Developed in France by The Benet-Mercier Firearms Manufacturing Company on 1901, The Hotchkiss M1909 was in response to the need for a light, rapid fire weapon. Cost overindulgence and production problems delayed it from delivery until 1909. Unique for being one of the first such machine guns that could be physically detached from it's optional tripod device, The Hotchkiss featured a front barrel and butt-stock tripod mechanism incorporated into it's design.
Weighing 27 pounds, The Hotchkiss was 25 inches long, inclusive of the barrel. Blowback gas operated, it featured an impressive maximum effective range of 4,200 yards. The Hotchkiss patent was issued to both England and The United States. The French ammunition was 8x50mm type, while Britain used .303 cal. and America used the 30.06 cal. America produced 700 Hotchkiss Light Machine Guns. The Hotchkiss could fire from either dual attached Clips of 30 rounds each, or used the traditional Belt feed. A common problem with The Hotchkiss was with jamming and component wear. This earned it the nickname of "The Daylight Gun", due to it' difficulty in repair during night operations. A popular weapon, The Hotchkiss was a primary weapon with Allied Armies during The War. Even afterwards, The US Navy continued to deploy them until the late 1920s.