Breda Machine Guns

The locomotive works known as the Società Italiana Finest o Breda of Brescia, Italy, during the emergency created by World War I, com-menccd production of machine guns lor the Italian Government. Plans and specifications were furnished the Breda firm by order of the military authorities. The first automatic weapon so made was the water-cooled Revel I i, Model 1914. the manufacturing drawings being farmed out to it by the Fiat Co.. holder of the patents. Breda built a separate plant adjacent to its locomotive works which, during the war and immediately thereafter, engaged in manufacturing and delivering thousands of the above-mentioned Revel I i guns.

Following the Armistice, as with other arms companies in Italy, work came to a near halt with only enough government orders for modifications on existing models to keep a skeleton force active. However, all service branches were in need of an Italian-designed lightweight machine gun for infantry and a heavy one that could be used both as a heavy ground machine gun and with a modified mechanism for aircraft installation. Such a weapon could be mounted both as a synchronized fixed gun for forward firing and as a free one for observers.

The first Breda a:tempts at securing the lucrative government contracts, then being offered as an inducement by General Buffi, the assistant director general of all machine gun experimental work, was the production of the Breda 1924^model. 1 lie weapon introduced at this time was chambered for the (Lr>-mm caliber cartridge and weighed slightly under 20 pounds. The rate of fire was officially credited as being 500 rounds a minute. The feed system had an oddly designed magazine that pivoted for charging. The barrel could be changed instantly as it connected to the barrel extension by means of heavy interrupted threads. The rear of the receiver was round while the center part over the feed way was flat, giving the weapon an unusual silhouette.

A skeletonized barrel jacket gave the necessary support for recoil of the moving parts and also served as a base for the front sight. Large flanges on the upper part of the barrel body actcd as guides, while a flash hider was attached to the muzzle end. A graduated rear sight was placed on the receiver. It could be either elevated or depressed without need for the gunner to rise from the prone position generally taken when this weapon was fired. A large oil reservoir was built into the top of the receiver, directly over the

Breda Machine Guns

Breda Machine Gun.. Model 1924, 6.5 mm. The Operator if Loading the Weapon.

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