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Encyclopedia > Vickers machine gun
Vickers Medium Machine Gun

Vickers MMG and crew
Type Medium machine gun
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1912 - 1968
Used by United Kingdom, Commonwealth
Wars World War I, World War II, Korean War
Production history
Designed 1912
Manufacturer Vickers
Produced 1912 - 1968
Specifications
Weight 33 to 50 kg all-up
Length 1,100 mm
Barrel length 720 mm

Cartridge .303 British
Calibre .303 (7.7 mm)
Action recoil with gas boost
Rate of fire 450 to 600 round/min
Effective range 2,440 ft (740 m)
Maximum range 4,500 yards (4100 m) indirect fire
Feed system 250-round canvas belt

The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled .303 inch (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by Vickers Limited, originally for the British Army. The machine gun typically required a six to eight-man team to operate: one to fire, one to feed the ammunition, and the rest to help carry the weapon, its ammunition and spare parts. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A Medium Machine Gun or MMG in modern terms, usually refers to a belt-fed, full-power rifle caliber (such as 7. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... The Commonwealth of Nations (CN), usually known as The Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, except for Mozambique and the United Kingdom itself. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nikolay II Aleksey Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert H. Asquith D. Lloyd George Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Combatants United Nations:  Republic of Korea,  Australia,  Belgium,  Luxembourg,  Canada,  Colombia,  Ethiopia,  France,  Greece,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Philippines,  South Africa,  Thailand,  Turkey,  United Kingdom,  United States Medical staff:  Denmark,  Australia,  Italy,  Norway,  Sweden Communist states:  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,  Peoples Republic of China,  Soviet Union Commanders... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Vickers Armstrong (Aircraft) company logo Vickers, founded as the Vickers Company in 1828, was a British manufacturer, primarily of military equipment, traditionally based in Barrow-in-Furness. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... A millimetre (American spelling: millimeter, symbol mm) is an SI unit of length that is equal to one thousandth of a metre. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The word calibre (British English) or caliber (American English) designates the interior diameter of a tube or the exterior diameter of a wire or rod. ... In firearms terminology, an action is the system of operation that the firearm employs to seal the breech (in a breech-loading firearm), and to load consecutive rounds. ... Rate of fire is the speed at which a specific firearm or artillery piece can ]] per minute (RPM or round/min), or rounds per second Note that heat and ammunition concerns mean that most automatic weapons are unlikely ever to sustain their cyclic rate of fire for a full minute... Watercooling is a method of heat removal from components. ... Vickers, Limited was a famous British engineering conglomerate that merged into Vickers Armstrong in 1927. ... The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ...


The gun had a reputation for great solidity and reliability. Ian V. Hogg, in Weapons & War Machines, describes an action that took place in August, 1916, during which the 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps fired their ten Vickers guns continuously for twelve hours. They fired a million rounds between them, using one hundred new barrels, without a single breakdown. "It was this absolute foolproof reliability which endeared the Vickers to every British soldier who ever fired one."[1] Ian V. Hogg (1926 - 2002 March 07) was a notable author of books on firearms, artillery, ammunition, and fortification, as well as biographies of several famous general officers. ... The Machine Gun Corps (MGC) was a corps of the British Army, formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front in World War I. The Heavy Branch of the MGC were the first to use tanks in combat...

Contents

History

The Vickers machine gun was based on the successful Maxim gun of the late 19th Century. After purchasing the Maxim company outright in 1896, Vickers took the design of the Maxim gun and improved it, reducing its weight, and adding a muzzle booster. An early Maxim gun in operation with the Royal Navy 1895 . ... A muzzle booster or recoil booster is a device affixed to the muzzle of a firearm, intended to harness the energy of the escaping propellant to augment the force of recoil on portions of the firearm. ...


