Birmingham Small Arms Co (BSA) Lewis 1914 .303 British Transferable Light Machine Gun
Status: In-Stock / Please Call to Purchase
This Chester County Armory listing is for a C&R Eligible, British-made, Birmingham Small Arms Co (BSA) Lewis 1914 .303 British transferable light machine gun.
Designed in 1911 by an American military solider, US Army Colonel Isaac Lewis, the Lewis 1914 was one of the most prominent light machine guns to see action during World War I. Even though the powers that be in the US military at first rejected Lewis’ design, he was not deterred, and, in 1913 set up a company (Armes Automatique Lewis) in Belgium to produce a commercial version. By 1914, Lewis had secured a licensing agreement with BSA to build his weapon in England for Great Britain, and production of the Lewis machine guns took off. It was eventually produced in multiple countries, in four different calibers, and saw military service world wide up until the early 1950’s.
This particular model was made by BSA in England, under a license agreement with Armes Automatique Lewis, and features engraving on the top of the toggle receiver to demonstrate as much. This light machine gun has a 26.5″ barrel, and features the Lewis’ distinctive barrel cooling shroud. The shroud covers both the barrel, as well as a finned, aluminum breech-to-muzzle heat sink that cools the gun barrel without the need for water systems by providing a large surface of metal to dissipate the heat using nothing more than physical surface area and natural air movement. Also attached is a British field mount bipod with collapsible, folding legs designed specifically for the Lewis. And, of course, this model also features the top mounted pan magazine, for which the Lewis is also easily recognized and known. Purchase of this machine gun will include, not only the pan magazine currently attached to this weapon, but also eight additional magazines, that are still in their factory grease/cosmoline. This weapon does not have matching serial numbers, as it appears to have various parts swapped, as was common with many wartime-used weapons.
Overall, this weapon is in excellent condition for a 100+ year old machine gun. Mechanically, it notes no issues. Structurally, all the metalwork is intact, with no cracks, dents, dings, etc. of concern. The bolt system and internal controls display some physical wear at the sharp metal-to-metal contact points, but all parts are in solid working order, with no dents, ding, cracks, malformations, etc. of concern. The wooden stock is solid and intact with no noted cracks or splits, however it does have several chips in the wood and numerous surface marks and scars. The wooden pistol is also in the same condition, albeit with less surface markings.
Cosmetically, this weapon is in good to very good condition. It retains the majority of its original bluing, and only minor surface wear is noted. Several exterior parts note some minor surface corrosion, but there are no marks more than surface deep and all are cosmetic in nature.
This C&R Eligible transferable machine gun is currently on a Form 3 that lists the US importer “International Armored Group” as the manufacturer and “Lewis 1914” as the model.