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276 BRITISH XPL LAIRD-MENTAINE

This cartridge was based on a patent that was taken out by two French designers in 1908, namely Mentaine and Degaille with some input from Laird, a British engineer who appears to have been responsible for the production of the rifle at Coventry Ordnance Works, a British manufacturer of heavy guns particularly naval artillery jointly owned by Cammell Laird & Co of Sheffield and Birkenhead, Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Govan, Glasgow and John Brown & Company of Clydebank and Sheffield. Its core operations were from a 60-acre site in Stoney Stanton Road in the English city of Coventry, Warwickshire. The rifle was submitted to the British Army for trials in 1910. It was fitted with a light weight bipod and a quick change barrel. Initial test showed the weapon reliable and somewhat better than what was available at the onset of the War. But at that stage, machine guns were still heavy pieces with water cooled barrels and it seemed then that there was no place for a light weight gun and the whole project failed (ECRA database)