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Vickers K Machine Gun

A Vickers K Machine Gun mounted on a Fairey Battle Light Bomber

The Vickers K was a gas-operated, machine gun that was used by Great Britain during World War II. It was designed to be used in aircraft, but was later used in ground units. It was fed by a 100 round pan magazine,[N 1] and fired the British .303 Cartridge.


As well as the aircraft listed below, the Vickers K was also used by the SAS, the long Range Desert Group and the 1st Airborne Squadron of the Reconnaissance Corps, who were attached to the 1st Airborne Division.[1]

Aircraft equipped with Vickers K Machine Gun

NB:Most aircraft in this list also carried Browning or Lewis guns as well as the Vickers K.

  • Armstrong Whitworth Whitley - one in nose turret.
  • Bristol Beaufort - two in dorsal turret and one fixed in port wing.
  • Bristol Blenheim - (MkI) one in dorsal turret (Mk IVL) one in manually aimed flexible nose mounting.
  • Fairey Battle - one in manually aimed flexible rear cockpit mounting.
  • Gloster Gladiator - (First 71 aircraft) - two fixed in fuselage.
  • Handley Page Hampden - (Originally) one fixed in nose. (January 1940 onwards) two each in upper and lower rear turrets.
  • Martin Maryland - (RAF) two in manually aimed flexible mountings.
  • Martin Baltimore - (I) one in mid upper manually aimed flexible mounting (II) two in mid upper manually aimed flexible mounting (IV & V) two in rear ventral position.
  • Vickers Wellesley - one belt fed in starboard wing and one in manually aimed flexible rear cockpit mounting.[2]


  1. This was used by the No 2 Mk 1 version, and normally limited to 96 or 97 rounds, as this was the number of rounds advised to be put into it, in order not to weaken the spring, and possibly cause stoppages. The earlier No 1 Mk 1 used a 60 round drum.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vickers K No 1 - Vickers Machine Guns
  2. Gunston, Bill. The Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Salamander Books Ltd. 1988. ISBN 0 86101 390 5.

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