Oils, lubricants and preservatives
Standard service oils and lubricants were used for the Vickers machine guns in most cases; however, there were some variations or specific requirements for machine guns, as well as their mention in trials and experiments.
The 1914 handbook (War Office, 1914) identifies two types of oil used with the Vickers machine gun: oil, mineral, burning; and oil, Petroleum, Russian, lubricating. An allowance of 1/2 pint and 8 pints respectively was allowed per gun per year for guns in use. By 1918, the latter was replaced by (or terminology changed to) ‘oil, lubricating, G.S.’
The development of oils for use in machine guns was the subject of much debate in the early part of the Maxim and Vickers machine gun development.
As early as 1904, there were concerns about the use of machine guns in cold temperatures and climates.
124. Materials for Cleaning Arms.
*Clogging of oil used on mechanisms, &c., of Rifles, Machine Guns, &c., in cold weather.
D. of A., 14.5.1904, forwarded the following for consideration and remarks:-
OIL FOR MECHANISM OF SERVICE RIFLE AND MACHINE GUN.
Rangoon oil is supplied for oiling mechanism of rifles and Maxim guns.
On the departure of the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition, in 1894, it was decided to supply Mr. Jackson with a Service Magazine rifle to ascertain how the mechanism worked in high latitudes. On the working of the mechanism Mr. Jackson reported as follows:-
“No oil whatsoever must be used on the striking bolt, otherwise even at comparatively high temperature such as minus 5 [degrees] F. the oil becomes very thick and clogs, and the striker fails to strike the cap with sufficient force to explode it. A little paraffin may be substituted with which it works perfectly, strongly and smoothly, even at temperatures of -35 [degrees] F.”
On this C.S.O.F., 6.12.1895, observed:- “The removal of all oil from the firing mechanism and the substitution of paraffin sparingly applied is a precaution that should be inculcated on all troops operating in places where the temperature falls below freezing point of oil.”
No special instructions appear to have been issued in consequence of above, and the question came up again in 1902 on a report of failure of the striker to fire cartridge in consequence of oil clogging it. This was in South Africa. A similar report came from Canada. This was investigated, and it was considered that paraffin would be the most suitable oil to use at low temperatures, and the following instructions were issued on the subject – para. 200 “Musketry Regulations”:-
“Rangoon oil when subject to great cold becomes thick and causes miss-fires by checking the action of the striker; in cold climates, therefore, oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating (i.e., paraffin oil), will be substituted for Rangoon oil, and may be drawn in lieu of it in places where the temperature falls below 10 [degrees] F.”
A similar instruction was inserted in “Equipment Regulations, Armourers’ Instructions, and Maxim Gun Handbook.”
With a view of having a lubricant suitable for both hot and cold climates, trials are in progress at various stations at Home, Mediterranean, Canada, and the Cape, with oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, reported to bear cooling to a lower temperature than Rangoon oil without becoming unserviceable as a lubricant. Trials in mechanism of Maxim guns and rifles are in progress, and such reports as have been received show that the oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, is satisfactory.
The Commandant, Hythe, called attention to “The Times” report of the failure of the mechanism of the rifles and Maxim guns to work in the Tibet Expedition – the Chumbi Valley – owing to the freezing of the oil in the mechanism.
The report stated that-
“The effect of the cold upon inanimate objects has been very curious. The most important difficulty is that the Maxim guns and rifles have in some cases been almost disabled by the frost. It was at once obvious that the water-jacket of the Maxims was not merely useful, but a position source of danger. A mixture of run 25 per cent, and water 75 per cent., with sufficient kerosene added to make the mixture undrinkable, has been tried. This, however, freezes into a kind of slush, and the mixture is for the future to be altered to half-and-half rum and water. But this is by no means the only trouble. The oil in the locks of both rifles and Maxims freezes into a clogging mess which has caused endless miss-fires. This difficultly has been overcome by taking out the locks of the Maxims, cleaning them from oil as much as possible, and keeping them warm and dry by wearing them constantly in the breast pockets of the officers of the guns. The men on cold nights take their rifles into their blankets with them for the same reason, a curious sight for anyone who remembers how the men at Modder River had from an exactly opposite reason to lie upon their rifles to keep them still useful. But the difficulties are not even thus over so far as the Maxims are concerned. The normal “pull” of the fusee spring is between 7 lbs and 8 lbs. This has been found to be far too great for these altitudes. Single shots only can be fired thus. The reason has been variously given, but nothing entirely satisfactory has been yet suggested. The contention that cordite loses its force up here is disproved by the fact that the sighting remains satisfactory. Two methods of removing this difficulty have been tried. The fusee spring has in some cases been successfully weakened to 3 1/2 lbs. – or occasionally even less – when the automatic action again assets itself, but at a greater reduced rate of speed. Another ingenious remedy is the attachment to the muzzle of the gun of a small device originally intended for use when the barrel became very much fouled. This restores the action of the lock, with the fusee spring at its normal tension, thus retaining the normal rate of fire. Unfortunately, however, the part has only been supplied with a few of the Maxims at present with the force.”
