Small Arms Training Manuals

These 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 read 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. The archive now includes a wider range of associated documents so indirectly related to machine gunner. We hope you find it interesting.

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All of the manuals are sorted in date order, with some exceptions where it is appropriate to group similar manuals, such as the Small Arms Training series.

1920-1938:

Small Arms Training, Volume I

1924, United Kingdom

This the first volume to be produced for the British Army. It includes the theory behind weapons training and small arms fire, as well full training information for the rifle and bayonet, the Lewis gun, and the Hotchkiss gun.

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Small Arms Training, Volume II

1924, United Kingdom

The British Army‘s second volume on small arms training. Includes Annual Courses, Range and Battle Practices, Grenade Training, Webley Revolver Training and the Lewis and Hotchkiss Light Machine Guns.

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The Recruits’ and Trained Soldiers’ Record Book – Territorial Army

1928, United Kingdom

To record their progress, members of the Territorial Army had this record book for their rifle and light automatic (Lewis or Hotchkiss) training and tests.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I

1931, United Kingdom

The British Army‘s basic small arms training manual covering the use of the rifle, bayonet and revolver, as well as the theory of small arms fire and the general instructions for weapons training in the 1930s.

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Small Arms Training, Volume II

1931, United Kingdom

This is the British Army‘s manual on Lewis automatic (light machine gun) training, the grenade and small arms anti-aircraft fire. It covers the full training programmes for the different weapons in wider use in the infantry rifle company of the 1930s.

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Small Arms Training, Volume III

1931, United Kingdom

This full manual of the Vickers machine gun covers all aspects of the gun’s use in the machine gun company of a British Army infantry battalion in the 1930s.

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Small Arms Training, Volume IV

1931, United Kingdom

Regulations for the Conduct of Annual Courses and Range Practices including all of the rules for setting up the range, what should be tested and how to score the soldiers being tested. Included the light automatic (both Lewis and Hotchkiss) as well the revolver, rifle and, of course, the Vickers Machine Gun.

Coming soon.

Small Arms Training, Volume V

1931, United Kingdom

This extensive manual includes how the British Army managed their small arms ranges during the 1930s. It covers all of the different weapons and the ranges they could be used upon as well as the different types of targets and training equipment.

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Manual do Furriel

1937, Portugal

A full and very detailed manual on the small arms used by the Portuguese immediately prior to the Second World War. Their light machine guns included the Vickers Berthier and they used the Vickers machine gun as well.

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1939-1975:

A new series of Small Arms Training manuals were issued prior to the Second World War. Army Council Instruction 231 of 26 April, 1939, cancelled the previous Volumes I, II, III and IV, with the exception of Vol II were Lewis guns were still issued until Pamphlet No. 20 was issued later in 1939. Volume V remained in place throughout the Second World War.

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 1 – Weapon Training

1937, United Kingdom

This first pamphlet of the revised Volume I series outlines how weapons training should be carried out in the British Army (Explanation, Demonstration, Execution, Repetition) and what the series of pamphlets includes at the different points of issue. It also includes the basics on the theory of small arms fire and the training programmes for recruits, training soldiers and specialist training.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 1 – Weapon Training

June, 1939 (1937, Reprinted with Amendments (Nos. 1 & 2))

This first pamphlet of the revised Volume I series outlines how weapons training should be carried out in the British Army (Explanation, Demonstration, Execution, Repetition) and what the series of pamphlets includes at the different points of issue. It also includes the basics on the theory of small arms fire and the training programmes for recruits, training soldiers and specialist training. With the mobilization and expansion of the Army and Territorial Army, this incorporates the amendments on training and the available pamphlets.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 1 – Weapon Training

August, 1940 (1937, Reprinted with Amendments (Nos. 1, 2 and 3)), United Kingdom

This first pamphlet of the revised Volume I series outlines how weapons training should be carried out in the British Army (Explanation, Demonstration, Execution, Repetition) and what the series of pamphlets includes at the different points of issue. It also includes the basics on the theory of small arms fire and the training programmes for recruits, training soldiers and specialist training. With the mobilization and expansion of the Army and Territorial Army, this incorporates the amendments on training and an increase in the number of pamphlets up to No. 21.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 1 – Weapon Training

1942, United Kingdom

This is the first pamphlet in the mid-War revised series of publications on Small Arms Training. It provides the basics of instruction and training, including the theory of small arms fire and the basic courses of instruction for recruits and then trained soldiers on the Lee-Enfield rifle and the Bren light machine gun.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 1 – Weapon Training

