Rolls-Royce Experimental Machine Gun

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Gun, Machine, Rolls-Royce, Experimental
TypeHeavy machine gun
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In servicePrototype only
WarsWorld War II
Production history
Calibre.50 in (12.7 mm)
Effective firing range1,800 m (2,200 yd)

The Rolls-Royce Experimental Machine Gun was a prototype British heavy machine gun, designed by Rolls-Royce during World War II.

Rolls-Royce commenced design of a heavy machine gun in early 1940, intended for use in aircraft.[1] The result was a recoil operated weapon firing .50 Browning cartridges. This was evaluated in March 1941 and proved prone to stoppages.[2] A revised gas-operated weapon was designed and built to try and solve these problems.[3]

As well as the .50 inch versions, it was planned to modify the gas operated gun to fire the more powerful .55 inch ammunition used in the Boys anti-tank rifle.[4] All work on the Rolls-Royce machine guns was abandoned in 1942.[2]

Rolls-Royce did produce a small number of 40mm aircraft cannon. Although not deployed in action on aircraft, they were used on motor boats.

Rolls-Royce type BH 40mm Aircraft Cannon (1942) on display at the Silk Mill Museum, Derby, in 2010.


  1. ^ Birch 2000, p. 87
  2. ^ a b Hogg 1990, p.344
  3. ^ Birch 2000, p.97
  4. ^ Birch 2000, p.98
  • Birch, David. Rolls-Royce Armament. Derby, UK: Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. 2000. ISBN 1-872922-15-5.
  • Hogg, Ian V. and Weeks, John S. Military Small Arms of the 20th Century. Iola WI: Krause. 7th Edition, 1990. ISBN 0-87341-824-7.