50 Vickers headstamp query

Howdy fellow collectors , this Vickers ( 81 mm case ) , has the headstamp K.38 12.7m/m L.T , Red primer seal ,Red bullet tip, do we know which Country this round was made for, and what do the letters L T stand for ?? thanks Randy[/b]

Firstly, I take it that this case is the EXPORT Semi-rimmed version of the .5 inch Vickers case?

The marking “12,7” makes it an export to a European(ie, metric) country.

Known importers of Kynoch ammo in the European area are the Baltic states
(Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia), but Italy and Spain also used 12,7x81 type ammo (mostly of their own manufacture…Italy improved the cartridge and projectile as the 12,7 Breda.)
Japan also used the same cartridge, and could have imported some from Kynoch before WW II (Japan was a regular buyer of Kyonoch ammo from 1919 onwards, in its development of Aircraft ammo.)>Japan only got its first Aircraft MG in 12,7 in 1940-41, but trials had been going on since the mid 1930s…so much so that large quantites of imported Italian 12,7 Breda HE-I were used well into the war.
“LT” ?Long tracer? (ie, long lasting distance trace, as used in Anti-Aircraft fire?). Whilst some European use of the Export 12,7 Vickers was for Aircraft cannon, the more common use was as shipboard multiple mounts for Anti-aircraft use. Japan instead used the 12,7 for Aircraft, and the 13,2x99 Hotchkiss for Naval AA use.

As to other metric users, there is the whole of Latin America to consider, where Kynoch had considerable sales penetration in the 20s and 30s.

An interesting Export Contract in any case.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics

This is not for European use, it is an export round for a Spanish speaking South American country, possibly Chile.

The LT stands for the Spanish (Luminosa Tracante?) for "Light Tracer, i.e. Flame tracer as opposed to the Buckingham type smoke tracer. Kynoch made both Flame and Smoke tracer in all three versions of the .5 for many years. The earliest Kynoch dated drawing showing the loads for the .5 semi-rimmed is dated 1923, and I have a 1923 dated smoke tracer in my collection.


Thanks, Doc and Tony Randy

Very nicely done.

Thanks, Tony…for the Luminous Tracer interpretation.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.