Although the first prototype was built by John Browning in 1910, the M1917 didn't enter production until the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, hence the name. The original model fired 450 projectiles per minute (caliber .30), was mounted on a tripod and like other early machine guns was water-cooled to avoid jamming. An air cooled variant was later developed, the M1919. However, just like the Thompson Gun, neither the M1917 nor the M1919 had been produced in enough quantities before the war ended and the use of the M1917 by the American forces in Europe was marginal.
Season 2Four klansmen (Herman Dacus, Dick Heatherton, Herb Crocker and Charlie) attack Chalky White's liquor warehouse with a M1917 mounted on a truck in February 1921. Although the machine gun causes heavy damage and kills four men including Orville it jams before getting its intended target, Chalky. The klansmen are forced then to enter the warehouse to locate him. ("21")
Although not stated in the show, it is likely that the Ku Klux Klan got their hands on the machine gun through their allies, the Commodore's backers, who included at least one military supplier in Jackson Parkhurst. ("Gimcrack and Bunkum")
|Season two appearances|
|21||Ourselves Alone||A Dangerous Maid||What Does the Bee Do?|
|Gimcrack & Bunkum||The Age of Reason||Peg of Old||Two Boats and a Lifeguard|
|Battle of the Century||Georgia Peaches||Under God's Power She Flourishes||To the Lost|