I have just received a round with a tag attached stating S.S.Malaya ,British Battleship. Can someone please identify this for me? Bul: .515,Neck: .546,Shoulder,: .632,Base: .722,Rim: .720, Case length: 3.181, Headstamp RAL 37 over FIZ. There are dots on the neck.
Is the “A” of RAL acctually a broad arrow?
looks like a 50 Vickers or something similar
Yes, it’s the broad arrow.
According to me it is a 50 Vickers ( 12,7 x 80 )
The FIZ mark refers to the bullet type
Yep, you have a .50 Vickers Rimless made at the Royal Laboratories at Woolwich, London in 1937. “F I Z” means that it is loaded with a semi AP bullet (un hardened, mild steel core), and the propellant is Nitrocellulose flake powder instead of the usual British “Cordite” rod type.
This round was used in a scaled up version of the rifle calibre Vickers Machine gun, and was used as an AA weapon on British ships, usually in quad mounts. The guns were declared obsolete in 1945, but were actually obsolete at the war’s start. However they were used as British ships desperately needed any available armamanet. They were gradually replaced in favour of the 20mm Oerlikon, but some remained in 1945. That is only a very brief history, I’m sure others will have more to add.
Thanks for your help.