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    Really Senior Member Seaforth72's Avatar
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    Colin MacGregor Stevens, CD

    Huot Automatic Rifle conversion of the Ross Rifle

    I started the Seaforth Highlanders of Canadaicon Museum in 1972 while serving with the regiment as an infantry officer. Soon afterwards I was told there was "a machine gun in the Commandibg Officer's office closet. It had a drum magazine, leather case and a loaded stripper clip." All I could think of before seeing it was that it had to be a Thompson 1921 or 1928 in a leather case. I rushed downstairs in the armoury and was surprised at the long rifle length heavy leather brown case that was pulled out of the closet. The weapon had Ross Rifle Co. markings and a simple "2" on the rear housing that covered the action. It took me awhile to identify it fully.

    The Huot Automatic Rifle is a 1918 full-auto (only) conversion of the 1910 Ross rifle. Two Huots were taken overseas for testing.



    I have located 4 surviving Huots and wonder if anyone knows of any others.
    # 1 Army Museum, The Citadel, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    # 2 Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Museum and Archives, Vancouver, Britishicon Columbia
    # 3 UNKNOWN
    # 4 Canadian War Museum
    # 5 Canadian War Museum
    I do not know how many were made . One theory was 8.

    I have handled all four of the above and fired # 2 in the 1970s. None of the four were on display and I believe all are probably still in storage. # 2 is the only 100% complete one, including the stripper clip and leather shipping case. The case and magazine suffered badly over the last 40-years due to soldiers in QM stores playing with them without permission of the Curator.

    # 2 was taken overseas by Colonel Blair. The shipping stickers are on the case. There are also two victory (presumably) very distinct notches carved into the top edge of the butt. The magazine is a drum magazine holding 25 of the .303" cartridges and has two large sprockets inside - one front and one rear. Each cartridge rests nose and tail in between the teeth of the sprockets. The stripper clip holds the full 25-rounds and is very substantially built and intended for reuse. The Ross is a straight pull action. The front half of the Huot looks like a Lewis Gun without a bipod. A gas valve is on the left side of the barrel. A long piston is attached to the bolt.

    Colonel Blair was from my regiment, the Seaforths. # 2 was one of those taken overseas by him and Coll. Blair kept it as a souvenir. His widow gave it to us.

    I found documentation wherein General Arthur Currie ordered 5,000 Huot Automatic Rifles for the Canadian Corps. This was in October, 1918 and the cease-fire occurred a month later, so the order was cancelled.

    The Huot was, like the 1918 BAR, a full rifle calibre "assault rifle" and the design was such that a soldier carrying it would not stand out too much to enemy soldiers while hex was advancing.

    Only two living people have fired a Huot as far as I know, both on Huot #2. I was the first. I fired from the shoulder and it chugged out bullets in a nice steady pace. A slow automatic rate of fire as I recall. Although it fess heavy it was comfortable (and fun) to shoot.
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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Colin, most of us are familiar with the Huot. You had I have discussed this sort of thing at the Victoria Gun Show on occasion and at the Command Post...too bad there wasn't digital Video back then. The things we've missed out on. Here's a link for more info to this one...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Seaforth72's Avatar
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    Thank you for the YouTube link. If you know who made it perhaps you could inform them that there are two obvious errors:

    1. The top view comparison of the Huot and Lewis has the image of the Huot reversed.
    2. The earlier reference to "SITES" should of course be "SIGHTS ".

    Colin

    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Thanks for the info Colin, most of us are familiar with the Huot. You had I have discussed this sort of thing at the Victoria Gun Show on occasion and at the Command Post...too bad there wasn't digital Video back then. The things we've missed out on. Here's a link for more info to this one...

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    No, this is just an available vid to enhance the paragraphs here. On the internet, you get what you get...
    Regards, Jim

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    Have you given any thought to bringing a photographer with you back to better document such a rare specimen? I imagine it might be moved now that they're upgrading and renovating Seaforth Armoury. It'd be real shame if it were to be lost or damaged during the construction.

    Also, I can't imagine what a 25 round stripper clip would look like. How were the soldiers expected to carry them?
    Last edited by chanman; 04-22-2014 at 02:48 AM.

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    I think the whole thing was a grasp to begin with. Most times the inventors had no idea what was going to happen at the far end with this weapon and it's equipment. They just design and then pat themselves on the back...
    Regards, Jim

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