UK BESA MKIII Heavy Machine Gun – lot 238
Lot 0238: UK BESA Mk III Heavy Machine Gun The standard British Tank and Armoured Car Machine Gun of World War II
- No Reserve
- Buyer’s premium 16.5 % of the hammer price and VAT according General Conditions
- Location: Nederweert, The Netherlands
- Estimated Price: €1.800,- – €2.600,-
Description: Besa 7.92 Medium Machine Gun Mk. III* Weapon number: C36643 Year of Manufacturing: 1942 Calber: 7.92mm (7.92×57mm Mauser) Length: 43.5in (1.1m) Manufacturer: British Small Arms Ltd, Birmingham, England Weight: 41lb (18.6kg) Barrel: 26.7in (67.8in) long, four grooves, right-hand twist System of operation: Recoil and gas; tipping bolt Rate of fire: 450–550 round/min (Low) 750–850 rounds/min (High) Feed system: Belt Description: This weapon is an adaptation of the Kulomet vz37, developed by Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka of Brno in the early 1930s, and became the standard British tank machine gun of World War II. The main alterations were the provision of a solid machined front barrel support in place of the perforated one of the original and the replacement of the spade grips with a pistol grip and trigger. Mechanically the gun was unchanged and it was renowned for its accuracy, continuing in service for many years after the war. Although British forces used the .303 in rimmed round for rifles and machine guns, the ZB-53 had been designed for the German 7.92×57mm Mauser round; referred to by the British as the 7.92 mm. The British had intended to move from rimmed to rimless ammunition but with war imminent, wholesale change was not possible. It was considered by BSA and the Ministry of Supply that the industrial, technical and supply difficulty of converting the design to the .303 round would be more onerous than retaining the original caliber, especially given that the chain of supply for the Royal Armoured Corps was already separate from the other fighting arms of the British Army and the round was not changed for British production. Since the Besa used the same ammunition as Germany used in its rifles and machine guns, the British could use stocks of captured enemy ammunition, albeit without the ability to use their ammunition belts as packaged. While American-produced armoured cars or tanks would have been fitted with .30 cal Browning machine guns, many British tanks and armoured cars were equipped with the Besa machine gun fed from non-disintegrating disposable 225-round steel metal-link belts. The earlier wartime Mark I, Mark II and Mark II* versions of the Besa 7.92 mm were declared obsolete in 1951 and all Mark III versions were converted to Mark III*. The Mark III/2 introduced in 1952 was a conversion of the Mark III* with a new bracket and body cover. The later Mark III/3 introduced in 1954 was a conversion of the Mark III/2 that replaced the barrel and sleeve and made the gas vents larger on the gas cylinder to make it easier to use belts of mixed ammunition. The post-war Mark III/2 and Mark III/3 remained in service until the late 1960s.. Biding and Buying this Lot: European citizen: A deactivated weapon is a real firearm which has been altered in such a way that it is no longer capable of discharging any bullet, missile, or other projectile. All weapons offered in this auction are deactivated / neutralized / disabled to the new EU regulation 2015/2403, as incorporated into Dutch law on 13 May 2016. Before we are allowed to deliver a disabled firearm, you need to be over 18 years old. We need a copy of your ID card, passport, or driver's license. As soon if this document is received we are able to send you the disabled weapon with the certificate at Buyers expense. No delivery or shipment of lots can be made without presentation of the above mentioned documents. The buyer remains responsible for his purchase as soon as it is awarded and will pay at least the related costs. Non-European citizen: If you want to make a purchase of an EU deactivated weapon, make sure that you are also allowed to own this weapon according to the laws of your own country. It is up to your own responsibility to purchase an EU deactivated weapon. It can be possible that you need to provide us a valid weapon license before we can send your purchased EU deactivated weapon, as we need to follow Dutch government regulation regarding export of (deactivated) weapons outside of Europe. In case if additional activities are required in such a transaction all relevant cost will be charged to the Buyer.
© Tracks & Trade BV the Netherlands, February 2023