December, 1942 (1942, Reprinted with Amendments (No. 1)), United Kingdom

This is the first pamphlet in the mid-War revised series of publications on Small Arms Training. It provides the basics of instruction and training, including the theory of small arms fire and the basic courses of instruction for recruits and then trained soldiers on the Lee-Enfield rifle and the Bren light machine gun. The amendments are minor.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 2 – Application of Fire

1937, United Kingdom

The purpose of this British Army training manual is to provide soldiers with an understanding of how to use the skills they learn as part of small arms training. It includes visual training, how to describe targets using the ‘military vocabulary’ target recognition, judging distance and fire control orders.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 2 – Application of Fire

1937 (Reprinted with Amendments (No. 1), 1939), United Kingdom

The purpose of this British Army training manual is to provide soldiers with an understanding of how to use the skills they learn as part of small arms training. It includes visual training, how to describe targets using the ‘military vocabulary’ target recognition, judging distance and fire control orders. This amended version includes changes to the recognition training.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 2 – Application of Fire

1942, United Kingdom

The purpose of this British Army training manual is to provide soldiers with an understanding of how to use the skills they learn as part of small arms training. It includes visual training, judging distance and fire control.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 2 – Application of Fire

1945, Australia

The purpose of this training manual is to provide soldiers with an understanding of how to use the skills they learn as part of small arms training. The Australian variant of this manual covers largely the same material as the British original, including visual training, judging distance and fire control.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 3 – Rifle

1937, United Kingdom

The basic weapon of every British Army soldier was the Lee-Enfield rifle. This manual covers all aspects of its use: mechanism and cleaning; aiming instruction; firing instruction; and fire discipline training. It also includes information on the sniper rifle of the time (the No. 3 rifle) and the No. 2 .22-inch training rifle.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 3 – Rifle

1937 (Reprinted with Amendments (No. 1), 1940), United Kingdom

The basic weapon of every British Army soldier was the Lee-Enfield rifle. This manual covers all aspects of its use: mechanism and cleaning; aiming instruction; firing instruction; and fire discipline training. It also includes information on the sniper rifle of the time (the No. 3 rifle) and the No. 2 .22-inch training rifle. The amendment in this version removes section fire discipline.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 3 – Rifle

1942, United Kingdom

This is a fully revised manual for training the British Army soldier in the use of the Lee-Enfield rifle. It includes information on the No. 1 Mark III rifle and the No. 4 sniper rifle, including the sniper sling. The chapters are: maintenance, aiming instruction, firing instruction, quickening and strengthening exercises, tests of elementary training.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 3 – Rifle

1943, Australia

The Australian Military Forces version of the pamphlet on the Lee-Enfield rifle largely covers the same as the 1937 British Army version; however, it adds an Appendix on the No 4 rifle and another on quickening and strengthening exercises (which form a chapter in the British 1942 version).

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 3 – Rifle

1943 (Amendment No. 1, 1945), Australia

This amendment to the 1943 small arms training pamphlet for the Australian Military Forces adds an appendix on the use of the No. 1 Lee-Enfield rifle (the SMLE) as a sniper rifle fitted with a scope.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Light Machine Gun

1939, United Kingdom

The first manual for the Bren light machine gun to be published. The Bren gun would become world-renowned and the favourite of many soldiers. This manual covers holding, aiming and firing, stripping, cleaning and mechanism, elementary handling, immediate action and stoppages, mounting on the tripod and advanced and section handing.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Light Machine Gun

1939 (Reprinted with Extracts from A.C.Is), Australia

This Australian reprint of the British Bren gun manual incorporates changes from the Army Council Instructions, including the need to fill magazines with 20 rounds only if kept stored for longer periods, and never loaded with more than 28 rounds. It also prohibits using abrasives or scraping instruments.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Light Machine Gun

1942, United Kingdom

This version of the British Army‘s Bren light machine gun manual includes both the Mark I and Mark II in its chapters on holding, aiming and firing, stripping, cleaning and mechanism, immediate action, stoppages, handling (bipod and tripod), fixed lines, and section handling.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Bren L.M.G.

1943, Australia

This Australian manual for the Bren was produced specifically for the Australian Army and is not a reprint of a British variant. Whilst it covers much of the same material, it has information on how the Australians were using fixed lines for example, and also for mounted units and anti-aircraft.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Bren L.M.G.

1943 (Amendment No. 1, 1943), Australia

A short amendment to the Australian Bren gun manual covering specific stripping and cleaning of the piston post.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Bren L.M.G.

