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Original Rare British WWI & WWII Vickers Anti-Aircraft Tripod Base for Vehicle and Ship Use

Regular price $1,995.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an item we have had for some time, acquired out of Great Britain years ago. We believe this is the lower portion of a Vehicle / Ship Anti-Aircraft mount for a Vickers .303 Medium Machine Gun. It features three 48 inch long steel legs attached to a central brass / bronze hub, definitely typical for most Vickers machine gun mounts. The center portion has a long turnbuckle securing extension, as usually seen on Vehicle and Ship Mounts. This would be attached to a D-Ring or other lashing point, on a ship or the bed of a truck, and then tightened to secure the mount. In this way it could be relatively easily moved depending on need. These also could be used on the ground, and lashed to a heavy weight.

This is unfortunately just the base of the tripod, and set up it measures 52 inches in height. The only marking we could find on it is 6266 on the side of the central portion. The crosshead / swivel portion that would attach to the machine gun is unfortunately missing, and we have not been able to source one over the years that we have had this. We now offer it to the collecting community in the hopes that they can put it to good use!

The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled .303 inch (7.7 mm) machine gun produced by Vickers Limited, originally for the British Army. The machine gun typically required a six to eight-man team to operate: one to fire, one to feed the ammunition, the rest to help carry the weapon, its ammunition and spare parts. It was in service from before the First World War until the 1960s.

The weapon had a reputation for great solidity and reliability. Ian V. Hogg, in Weapons & War Machines, describes an action that took place in August 1916, during which the British Army's 100th Company of the Machine Gun Corps fired their ten Vickers guns continuously for twelve hours. Using 100 new barrels, they fired a million rounds without a single breakdown. "It was this absolute foolproof reliability which endeared the Vickers to every British soldier who ever fired one."

The Vickers machine gun was based on the successful Maxim gun of the late 19th century. After purchasing the Maxim company outright in 1896, Vickers took the design of the Maxim gun and improved it, reducing its weight by lightening and simplifying the action and substituting components made with high strength alloys. A muzzle booster was also added.

The British Army formally adopted the Vickers gun as its standard machine gun on 26 November 1912, using it alongside their Maxims. There were still great shortages when the First World War began, and the British Expeditionary Force was still equipped with Maxims when sent to France in 1914. Vickers was, in fact, threatened with prosecution for war profiteering, due to the exorbitant price it was demanding for each gun. As a result, the price was slashed. As the war progressed, and numbers increased, it became the British Army's primary machine gun, and served on all fronts during the conflict. When the Lewis Gun was adopted as a light machine gun and issued to infantry units, the Vickers guns were redefined as heavy machine guns, withdrawn from infantry units, and grouped in the hands of the new Machine Gun Corps.

After the First World War, the Machine Gun Corps (MGC) was disbanded and the Vickers returned to infantry units. Before the Second World War, there were plans to replace the Vickers gun; one of the contenders was the 7.92 mm (.312 in) Besa machine gun (a Czech design), which eventually became the British Army's standard tank-mounted machine gun. However, the Vickers remained in service with the British Army until 30 March 1968. Its last operational use was in the Radfan during the Aden Emergency.

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