WWI Weapons & Technology
1915-18 Ally and Central Power R&D made many innovations.
Browning M1917 Belt Fed, Water Cooled Heavy Machine Gun
The Browning M1917 has two innovations for it´s weapon class that its inventor implemented, those two being a Water Cooling system and Recoil operation.
Water Cooling System- A water filled jacket that is fitted around the barrel, this jacket help dissipate heat generated around the barrel, but this was encumbering since it needed to be refilled when the water jacket was depleted.
Recoil Operation- The operation within the m1917 was meant to take advantage of recoil force by expanding the powder gasses with each shot. This decreased the time needed for the bolt to be readied again to fire another shot, thus increasing its rate of fire.
Sadly, only a fraction of Browning M1917´s were shipped with american forces shipped to Europe.
(Information acquired from http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=265 and summerized by Angle L Tollen