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Vickers, Lewis, & Mountain Guns

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Old 12-29-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default Vickers, Lewis, & Mountain Guns

These are WWI short range guns, I think all of them meant to be relatively light and portable so they could be transported and used in mountains.

would appreciate any information from anyone who knows about their operations, especially what they are especially good for and what problems can arise.

The Vickers was used, for example, by T.E. Laurence against the Turks when the Ottoman Empire and the Brits were fighting in the Middle East.

doing research for writing project

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Old 12-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #2
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The Vickers was a fairly heavy weapon that was better suited to defence where as the Lewis Gun was a bit lighter and was used both on the ground and mounted to British aircraft.
The Vicker's was water cooled which can present problems if the water boiled off where as the Lewis was air cooled.

The Vickers MG's were the British main defence gun in the trenches that had a range of around 3700yds approximately firing a .303 bullet. Used in defence with interlocking fields of fire they were absolutely deadly. Here's some info on the Mk.1 Vickers.

Method of Feed Fabric belt from right side
Belt Capacity - 250 rounds.
Construction - canvas with brass separating strips
Weight Empty - 30 lbs.
With water - 40 lbs. (approx.)
Length 3 ft., 7 in.
Barrel Length - 28.4 in.
Calibre - .303-in.
Rifling - number of grooves - 5; twist - 1 turn in 10 in.; direction - to the left; depth - .005 in. to .008 in.; width of lands - .0936 in.
Sights Type - aperture and blade.
Range adjustment - using Plate, Graduated, Tangent Sight, No. 2 Mk. 1 for Mk. 7 ammunition - 100 to 2900 yd.
Range adjustment - using Plate, Graduated, Tangent Sight, No. 2 Mk. 2 for Mk. 8z ammunition - 100 to 3700 yd.
Sight base - (radius) - 36 in. (approx.)
Cyclic rate of fire 450 to 550 rounds per minute.
Method of breech locking Toggle joint.
System of operation Recoil, gas assisted.
Change lever Nil - full automatic only.
Type of cooling Liquid cooling
Capacity of barrel casing 7 pints (approx.)
Number of rounds required to boil water 600 (continuous firing)
Rate of evaporation 1.5 pints per 1000 rounds
Ammunition Cartridges, S.A. Ball, .303 in., Mk. 7, Mk. 7z or Mk. 8z, or Tracer or A.P.

The Lewis gun was used in both ground and air defence and it also fired a .303 bullet.

Type: Light machine gun
Country of Origin: United States & United Kingdom
Designed: 1911
Produced: 1913-1942
In Service: 1914-1953
Designer: Samuel McClean & Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis
Birmingham Small Arms Co.
Savage Arms Co.

Anti-Aircraft configuration
Light Infantry Pattern
Savage M1917
Model 15: 28 pounds (13 kg)
Mks I-V, Aircraft Pattern: 16.975 lb (7.7 kg)
Length: 50.5 inches (1,280 mm)
Barrel Length: 26.5 inches (670 mm)
Width: 4.5 inches (110 mm)
Cartridge: 0.303 British .30-06 Springfield
Action: Gas operated
Rate of Fire: 500-600 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 2,440 feet per second (740 m/s)
Effective Range: 880 yards (800 m)
Maximum Range: 3,500 yards (3,200 m)
Cooling Systm: Air Cooled
Feed System: 47 or 97-round drum magazine
Sights: Blade and Tangent Leaf

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Last edited by hairbear1; 12-30-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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both the Lewis and Vickers guns you refer to are machine guns that would be called light arms.

I was hoping to research more light artillery, i.e., a small cannon.

It appears the name Vickers was also applied to a light cannon used by the British in their colonies:

"The QF 2.95 inch mountain gun was the designation given by the British to a Vickers 75mm calibre gun."
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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I knew a Class III legal owner that had a Vickers water cooled, tripod mounted MG . I visited there once when some Police Officers were there firing it. They were pretty heavy thumbed and to my notion wasted a lot of expensive .303 ammo. When asked if I wanted to fire the gun, I did but remembered my Marine Corps training regarding MGs and attempted to fire single shots and after two or three attempts was able to do so. But most tries were two to four rounds fired.

We were taught that the enemy will put a mortor round where they see muzzle flashes or see aMG so keep the firing that they do not discover the location of the gun. And by the way, the cartridges were in a fabric type belt, not metal links as in American Browning MGs.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:19 PM   #5
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As others have said the Vickers would be quite a chore to hump up and down mountains as they are quite heavy. I estimate my Vickers with tripod about 80 lbs. The Lewis on the other hand is much lighter I estimate mine in the 20 lbs range. It wold be much easier to carry in rough terrain. There are plenty of parts still available for the Vickers.The Lewis not so much.

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