Vickers Machine Gun - History - Variants

Variants

The larger calibre (half-inch) version of the Vickers was used on armoured fighting vehicles and naval vessels.

The Gun, Machine, Vickers, .5-inch, Mk. II was used in tanks, the earlier Mark I having been the development model. This entered service in 1933 and was obsolete in 1944. Firing either single shot or automatic it had a pistol type trigger grip rather than the spades of the 0.303 in (7.7 mm) cartridge.

The Gun, Machine, Vickers, .5-inch, Mk. III was used as an anti-aircraft gun on British ships. This variation was typically four guns mounted on a 360° rotating and (+80° to −10°) elevating housing. The belts were rolled into a spiral and placed in hoppers beside each gun. The heavy plain bullet weighed 1.3 oz (37 g) and was good for 1,500 yd (1,400 m) range. Maximum rate of fire for the Mark III was about 700 rpm from a 200-round belt carried in a drum. They were fitted from the 1920s onwards, but in practical terms, proved of little use. During the Second World War, the naval 0.5 in (12.7 mm) version was also mounted on power-operated turrets in smaller watercraft, such as Motor Gun Boats and Motor Torpedo Boats.

The Mark IV and V guns were improvements on the Mark II. Intended for British light tanks, some were used during the war on mounts on trucks by the LRDG in the North Africa Campaign

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    Nationalist pride, like other variants of pride, can be a substitute for self-respect.
    Eric Hoffer (1902–1983)