Jackson positioning machine

I quite recently acquired this lovely piece, it’s for tightening up .50 cal belt links. I’m not sure how it has ment to be used, if it was for assembling of .50 cal ammunition belts, or just for making sure each round was positioned right before use.

If anyone has more information about the use of these, please fill in.

Inserting belt:

Cranking the handle:

I’ll try to clean up those brass signs. One has a Broad Arrow, and the year 45 stamped.

Edited: Corrected the name, Johnson instead of Jackson.

Looks like a “Belt Rectification” Machine (My ID) to make sure all the rounds are Properly Positioned (especially after Modifications to belts were done Manually ( such as insertion of Tracer etc in “all Ball” belts using a Hand-worked “Pliers tool”)…NOT a “Belt filler” as there is no parts indication a Cartridge Hopper or such.

Johnson??? is this the Johnson company of Cranston, New Jersey,USA, Maker of the Johnson M1941 Semi-Auto Rifle Rifle???..they did make other ordnance related items during WW II (Gun Barrels, Parts etc.)

Don’t over-clean the Plaques, they are probably Copper ( 95/5 GM) and can wear easily. A “Broad Arrow” would signify British property and use (The RAF had .50 BMG guns in US-Built Aircraft, such as B24 Liberators (in Europe and the Middle & Far East).

Doc AV

Sorry, typed the name wrongly, it’s Jackson, not Johnson. Seems like it’s supposed to have a stand that allow .50 cal can’s to be attached to each side of the device, to both pick up and place belt while using the device.

A similar machine is shown on page 297 of the book “The Browning Machine Gun Volume IV Semper Fi Fifty!” by Frank Iannamico and Dolf L.Goldsmith. Here they show a “Repositioning Machine, Caliber .50, M15”. The machine was used to perfectly position the cartridges in the links. In aircraft applications this was vital in order to prevent malfunctions.

psg1, nice piece, thanks for sharing. This is British belt filling loading machine designed by E. A. Jackson in 1942 and was used for accurate positioning of the cartridges in the links so that all are uniformly held (in your example the lateral feed and outlet boards are missing). There is also a similar design used for .303 cartridges.

Thanks again for the information and the nice drawing. Nice to learn something about this piece.

Thank you for posting photos of this devise. Beyond fascinating and totally new to me. I bet it is a super rare artifact come by.


I also have one of the Jackson Belt Positioning Machines in .50 cal. It’s an earlier one dated 1941 and cosmetically it’s a bit diferent than yours. Did yours come with its storage box?

I’ve used it to load complete belts but, as stated before, it was really used to ensure the proper seating of the cartridge in the links (really hard to clear a jam at 20,000 feet).

Interesting to know there are ones for .303 but in hindsight it makes sense as I have seen pictures of one for 20mm cartridges.

Very nice addition to a collection.

No, all I have is what you see on the pictures. Would love to have the original storage box and manuals for it. And any other tools or kit that may have belonged to it.

If you have the storage box for yours, please post a photo.