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Serial numbers are found on the rear top of the water jacket case in numbers or letter prefix and numbers. They were stamped in during manufacture. As the jackets were made in batches and placed in skips it does not follow that they were built in serial number order, therefore serial numbers can only be a guide to a date of manufacture.
Serial numbers are sometimes found on other components, for example L3663 in our possesion has the numbers also stamped under the front and rear top covers, WW1 period steel feedblocks were also numbered in the L series and we have also seen them on the body (the backplate with the handgrips) bottom
Component parts were often stamped with sub-contractors markings and Vickers factory markings. This list is quite long and not all of the makers have been identified, such as P&P seen on oil bottle lids and VAN presumed to be a Vickers out factory mark, possibly Nottingham (?)
Up until 1928 Vickers made components were stamped VSM even on some of the tiniest components such as pins in the Lock.Markings.
Vickers Guns were manufactured at Lithgow Small Arms Factory Australia from about 1925, the first Vickers Mk1 was accepted by the Australain Army on the 3rd Myy 1929. In order to reach increased demand targets Bathurst feeder factory was set up in 1941, and in 1942 other feeder factories were set up in several places within 150 miles of Lithgow at sites such as Cowra, Mudgee etc.
Some WW1 components markings are noted below as found and indicated accordingly, where this is not shown the marking is interwar or WW2
It is not uncommon to find a mix of marked components on a Vickers, particularly WW1 models which have seen a great deal of service, and many enthusiasts try to replace legal components with those with correct markings for their gun
If you come across any markings not listed here please let us know and we'll add them on, initials and item as a minimum, manufacturer if guessed or known please.
As this list is predominantly concerned with gun markings we have not listed the WW1 sub contractors, this information can be found in 'Grand Old Lady'.
Marking Manufacturer Item/s Where Appropriate
VSM Vickers, Sons and Maxim (to 1928) Guns VSM mark
VA Vickers Armstrong (Vickers and Armstrongs merged in 1927 and the VA- markings were used from 1928 onwards Guns
VAE Vickers Armstrong Erith (the Erith plant closed in 1931) WW1 Guns built here Guns
VAC Vickers Armstrong Crayford (WW1 and WW2 Guns built here) Guns
VAN Vickers Armstrong -? Seen on various components, just to confuse the issue the brass marking right is stamped VSM and VAN!!
MA Lithgow Australia (WW2 only) Guns. Components often suffixed by a date MA mark
SAF Small Arms Factory Lithgow Australia Guns
Lithgow Ditto Guns
WW1 & 2 Subcontractors
EFD or E within D Logo Royal Small Arms Factory Enfield Catches, collars, pins, rods, screws, levers, slides, rollers, tubes, washers
WW2 Sub Contractors
BA Bathurst Australia (feeder factory)
CA Cowra Australia (Feeder factory)
HS H E Smith, Alexandria, Sydney, Australia
OA Orange Australia (Feeder factory)
PA Parkes Australia (Feeder factory)
M & S prefix Monotype Corporation breaking down into:
M1 Accles and Pollock (Flash eliminators) Flash eliminator
M-l 5 Lightwood & Sons Ltd Springs
M-l 30 Wm Hughes Springs
M-215 Geo Salter Springs
M-267 West Bromwich Spring Springs
M-601 I L Berridge Clearing plug
M-606 JP Engineering Return spring casing
M-611 Mellor Bromley Safety catch, outer casing, trigger guard, nuts, slides, glands
M-625 Barlock Typewriter Steam tube
N-73 J Stead Fusee spring hook, springs
N-76 Tempered Spring Springs
S-26 Climax Rock Drill Springs, feed blocks, layshafts, nuts, pins, screws, extractors, fusee, levers, pawls
S-75 Maysmith Engineering Slides
S-81 Monotype Corporation Bushes, fusee, extractors, levers, firing pin, pins, springs, trigger, tumblers, breech locks, screws, sears, sideplates, caps, covers, guides
S-121 Vickers Armstrong Most components, extractor, levers, pins, washers, stems, trigger, fusee, cores, dial sight bracket
S-139 EP Mams'Co Shoulder pieces
S-204 Harding Manufacturing Springs
S-206 Harley Motors Pins
S-240 W Mortlock Chain assembly
S-282 HB Thomas Plungers, condensor adaptor, muzzle cone, split pins
S-334 Heam Eng Co Front cover catch
S-326 Wm Dibben & Sons Front cover
--------- W A Hedges Rivets, screws, bushes, studs, pins
--------- T&WIde; Springs
--------- F Mountford Split pins
--------- Prior Stokers Ltd Fusee springs
--------- Stoner & Saunders Screws
--------- Triad Engineering Screws, shield, springs, washers
--------- Wilkins &Wright Chain
F&S ????????? Oil bottle lid (grip bottles) Believed WW1
P&P ????????? Oil Bottle lids (grip bottles) Believed WW1
MC ????? Australia Sight grad. plate MA mark
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