top of page

Official copy, handbook of the .303" Lewis Machine Gun.

Part 1. Dated 1915.

This handbook would have been kept with soldiers of the Machine Gun Corps who used the .303" Lewis Machine gun.



The Machine Gun Corps was a corps of the British Army, formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front in the First World War.


The weapon of choice, was the The Lewis gun (or Lewis automatic machine gun or Lewis automatic rifle). Designed privately in America but not adopted, the design was finalised and mass-produced in the United Kingdom, and widely used by troops of the British Empire during the war.

It had a distinctive barrel cooling shroud (containing a finned, aluminium breech-to-muzzle heat sink to cool the gun barrel) and top-mounted pan magazine.

The gun's cyclic rate of fire was about 500–600 rounds per minute. It weighed 28 lb (12.7 kg). Maximum firing range 3,200m. Effective firing range (to kill an enemy) 800m.


The Lewis gun has the distinction of being the first machine gun fired from an aeroplane; on 7 June 1912, Captain Charles Chandler of the US Army fired a prototype Lewis gun from the foot-bar of a Wright Model B Flyer.


source: (edited and citations removed).

WW1 handbook SOLD

bottom of page