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WWI Lewis Machine Gun Project

Ernie had been looking for a Lewis machine gun replica for the DH-2 for some time. He did find a couple of sources, but they were very expensive.

I saw a couple of YouTube clips featuring machine gun replicas that used oxygen and propane or acetylene to fire like a real version.


Of course, none of these would fire a projectile, they just made noise and fire shot out of their barrels. I decided to make Ernie a machine gun for the DH-2.


It took me a while as it is more difficult than I thought it would be. Once I got the bread boarded version firing on my work bench all that was left was cramming all the components into the gun and its drum magazine. The gas cylinders are in a medic’s bag stored out of sight with hoses to the gun. There are two solenoid gas valves that are triggered by a motor driven distributor-like contactor that also triggers the spark plug in the barrel. The gas is dumped into the firing chamber where they mix together and are popped with the spark plug. The actual spark comes from a GM LS-1 spark coil and a special driver board powered by an on board LiOn battery.


The whole firing sequence commences when the push-to-talk trigger switch is depressed.

It is very loud and cannot be safely fired indoors without everyone donning hearing protection.


Vince Homer

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