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Armstrong Whitworth Machine Gun Handbook (1926)

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Browning Patent, .5 Calibre
Model 1924

Elswick Works, Newcastle-On- Tyne, 1926

A very rare original Armstrong Whitworth-Colt .5 Calibre Machine Gun handbook, published in November 1926 by Armstrong-Whitworth. & Co. Ltd of Elswick, Newcastle-on-Tyne Produced in the interwar period, Handbook of the Armstrong Whitworth-Colt Automatic Machine Guns is a practical guide to the mechanism, handling and maintenance of the ground and aircraft aircraft variants of this machine gun. The book is very well illustrated with plates and folding plans, showing the workings, mechanism, use and maintenance of the gun. This gun was a heavier calibre version of the Browning patent M1917A1 machine gun, and would go on to see service in WW2 and later conflicts.

Armstrong Whitworth-Colt Machine Gun, Model 1924: This was a heavier calibre commercial variant of the M1917 Browning machine gun, a machine gun used by the US armed forces in WW1, WW2, the Korean War and later conflicts. It was also used by other nations. A crew-served, belt-fed, water-cooled machine gun it was used alongside the much lighter air-cooled Browning M1919, and was often mounted on vehicles and aircraft. There were two main iterations: the M1917, which was used in WW1, and the M1917A1, which was used thereafter. The heavier calibre Colt version was known as the M1924, and this model was also produced by Armstrong Whitworth.

The M1924 had been developed by John Browning, working with Colt, as a scaled-up M1917A1. In fact, the two looked almost identical except for the larger size and different firing grips of the .50-calibre weapon. Otherwise, the two guns shared many common features, including their water-cooled barrels and feed mechanisms. Both were also very heavy. To help reduce this to a more manageable weight, Browning adopted an air-cooled barrel to get rid of the water jacket and can. Never intended to be an easilyportable weapon, it was destined for mounting on vehicles, aircraft, ships, and other heavy platforms.


In very good condition. The card cover has minor signs of wear and use, some fading, and some wear at the edges. The binding is good and secure. The text, plates and illustrations are in very good condition.

Published: 1926
Blue card covers, with black titling
Fully illustrated with B/W photographic plates & folding diagrams
Dimensions: 150mm x 230mm
Pages: 44 (plus 6 folding plates)