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It can hold either a forty-seven-round or ninety-seven-round pan magazine and one of its distinctive features was its wide barrel even though the Lewis Gun was air-cooled. It had a pan-shaped magazine on top and was designed by Samuel McClean and U.S Colonel Issac Newton Lewis.
Although it was far superior than any machine gun of its time, the United StatesMilitary did not adopt it initially, but they later used it during World War II. The Lewis Gun had a rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute and it took either the .303 Cartridge, the .30-06 Cartridge and several other cartridges depending on where it was manufactured. The weight of the Lewis Gun was about twelve kilograms and the length was about 128.3 centimetres. The single iron sight was placed right in front of the buttstock and it was prearranged for 400 yards (365.7 metres).
The Lewis Gun was used throughout World War I by Great Britain and other Commonwealth Forces, later the United States. By World War II, Great Britain had replaced the Lewis Gun with the Bren gun for most infantry units. Even for aircraft, the Lewis Gun had been replaced for the Vickers K machine Gun. Due to the loss of British equipment following the Fall of France, Lewis Guns had been rapidly supplied to Home Guard units. The United States also used Lewis Guns for Navy landing ships. The United States also supplied Lewis Guns via Lend-Lease and they were marked with red strips so British forces could tell that they did not use the standard British .303 round.