The British Army formally adopted the Vickers gun as its standard machine gun on 26 November 1912, using it alongside their Maxims. There were still great shortages when the First World War began, and the British Expeditionary Force was still equipped with Maxims when sent to France in 1914. Vickers was, in fact, threatened with prosecution for war-profiteering, due to the exhorbitant price it was demanding for the gun. The price was slashed as a result. As the war progressed, and numbers increased, it became the British Army's primary machine gun, and served on all fronts during the conflict. When the Lewis Gun was adopted as a light machinegun, and issued to infantry units, the Vickers guns, redefined as heavy machineguns were withdrawn from infantry units and grouped in the hands of the new Machine Gun Corps (when 0.5" calibre machine guns appeared, the tripod-mounted, rifle-calibre machine weapons like the Vickers became medium machine guns). Before the Second World War there were plans to replace it; one of the contenders was the 7.92 mm Besa machine gun (a Czech design), which eventually became the British Army's standard tank-mounted machine gun. However, the Vickers remained in service with the British Army until 30 March 1968. Its last operational use was in the Radfan during the Aden Emergency. Its successor in UK service is the L7 GPMG. November 26 is the 330th day (331st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939–1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... The Lewis Gun is a pre-World War I era squad automatic weapon/machine gun of American design that was most widely used by the forces of the British Empire. ... The Machine Gun Corps (MGC) was a corps of the British Army, formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front in World War I. The Heavy Branch of the MGC were the first to use tanks in combat... The Machine Gun, BESA was a British version of the Czechoslovak ZB 53 (Model 37) machine gun and used by the UK for tank armament in World War II. BSA signed an agreement with Zbrojovka Brno in 1936 which allowed them to make the 7. ... March 30 is the 89th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (90th in leap years). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Map of the Federation of South Arabia showing Radfan within Dhala Radfan or the Radfan Hills is a region of the Republic of Yemen. ... The Aden Emergency was an insurgency against British crown forces in what is now the Yemen. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The Vickers became standard weapons on all British and French military aircraft after 1916, including the famous Sopwith Camel and the SPAD XIII. The gun was usually fitted with a form of synchronizer gear to allow it to fire through aircraft propellers, and slots were cut in the water jacket so that it was cooled by air flow instead of water, a common practice on WWI airplanes. Military aircraft are airplanes used in warfare. ... The Sopwith Camel Scout was a British World War I single-seat fighter aircraft that was famous for its maneuverability. ... A SPAD S.XIII of the Lafayette Escadrille. ... The interrupter gear, more properly (and correctly) known as a synchronisation gear, was a triggering device attached to a fighter aircrafts machine gun so that it would fire only at certain times. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


As the machine gun armament of fighters moved from the fuselage to the wings in the years before WW2, the Vickers with its cloth belts was generally replaced by the faster-firing Browning Model 1919. Several British bombers and attack aircraft of WW2 mounted the Vickers "K" machine gun, a completely different design. The Browning M1919 was a . ... The Vickers K gun known as the Vickers Gas Operated (VGO) in British service, was a rapid firing machine gun developed for use by observers in aircraft. ...


Variants

The larger calibre (half-inch) version of the Vickers was used as an anti-aircraft gun on British ships as the 0.5"/62 Vickers Machine Gun Mark III. These were typically four guns on rotating (360°) elevating (+80° to -10°) mounting. The belts were rolled into a spiral and placed in hoppers beside each gun. The heavy plain bullet weighed 1.3 oz and was good for 1,500 yd range (1,300 m). They were fitted from the 1920s onwards but in practical terms proved of little use.


Foreign service

The Vickers was widely sold commercially and saw service with many nations and their own particular ammunition. for example

The Vickers MG remains in service with the Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese armed forces, albeit as a reserve weapon, intended for emergency use in the event of a major conflict. ... NATO 7. ... .30-06 Springfield cartridge specifications. ... The 7. ...


Specifications

The weight of the gun itself varied based on the gear attached, but was generally between 25 and 30 pounds (11 and 13 kg), with a 40 to 50 pound (18 to 23 kg) tripod. The ammunition boxes for the 250 round ammunition belts weighed 22 pounds (10 kg) each. In addition, it required about 7.5 imperial pints (4.3 litres) of water in its evaporative cooling system to prevent overheating. The heat of the barrel boiled the water in the jacket surrounding it. The resulting steam was taken off by flexible tube to a condenser container - this had the dual benefits of avoiding giving away the gun's location, and also enabling re-use of the water, which was very important in desert environments. The pint is a unit of volume or capacity. ... Evaporative cooling is a system in which latent heat of evaporation is used to carry heat away from an object to cool it. ...

Rimmed, centrefire .303 inch (7.7 mm) cartridge from WWII.
Rimmed, centrefire .303 inch (7.7 mm) cartridge from WWII.

In British service, the Vickers gun fired the standard .303 inch (7.7 x 56 mm) cartridges used in the Lee Enfield rifle, which generally had to be hand-loaded into the cloth ammunition belts. There was also a 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) calibre version used as an anti-aircraft weapon and various other calibres produced for foreign buyers. Some British tanks of the early Second World War were equipped with the 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) Vickers. Photo taken by Moriori for Wikipedia, free to use by anyone This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Photo taken by Moriori for Wikipedia, free to use by anyone This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... .303 cartridge The . ... The Lee-Enfield (and equivalent variations like the famous Lee-Enfield SMLE) was, in various marks, the British Armys standard bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle for over 60 years from (officially) 1895 until 1956, although it remained in British service well into the early 1960s and is still... It has been suggested that Break action be merged into this article or section. ...


