Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 553: C&R Transferable Chauchat Model 1915 Automatic Rifle

Auction Date: June 5, 2020

Very Fine World War I French Fully Automatic Class III/NFA C&R Transferable Chauchat Model 1915 Automatic Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $14,000

Very Fine World War I French Fully Automatic Class III/NFA C&R Transferable Chauchat Model 1915 Automatic Rifle

Manufacturer: Chauchat
Model: 1915
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 8 mm lebel
Barrel: 8.5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 4027
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 303
Class: Class III

This is a very fine example of a WWI Model 1915 French "Chauchat" machine gun manufactured in 1917/18. The U.S. technically designated this as a machine gun; however, the French termed it an "automatic rifle" and it was one of several types of early lightweight machine guns used by both the French and U.S. American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) when they landed in France in 1917. The U.S. AEF dropped these weapons early on in WWI as they were unreliable and the exposed sides of the magazine allowed dirt and debris to enter causing them to jam easily. The receiver is roll stamped: "C.S.R.G." for Chauchat, Suterre, Ribeyrolle and Gladiator who were the French commission members who approved adoption of this weapon. Followed by the serial number and a small boxed "SA" proof indicating ownership by the Finnish Army. It has a walnut stock, pistol grip, and forward support handle with a fixed off-set front sight with a tangent rear sight. These rifles were one of the first weapons to use standard steel tubing and stampings, combined with a machined bolt and bolt carrier. This way they were able to supply larger quantities of weapons in a very short period of time. They have a rotating bolt head mechanism similar to the Swiss K31 that operates in a blow back manner using a long recoil spring type mechanism that projects out from the rear of the receiver. They can fire in both a semi and full automatic mode (this example fires full auto in both "M" and "C" selector positions). This example comes with one original curved magazine.

Rating Definition:

Very fine condition with 85% plus of the original blue finish overall with edge and high spot wear with thinning and blue loss mixed with a brown patina finish on top and sides of the receiver. The wood components are all in fine condition with a nice medium brown color overall showing numerous heavy pressure dents and dings from actual field use and shooting. NOTE: This item is restricted as a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) that is classified as a "Curios or Relic" as defined in 27 CFR, 478.11. These weapons are still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.

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