The Committee recommend that trials be carried out to ascertain the best lubricant for use at low temperatures on rifle and machine gun mechanisms, and how the water in cooling chamber of Maxim machine gun can be kept in fluid condition when exposed to cold, also if this is the best thing to use under those conditions.
*The rifles could not be traced.Minute No. 857, 16.5.1904, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee.
Trials and reports continued.
124. Materials for Cleaning Arms.
Clogging of Oil on Mechanisms, &c., of Rifles, Machine Guns, &c., in cold weather.
Previous Minute 857, 16.5.1904.
D. of A., 20.6.1904, forwarded for consideration:-
“Chemist, W.D., was told on 28.5.1904 that oil, Russian, lubricating, was now under trial, and was asked to ascertain the temperature down to which it could be relied on, and whether at low temperatures smooth working was to be expected between metallic surfaces without lubrication; also with regard to the mixture of soft soap and water for Maxim gun jackets, whether 23 degrees F. was lowest temperature at which it could be relied on, and if there were any other simple cheap mixtures that he could recommend.”
He reported: 14.6.1904:-
“At 10 degrees F. oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, has the consistency of syrup, is rather thinner if anything, and remains quite clear. It does not lose its lubricating qualities , but they are such as must be expected from a relatively thick oil. No smooth working can be expected between metallic surfaces without lubrication.
“The freezing point of water can be considerably lowered by the addition of soft soap. Such a mixture would be free from the objections urged against an alcoholic liquid.
“In 1894 experiments were carried out here with such mixtures, and it was found that with a solution of 1 lb. of soft soap in 20 gallons of water the temperature could be lowered to 23 degrees F. before ice formed against the side of the vessel (glass tubes were used inserted in freezing mixture); at 22 degrees F. the contents of the tubes formed a kind of slush. The liquid in this condition would probably not interfere with the action of the Maxim.
“In this experiment the cooling was continuous down to 5 degrees F. Below 22 degrees solid ice began to form from the bottom of the tube; and at 5 degrees F. there was solid ice halfway up the tube.
“The problem of finding a cooling liquid that is efficient at all temperatures and in other respects unobjectionable is an old one and very many experiments and suggestions have been made, but without satisfactory results.”
The Committee recommend that experiments be made to ascertain if the Maxim gun can be fired with water in the jacket frozen, and also if the tensions of the springs are affected by low temperatures.Minute No. 864, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, 4th July 1904.
Trials continued during 1904 on other materials as lubricating oil in low temperatures, including ‘Plumbago’ and ‘Dartford Refrigerator’ oils. Plumbago was found to be too thick to work with the Maxim lock but Dartford Refrigerating Oil was considered for further trials (Minute No. 894, 30 January 1905). These trials took place in March, 1905.
124. Material for Cleaning Arms.
Experiments to test value of “Dartford Refrigerator Oil” as a lubricant for Small Arms.
A trial was carried out at Woolwich with Dartford Refrigerator Oil in comparison with Service Rangoon Oil.
Two Maxim guns, lubricated with each oil, were kept in a climatic house at a temperature of 20 [degrees] Fahr. for 48 hours, and two in a house at a temperature of 103 [degrees] Fahr. for the same time. A can of each kind of oil was left in both houses.
The guns kept in the col house were tried first. In the gun oiled with Rangoon, the oil had become very thick and sticky, and the extractor and barrel required some force to move them. Four rounds were fired, and the gun failed to feed each time, owing to insufficient recoil of the barrel. The gun was now oiled with some of the Rangoon Oil that had been kept in the climatic house, and four more rounds were fired, this time the feed was correct, but the recoil was not sufficient to allow the extractor to drop. The weight of the fuzee spring was then lowered to about 1 lb., when the gun at once fired automatically.
In the gun lubricated with Dartford Oil, the oil had become thick, but was not sticky, and appeared much more greasy that the Rangoon. Neither the barrel not the extractor required any force to move them, but owing to the oil having become thick they did not move freely.