1943 (Addendum No. 1, 1944), Australia

An addendum to the Australian 1943 Bren light machine gun manual that appears to just be a contents list that they forgot to include in the original print.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 4 – Bren L.M.G.

1943 (Amendment No. 2, 1945), Australia

Some amendments issued for the 1943 Bren light machine gun manual in Australia, this covers the spares barrel case and its contents, as well as notes on maintenance and use of the gun.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 5 – Anti-Tank Rifle

1937, United Kingdom

The first of the British Army‘s manuals on the Boys Anti-Tank rifle, which was the infantry anti-armour weapon at the company and platoon level. The battalion anti-tank platoon had 2-pounder anti-tank guns but this .55-inch calibre weapon was a bolt-action rifle. The manual covers the technical aspects of it with lessons in its use.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 5 – Anti-Tank Rifle

1937 (Reprinted with Amendments (No. 1), 1939), United Kingdom

This is the first update to the British Army‘s manual on the Boys Anti-Tank rifle. The battalion anti-tank platoon had 2-pounder anti-tank guns but this .55-inch calibre weapon was a bolt-action rifle. The manual covers the technical aspects of it with lessons in its use. The update is to include the Tests of Elementary Training for soldiers using it.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 5 – Anti-Tank Rifle

1942, Canada

This Canadian manual is a reprint of the British Army‘s mid-war update to the Boys Anti-Tank rifle manual. It includes more information on what the .55-inch ammunition will penetrate including both armour (the Panzer tanks) and fortifications.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 6 – Anti-Aircraft

1937, United Kingdom

This manual covers the use of small arms (the rifle and the light machine gun) against aircraft. It covers the basic principles and then how to ‘lead’ for moving aircraft as well all of the training aids, such as the spotlight projector and the pole and stand.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 6 – Anti-Aircraft

1937 (Reprinted with Amendments (Nos. 1 & 2), 1939), United Kingdom

This manual covers the use of small arms (the rifle and the light machine gun) against aircraft. It covers the basic principles and then how to ‘lead’ for moving aircraft as well all of the training aids, such as the spotlight projector and the pole and stand. This amended edition also includes the use of tracer.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 6 – Anti-Aircraft (Including Aircraft Recognition)

1937, Supplement No. 1, 1941, United Kingdom

This supplement to the anti-aircraft pamphlet includes the principles of anti-aircraft defence, not just how to use the small arms to fire at aircraft but where to expect them from, how to set up defensive positions and also the training theory behind aircraft recognition.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 6 – Anti-Aircraft

1942, United Kingdom

The full mid-war revision of the anti-aircraft pamphlet includes all of the previous topics but updated to account for the latest aircraft and practices. It includes the ‘hosepipe method’ of firing the Bren, the drum magazines issued with the Bren and more information on the theory of aircraft recognition.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 6, Anti-Aircraft, The Anti-Aircraft Cartwheel Sight (Eye Shooting)

Supplement No. 1, 1943, United Kingdom

This manual accompanied the standard anti-aircraft sight used across all of the small arms when mounted on anti-aircraft tripods of other equipment. The sight was specifically designed to provide standard distances and measurements using the graticules. It simplified anti-aircraft training and use.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 – .303-inch Machine Gun – Supplement (The Clinometer and Bar Foresight)

1939, Supplement, 1940, United Kingdom

A supplement to the 1939 series of manuals to allow for the units that had not been issued with the dial sights yet, and still used the clinometer and bar foresight for indirect fire work with the Vickers.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I. – Mechanical Subjects

1939, United Kingdom

The first of the revised Small Arms Training series for the Vickers machine gun that was issued immediately prior to the Second World War. This covers the mechanical subjects, such as disassembly, stoppages, mechanism and cleaning. It also has the training plan for the full series.

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A reprint with Amendment No. 1 embodied was notified in September 1940 in Army Council Instruction 1046.

