De Knight Watercooled Machine

On 20 July 1898 Victor l\ De Kniulu., a resident of Washington, I). C., applied lor a patent on a gas-operated water-cooled automatic machine gun. Originally chambered for the caliber .30 Krag United States infantry rifle cartridge, ii had a rate of lire of 600 rounds a minute. While it represented one of the few water-cooled gas-operated guns ever to get beyond the design stage, it still was unsuccessful and is described here only to show the great lengths an inventor will go to ill order to avoid infringement of anyone else's patents.

De Knight interested the Pratt R: Whitney Co. in producing a prototype, which was given the designation, Model 1902. At the time this company was seeking a mechanism to market in place ol its hand-operated Gardner, then being outmoded by tlie appearance of self-loading rapid-firing guns.

The weapon, although very clumsy in many respects, did have a few advanced features. The hinged top of the receiver not only made all working parts readily accessible but also housed the driving spring. Inertia firing, a pivoting bolt that was securely locked by the advance of the

gas piston, and a simple screw in the side of the receiver that served as an ejector were also innovations. But. the complicated gas system cov-

Machine Gun Firing

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Ce Knight Automatic Machine Gun, Cöl. .30, Manufactured by Prr?tt and Whitney

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