Four rounds were fired, and each time, although the feed was correct, the recoil was not sufficient to allow the extractor to drop.
The weight of the fuzee spring was lowered about 1 lb., when the gun fired automatically.
In the guns placed in the hot house, both kinds of oil had dried up in some parts, and there appeared to be no difference in either kind of oil.
Both guns fired correctly on lowering the weight of the fuzee spring.
The oil has been tried here during the shooting of guns under inspection, the Dartford Oil is thinner in substance and of a more greasy nature than Rangoon.
It appears to be better than Rangoon as a lubricant for machine guns under all conditions of temperature.
The D. of A., 7.3.1905, forwarded for inspection.Minute No. 902, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, 13th March 1905.
This was followed up for discussion later in March, 1905 (Minute No. 909) and then compared for price.
124. Materials for Cleaning Arms.
Comparative prices of Service Rangoon Oil and Dartford Refrigerator Oil.
The D. of A., 8.4.1905, notified that the prices of Service Rangoon and Dartford Refrigerator Oils compare as follows:-
Service Rangoon Oil … … 1s. 2d. per gallon.
Dartford Refrigerator Oil … … 2s. 2d. per gallon, less 7 1/2 per cent. discount.
The average annual issue of Rangoon Oil is 22,425 gallons, cost 1,308 [pounds].
Dartford Refrigerator Oil would, on an annual issue of like amount, cost 2,429 [pounds]., less the 7 1/2 per cent. discount = 2,247 [pounds].
Increased cost, 939 [pounds] annually.Minute No 911, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, 10th April 1905.
In 1905, a report was received from the Russo-Japanese War and the observers that the British Army had in place.
124. Materials for Cleaning Arms.
Clogging of oil on mechanisms, &c. of rifles and machine guns in cold weather.
1. Report of Lieut.-Colonel J.A.L. Haldane, General Staff, attached to Japanese Army.
The Japanese Army does not use a gun with a water-jacket, and no case has occurred in which the mechanism of the rifle has clogged through the oil freezing. I am informed that no freezing has occurred; but I do not know the kind of oil used and will secure a bottle at the next action.
I have observed that the infantry carry a small tin of vaseline; and this as well as oil is used to clean the weapon. It is customary, too, in cold weather, for the barrel to be entirely covered up with cloth, as also the butt, which makes them less cold to the touch and possibly diminishes the chance of freezing. This course is not pursued by the Russian infantry.
A few days ago an officer of the staff remarked that the bore of the Japanese rifle was too small, and that men wounded by it recover so quickly as to be able to be present in the action following that in which they received their wound. The obvious remedy would be to hasten the intervals between the battles.
2. Issue of Lubricating Oil, Turpentine, and Glycerine to Machine-Gun Companies in the Russian Army.
(Extract from the “Proceedings of the (Russian) Ordnance Committee,” published in the “Artillery Journal,” June 1905, No. 31.)
It was proposed that the Ordnance Committee should decide the amounts, to be issued to machine-gun companies, of oil and turpentine for lubricating purposes, and of glycerine for mixing with water to prevent its freezing during operations in winter.
The Committee’s decision is as follows:-
The issues of oil and turpentine for machine guns, in time of war, are laid down in the “Proceedings of the Artillery COmmittee,” No. 58 of 1903, viz.:- oil, 9 funts (=8.1 lbs. avoirdupois), and turpentine, 3 funts (=2.7 lbs. avoirdupois) per machine-gun company per annum.
These amounts were decided on from data available from the chief artillery range, taking into consideration the amount of the annual practices executed by machine-gun companies.
In view of the facts (a) that the expenditure of ammunition by companies at war strength exceeds that of practice firing; (b) that thorough lubrication of the mechanism, in time of war, is absolutely essential; and (c) that it may be very difficult to procure the necessary materials when on the march, the Ordnance Committee recognises the advisability of providing machine-gun companies, before being despatched on a march, with a supply of lubricating materials, three times the amount of that laid down for peace time, viz.:- oil, 27 funts (=24.3 lbs. avoirdupois), and turpentine, 9 funts (=8.1 lbs. avoirdupois) per company.
Since there is an unavoidable and considerable loss of the liquid, while firing is going on, it is necessary to provide a reserve of glycerine, sufficient for several fillings of the jackets and reservoirs, in order to ensure the companies from running short in the course of repeated and prolonged engagements. At the same time, the carriage of a large amount of glycerine would overlord the companies.