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I. – Mechanical Subjects

1939 (Reprinted with Amendments (Nos. 1 & 2), 1941), United Kingdom

An amended version of the 1939 Vickers machine gun manual that incorporates the amendments up to 1941. These includes a minor word change in the characteristics section and nothing otherwise immediately obvious.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 (India), .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I. – Mechanical Subjects

1940, India

The British Indian Army variant of the Vickers machine gun mechanical subjects manual. Whilst the content of the lessons is similar, the organisation of the Indian Army was different; therefore, this manual doesn’t reference machine gun battalions and the training system in the way the British Army version does. There is a slight different in the spare parts carried as well. Many of the accessories are earlier variants than in use with the British Army, such as the Mark I aiming post, when the British had moved to the Mark III. The dial sight is not included but the clinometer and bar foresight are.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 (India), .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1940, India (ROMAN URDU)

This is a direct translation of the 1940 mechanical subjects manual for the British Indian Army; however, it is printed in phonetic Urdu for British Indian Army officers (who were English-speaking) to use with Urdu-speaking troops.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 (India), .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1940 (Reprinted January 1941), India

This appears to a direct reprint with a few minor changes in layout from the first printing.

The British Indian Army variant of the Vickers machine gun mechanical subjects manual. Whilst the content of the lessons is similar, the organisation of the Indian Army was different; therefore, this manual doesn’t reference machine gun battalions and the training system in the way the British Army version does. There is a slight different in the spare parts carried as well. Many of the accessories are earlier variants than in use with the British Army, such as the Mark I aiming post, when the British had moved to the Mark III. The dial sight is not included but the clinometer and bar foresight are.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 (India), .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1940 (Reprinted December 1941), India

This appears to a direct reprint with a few minor changes in layout from the January 1941 edition.

The British Indian Army variant of the Vickers machine gun mechanical subjects manual. Whilst the content of the lessons is similar, the organisation of the Indian Army was different; therefore, this manual doesn’t reference machine gun battalions and the training system in the way the British Army version does. There is a slight different in the spare parts carried as well. Many of the accessories are earlier variants than in use with the British Army, such as the Mark I aiming post, when the British had moved to the Mark III. The dial sight is not included but the clinometer and bar foresight are.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects – Supplement (The Clinometer and Bar Foresight)

1940 (Reprinted for Australia), Australia

This Supplement is written very differently to the British edition. The supplement is written as amendments to the regular training to allow for the lack of dial sights across the Australian forces at this point. It also uses the Angle of Sight Instrument rather than the Director. It also includes training on the different slide rule in use.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1939 (Reprinted with Amendments, 1941), Australia

This appears identical to the British 1939 print; however, it incorporates minor amendments issued in May 1939, February 1941 and an Australian Army Order from November 1940.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1941, United Kingdom

This is an updated version of the mechanical subjects for the Vickers machine gun with the British Army. It includes photographic plates of the dial sight and other equipment, rather than line drawings. The bulk of this manual remained unchanged throughout the Second World War.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1941 (Reprinted in Canada, February 1942), Canada

The Canadian reprint of the British Army manual is the same as the 1941 edition.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1939 (Reprinted with Amendments, 1942), Australia

The Australian version of the 1939 British Army Vickers MG manual that incorporates updates to 1942, including the additional information on clinometer and bar foresight for those units not equipped with the dial sight.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part I.- Mechanical Subjects

1942, Australia

This variation includes information on some of the older accessories that were still in use with the Australian Military Forces, such as the Angle of Sight Instrument.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1939, United Kingdom

This is the first training manual of drills for the Vickers machine gun in the Second World War. It includes the use of the 15-cwt truck and the organisation and running of a machine gun platoon in the machine gun battalion. The chapters are elementary gun drill, tests of elementary gun drill and instruments, signals, advanced machine gun handling, vehicles, visual training, section drill – direct fire, platoon drill – indirect, section drill – night firing, observation of fire and ranging, headquarters training and field duties. It also includes appendices on the spotlight apparatus and packsaddlery.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part IIA – Training, Infantry (Limber) and Horsed Cavalry

1939, Australia

This Australian variation of the 1939 British Army manual on the Vickers shows the difference in mechanisation between the two countries, with them still using the limbered wagon and packsaddlery as the main transport for some units and their machine guns.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 (India), .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1940, India

There is little difference in the section-level training between this manual and the British Army 1939 issue; however, this does not cover platoon level drills other than headquarters training, demonstrating how the Vickers was being used on a smaller, and less technical scale, by the British Indian Army.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7 (India), .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1940 (Reprinted in January 1941 with Amendments Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 incorporated), India

This updated manual from the British Indian Army still describes the role of a Brigade Machine Gun Officer and the use of the Vickers packsaddlery.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1941, United Kingdom

Replacing the 1939 manual, this edition includes photographs instead of line drawings as well as changing the field duties chapter to cover battle drill. It also has an appendix on the changes in drills when units are issued with clinometers and bar foresights rather than dial sights.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1941 (Reprinted in Canada (February, 1942)), Canada

