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Vickers K (VGO)

Medium Machine Gun / Aircraft-Vehicle Machine Gun [ 1935 ]

The Vickers K was an aircraft gun developed from the earlier Vickers-Berthier Light Machine Gun series.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/19/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Vickers K - or Vickers Gas Operated (VGO) and also officially as "Gun, machine, Vickers-Berthier, 0.303-inch, India Service Mark III" - was an aerial gun developed from the original Vickers-Berthier Light Machine Gun (LMG) for use in trainable/flexible aircraft positions. A pan magazine (60- or 100-round counts used) replaced the original's box magazine feed and it fired the standard .303 British cartridge through a gas-operated, air-cooled action. The firing rate was 900 rounds-per-minute. The operator managed the weapon through a spade grip arrangement at the rear of the receiver with iron sights set over the weapon for basic accuracy assistance. Installation on aircraft was by way of ring mounts.

As the British Royal Air Force (RAF) ultimately moved away from open-air gun positions on its aircraft, the .303 Colt-Browning became the preferred in-wing and turreted aircraft armament arrangement. After their time with the RAF had ended, the guns found renewed service lives with the British Army and made good as vehicle-mounted weapons. Special forces elements operating in North Africa found them to be exceptionally reliable and effective weapons in desert conditions when mounted on fast-moving JEEP-type platforms.

The Vickers K saw wartime service until the end in 1945 and was progressively evolved throughout the conflict.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom


Medium Machine Gun / Aircraft-Vehicle Machine Gun

Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd - UK
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of India National flag of the United Kingdom India; United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Ability to engage low-flying aerial threats.

Overall Length
940 mm
37.01 in
Barrel Length
529 mm
20.83 in
Empty Wgt
29.76 lb
13.50 kg



Gas-Operated; Tilting Locking Breechblock

Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


.303 British

Rounds / Feed

60- or 100-round pan magazine.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Muzzle Velocity
2,500 ft/sec
(762 m/sec)

Vickers K - Commercial Designation
Vickers Gas-Operated (VGO) - Alternative Designation

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Vickers K (VGO)
Famous wartime photograph showing British SAS elements with twin-gunned Vickers K mountings on their patrol vehicles; Public Domain.


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