The British Vickers medium machine gun, stemming from the Maxim series in the late 1800s, became a remarkable battlefield asset. It emerged from the Maxim company's evolution, eventually joining Vickers, Sons & Maxim. The modified Vickers version, with improvements like reduced weight and aluminum components, stood out as a highly successful machine gun design, adopted by various nations and deployed in World Wars and conflicts worldwide.
Characterized by its unique water-cooling system and firing the .303 Imperial cartridge, the Vickers machine gun demonstrated reliability and effectiveness. It could sustain a rate of fire between 450 and 500 rounds per minute. Operating the Vickers machine gun required a minimum crew of three due to its intricate design. While relatively heavy and complex, its reputation as a dependable and adaptable weapon remained intact, earning respect during harsh conditions, including trench warfare.
Renowned for its versatility, the Vickers machine gun saw service across various domains, from supporting ground forces to being mounted on aircraft, ships, and vehicles. Its impact during World War I solidified its standing as one of the premier machine guns of its time, appreciated for its performance and reliability on the battlefield.
Years in Service: 1912
Manufacturer: Vickers Ltd / Vickers Armstrongs, Ltd / Royal Armouries - UK
Operator: Albania; Australia; Bolivia; Canada; China; Ceylon; Czechoslovakia; Egypt; France; India; Ireland; Luxembourg; Nepal; Pakistan; Paraguay; Philippines; Portugal; South Africa; Southern Rhodesia; United Kingdom; United States
Ability to suppress enemy elements at a distance using direct or indirect fire.
Able to attack low-flying threats from the air.
Overall Length: 1,100 mm (43.31 inches)
Barrel length: 720mm 28. 35 inches
Cured weight: 55.12 lbs (25.00 kg)
Attractions: Iron; optional collimating sight.
Recoil operation; automatic fire only
Caliber: .303 UK / 7. 62x51mm NATO / . 30-06 (various others)
Circle/Feed: 250 release belt (later metal link)
Maximum efficiency: 6,560 feet (1,999m | 2,187m)
Rate of fire: 500 Number of revolutions
Mile speed: 2,440 ft/s (744 m/s)
Tag 1 - Initial infantry support model; water cooled; adopted in 1912.
Mark 1* - Aircraft production form; air-cooled; published in 1916; 28 pounds.
Class 2 - Aircraft production form; air-cooled; appeared in 1917; 22 pounds.
Mark 2* - Aircraft Production Form; Air Cooled; Published 1927; Allows feeding from left or right side of receiver.
Mark 4 - Vehicle Weapon; Published in 1929; Exists only as a prototype.
Mark 4B - Vehicle weapon; newly designed running jacket.
Mark 5 - Aircraft production form; based on Mk 3; redesigned recipient access.
Mark 6 - Vehicle Weapons; Water Cooling; Published 1934; Based on Mk 4B Model.
Mark 6* - Vehicle weapon with improved base and barrel sheath.
Mark 7 - Vehicle weapon; based on Mk 6US machine gun, caliber. 30in M1915 - US Army Local Licensed Production Colt; for . 30-06 cartridge. Ametrallador Modello 1915 The Mexican Army designation for the American M1915.
Vickers 50 - Heavy machine gun derivative in the form of Mk 1, Mk 2, Mk 3, Mk 4 and Mk 5.