Cat. No. Introduction Obsolescent Obsolete Remarks
Section C.2
B.M.0490
B.M.0491
L. of C. A.9603
57/Tanks/1870
6th November 1933
L. of C. C.2022
57/SA/1385
24th August 1944

This was a yet again improved version of the .5″ gun. It was eventually the standardised version of the .5″ gun that was to be used in all Light Tanks of the early war period. It was made stronger overall with thickening of the sideplates and trunnion block. The Mk. V was put into production in 1935 and it was a relatively success. It had an rate of fire between 500 and 600 rounds per minute. It weighed 63 lbs without water. The weight increases were due to the strengthening and restructuring of the receiver.

There is a .5″ Mk V within this collection; however, due to its weight, it is rarely displayed. It has been used for a photo study while recreating a soldier of the Long Range Desert Group. They were armed with the .5″ as a heavy machine gun mounted to the rear of 30cwt Chevrolet trucks.

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There is also a range of accessories in the photograph – these can be further explored at the accessories pages. This is alongside a ‘V’ series Vickers Mk. I for size comparison.

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Catalogue entry

List of changes A 9603, GUNS, MACHINE, VICKERS, .5-IN., MK. V

  • Cat No. C2/BM 0490, List of changes B 463, …With L.H. feed block
  • Cat No. C2/BM 0491, …With R.H. feed block

Production information

The .5-inch Mk. V Vickers MG was the main armament on the Light Tanks used by the Royal Tanks Corps (and later Regiment) in the 1930s and in the first few years of the Second World War, until replaced by the Besa and Browning MGs.

The table below provides a small amount of manufacturing data from 1935 onwards.

.5-inch Vickers MG War Office Contract Information
Date Item Maker Quantity and Other Details
05.09.1935 Vickers .5″ Mk V for AFV Vickers Armstrong 48
05.09.1935 Vickers .5″ Mk V for AFV Enfield 58
24.09.1936 Vickers .5″ Mk V and spares Vickers Armstrong 200
23.02.1939 Vickers .5″ Mk V, RH Feed Vickers Armstrong 160 with spares
31.03.1939 Vickers .5″ Mk V & spares Enfield 24
01.06.1939 Vickers .5″ Mk V & spares Enfield 53
26.07.1939 Vickers .5″ Mk V DP Enfield 4

Sources: