Unknown feeding strip


Can someone please enlighten me about this one?
It is for 25 cartridges, cal. .303



A very interesting feed strip. I don’t know what it is for though as it is not my field of expertise. Maybe Gravelbelly or Jean will know.

It certainly looks British as does the makers code. One possibility is J Blanch, who although not a clip manufacturer had the capability for pressed metal work. They made the pressed metal drill rounds in .44, .256 and .303.



Feed strips are also out of my area of colecting, but the only thing I can think of that it MIGHT be for, at that time and in that calibre is the Hotchkiss Benet Mercie/Machine Rifle; however, I can’t find a picture to confirm this.


It is very similar in principle to the Hotchkiss strip, but much narrower. That is not to say of course that it is not a different type of Hotchkiss strip.

Here is a picture of the standard Hotchkiss strip.


(Picture from Jean)



this is a French 25-round strip for the Saint-Etienne model 1907 machine gun in caliber 8x50R Lebel. It has nothing to do with 303 rounds.

JB is a common WW1 French maker for this kind of strips.

The cartridges are inserted the opposite way compared to the picture with the 303.

I am away from home now so I cannot post immediately a picture of the correctly loaded strip with 8x50R Lebel rounds, but I will do as soon as I am back.

Fernando, you can check my article published in Small Arms Review about the feed strips for French St-Etienne 1907 MG.




this is a French 25-round strip for the Saint-Etienne model 1907 machine gun in caliber 8x50R


Thank you!
Now I have to get some spare Lebel cartridges.

Are these strips common? Are there other variations for the same gun?


Yes, I have(had) one in almost perfect condition, deep blue colour, marked “MAS 1915”.
The Clip is made for the case to be “extracted” from the clip, and then pushed inot the chamber( as with a Vickers or Maxim or Browning.)

The design of the Gun ( a French Comittee gun, and like all comittees, the gun turned out to be a camel) softened the recoil forces by having the gas blow the gas piston Forward, whence the motion was then reversed by a rack and pinion device, and this gave a “softer” movement to the mechnaism, in extracting the cartridge from the stripper feed, and as a result , also softening the force of extraction from the chamber (when clean)…Result, the gun worked fine in clean, Mountain fortifications, but failed absolutely in the Mud of Flanders and Verdun. I remember some Pictures of Poilus, covered with mud, carrying their St.Etiennes, also covered in Mud…must have been great for morale…having them jam every second or thrd shot after getting into the Line.
When the French gave a lot of them to the Italians after the Disaster of Caporetto(1917), they fared a little better, as high up in the Mountains in some areas of the Italo-Austrian Front, there was no Mud…only Ice.
In France, after WW I, they persisted in Fortress applications (Maginot etc) but the Italian Guns did see some service in Ethiopia (1935-36, as fresh ammo was made for them in Italy ( and by Hirtenberger under contract.)

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics


The St. Etienne and Puteaux MGs also worked on the reversed “blow-forward” principle of gas-operation (which then had to be reversed with a cam and gear in the receiver) in order to get around the existing Odkolek patents on gas operation.