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Thread: 11 mm Vickers Balloon gun cartridge of WW1

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    Legacy Member RCS's Avatar
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    11 mm Vickers Balloon gun cartridge of WW1

    The old black powder Frenchicon 11x59r cartridge was modified into a smokeless cartridge with a incendiary compound/tracer bullet for used against Germanicon balloons during WW1. A flash tube primer was also used.

    Both the aircraft Vickers machine gun and French Infantry Hotchkiss Model 1914 were chambered for the Vickers 11.3x59r cartridge. The only aircraft that I could find (to date) that had the 11mm Vickers machine gun were the French SPAD 13 and Nieuport 28

    photos shoe both a French 8mm Lebel and !!mm Vickers with a Western headstamp

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    Legacy Member free1954's Avatar
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    nice. you must have a great collection sir. didn't they make a 577/450 balloon round also?

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    Legacy Member RCS's Avatar
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    I believe a number of cartridges were tested (like the 45-90 Winchester for the lever action Model 1886). Some thirty
    years ago, the local fire station called me, someone had turned-in a Colt Vickers 11mm aircraft m/g all taken apart
    in pieces. They asked if i could assemble it for them. i was able to put everything back together for them, the gun
    was in excellent condition too. Never found out what they did with the gun.

    Later I found out that the US Ordnance Dept was selling the Colt Vickers aircraft m/g to the public for around $8 dollars
    each as a trophy from the Great War. Might have had to go through the NRA to buy one, also not sure if there was any
    parts missing or if something was done so it would not fire ? It would have been very difficult to get any 11 Vickers
    cartridges and you would need some type of mechanism to fire the gun

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    thanks for the reply.

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    Legacy Member RCS's Avatar
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    Additional data on the 11 mm Vickers cartridge, bullet was 270 grs and fired at 2,000 fps with effective tracer range of 1850 yards

    The Vickers was modified to use the heavier recoil of the 11 mm cartridge. The special links used in the Vickers are very rare to find.

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