This is a direct reprint of the British Army 1941 manual but the photographs are replaced with those of Canadian troops.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1941 (Reprinted in New Zealand (May, 1942)), New Zealand

This is a direct reprint of the British 1941 edition with an additional appendix on the use of the Mark II aiming lamp rather than the Mark III. The New Zealand forces had these still in use in sufficient numbers to warrant the inclusion.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training – 1941, Supplement No. 1, Radial Twin Vickers A.A. Mounting

1942, United Kingdom

An amazing supplement that details the use of the twin Vickers machine gun mounting for anti-aircraft use. It includes great photos of them mounted on the 15-cwt truck, as well as the changes in drills for when they were fitted.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1943, Australia

An interesting mid-War manual on how the Australians were using the Vickers MG ahead of their major involvement in the South West Pacific Area. It includes much of the same material as the British Army 1941 but adds anti-aircraft tripods and local-pattern trucks.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part II.- Training

1944, United Kingdom

The final training manual of the Second World War includes the Universal Carrier and how the Vickers was used with it. Despite this modernisation, it still retains packsaddlery, presumably for mountainous terrain and jungle warfare.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part III.- Fire Control

1939, United Kingdom

This part of the No. 7 pamphlet covers all aspects of controlling the fire of the Vickers machine gun. It includes direct and indirect fire and the grouping of guns and controlling those guns together. It also covers how the director, dial sight and clinometer and bar foresight as used in practice.

There was a previous version of this manual authorised by Army Council Instruction 72 of 8 February 1939. This edition was notified in December.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part III.- Fire Control

1939, Australia

This is an Australian version of the British Army manual that covers the control of the Vickers machine guns when being grouped together for direct and indirect fire.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part III.- Fire Control

1939 (Reprinted in Canada, February 1940), Canada

A direct Canadian re-print of the British Army version of the manual, covering all aspect of fire control for the Vickers MG.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Vickers Machine Gun, Part III (India), Fire Control Support Platoon

1940, India

The British Indian Army retained the Machine Gun Platoon in their infantry battalions as well as using the Divisional Machine Gun Battalion organisation. This meant that there were specific lessons for the platoon-level fire control that differed to the ‘normal’ machine gun battalion structure.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Vickers Machine Gun, Part III (India), Fire Control Support Platoon

1940, (Included Amendment No 1 of 1941), 1941, India (ROMAN URDU)

The British Indian Army retained the Machine Gun Platoon in their infantry battalions as well as using the Divisional Machine Gun Battalion organisation. This meant that there were specific lessons for the platoon-level fire control that differed to the ‘normal’ machine gun battalion structure. This version includes a 1941 amendment and is in Roman Urdu.

Low-resolution PDF download: 4,781 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part III.- Fire Control

1942, United Kingdom

As the Second World war developed, the fire control tactics and use of the Vickers machine gun differed from those at the beginning of the War. This captures the changes up to 1942, including the use of the Universal Carrier and the wider use of the dial sight and later versions of the fire control equipment.

Low-resolution PDF download: 6,662 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part III.- Fire Control

1942 (Reprinted in Canada, June, 1943), Canada

As the Second World war developed, the fire control tactics and use of the Vickers machine gun differed from those at the beginning of the War. This captures the changes up to 1942, including the use of the Universal Carrier and the wider use of the dial sight and later versions of the fire control equipment. This is a direct Canadian reprint from the British Army manual.

Low-resolution PDF download: 6,398 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 7, .303-inch Machine Gun, Part III.- Fire Control

1947, United Kingdom

The last manual issued for the Vickers MG from the Small Arms Training manual series, to be replaced by the Infantry Training series in 1951.

Low-resolution PDF download: 4.42 MB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 8, Mortar (2-inch)

1939, United Kingdom

The 2-inch mortar was a fundamental part of the infantry platoon’s arsenal during the Second World War and for many years after, until replaced by the 51mm mortar that saw service into the 21st century. This pamphlet provides the mechanical and tactical information for the platoon use. It was used to lay smoke and with some high-explosive rounds for target destruction.

Low-resolution PDF download: 661 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 8, Mortar (2-inch)

1939, Amendment (No. 1), 1941, United Kingdom

Amending the 1939 version, this document includes information on the bombs and how they were painted, as well as drills to carry out in the event of a misfire.

