Vickers .50 machine gun
|Vickers .50 machine gun|
A Vickers .50 machine gun, Polish Army Museum, Warsaw (2006)
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||United Kingdom
|Wars||World War II|
|Variants||Marks I - V[note 1]|
|Specifications (Vickers .5 Mk V)|
|Weight||63 pounds (29 kg) (includes 10 pounds (4.5 kg) cooling water)|
|Length||52.4 inches (1,330 mm)|
|Barrel length||31 inches (790 mm)|
|Calibre||0.5 inches (12.7 mm)|
|Rate of fire||500-600 rounds per minute|
|Muzzle velocity||2,540 feet per second (770 m/s)|
|Maximum firing range||Altitude : 9,500 feet (2,900 m)
Range: 4,265 yards (3,900 m)
The Vickers .50 machine gun, also known as the 'Vickers .50' was basically similar to the .303 inches (7.70 mm) Vickers machine gun but scaled up to use a larger-calibre 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) round. It saw some use in tanks and other fighting vehicles, but was much more commonly used as a close-in anti-aircraft weapon on Royal Navy and allied ships, typically in a four-gun mounting. The Vickers fired UK 12.7×81mm 50-calibre ammunition, not the better known US 12.7×99mm (.50 BMG).
Mark I was the development model.
Mark II, IV and V
Mark II entered service in 1933 and was mounted in some British tanks. Marks IV and V were improved versions and were also used mounted on trucks in the North Africa Campaign. It was superseded for use in armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) during World War II by the 15 mm (0.59 in) Besa.
Mark III was a naval version used as an anti-aircraft weapon, mostly by the Royal Navy and allied navies in World War II, typically in mountings of 4 guns. It proved insufficiently powerful in the short-range anti-aircraft role against modern all-metal aircraft and was superseded during World War II by the Oerlikon 20 mm cannon. The naval quad mount featured a 200-round magazine per barrel, which wrapped the ammunition belt around the magazine drum, and provided a maximum rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute, per gun. The four-barrel mounting had its guns adjusted to provide a spread of fire, amounting to 60 feet wide and 50 feet high at 1,000 yards (15–18 m at 915 m). Vickers claimed that it could fire all 800 rounds in 20 seconds and could then be reloaded in a further 30 seconds.
- i.e. Marks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Britain used Roman numerals to denote Marks (models) of ordnance until after World War II.
- Williams, Anthony G. "THE .5" VICKERS GUNS AND AMMUNITION". www.quarry.nildram.co.uk. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- The Vickers Machine Gun
- Tony DiGiulian, British 0.50"/62 (12.7 mm) Mark III
- Anthony G Williams, THE .5" VICKERS GUNS AND AMMUNITION
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