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  1. #1
    Member baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Lewis Gun pan mag question

    Been messing with my lewis gun AR project and as this is a junkyard build not a real Lewis gun rebuild so please pardon my ignorance but what actually holds the pan magazine on the gun? I have a late model pan mag that I’m using. Another question, the piece of metal in the center of the mag, is it supposed to be spring loaded to keep the aluminum center locked until it’s on the gun? Mine isn’t.
    “Give’em hell, Pike.”

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    Ed,
    The central spigot that the magazine slips over has a locating "arrow" looking weld on the sides. It is this lug or weld that the magazine corrosponds with a groove or cut in the magazine to slip over and is the indicator for the right way round.
    If you look at this video at 00:32 seconds you will see what I am talking about. Obvioulsy with either 47 or 97 rounds in the Pan magazine, so named as it looks like a pan, the weight held the drum firmly in place as well. There should be a spring loaded flap as you slide the mag down on the spigot it clips under neath the mag and you should hear that. Roll forward to 1:28 you will see it also 4:33 loading the gun with mag, he calls it a notch.

    Hope that helps:
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 11-30-2021 at 06:00 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    In one of my WWI air war books Fight For The Skies there is a story that early on in the air war after they progressed from rifles and pistols shooting at each other.
    The Lewis gun was mounted on the top wing of the bi-plane to be fired remotely by the pilot when the mag was empty the pilot had to stand up grasp the stick between his knees whilst changing the drum.
    In this particular story this is done but for some reason or another something happens before he changes the drum and he is left holding onto the still mounted empty drum whilst his aircraft prescribed a loop the pilot obviously fell out of the cockpit and was hanging onto the mag until the plane resumed basic level flight, and deposited him back into the plane!

    As parachutes were not available till late in the war it must have been scary as hell, more often than not when in a burning plane going down the pilot had 3 choices;

    1. Stay with the plane and be burnt to death before crashing,
    2. Jump to their death to escape the flames,
    3. Pull out their pistol and shoot themselves in the head for instantaneous death which allot of them did.

    Some of the WWI pilots viewed parachutes as unmanly, the U.S worried if they issued them the pilots would bale out at the first hint of trouble placing a plane more valuable than a trained pilot.

    Sorry Gil bit of a hijack but just some snippets from my books I have read.
    Last edited by CINDERS; 11-30-2021 at 12:35 PM.

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    True but sad stories of the times. No hijack ........just trying to assist Ed with his gun dilemna, and all adds to the story of the Lewis Gun which was ahead of its time.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    I appreciate the posts guys. I’ve always thought the Lewis was a super cool mg along with the 1917 WC and Thompson. I’ve fired a Maxim, Thompson, MP5, Colt Gatling and a Ruger Mini14 with the 3 rd burst selector [don't remember the model #]. My build will be different in that the center of my Lewis mag will be stationary while the sheet steel cover will advance the .45acp rounds as normal. A bottom plate is screwed to the aluminum center and will hold rds up in the tray. My machined teflon block will advance rds as its attached to the cover. Building parts out of aluminum and oak for now.
    Last edited by baltimoreed; 11-30-2021 at 02:12 PM.
    “Give’em hell, Pike.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by baltimoreed View Post
    My build will be different
    Once you have this up and running, or even in the primary test stage...we'd like to see. I'd be there to hold the camera while you test if possible. I'd even bring the ammo in case it worked perfectly...
    Regards, Jim

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    Many of the springs that put the tension on the mag catch are jammed.
    I think I still have a couple of the catches and springs that are in the mag and can show you.
    If you are still looking for info let me know via PM as I do have one mag that can be taken down for instruction purposes.
    cheers,

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    Here is the Lewis mag catch..missing the pannier.
    Just the catch in the mag and the catch on the gun.
    Hope this helps.

    Attachment 121811Attachment 121812

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    Member baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Thank you Warren, that’s what I was thinking as the way the pans locked onto the gun. The spring on my pan’s catch does not work which is good as I need it to not lock. I haven’t damaged my pan but I did tap a couple of the existing holes in the aluminum center to attach my bottom plate to. Planning on another way to lock the pan. Need to get out to my shop and do some milling but it feels like I’m experiencing sciatica in my rt hip. Ouch, a new pain. Going to try to do a zombie shoot tomorrow with a pcc, see how I do. I’m sure I’ll have some Lewis questions for you.
    “Give’em hell, Pike.”

  14. #10
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    Spray the hell out of it with brake cleaner and operate the catch.
    I have opened them up that way.
    It as just a matter of dirt in the spring.
    Worst case scenario is you remove the rivets, free up the catch and either rivet or just use machine screws and nuts to hold he pannier back together.
    What you want is a home made tool that will centre the centre rotor to the outer edge of the pannier.

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