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Remembered Today:

vickers Machine Gun


Colin.hardy35

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A tank commander in a Mark 1 female tank reported that one of his Vickers Machine Guns had a "Number 3 Stoppage". Can anyone explain this to me please?

Colin Hardy

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A tank commander in a Mark 1 female tank reported that one of his Vickers Machine Guns had a "Number 3 Stoppage". Can anyone explain this to me please?

Colin Hardy

This may help, or it may not

Stoppages for the modern M240B Machine Gun:

A stoppage is an interruption in the cycle of operation caused by faulty action of the gun or faulty ammunition.

a. The types of stoppages are:

(1) Failure to feed.

(2) Failure to chamber.

(3) Failure to lock.

(4) Failure to fire.

(5) Failure to extract.

(6) Failure to cock.

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Hello,

A No3 stoppage is where the crank handle does not travel completely forward to the locked position (ie it does not meet the check lever)

Clearing it usually involved a smart smack downwards in order for it to complete its forward movement.

Try as I might I cannot recall what is actually the cause! I'm sure someone will provide the answer (Rich Fisher if he's listening!).....probably an oversize cartridge case or a slightly misfed belt.

I've had this happen when firing the Vickers but it is uncommon.

I'll look it up and I'm sure I have a postcard of an early Vickers gun with the No1 clearing the stoppage. It has a caption on the back. I'll dig it out and scan it.

Tocemma

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From Goldsmiths "Grand Old Lady", page 539:

3rd Position Stoppage

Probable causes and remedies:

1) Insufficient headspace

Remove headspace washers one at a time until lock can close on a cartridge without undue friction.

2) The feedblock slide is jammed and a cartridge is "crossfed"; ie., either its base has not moved into line with the extractor groove in the feedblock, or its nose has not moved sufficiently over to the left.

This often occurs when the rounds are not fed straight or when a loose or sloppily loaded belt is used, the cartridges not being properly seated. Check to see that the belt box is directly below the feedblock. Ensure cartridges are uniformly and correctly positioned in the belt. Pull belt over to the left and slightly to the front, and strike the crank handle down onto the check lever. If this fails to work, or the stoppage reoccurs, examine the extractor. If it is jammed, it will be necessary to force the extractor horns down with a screwdriver or similar tool before pulling the crank handle back, remove the lock, depress the belt holding pawl latch and attempt to straighten the belt. It may be necessary to use the screwdriver to pull the skewed cartridge out of the feed slot and pull the belt over to the left. If condition persists the feed slide pawl spring may be weak. Replace it.

3) Friction in the lock.

Extractor does not slide freely due to fouling or burrs, etc. Diassemble the lock, clean, and stone the extractor or lock body where it rubs.

4) Bent or damaged long spacers (every three rounds).

Straighten with pliers.

5) Thick-rimmed cartridge.

If cartridge is properly located in the feed slot yet the extractor will not rise up and slide over its base, the rim may be too thick. Remove belt and check other cartridges for same problem.

6) Stuck or "frozen" gib, overly stiff gib spring, or roughness or burrs on extractor face,

Replace lock or disassemble and repair the defective extractor.

7) Not enough tension on the recoil spring.

Tighten three turns and test tension. Repeat if necessary.

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Hello,

As promised link to image of 3rd stoppage. caption on the rear of the photo reads 'remedy of 3rd stoppage'

Smart smack down with hand. Note the early Vickers gun......milled side plates, milled out sight bridge, early tripod with rear leg strap, Mk1 ammo box.

Regards

Tocemma

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj300/tocemma/img100.jpg

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Thank you everyone. If my work is ever published I will duly acknowledge your help. The tank commander was Basil Henriques & this technical info. appears in a lecture he gave in March, 1917.

Colin

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From Andrews posting it doesn't look like a stoppage that would be easy to fix in the sponson of a rolling and lurching tank.

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From Andrews posting it doesn't look like a stoppage that would be easy to fix in the sponson of a rolling and lurching tank.

It looks even worse when you look back and release I'd missed out typing points 5-7! :blush: Now edited in. My guess would be it was most likely a very seriously crossfed round - very easy to happen in a tank with no suspension, difficult to sort out because of the same...

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Presumably that is why a spare Vickers was carried in the tanks armed with same.

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I've seen reference to a spare Hotchkiss carried in a Mk 1 but never a Vickers.

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Page 174 Band of Brigands by Christy Campbell, quote from Basil Henriques, Tank Commander, describing the personal kit and other items to be stowed in the tank and the problems associated with finding room for them:

Personal effects jostled with "Sixteen loaves, thirty tins of food, cheese..............

one spare drum of engine oil, two small drums of grease, three water cans and two boxes of revolver ammunition, four spare Vickers barrels, one spare Vickers gun, a spare barrel for the Hotchkiss......................

This was for their first appearance on the Somme so it would have been Mk1's.

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Try as I might I cannot recall what is actually the cause! I'm sure someone will provide the answer (Rich Fisher if he's listening!).....probably an oversize cartridge case or a slightly misfed belt.

Tocemma

I'm listening but always a couple of days behind it seems - people wanting to get rid of speed cameras is keeping me stuck in Council meetings when I should be doing Vickers stuff! (In my opinion anyway!).

Misfed belt is the most common reason for a No. 3. Few other mechanical things but most are easily resolved.

Headspare = prep issue. Not likely to happen in the field.

Lock friction = prep again - would notice before you got in your Tank.

Gib issues = same again.

Recoil tension = and again.

Bent spacers = change the belt or swap the feedblock if stuck (see below).

Thick rim = get rid of the round or prep your ammn first.

Misfed belt = change the feedblock and put a new one in quick - maybe easier to change than the whole gun. Early spares kits carried them in the case rather than just the box.

The only one likely to happen in a prepared gun that had been test fired would be the misfed rounds - and that is what most MGers seem to recall and it wouldn't be too difficult to remedy, even if you do need to change the gun. Good crew should be able to manage it well.

If you want copies of the primary source material, go to the manuals page on my website and download the 1914 handbook or the 1917 Provisional Training Manual; or any of the Machine Gunner's handbooks.

Regards

Richard

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