I visited France last weekend and came across this short Hotchkiss type clip. I originally thought it was a damaged std type but on inspection it is complete, and of a different construction. Can anybody ID. Picture has the short clip with std alongside for scale and a close up front & back of the unidentified clip. (PS: the white fluffy thing at the top a chicken feather!)
The unknown feed strip in your post is possibly discussed here:
Here are the important, now missing, photos from this thread:
Photo posted by mpopenker
Below is a post by ‘gravelbelly’ from later in the thread:
"Here is one to add to the stupid feed systems. France adopted the Hotchkiss MG in 1897 in 8x50R Lebel calibre and used it successfully for many years with several modifications throughout its life. One weak point of the Hotchkiss was the metal strip feed system but it was a reliable gun which was appreciated by its users
In 1905 an “improved” machine gun, the Puteaux, was adopted by French Ordnance. This gun was a failure and was relegated to static, fortification and reserve service after only two years, being replaced in front-line service by the Hotchkiss.
In 1907 another new MG was adopted as a replacement for the Puteaux, which was intended to replace the Hotchkiss, this was the Saint-Etienne Model 1907. Both this gun and the Puteaux used a strip feed system but not the same one as the Hotchkiss. The Hotchkiss feed system pushed the rounds forward out of the metal strip whilst springing them out of the retaining fingers, similar to pushing rounds out of a box magazine. The “improved” Puteaux/Saint-Etienne strip required the rounds to be pulled out to the rear, aligned with the breech and then rammed forward. This change to the feed increased the complexity of the gun without adding any improvements.
In the Saint-Etienne the gas piston was blown forward so there was a rack-and-pinion mechanism required to reverse this motion to work the action. The mainspring was close to the barrel so it heated up quickly and went soft causing the gun to fail. To improve the cooling of the spring, metal was cut away to expose the spring, which allowed mud to get inside during trench fighting on the Western Front. The guns were replaced with the heavy, old, but reliable, Hotchkiss and the Saint-Etienne was relegated to fortification and dry regions. Many were transferred to African colonies, away from the mud.
mpopenker posted a photo of this feed strip in use above. Here is the drawing of the strip for the Puteaux and Saint-Etienne:"