Austin Champ Weapons
The Austin Champ was designed as a true fighting vehicle, hence its designation, 'FV' - although this was later to later downgraged to 'GS' (General Service).|
Guns carried on the Champ: Rifles: individual soldiers would carry their .303 Lee Enfield bolt-action rifles and there are rifle clips for four* soldiers to stow them in.
*The driver may or may not have carried his rifle because to use a rifle from the driver's seat would have been dificult so it is known the driver may have carried a submachine gun (SMG), either a Sten or another later one just called the, 'SMG'
In British service the Champ would have carried either of the following: Vickers .303" Heavy Machine Gun (HMG); the Browning .30" (called the '30 Cal\calibre) Medium Machine Gun (MMG); the .303" Bren Light Machine Gun (LMG). Each of these and their mountings are shown in more detail and can be accessed from the bottom of this page.
The standard position for machine guns was on a post that went through the flat panel\scuttle just in front of the windscreen on the passenger side, the post was fixed by a bolt at the bottom of the post. The standard post required that the windscreen be folded down onto the bonnet. The 3rd. photo below shows an extended post on a Champ that long ago left army service, the extended post would allow the gun to be fired with the windscreen up, whether this was ever done in military service I don't know.
Also, machine guns could be mounted just behind the front seats, either in the middle to fire between the driver and front seat passenger or, perhaps, mounted to fire to the right of the driver - this position is shown in the film, The Magnificent Two and a photo from the film is shown later on this page, whether this was done in-service I don't know.
A photo later on this page is of a Champ in-service in the Middle East and shows the Vickers mounted in the centre of the Champ 106 Recoiless rifle:
Details of this will be added to this site at a later date.
It could be said that the ultimate fighting Austin Champ was the armoured version of the Austin Champ, shown below fitted with the Vickers .303 machine gun and below that photo is a modern recreation of the armoured Austin Champ. Note, the second photo shows the water cooling pipe to the Vickers.
|This photo shows a rear centre mounted Vickers HMG with its water can on the nearside wing.|
|From the film, The Magnificent Two, shows the Vickers mounted to the offside - the photo is slightly deceptive in that it appears that the gun is centre-mounted but the film shows that it fires to the right of the driver (note the main post about 6" to the right of ammo. belt.) I would say this is a non-standard mount but it would probably work and be a cheaper alternative to make if an original mount cannot be found whether mounting in the standard position or in the back.|
Supply: up to relatively recently the guns that would have used on the Austin Champ were sold off by the government to dealers who deactivated them and sold them, often at military shows. This supply has now virtually ceased.
Rifles and smg's are still easy to obtain because millions were made and were not specific to the Champ. Although machine guns were also not specific to the Champ mg's like the Vickers and Browning 30 cal. have shot up in price over the last 10 years. Looking on the Net in July 2013 I did not see either of them for sale.|
Deactivation: there are two classes of deactivation, early (Old Specification, called, 'Old Spec.') and later (New Spec.). The government, or somebody, realised with the early deactivations that it would not be difficult to reactivate the guns and so in latter deactivations much more damage was done to the gun. An Old Spec. deactivation is worth more than a later one.
The date of deactivation can be found on the Deactivation Certificate, the date between old and new spec. is October 1995. New Spec submachine guns and semi automatic rifles have welded actions (they will not cock or dry fire). Revolvers have the cylinders blocked and cannot accept an inert round. There have been guns for sale without a Deactivation Certificate, don't buy them.
One place to look for an guns is Milweb Look under actual adverts and then look at the dealers.
|Bren machine gun||Vickers machine gun||Browning machine gun|