Low-resolution PDF download: 316 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 9, Mortar (3-inch)

1937 (Reprinted in Canada, October 1939), Canada

The 3-inch mortar often served as the only indirect fire weapon of the infantry battalion during the Second World War. In the parachute, airlanding, Chindit, commando and motor battalions it was part of the support company alongside the Vickers MG and both would complement each other, often working together closely. When the Vickers was returned to the infantry battalions from 1946, they served alongside the mortars closely. This manual details the drills and training, as well as some mechanical and technical information prior to the start of the Second World War. This is the Canadian reprint of the British Army manual.

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,703 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 9, Mortar (3-inch)

1939, United Kingdom

The 3-inch mortar often served as the only indirect fire weapon of the infantry battalion during the Second World War. In the parachute, airlanding, Chindit, commando and motor battalions it was part of the support company alongside the Vickers MG and both would complement each other, often working together closely. When the Vickers was returned to the infantry battalions from 1946, they served alongside the mortars closely. This manual details the drills and training, as well as some mechanical and technical information as it was at the start of the Second World War.

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,694 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 9, Mortar (3-inch)

1943, Amendments (No. 1), 1943, United Kingdom

The 3-inch mortar often served as the only indirect fire weapon of the infantry battalion during the Second World War. In the parachute, airlanding, Chindit, commando and motor battalions it was part of the support company alongside the Vickers MG and both would complement each other, often working together closely. When the Vickers was returned to the infantry battalions from 1946, they served alongside the mortars closely. This manual details the drills and training, as well as some mechanical and technical information as it was at the start of the Second World War. This amendment provides details of the mortars bombs and associated equipment as were used at the start of the North-West Europe campaign in 1944. It includes the detail on the load carrying equipment often mistakenly associated with the Vickers.

Low-resolution PDF download: 747 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 10, Infantry Range-finder

1937, United Kingdom

The range-finder was a piece of equipment that stayed in service for the full life of the Vickers machine gun and can be seen in the equipment lists and tables throughout its time. This is the first of the Small Arms Training manual series and supersedes the Handbooks that were used. It covers the basic mechanics as well as the mathematics required and the tactical fieldcraft and use for the range-taker.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,884 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 10, Infantry Range-finder

1937 (Modified for Australia), Australia

As with many other small arms training manuals, they were adapted for the Imperial armies around the World. This example is from Australia and includes changes to the location of the Small Arms School (which was in Randwick, south of Sydney). There is also an additional paragraph on obtaining known ranges, to be done only by officers. The time limit for the annual test and the marking and classification are also different.

Low-resolution PDF download: 3,091 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 10, 1937, Supplement No. 1, Falsification Tables

1937, Supplement, 1941, United Kingdom

This supplement was a training aid for the range-taker. It provides information needed to make a known error on the range-finder.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,119 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 10, Range-finder No. 12

1942, United Kingdom

Incorporating the previous supplement, this pamphlet also includes the later Mark 6 range-finder details. The lessons from this pamphlet have been used in our recreation videos of the training for the range-taker.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 10, Range-finder No. 12

1942, Canada

Incorporating the previous supplement, this pamphlet also includes the later Mark 6 range-finder details. The lessons from this pamphlet have been used in our recreation videos of the training for the range-taker. A full Canadian reprint of the British Army manual for 1942.

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,609 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11, Pistol (.38-inch)

1937, United Kingdom

In the 1930s, the .38-inch revolver replaced the .455-inch in many areas of British service. This is the manual that was first issued covering safety precautions and cleaning, drawing, returning, loading and unloading, holding and trigger pressing, firing single action, using sights, service shooting with single and double action, as well as mounted practice to the cavalry and Mounted Military Policy.

Low-resolution PDF download: 780 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11, Pistol (.38-inch)

1937, Amendments (No. 1), 1938, United Kingdom

An amendment sheet for the 1937 manual on the .38-inch revolver in British service.

Low-resolution PDF download: 275 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11, Pistol (.455-inch)

1937, Australia

While the .38-inch was intended to replace all the revolvers in service, this variation was issued for the .455-inch revolver and this is an Australian print of that manual.

Low-resolution PDF download: 743 KB

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A reprint with Amendment No. 1 embodied was notified in September 1940 in Army Council Instruction 1046.

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11, Pistol (.38-inch)

1941, United Kingdom

This update to the 1937 manual included revolver firing by sense of direction instead of the single and double service shooting section.

Low-resolution PDF download: 757 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11A, Pistol (.38-inch)

1941, Australia

This Australian version of the British manual includes Australian photographs but it is not apparent any of the drills vary.

