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Hotchkiss Model 1922 light machine gun (France)
|M1922, magazine-fed||M1922, strip-fed|
|Caliber||8x50R Lebel, .303 British, 7x57 Mauser, 7.92x57 Masuer and others|
|Weight||8.4 kg||9.6 kg|
|Barrel length||600 mm|
|Feed||box magazine, 20 rounds||rigid strips, 15, 24 or 30 rounds|
|Rate of fire||450 rounds per minute|
The Hotchkiss M1922 light machine gun was a commercial venture from famous French company Hotchkiss et Cie, which previously developed a highly sucessful M1914 medium machine gun. The Hotchkiss M1922 machine gun was offered in a variety of calibres, including 6.5mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer (Greek), 7x57 Mauser (Spain), 7.7x56R (.303, UK) and 7.92x57 Mauser (China). It was also produced in limited numbers in the French 7.5x54 calibre for the French army as the Mle.1934. Some export versions of this Hotchkiss light machine gun also bore designations of M1924 or M1926, and there were many minor differences among guns made for different contract and countries.
The M1922 is a gas operated, air-cooled, automatic-only weapon, which fires from an open bolt. The gas piston is of the long-stroke type; it is located below the barrel inside a gas tube of relatively large diameter. Locking is achieved by tipping the locking piece (hinged to the rear of the bolt) downwards to engage the recesses in the receiver. The locking piece is linked to the bolt carrier / rear gas piston extension by a swinging link. The M1922 fires in automatic mode only, and it features a rate-reducing mechanism located in the trigger unit housing, in front of the trigger guard.
There were two different types of feed available for Hotchkiss M1922 light machine guns - strip feed and magazine feed. Each type of feed required its own receiver with appropriate feed arrangements on the top. The version with strip feed has a separate feed cover that is hinged at the front. Feed strips are inserted from the right, with cartridges located below the strip. The feed is operated by an oscillating arm, which is operated by the reciprocating bolt. Apertures, made for the feed strip on either side of the receiver, have hinged dust covers.
The magazine feed system is much more simple and reliable. It involves a curved box magazine which is inserted from the top. In either case, spent cartridge cases are ejected down through an aperture in the base of the receiver.
The sights are of the open type, and sighting line is offset to the left on guns with magazine feed.
Standard furniture includes a conical flash hider on the barrel, a wooden butt with an integral pistol grip, and a folding lightweight bipod which attaches to the barrel in front of the gas block. Other options may include a folding carrying handle at the front of receiver and a small vertical foregrip for “assault firing” from the hip. Alternatively, a short wooden forend was installed under the rear part of the gas tube. Hotchkiss also offered a heavy barreled version of the same gun, which could be used from a light infantry-type tripod.