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Time for a water-cooled 7.62 MG?

#1
Reading another thread I noted the comment about the rate of fire of the old Vickers MMG; water cooled and AIUI, in trials fired 2 million rounds ( no typo ) without much of a problem apart from wearing out seven barrels. This took two weeks to complete but is a simply awesome example of sustained fire.

OK its an heavy piece of kit, but if its used to add firepower to a FOB, it would not need to be particularly manportable. We already use GMG and HMG in the FSG, so why not include this phenomenal manstopper?

THIS is SF...
 
#2
Could you keep up the supply of water required?

This was the reason why the French went down the air cooled route due to their commitments in the rather parched North African desert, but I suppose if use was limited to fixed positions with good supply it shouldn't be a problem.

This then begs several questions. There are 2 "good" watercooled designs: The Grand Old Lady, as above, and the M 1917 browning, created by The Prophet himself.

The browning design is simpler and better suited to mass production, and there are already modifications to use NATO disintegrating link. Has anyone ever done a comparative between the two, and did anyone (e.g. the South Africans) do a disintegrating link modification?

Either way, would there also be mileage in supplying a certain number of barrels, breech blocks, and feed plates to enable firing of captured stocks of 7.62 x 54R?
 
#3
What do you need an old piece of very heavy (45lbs)crap when you have the GPMG and the M2 Browning, giving better rate of fire and longer range
 
#5
stoatman said:
Could you keep up the supply of water required?

This was the reason why the French went down the air cooled route due to their commitments in the rather parched North African desert, but I suppose if use was limited to fixed positions with good supply it shouldn't be a problem.

This then begs several questions. There are 2 "good" watercooled designs: The Grand Old Lady, as above, and the M 1917 browning, created by The Prophet himself.

The browning design is simpler and better suited to mass production, and there are already modifications to use NATO disintegrating link. Has anyone ever done a comparative between the two, and did anyone (e.g. the South Africans) do a disintegrating link modification?

Either way, would there also be mileage in supplying a certain number of barrels, breech blocks, and feed plates to enable firing of captured stocks of 7.62 x 54R?
Isn't the Vickers an improvement over the Browning design?
 
#8
A very slow rate of fire, 450rpm even Vickers went air cooled when they brought out the VGO with a better rate of fire, having fired both the gpmg and the Vickers in the SF role I would always go with the GPMG, even in WW1 it was replaced by the Lewis gun in most infantry batallions, and by the Hotchkiss in most tanks because of it's vunerablty to damage by enemy fire
 
#9
The water was recycled through a condenser so not that much was actually lost.

I'd have thought that the main issue would be resupply of ammo - burning through rounds is all well and good, but ISTR that some of the FOBs were at critically low ammo states before replens could get through.
And that was with comparatively lower cyclic rates.
 
#10
tropper66 said:
A very slow rate of fire, 450rpm even Vickers went air cooled when they brought out the VGO with a better rate of fire, having fired both the gpmg and the Vickers in the SF role I would always go with the GPMG, even in WW1 it was replaced by the Lewis gun in most infantry batallions, and by the Hotchkiss in most tanks because of it's vunerablty to damage by enemy fire
1. The slow rate of fire was by design choice, the aircraft models with lighter barrels went faster.

2. The VGO is a different beast entirely with no design similarities to the Vickers, designed as a flexible, lightweight observers' weapon in aircraft and was never intended for ground use (although it was used by SAS on their jeeps).

3. The Lewis was a platoon level asset with a different role. Were the Vickers even used as low as battalion level? Perhaps before the Lewis freed them up for doing what they were supposed to be doing, but they were never a mobile asset.
 
#13
Gatling / miniguns get through ammunition like its going out of fashion. ( hope I've just not been wah'd. ) Using a watercooled weapon give REAL sustained fire; many years ago I watched a lunatic from the Lanchester Gun Company fire a 200-round burst from a Vickers. ( 200 s it was the size of the belt he had. ) It may be that the GPMG has a higher cyclic rate, and can actually fire more rounds per minute, but the requirement to change barrels means it will have to stop. The Vickers is the Gift That Keeps Giving...
 
#14
the normal crew for a Vickers was 6 men, no1 gunner,no2 loader,no3 and 4 ammo humpers no5 was a runner no6 was range taker, the total weight was 90 pounds with the tripod and water, the barrel life was normaly 10.000 rounds, the water jacket held 7 pints of water and used about a pint per 1000 rounds fired, The Vickers was almost 20 pound lighter than the Maxim gun that was still in use with the Swedish Army in Cyprus in the 70s
 
#15
tropper66 said:
the normal crew for a Vickers was 6 men, no1 gunner,no2 loader,no3 and 4 ammo humpers no5 was a runner no6 was range taker, the total weight was 90 pounds with the tripod and water, the barrel life was normaly 10.000 rounds, the water jacket held 7 pints of water and used about a pint per 1000 rounds fired, The Vickers was almost 20 pound lighter than the Maxim gun that was still in use with the Swedish Army in Cyprus in the 70s
So who was the char wallah, then?

This is a bit off-thread, I know, but my Wop bro-in-law is ex-Alpini and he took me to the ranges one time. I got to fire a Breda Model 37, or maybe it was 47. It was actually very accurate, feeding from flat, open 20-round mags that were laid on a feeding tray. But typical for the quirky Wops, the machine-gun extracted the rounds from the mag, and then put the empty cases back in the fückin' thing! So before you could bomb the mag up again, you had to remove all the empty cases first. Madness.

MsG
 
#16
tropper66 said:
the normal crew for a Vickers was 6 men, no1 gunner,no2 loader,no3 and 4 ammo humpers no5 was a runner no6 was range taker, the total weight was 90 pounds with the tripod and water, the barrel life was normaly 10.000 rounds, the water jacket held 7 pints of water and used about a pint per 1000 rounds fired, The Vickers was almost 20 pound lighter than the Maxim gun that was still in use with the Swedish Army in Cyprus in the 70s
The crew could vary, depending on what transport and platoon orbat was bring used. See here:

http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/org-mgplatoonww2.htm

http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/org-mgplatoonpostww2.htm

As I wrote in another thread, South Africa had almost 2500 Vickers guns, many of them converted to 7.62mm, in storage. Unfortunately they were destroyed in 2001.
 
#18
Of course, if one had all the right equipment and a correct number of troops then perhaps reliance on putting huge ammounts of ammo down for little tangible effect (1)could be avoided...

Just a thought.

(1) Yes, yes, I know the arguments and I am in no way having a go at the lads on the ground, they can only use what they've got. If insurgents are within SA range of bases in enough numbers to seriously take them on, then something, IMO, is wrong.

My $0.02
 
#20
In a static position the venerable old Vickers would happily chug away all day, I believe the Navy had fixed mounts of much bigger varieties too? .50 being used as anti aircraft if I remember rightly?
Would it really be better than a GPMG though?
 

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