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PAGE 7

REPLICA MACHINE GUNS

When driving Peter Jarratt's Centurion ARN 169005, when I first started this project, I noticed that he had a .30 and a .50 cal machine fitted beside the 20 pounder. Remember this was the first tank I drove after I left the service in 1958. We only had the Besa machine gun ,No .50 cal was fitted in those days. So both these weapons were new to me. My first and lasting impressions were that they were real machine guns complete with rounds feeding into them. I asked Peter about them and he said they were replica guns and the rounds were inert dummies. I looked again and thought --Yeah! Then I picked up a 20 pounder from the sliding bin and was convinced that it was a full round, due to the weight. Peter stated that it was filled with sand to give an accurate weight. Again I thought --  Yeah!

Then when visiting John Langley in W.A. to drive both his tanks, I was able to have a close look at a .30 cal he had on his tank. John unhooked the weapon and placed it on a table for me to inspect and take some photos. I was able to cock the weapon and pulling the trigger gave a very real sound of the weapon working. John explained it was called a "Cock and Click". But it could not fire a live round. I could not fault it and was of the opinion that it was in fact a very exact copy.

John Langley's .30 Cal

I have since seen a few more and also a beautiful water cooled Vickers. I received information that they were made in Melbourne, I think somewhere about Sth Melbourne, but never found out exactly where but was told the cost was about $1500 - $1800

 

But in time they were located

Inside the shop this turret took my attention

Then the locked gun cupboard was opened

And indeed they were very nice items

Then a .50 tripod sitting on the .30 cal body parts

Some .30 cal's in the process of construction

.30 cal barrels

A shot of the work area --note the empty ..30 cal rounds, they clip in place of the belt feed--look great

Another shot of the .30 cal's in construction

They sure looked good  some are "cock and click", and others are not

I asked if they would sell barrels only for the people that just want to fill the empty gun holes in their tanks and they said yes they would supply barrels only for both the .30 and the .50 cal'

Finished.30 cal Browning

View from the right side

The finished article looks great

 

The finished .50 cal Browning

Right side view

The left side view of the Fifty

I believe it comes in the box its sitting on, as this was where it was stored, but that is a guess on my behalf

 

   

20 pounder projectile                                                                                 105MM projectile

I have two 20 pounder brass cases and two 105 mm cases (1 brass and 1 steel) so I am hoping that we can borrow these projectiles to turn u some wooden dummies, which will then be donated to the Vietnam Veterans Museum at San Remo, but alas this did not come to pass.