Hey guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on Forgotten Weapons dot com. I’m Ian. I am here today at the Cody Firearms Museum (part of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West), and I’m taking a look at some of the guns in their collection — and some of the gun-shaped objects in their collection, like this one. This is a tool room model of a Hudson machine gun. This was developed by a guy named Robert F. Hudson, and I believe his son, Robert F. Hudson Jr., also contributed to this, eventually. Apparently Hudson was basically a travelling salesman, and when World War One broke out, he was too old for military service, but he wanted to do something towards the war effort; so he decided to invent his own machine gun. Apparently, he had never really had any familiarity with machine guns until he started working on his own. Interestingly, by the mid-to-late 1930s, he actually had a gun that the US navy tested, and (according to one account) sort of adopted, or at least got a couple guns for actual field trials. Hudson has a number of patents that he filed throughout the 1920s (and I’ll list the numbers) that have a number of different features to them. None of those patents quite match up exactly with this gun, although this gun looks very much like a picture that does survive of one of a couple Navy guns that were tested. So this gun is in .30 caliber (.30-06); it is magazine-fed; it would have had the magazine here; whether it was a proprietary magazine or a BAR magazine — I don’t know. Again, this is a tool room model, so
it doesn’t necessarily bear a perfect representation of what the Navy actually got. The Navy did test them in .30 caliber, in .50 caliber, and a 1.1 inch version, which would be something like 28 – 29 mm. Ultimately, the 1.1″ was deemed too complicated (which makes sense, looking at this thing) and the 20 mm Oerlikon and 40 mm Bofors were used instead. This particular gun, I can’t really
show you a whole lot on it, because the whole thing pretty much is frozen up. We can’t get any of the bits to move here. However, there are a couple of things I can point out. One interesting one: the barrel’s on the top here, with the gas system underneath; the grip, yes indeed, comes up this way, and then this is the trigger – so you would fire it like that. In most of the patents, Hudson has suppressors on his guns. I expect the reason this gas tube comes out in front is because this gun would have originally had about a 12″ long suppressor threaded to it. The focus of Hudson’s patents is on
a couple different things, but primarily a constant recoil system. What he was trying to do is develop a system where a piece of machinery would be moving in opposite to the projectile going forward, or in opposite to the bolt going backward, to balance out the recoil impulse of the firing. So this is actually very much like one of the developmental guns that has come out of Russia very recently — one of the ‘counter-balanced’ guns. How well this worked, I really can’t tell. There are no existing trials reports that we can find, beyond a mention in one book, that it was deemed too complicated; that a well-trained crew in an easy, peacetime situation could operate the gun, but a quickly trained crew in a simulated combat situation couldn’t, that it didn’t work for them. So I’ll tell you what, I do have a fair amount of correspondence from Hudson. A lot of it is basically business griping and financial wrangling back-and-forth, but there are some other interesting documents in there. I will publish all of that, everything I have, on Forgotten Weapons dot com, and I’ll also publish the patents that are associated with Hudson. So if you take a look at the link in the description below, that will take you to my website, where I can actually post that sort of data (which isn’t in video format). So if you’re interested, take a look at that and I will let you guys dig through the patents and see what you can figure out about how this thing worked, and if there was actually anything
useful to be gained from it. You know, you can get a patent on something that’s totally bogus — they no longer require you to prove that what you’re patenting is actually useful, just that it’s novel and different from what
anyone else has patented. So you never know, this could have been something of genius that was squashed by financial wrangling and politics, or could have been just a goofy idea in the first place. I don’t know. I hope you enjoy the video. I
would like to thank the Cody Museum for letting me take a look at this thing. If you enjoy this type of content, please consider subscribing to my Patreon account; it’s what gives me the funds to come to places like Cody, Wyoming and bring this sort of interesting tool room prototype to you guys — who for some reason are also interested in it like I am. Of course if you’re in the Cody area, absolutely make sure to stop in; check out the Cody Museum, it’s a fantastic collection. Thanks for watching.