Beardmore-Farquhar Machine Gun

The Beardmore-Farquhar light machine gun has its roots in the Fraquhar-Hill self-loading rifle, developed by 1917 by Mobray G. Farquhar and Arthur Hill. This rifle got as far as being formally adopted by British Army in 1918, but the Armistice put this process to an end before mass production could be started. This was a gas-operated, rotary bolt rifle which used an interesting and unusual action, in which gas piston first compressed a powerful operating spring, which then transferred its energy to the bolt group. In theory, this permitted for relatively gentle action and mild recoil, but the weapon was not developed enough when war ended. The same action was then used for light machine gun, which was initially developed in around 1919. The Beardmore-Farquhar name comes from the names of designer (Farquhar) and manufacturer (Beardmore Engineering Co.), although the weapon was patented to same gentlemen Fraquhar and Hill. The weapon had unusually “skinny” appearance and weighted noticeably less than contemporary light machine guns such as Lewis or Madsen. Beardmore-Farquhar light machine guns were tried several times by British Small Arms Committee and certain other European armies during late 1920s and early 1930s, and each time turned down for various reasons. Learn more at

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