Thanks !
There is at least one guy who appreciates old things.

Hi JP,

I would say very nice.

The first one seems to be in 8mm Lebel, right?


[quote=“domi”]Hi JP,

I would say very nice.

The first one seems to be in 8mm Lebel, right?


Bonjour Dominique!

yes it is in 8 Lebel.

this machine gun was specifically designed for aviation.

I knew the 3 ctges clips for hotchkiss (called bande souple n°2) but I didn’t know this one with 1 ctge clip (called bande souple n°1)

Hotchkiss Bande Souple N.1, was designed specifically for the 8x50R Lebel cartridge, and for aircraft, with a 250 or 500 round spool; the Bande Souple N.2 was mostly adopted by Britain, after it adopted the Hotchkiss Mark I ( 1909 design) for Tank use in 1917-8; it was also used on the Cavlry issue Mark I ( Yeomanry and Aust.Light Horse) with a 50 round belt, in 3 cartridge plates, with odd numbers at each end.

My toolmaker friend has hand-made several of these Souples for his Hand-made Replica Hotchkiss guns, a Mark I Cavalry, and a Mark I Tank version.
Besides also making the 30, 14 and 9 round strips used by British Commonwealth Hotchkiss users. ( 1909 to 1945). The 9 and 14 were specific to Cavalry & Light Horse…even special bandoliers were used; The idea was to quickly get a Hotchkiss into action on Horseback, the Gun was unlimbered from the Pack saddle, and the Gunners immediately loaded with 9 or 14 round strips from their personal bandos, whilst the ammo tender, took the 30 round Leather cases from the Ammo Horse, and had the longer strip ready to feed in.

The reason for 9 and 14 was that a 30 round strip could be efficiently cut into 2x14 medium strips, or 3x9 short strips ( with all the appropriate end fittings etc.).

Infantry ( usually Indian) did not use the shorter strips, normally, or the Bandes Souples…they only used the 30 round strips.

The other use of the 14 round strips was for AA Mounting ( High angle shooting) The 30 round strip flexed too much and could lose rounds during firing at aircraft; it was also easier for the No.2 to reloaded/feed shorter strips to a moving high-angle gun.

Just today, my friend was finishing off the proper pack-saddle for two side carriers for 3 leather 30 round carry cases ( also in leather) per side The carry frames have “quick release” buckles, and the normal Pack saddle skeleton was lengthened to fit the Hotchkiss Units; He will be displaying the complete saddle and leather cases and one filled with steel 30 round strips with dummy rounds at the Australia Day ceremonies. ( Jan 26), whilst in his “Sgt-Farrier Outfit” ( complete with Full beard…only Farriers and Pioneers could keep a full beard in WW I)…he gets sick of shaving off his long beard when he re-enacts WW I Light Horse ( like his grandfather, who served at Beersheba)

Going back to the “1 cartridge per plate/link” construction, this was necessitated by the Spool Geometry, and quantity used, which had to run smoothly.

The shorter 50 round (.303) Bande was held by a small hopper on the side of the Gun (Anybody got a photo or design?) either in Cavalry or Tank use, and was essential for tank use ( Not enough room inside a “Tankette” to use 30 round strips, or loose Bandes.

Several other countries which had Hotchkisses also used Bandes Souples, such as Turkey, with had its Hotchkisses in the 1920s, in 7,9mm.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Thanks !
There is at least one guy who appreciates old things.

My “ammunition” collection begins with rocks and continues through today’s version of the good old rock effect on target. To know ammunition is to know it from rocks to rockets. Otherwise , you are a specialist. Specialists are very important as they see details which others miss but they also miss details which others see clearly.

That is why all medical specialists study “medicine” before they study their speciality.

A brain specialist needs to know that the body is not just brain.

That goes for the gun-ammo realtionship as well. I know MAJOR collectors of both who know very little about the other. I know a fellow with a multimillion dollar gun collection who could not tell a 30-06 from 7.5 French without a book. Cartridge collectors are even worse in many cases.

One aspect of the forum which I enjoy is the participation of those who know the guns as well as the ammo.

John Moss was a long time gun show operator as well as a veteran , EOD , DocAV, Tony Williams , JohnS and JonnieC also know guns and ammo from experience and too many others to mention tie this conversation together in ways which show the entire body of the ammuntion world in historical , technical and practical perspectives.

The aviation Hotchkiss MG can use either 8 Lebel or 303 ctges.

if it is a MG designed for bande souple N°1 (one ctge by link) it cannot use bande souple N°2 (3 ctges by link) except if you machine the supply lane (“couloir d’alimentation”) in the factory.