Bearing this in mind, and considering that a rapid succession of sustained engagements is somewhat improbable in winter, the Committee considers it sufficient to issue to machine gun companies, as an experimental measure, 6 poods (=216.6 lbs. avoirdupois) per company – i.e. sufficient for two fillings of jackets and reservoirs.
The glycerine, lubricating oil, and turpentine which cannot be carried in the receptacles on the machine gun must be carried in the baggage carts.
In addition to the quantities mentioned above, for immediate issue to machine-gun companies, it is desirable to maintain, for each machine-gun company of an army in the field, a similar reserve of lubricating oil, turpentine, and glycerine in the artillery depot nearest to the theatre of operations.
Note:- 1 funt = .9 lbs. avoirdupois; 40 funt = 1 pood = 36.1 lbs. avoirdupois.
The D. of A., 1.9.1905, forwarded.Minute No 930, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, 6 November 1905.
An alternative to mineral oil was mineral jelly. This was considered unsuitable by the Small Arms Committee in 1906 (Minute No 956, 18.6.1906) so didn’t see service with the Vickers machine gun.
Dartford Refrigerating Oil was reported on in August 1906 following the service trials with different stations.
124. Materials for Cleaning Arms.
I. Reports on Comparative Trials of Oil, Petroleum, Russian Lubricating; Oil, Dartford, Refrigerating; and Rangoon Oil.
In accordance with Minute 911, 10.4.1906, Dartford refrigerator oil was issued to various stations to be tried in comparison with oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, and Rangoon oil.
The following are the reports on the trials:-
Southern Command, 10.5.1906:-
These oils have had a most extensive trial with various guns and mountings.
Neither oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, nor the Dartford refrigerator oil has been found to be as good as the Rangoon oil under all conditions, the latter being still superior.
The Dartford refrigerator oil has been found to be a very good lubricant, and is superior in every way to oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating. In case of emergency the Dartford oil would prove an excellent substitute for Rangoon.
The oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, has been found to be a very poor lubricant, and the results obtained with it have been bad.
Oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, is considered equal to Rangoon oil as regards small arms. In the case of [breech loading] mounting it was found that the bearings were in good condition, but slightly dark, and where used on exposed fittings the surface was dark. It is not efficient in preventing rust in damp weather. It adheres to the parts more readily than Dartford refrigerator oil, and does not harden and thicken like Rangoon. It is easily cleaned off and does not clog.
Oil, Dartford, refrigerator, is equal to either Rangoon or Russian lubricating for preserving the mechanism, but when used on exposed parts, the steel portion became discoloured and in some instances rusting has set in.
It is a much better lubricant for small arms, or closed bearings or ordnance, than either of the above-mentioned oils, as it does not dry up or clog.
Sierra Leone, 4.5.1906:-
The oil, Dartford, refrigerator, has been in use with two 6-inch B.L. guns Mark VII. It is a good lubricant, does not cake to the same extent as Rangoon oil, and when caked is more easily removable. It is more economical and a more suitable lubricant than the Service Rangoon oil, and also than the oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating.
Dartford refrigerator oil has proved itself a much better preservative and lubricant under all climatic circumstances prevailing at the Curagh than either Service Rangoon or Russian petroleum, it is undoubtedly superior to the Russian petroleum oil.
The great advantage of the Dartford refrigerator oil is that being so much thinner, it does not clog the action of the rifle like the other two oils; further, sand and dust do not adhere to it in the same proportion, and there is scarcely any waste.
Owing to there being no more severe weather it is not possible to report on the merits of Dartford refrigerator oil if subjected to the action of very hard frosts.
Oil, Russian, petroleum, is a good lubricant and does not cake with frost, but only becomes slightly thicker. In summer it thins out, but still retains its efficiency for lubrication.
The Dartford refrigerator oil has been handed over to Canadian Government, and if desired a further report will be rendered.
Establishments and Equipment Committee are of opinion that oil, Russian, lubricating, is better than Dartford refrigerator oil or Service Rangoon as a lubricant and preservative of small arms for the following reasons:-
(a) It does not clog during cold weather.
(b) It is a better lubricant, is cleaner and more economical than either Rangoon or Dartford refrigerator oil.
Oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, and oil, Dartford, refrigerator, are found to be better than Rangoon oil for preserving and lubricating the mechanisms of rifles and machine guns, as well as heavy guns and mountings.
These oils do not clog so much as the Rangoon oil.
