Hungarian Weapons - French Chauchat Machine Guns

Chauchat Machine Gun Model 1915
8mm Chauchat Fusil-Mitrailleur Modele 1915 (FM 15)
Chauchat FM 15 Golyószóró

Manufactured by French weapon factories, 1916-18
Quantity: est. over 50,000
Caliber: 8x50r Lebel M1906
20-round detachable box magazine (jams with 18-20 rounds in mag.)
1143mm [45"] overall, 9.1kg [20 lbs]
469mm [18.5"] barrel, 4-groove, rh
Muzzle Velocity 700m/s [2300fps]
Cyclic rate: 250 rpm, Actual: 70 rpm
Tangent rear sight graduated 200-2000m

This Chauchat machine gun was also called 'CSRG', the abbreviation of the 3-member committee which accepted it for the French Army in 2/1/1916. The names were Chauchat, Sutter & Ribeirolles. The 4th letter, the G, came from the name of the 1st manufacturing plant's name, Gladiator. Gladiator was a bicycle factory owned by Sutter. This was sometimes called the world's worst machine gun, and nobody liked to use it. It was a long recoil gun where the barrel and bolt recoiled locked together for the full stroke. The bolt was then unlocked and held while the barrel returned to its firing position. When the barrel stopped, the bolt was released, which chambered around and locked. The gun was partially made of low quality stampings. The workmanship and the quality of materials were below standard. The parts wore out fast and jammings, malfunctions were common. The long slow recoil caused imbalance and shaking of the gun. The large rimmed Lebel cartridge was the cause of feeding problems. In 1917 16,000 FM-15's were supplied to the US Army in France. These were converted to .30-06, which solved the feeding problems, but the more powerful round quickly shook the guns into pieces.

The Chauchat was sold to Belgium and Greece in 7.92x57mm and was used in the Spanish Civil War. In WW2 the Germans captured the remaining supplies of these guns from the French. In 1942 Germany traded capured vintage WW1 French weapons, including these Chauchat Machine Guns, Mannlicher-Berthier rifles and carbines and 8x50r Lebel ammo with Hungary in exchange for food shipments.

The French equipment ended up with the 'Rohamrendörség' (Police Attack Unit) unit of the Hungarian Police. The Rohamrendörség was also supplied with the old Fiat Ansaldo mini-tanks, Csaba armored cars, Chauchat Machine Guns, Berthier rifles and carbines, Frommer and Walther handguns. After October 1944 the Rohamrendörség was discontinued, and its equipment and function was taken over by the "Nyilaskeresztes' (Arrowcross) Party Assault Units. These units battled with the invading Red Army until the end in April 1945.