The Fordyce machine gun was an American bullpup light machine gun designed by Major John Rison Fordyce in 1918 in prototype form only. One of the earliest bullpup weapons, the weapon was meant to make it easier for its users to fire the weapon from various positions.
The Fordyce machine gun was designed by Major John Rison Fordyce, a member of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, in 1918 as a means to make a given weapon easier to fire from various positions. The weapon was also patented in 1918 though ultimately nothing came from it. At least one physical prototype appears to have been constructed.
Essentially a Lewis gun with an extremely unusual layout, the Fordyce gun was essentially a Lewis gun with an extended barrel shroud with a "shoulder loop" meant to support the weapon when firing from these positions. The conversion would have only required a modification of the Lewis gun platform.
The weapon's pistol grip was located extremely far forward, near the muzzle of the weapon; pulling the front trigger pulls a rod which extends through the barrel shroud which is connected to the actual trigger at the rear of the weapon.
The weapon's unconventional layout was meant to help its users have a less noticeable footprint when in cover, and to assist them in firing in a number of different positions with less perceived effort; how Fordyce thought he would achieve this was by placing most of the weight of the gun on its user's shoulders, rather than having it being distributed around their hands and arms.