Used in all major campaigns and once fired for seven days in a row, the Vickers machine gun Mk 1 proved to be a most reliable fire support weapon. Its origins going back to the Maxim gun of the late 19th century, the Vickers machine gun Mk 1 was first used during World War I and remained the standard heavy machine gun for both the British and Commonwealth forces. Recoil operated and featuring a muzzle booster device, it had an effective range of 4,500 yards (4,100 m). These qualities, its high degree of reliability and the unique water cooling system made the Vickers machine gun an indispensable weapon for the defence of Allied strongholds during the Burma Campaign. Fired from a heavy tripod, the Vickers Mk I was fed by a 250-round canvas ammunition belt and had a rate of fire of around 450-550 rpm. The gun's barrel was fitted with a water jacket for cooling purposes; as the barrel got hot, the steam produced was tapped off into a condenser can for re-use. Muzzle recoil booster Plug for cooling jacket Tripod clamp Elevating and transversing gear 5 Spade grips Cocking handle Firing and safety catches Dial sight for indirect firing role Fore sight Water pipe to condenser Water cooling jacket 2S0-round fabric ammunition belt The indirect fire-sight gave the gunner a means to aim at targets in the dead ground beyond obstacles such as woods or hills. Note the special safety firing mechanism.