 63,000 rounds were fired without a jam, and without stopping to clean the barrels. Smokeless powder and the modern cartridge case were of course used.

2The following particulars may be given of the 2-barrelled Gardner and 3-barrelled Nordenfeldt (land service) converted to take the -303 cartridge: Weight, 92 and 110 lb respectively; pax-apet mounting in each case 168 lb; rate of fire of Gardner about 250 rounds per minute, of the Nordenfeldt about 350. A few of these guns are still used in fortresses and coast defences. succession. In this piece, careful aim can be taken froma moving platform, and at the right moment the barrels can be fired at the object almost simultaneously.

PRESENT DAY MACHINE-GUNS

Hitherto we have been dealing with weapons worked by hand power applied to a lever or winch-handle, the motion of this lever being translated by suitable mechanism into those by which the cartridges are loaded, fired, extracted and ejected-the cycle continuing as long as the lever is worked and there are cartridges in the “ hoppers '? which feed the gun. In the modern “ automatic ” machine-gun, moreover, the loading, firing, extracting and ejecting are all performed automatically by the gun itself, either by the recoil of its barrel, or by a small portion of the gases of explosion being allowed to escape through a minute hole in the barrel near the muzzle. The following details of the British Maxim, Hotchkiss and Colt types are reproduced from the article “ Machine-guns, ” Ency. Brit. 10th ed.