These low-resolution downloads are provided free-of-charge for the benefit of anyone that wants to know more about the use of the Vickers Machine Gun and know what the Machine Gunners would have known. Many are rare items not readily available so, if you find them useful, please support the development of this resource.

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An addendum to the handbook for Rangefinder, Infantry, No 2, 1913 was authorised by Army Order 195 of May 1915.

Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun (Magazine Rifle Chamber) Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV

1914, United Kingdom

This is the first complete handbook printed for the Vickers machine gun, including the tripod. The Maxim was still in service at this point in .45-inch, hence the reference to Magazine Rifle Chamber. Authorised by Army Order 50 of January 1915.

Amendments were approved and distributed by Army Order 238 of June 1915.

An addendum was approved and issued by Army Order 77 of February 1916. It was priced at one pence (A.O. 109 of March 1916).

Low resolution PDF download: 6,618 KB

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Handbook of the Range-Finder, Infantry, No. 2 (Barr & Stroud)

1916, United Kingdom

The instruction and use handbook for the range-finder that would stay in service with the Vickers until it was declared obsolete. This is the infantry range-finder that would later be re-designated the No. 12 to distinguish it from the artillery range-finder that was longer (a 1 metre base).

Low resolution PDF download: 10,279 KB 

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Handbook of the Vickers Machine Gun Model of 1915 with Pack Outfits and Accessories, 1917

July 1st 1917, United States of America

The US Army manual for the Model 1915 Vickers machine gun that was manufactured by Colt. This particular handbook also includes the packsaddlery and accessories issued with the gun.

Low resolution PDF download: 13,287 KB

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun (Magazine Rifle Chamber) Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV

1917, United Kingdom

An updated version of the 1914 manual, covering all technical aspects of the Vickers machine gun in British service, as well as a number of the accessories and the limbered wagon.

Low resolution PDF download: 4.317 KB

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Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV

April 1918, United Kingdom

The next issue of the handbooks was in April 1918. It continues the majority of the content of the 1917 manual.

Low resolution PDF download: 17,201 KB

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV

September 1918, United Kingdom

This is September reprint of the April, 1918, manual. It’s the last wartime handbook known to be printed.

Low resolution PDF download: 22,072 KB

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Handbook of “C.C.” Interrupter Gear. Types A, A1 and B. (Constantinesco Fire Control Timing Gear)

March 1918 (Second Edition), United Kingdom

The Constantinesco gear was the mechanical equipment that enable Vickers machine guns to fire through the propeller blades of aircraft. It synchronised the engine with the rate of fire.

Low resolution PDF download: 2,666 KB

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Handbook on the Vickers Gun

1919, United Kingdom

This is the Royal Air Force‘s handbook on the Vickers. They were using the Mk I ‘ground’ gun alongside the Mk I* and Mk II guns for aircraft.

Low resolution PDF download: 6,911 KB

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Addendum to Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun (Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV)

1920, United Kingdom

An addendum covering ‘Notes on Care and Adjustment of the Mark IV Tripod. Detailed descriptions of the components and how to maintain them.

Low resolution PDF download: 2,056 KB 

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Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun (Mounted on Tripod Mounting, Mark IV)

1923, British Army

The full technical handbook of the Vickers machine gun as it was after the Great War. This particular example is named to a unit of the Royal Tank Corps.

Low resolution PDF handbook: 4,881 KB

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Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine Gun and Tripod Mounting, Mark IV

1930, British Army

Possibly the most commonly found of the pre-Second World War Vickers machine gun manuals and handbooks. This is know to have been used by the Irish Army as well, with some examples merely being over-stamped on the cover but nothing else changed.

Low resolution PDF download: 12,206 KB

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Handbook for the .303-inch Vickers Machine Gun, 1930, Supplement

1930, British Army

A supplement for the 1930 handbook that covers the .5-inch Vickers machine gun (the Mk II was in service) and the Mark IV and IV* tank machine guns.

Low resolution PDF download: 3,103 KB

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Handbook for the .303-in. Vickers Machine and Tripod Mounting, Mark IV, 1930, Supplement No. 2

1931, British Army

A supplement covering ‘Description and Testing of Instruments used in conjunction with the .303-in. Vickers machine gun.

Low resolution PDF download: 1.18 MB

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Handbook of the Range-Finder Infantry No. 12 (Marks III, III*, IV, IV*, IV**, and V)

1933, British Army

The technical handbook on the later marks of the Barr & Stroud range-finder used alongside the Vickers machine gun.

Low resolution PDF download: 3,954 KB

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Air Publication 1641B, Volume I, Vickers .303-in. Gas Operated Mk I Guns, Descriptive Handbook (including amendments)

1938, Royal Air Force

This handbook covers the No 1 and No 2 Vickers Gas-Operated machine guns. The later amendments pasted in also cover the No 3 and No 4 guns. It provides a full description of the technical detail of the guns.

Low resolution PDF download: 1,799 KB 

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Machine Gun Handbook (Technical), Volume I, Pamphlet No. 1 – Vickers .303-in. and .5-in. Machine Guns and Appurtenances

1940, British Army

The last technical handbook to be issued for the Vickers machine guns, covering a lot of the accessories as well and the range of guns in service at the time of publication. It is published for armourers and equipment repairers to use.

Low resolution PDF download: 11,087 KB

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Machine Gun Handbook (Technical), Volume I, Pamphlet No. 2

1940, British Army

This second pamphlet of the technical volume covers the mountings, adapters and packsaddlery for the Vickers machine gun. It is published for armourers and equipment repairers to use.

Low resolution PDF download: 2,247 KB

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Air Publication 1641B, Volume I, Amendment No 4

1941, Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force

This is the Australian reprint of an amendment to the Vickers Gas-Operated machine gun handbook AP 1641B.

Low resolution PDF download: 366 KB 

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Air Publication 1641B, Volume I, Amendment No 5

1941, Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force

This is the Australian reprint of an amendment to the Vickers Gas-Operated machine gun handbook AP 1641B.

Low resolution PDF download: 367 KB 

High-resolution available on archive.org thanks to support through Patreon

Sources

  • The National Archives, WO 123/57, Army Orders 1915.
  • The National Archives, WO 123/58, Army Orders 1916.