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 11, Pistol (.38-inch)

1942, United Kingdom

The last version of the British manual issued during the Second World War, this simplified the revolver drills to just three lessons: cleaning, ready position, loading and unloading; firing by sense of direction; firing from cover, using the sights etc.. There were also strength and quickening exercises.

Low-resolution PDF download: 613 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 12, Bayonet

1937, United Kingdom

This is the training manual that taught the soldiers of the British Army how to use the ‘cold steel’ – the bayonet! Somewhat different to the aggressive nature of training associated with this weapon, this details the specific training on how to use the bayonet and the movements for ‘on guard’, high-port and the controlled charge. Also showing use of the training stick. This early manual is based on the use of the SMLE rifle with the long ‘sword’ bayonet.

Low-resolution PDF download: 725 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 12, Bayonet

1942, United Kingdom

This mid-war re-issue of the manual is much simplified from the 1937 version. It covers everything the British Army soldier needed to know about using the bayonet and the hand-to-hand combat. Despite the No 4 rifle becoming much more widespread, with its short ‘spike’ bayonet, this manual still covers the SMLE with the ‘sword’ bayonet.

Low-resolution PDF download: 726 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 13, Grenade

1937, United Kingdom

One of the main weapons available to the combat soldier, grenade training was a key part of their career. This manual describes the high explosive grenade (the No 36 ‘Mills Bomb’) and the rifle discharger cup as well the firing instruction, throwing instruction and the training with live grenades.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,616 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 13, Grenade

1937 (Reprinted in Canada with amendment 1, November 1940), Canada

This Canadian reprint of the British Army manual includes the first amendment to it. It covers all aspects training for the grenade (Mills Bomb) at the start of the Second World War.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,544 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 13, 1937, Supplement No. 1: No. 68 Anti-tank Grenade (Rifle), No. 69 Bakelite Grenade (Hand)

1941 (Reprinted in Canada (July, 1941), Canada

As the Second World War development, different types of grenades were introduced, with special purposes. This Canadian reprint of the British Army manual covers the rifle anti-tank grenade and the Bakelite No 69 grenade. The latter had limited percussion so could be used very close to your own troops.

Low-resolution PDF download: 580 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 13, 1937, Supplement No. 2: No. 73 Anti-tank Grenade (Hand), The S.T. Grenade (Hand), The Hand Incendiary Bomb

1941, United Kingdom

This supplement to the main British Army grenade manual covers the powerful anti-tank grenade, the ‘sticky bomb’ and the hand incendiary grenade.

Low-resolution PDF download: 550 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 13, Grenade

1942, United Kingdom

Incorporating the changes and developments of the Second World War so far, this British Army manual includes the No 36 ‘Mills Bomb’ as well as the No 68 and No 73 anti-tank grenades, No 69 percussion grenade, the S.T. sticky bomb, No 75 Hawkins mine and No 77 white phosphorous grenade.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,798 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 14, Annual Courses – Regular Army. Cavalry Regiments (Horsed) and Infantry (Rifle) Battalions

1938, United Kingdom

Annual courses for small arms training prior to the Second World War were different depending on the arm of service the soldier was it. This pamphlet covers those regular troops in the cavalry and infantry – the main fighting elements. It includes the course on the rifle, light machine gun, pistol, anti-tank rifle and mortar.

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,812 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 14, Annual (1939) Range Courses (other than .303-in. Vickers M.G.), Regular Army: Cavalry Regiments (Horsed), Infantry Battalions

1939, United Kingdom

Annual courses for small arms training prior to the Second World War were different depending on the arm of service the soldier was it. This pamphlet covers those regular troops in the cavalry and infantry – the main fighting elements. It includes the course on the rifle, light machine gun, pistol, anti-tank rifle and mortar.

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,063 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 14, Annual (1939) Range Courses (other than .303-in. Vickers M.G.), Regular Army: Cavalry Regiments (Horsed), Infantry Battalions

1939, Amendment (No. 1), 1938, United Kingdom

This amendment to the annual courses pamphlet amends the Sniper course by removing the allowance for coaching in Part II of the course.

Low-resolution PDF download: 275 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 14 (Australia), Small Arms Practices

1943, Australia

While the British Army consolidated their wartime range practices into Pamphlet No 18 of the Volume, the Australians decided to consolidate theirs into Pamphlet No. 14. This covers all of the war range courses for miniature range rifle, rifle, light machine gun (Bren and Lewis), Vickers medium machine gun, pistol, sniper rifle, anti-aircraft, sub-machine guns and mortars. There are also battle practices included.

