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The Vickers and Lewis Machine Guns


In the same way that .55/.303 round was designed during the 1939-45 War for training with the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle, there was a .303/.22 cartridge made experimentally post the First World War for use with the Vickers or Lewis machine guns. This low-power round was intended for miniature range use at 12, 25 or 30 yards. The Boys Anti-Tank Rifle equivalent .303 necked training round was not put into service presumably for reasons of expense and available production time when all Second World War manufacturing was critically concentrated upon ammunition required for combat. If the poor economics of such ammunition was true of the comparatively limited requirement for the Boys training round, then it would have been more so of a machine-gun training round such as that shown below for the Vickers Maxim and Lewis machine-guns.

However, Parker-Hale did manufacture their ".303 cum .22" service rifle sub-calibre system for use with the Vickers and Lewis guns, usually at around only 12 yards range, because the .22 rimfire cartridge was fired from the very short barrel of the conveyor through the .303 barrel of the Vickers. The Lewis arrangement required a separate replacement Parker-rifled sleeved .22RF barrel with a .303" chamber as shown in their advertisement below. This differed considerably from the conveyor for the SMLE rifle, with the addition of an auxiliary striker similar to the firing-plug utilised with the Boys ATR .55/303 calibre conveyor.

The team below are 'shooting' on the "English Series" of Hill Siffken targets (sections 1,2 & 3) dating from as early as 1913 - see details at Landscape Targetry.


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* "NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERS, MIDDLE EAST" by J.F. Cody - Chapter III - In the Lee of the Storm.

 

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