The gun was 3 feet 8 inches (1.1 m) long and its cyclic rate of fire was between 450 and 600 rounds per minute. In practice, it was expected that 10,000 rounds would be fired per hour, and that the barrel would be changed every hour - a two-minute job for a trained team. Firing the Mark 8 cartridge, which had a streamlined bullet, it could be used against targets at a range of approximately 4,500 yards (4.1 kilometres). A yard (abbreviation: yd) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... A kilometre (American spelling: kilometer) (symbol: km) is a unit of length equal to 1000 metres (from the Greek words khilia = thousand and metro = count/measure). ...




See also

203. ... The Maschinengewehr Patent Schwarzlose M.07/12 is a Austria-Hungarian heavy machine gun, standard machine gun of the Austro-Hungarian Army throughout World War I. Similar looking to the Maxim gun derived machine guns such as the Vickers, it was a simpler design using a single spring compared to...

Notes

  1. ^ Hogg, Ian V.; Batchelor, John (1976). Weapons & War Machines. London: Phoebus, p. 62. ISBN 0-7026-0008-3. 
    "The Vickers gun accompanied the BEF to France in 1914, and in the years that followed proved itself to be the most reliable weapon on the battlefield, some of its feats of endurance entering military mythology. Perhaps the most incredible was the action by the 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps at High Wood on August 24, 1916. This company had ten Vickers guns, and it was ordered to give sustained covering fire for 12 hours onto a selected area 2,000 yards away in order to prevent German troops forming up there for a counter-attack while a British attack was in progress. Two whole companies of infantrymen were allocated as carriers of ammunition, rations and water for the machine-gunners. Two men worked a belt-filling machine non-stop for 12 hours keeping up a supply of 250-round belts. One hundred new barrels were used up, and every drop of water in the neighbourhood, including the men’s drinking water and contents of the latrine buckets, went up in steam to keep the guns cool. And in that 12-hour period the ten guns fired a million rounds between them. One team fired 120,000 from one gun to win a five-franc prize offered to the highest-scoring gun. And at the end of that 12 hours every gun was working perfectly and not one gun had broken down during the whole period. It was this absolute foolproof reliability which endeared the Vickers to every British soldier who ever fired one. It never broke down; it just kept on firing and came back for more. And that was why the Mark 1 Vickers gun was to remain the standard medium machine-gun from 1912 to 1968."

Ian V. Hogg (1926 - 2002 March 07) was a notable author of books on firearms, artillery, ammunition, and fortification, as well as biographies of several famous general officers. ... A cutaway illustration of a ferry by Batchelor, showing trademark shading effects, red infill on the cut surfaces, and detailing An illustraiton of a Harley-Davidson Softail by John Batchelor Our modern World is full of talented artists. ... The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939–1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... High Wood is a small forest near Bazentin le Petit in the Somme département of northern France which was the scene of intense fighting for two months from 14 July to 15 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. ... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... A latrine is a structure (usually small; holding a single person) for defecation. ...

Further reading

  • Anon, Vickers, Sons and Maxim Limited: Their Works and Manufactures. (Reprinted from 'Engineering') London (1898).
Plates showing the mechanism of the forerunner of the Vickers gun, the Vickers Maxim gun as well as numerous plates of the factories in which they and other arms were made.

External links

See also

British & Commonwealth small arms of World War II
Weapons of the British Empire 1722-1965
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Vickers machine gun

  Results from FactBites:
 
Vickers machine gun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (719 words)
The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled.303 inch (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by the Vickers company, originally for the British Army.
The gun was 3 feet 8 inches (1.1 m) long and its cyclic rate of fire was between 450 and 600 rounds of ammunition per minute, with a range of approximately 4,500 yards (4,100 m).
As the machine gun armament of fighters moved from the fuselage to the wings in the years before WW2, the Vickers with its cloth belts was replaced by the Browning Model 1919 with metal clips in some aircraft, especially fighters.
Machine gun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3955 words)
The two major operation systems of modern automatic machine guns are gas operation (which uses the gas generated from the burning powder to cycle the action), or recoil operation (which uses the recoil generated from the ejecting bullet to cycle the action).
Medium and heavy machine guns are either mounted on a tripod or on a vehicle; when carried on foot, the machine gun and associated equipment (tripod, ammunition, spare barrels) require additional crew members.
A 7.62 mm GAU-17 gatling gun of the U.S. Navy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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