Low-resolution PDF download: 3,517 KB

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Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 14 (Australia), Small Arms Practices

1943, Addendum No. 1, 1944, Australia

Low-resolution PDF download: 310 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 15 (India), Annual Range Courses

Medium M.G. Bns and support pls. armed with V.M.Gs., Regular Army

1942, India

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,357 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 16, Annual Range Courses, Regular Army

Other than Cavalry Regiments (Horsed and Mechanized), Infantry and M.G. Battalions and The Royal Tank Corps

1938, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 932 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 16, Annual Range Courses, Regular Army

Other than Cavalry Regiments (Horsed and Mechanized), Infantry and M.G. Battalions and The Royal Tank Corps

1938, Amendments (No. 1), 1939, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 321 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 17, Range Courses –

Territorial Army (less Cav. Armd. C. Regts., Cav. Lt. Tk. Regts. and R.T.C. Bns.) and Supplementary Reserve (less Infantry)

1939, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,001 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War)

(For all units at home other than R.A.C., A.D.G.B., and O.C.T. Units)

1939, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,095 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War), Supplement – Anti-Tank Rifle Course

(For all units at Home other than R.A.C., A.D.G.B., and O.C.T. Units)

1940, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 667 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War), Supplement No. 3 – Pistol Course

(For all Units at Home)

1940, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 358 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War), With Supplements Nos. 1 and 2

(For all units at home other than R.A.C., A.D.G.B., and O.C.T. Units)

1939 (Reprinted in Canada (January, 1941)), Canada

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,405 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War), Supplement No. 3 – Pistol Course

(For all Units at Home)

1940 (Reprinted in Canada (November, 1941), Canada

Low-resolution PDF download: 335 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War)

(For all units at home other than Royal Armoured Corps, Air Defence Great Britain, and Officer Cadet Training Units)

1942, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,748 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 18, Range Courses (War), Supplement No. 1 – Individual Battle Practices

1943, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 409 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 19, Anti-Tank Gun

(25-mm. Hotchkiss, Mark I on 25-mm. Carriage, Mark I)

1939, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,813 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 20, .303-inch Lewis Machine Gun

1939, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,048 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 21, Thompson Sub-Machine-Gun

1940, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 575 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 21, The Thompson Machine Carbine

1942, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 599 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 21, The Machine Carbine

1944, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,032 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 22, Sten Machine Carbine

1942, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 616 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 23, The 29-mm. Spigot Mortar

1942, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,209 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 24, Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank (PIAT)

1943 (Provisional), United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 872 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 26, Mortar (4.2-inch)

1943, including Amendments Nos. 1 and 2, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 10,776 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume I, Pamphlet No. 27, 6-pdr., 7-cwt. Anti-Tank Gun

1944, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 4,858 KB

Weapon Training Memorandum, War, No. 1

1940, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,105 KB

Weapon Training Memorandum, War, No. 2

1940, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 466 KB

Weapon Training Memorandum, No. 7

1944, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 1,387 KB

Weapon Training Memorandum, No. 8

1945, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 3,217 KB

Small Arms Training, Volume V, War Supplement, Small Arms Ranges, Layout, Safety and Equipment

1945, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 2,955 KB

Royal Naval Handbook of Small Arm Courses for His Majesty’s Fleet

1939, United Kingdom

Low-resolution PDF download: 7,823 KB

Training Regulations No. 11, Annual Range Practices (Small Arms) and Allotment of Small Arms Ammunition

1944, Ireland

Part of the range regulations series for the the Irish Army during the ‘Emergency’. The information includes the range practices and the number of rounds of ammunition they used.

Low-resolution PDF download: 5.43 MB 

Manual of Musketry, Part I: Weapon Training – General

1959, Ireland

Low-resolution PDF download: 4,992 KB

Vickers MMG

c1970s, Republic of South Africa

Low-resolution PDF download: 29,642 KB

These 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 read 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. The archive now includes a wider range of associated documents so indirectly related to machine gunner. We hope you find it interesting.

By supporting the Association through Patreon, you are supporting the website fees that will enable us to have high-resolution versions online. All donations are truly appreciated.

If you’d prefer to only give on a one-off basis, then go to PayPal or BuyMeACoffee and make a donation there.

All of the manuals are sorted in date order, with some exceptions where it is appropriate to group similar manuals, such as the Small Arms Training series.

Sources

  • The National Archives, WO 293/24, Army Council Instructions 1939.
  • The National Archives, WO 293/25, Army Council Instructions 1940.