The oil, Dartford, refrigerator, is a better oil generally than the oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating.
Both these oils, equally with Rangoon oil, when applied to exposed surfaces, have been found to set like varnish after a few days under the influence of the climate.
South Africa, 30.7.1906:-
In comparison with the Rangoon oil and oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, the oil, Dartford, refrigerator, is the better lubricant and preservative, as it is not affected to change in temperature.
It has the advantage of not drying or evaporating so rapidly, and is therefore more economical (to the extent of about one sixteenth).
Of the two experimental oils, the oil, Dartford, refrigerator, is considered the better.
D. of A., 28.6.1906, forwards for Committee’s consideration and asks if they recommend oil, petroleum, Russian.
II. Question of adoption of Oil, Petroleum, Russian, Lubricating, to replace Oil, Rangoon, and Mineral Jelly.
D. of A., 4.7.1906:-
Forwarded and asked, seeing that the extended trials recommended by the Small Arms Committee will probably take some considerable time to carry out, would it not be possible to submit a definite recommendation as to the adoption of oil, petroleum, Russian, lubricating, from the trials now being carried out in 57/Gen. No./5753 (Minute 961 I).
The reports of these trials show no definite superiority of any particular oil, but in view of the low price of Russian petroleum (5 1/2d per gallon), they recommend its adoption to take the place of the oil, Rangoon, and mineral jelly now in use.Minute No 961, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, 27th August 1906.
Oiling weapons during the Great War was a key part of the preparations for poison gas. Army Order 194 of June 1917 amended the Musketry Regulations to include the measures to take in the event of a poison gas attack. Much of it revolved around oiling the metal parts but it only lasted for 12 hours and that corrosion could happen even after oiling so the guns needed to be stripped and cleaned in boiling water and ‘a little soda’. There was also a comment that the occasional burst of fire would reduce the chance of jamming during a poison gas attack.
Used as a solvent in cleaning guns, turpentine was included in the list of materials with an allowance for one pint per year per gun during peacetime (War Office, 1914; 1918).
Often referred to as ‘cosmoline’, mineral jelly was used as a protective lubricant that was applied when weapons were stored for any length of time.
124. Materials for Cleaning Arms.
In “Extracts from advance proof of the revised edition of Description and Rules for the Management of the U.S. Magazine Rifle, Model 0f 1903,” which appeared in “Shooting and Fishing,” 4.10.1906, the following paragraph appeared:-
“Sperm oil only shall be used for lubricating metallic bearing and contact surfaces. For the chamber and bore only cosmoline or cosmic shall be used. This should also be applied to all metallic surfaces, to prevent rusting when arms are stored or when not used for an appreciable length of time.”
A sample was obtained, and Chemist W.D., 3.1.1907, stated:-
“‘Cosmoline’ is a fancy name for vaseline – mineral jelly – which the sample is. It melts at 110 [degrees] Fahr., and is the same material as Service mineral jelly, yellow, already in use as a Service small arm protective lubricant.”
D. of A., 10.1.1907, forwarded for the Committee to see.
Noted.Minute No 973, Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, 28th January 1907.
The materials identified above needed storing and carrying as close to the gun as possible, so they were readily available for use. This included the cans identified below as well as the containers and brushes in the handles of the crosspiece on the Mark I gun.
- Cat No. C2/BG 4058, List of Changes B 4878, CANS, GREASE, M.G., MK. I
From 1917, a can of oil was carried in the spare parts case as a ready supply for lubricating the gun when in use (War Office, 1917; 1918).
- Cat No. C1/BD 0131, List of changes A 7347 and B 9506, CANS, HALF-PINT, Mk. 1 – With stopper with leather disc, nozzle, cap with leather washer and chain and two loops
- Cat No. C1/BD 0132, List of changes A 3744 and B 9506, CANS, HALF-PINT, Mk. 2 – With stopper with leather disc, nozzle, cap with leather disc and chain with two loops
- Cat No. C1/BD 2696, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Heads, milled, M.G., Mk. 1, Washer
- Cat No. C1/BD 4197, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Brush, oil, M.G., Mk. 1, Brush, Mk. 2
- Cat No. C1/BD 6118, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Brush, oil, M.G., Mk. 1, Stem
- Cat No. C1/CA 0570, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Body
- Cat No. C1/CA 0571, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Cap
- Cat No. C1/CA 0572, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Chain, with two loops
- Cat No. C1/CA 0573, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Disc, cap
- Cat No. C1/CA 0574, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Disc, stopper
- Cat No. C1/CA 0575, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Mouth
- Cat No. C1/CA 0576, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Nozzle
- Cat No. C1/CA 0577, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Stopper
- Cat No. C1/CA 0531, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Brush, oil, M.G., Mk. 1, Brush, Mk. 1
- Cat No. C1/CA 0532, CANS, HALF-PINT, MK. 2, Heads, milled, M.G., Mk. 1, Head, Mk. 1
Cans, Oil, MG
- Cat No. C1/BD 0133, List of changes A 3312 and B 7345, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. I – With M.G. milled head and M.G. oil brush. Also for A.F.Vs.
- Cat No. C1/BD 0102, List of changes A 3312, BRUSHES, OIL, M.G., Mk. 1 – With wood stem
- Cat No. C1/BD 2014, List of changes A 7791 and C 3102, HEADS, MILLED, M.G., MK. 1 – With leather washer. For Guns, machine, Vickers, .303-in., Mk. 1 and Cans, oil, M.G., Mk. 1
- Cat No. C2/BG 0058, List of changes A 7766 and B 7344, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. II – With quick release cap with spring and leather washer; and oil brush with brass stem and cap retaining ring.
- Cat No. C2/BG 0059, List of changes A 7766 and B 7344, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. II, BRUSHES, OIL – With brass stem
- Cat No. C2/BG 0060, List of changes A 7766 and B 7344, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. II, CAPS, QUICK RELEASE
- Cat No. C2/BG 0061, List of changes A 7766 and B 7344, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. II, RINGS, RETAINING CAP
- Cat No. C2/BG 0062, List of changes A 7766 and B 7344, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. II, WASHERS, LEATHER
- Cat No. C2/BG 0063, List of changes A 7766 and B 7344, CANS, OIL, M.G., MK. II, WASHERS, SPRING
- Cat No. C1/BE 6167, List of changes B 2380, CANS, OIL, M.G., Mk. 3 – With screwed cap and brush and leather washer
- Cat No. C1/BE 6173, CANS, OIL, M.G., Mk. 3, Washers, leather
- Cat No. C1/BD 2014, List of changes A7791 and B3370, HEADS, MILLED, M.G., MK. I – With leather washer. For Lewis and Vickers (Mk. I) .303-in., M.Gs.; and Cans, oil, M.G., Mk. I; Hotchkiss .303-in. M.Gs., Mks. I and I*, No. 1 (N.I.V.); Vickers .5-in. M.G., Mk. I (Section C2 (N.I.V.)); and Rifle, Boys, Mk. I (Section B1)
- Cat No. C1/BD 4197, List of changes B 5479, BRUSHES, OIL, M.G., Mk. 2 – With plastic stem
- Cat No. B1/BA 0053, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 4
- Cat No. B1/BA 10048, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 4, Body
- Cat No. B1/BB 0055, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 4, Stopper
- Cat No. B1/BB 0054, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 4, Stopper, Spoon
- Cat No. B1/BA 10049, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 4, Stopper, Stopper
- Cat No. B1/BB 0056, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 4, Stopper, Washer
- Cat No. B1/BA 6320, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 5
- Cat No. B1/BJ 0084, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 5, Body
- Cat No. B1/BB 6321, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 5, Stopper
- Cat No. B1/BB 6328, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 5, Stopper, Spoon
- Cat No. B1/BB 6327, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 5, Stopper, Stopper
- Cat No. B1/BA 6326, BOTTLE, OIL, MK. 5, Stopper, Washer
- Small Arms Committee (1904) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 857, 16th May 1904.
- Small Arms Committee (1904) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 863, 4th July 1904.
- Small Arms Committee (1905) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 894, 30th January 1905.
- Small Arms Committee (1905) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 902, 13th March 1905.
- Small Arms Committee (1905) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 909, 27th March 1905.
- Small Arms Committee (1905) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 911, 10th April 1905.
- Small Arms Committee (1905) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 929, 6th November 1905.
- Small Arms Committee (1906) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 929, 27th August 1906.
- Small Arms Committee (1907) ‘124. Materials for Cleaning Arms’ in Proceedings of the Small Arms Committee, Minute No. 973, 28th January 1907.
- The National Archives, WO 123/59, Army Orders 1917.
- War Office (1914) Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun (Magazine Rifle Chamber) Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office.
- War Office (1917) Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun (Magazine Rifle Chamber) Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office.
- War Office (1918) Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office.
- War Office, 1914; 1940a; 1942; 1944c; 1949a Specific source references can be provided if required.