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12,7 - 80 Breda

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18 January 2003, 00:58
Thomas M
12,7 - 80 Breda
Have any of you heard of this round. It supposedly Hungarian from about 1940.

I'v been offered to byu this one and cant find any info on it.

Appriciate all help

18 January 2003, 02:14
Tony Williams
Strictly speaking, it is the 12.7x81SR. It was developed by Vickers UK in the early 1920s as an export version of the 12.7x81 adopted by the British army and navy in the Vickers .5" MG (the only visible difference was the semi-rim of the export version, although the bullet weight was slightly different; the rimless round was known as the v/580 and the semi-rimmed the v/565, after the bullet weights in grains). Power was about 75% of that of a .50 Browning (12.7x99).

Vickers achieved very few export sales of the gun, but the cartridge attracted the attention of the Italians who designed two guns around it; the 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT and the Scotti. These were only used in aircraft. The Italians also developed their own loadings, including HE.

The Japanese Army then got interested and acquired the cartridge from Italy, but again designed their own gun - the Ho-103, which was basically a scaled-down .50 Browning. This was also only used in aircraft.

Early in WW2 the Hungarians acquired some Reggiane Re.2000 fighters from Italy, complete with two synchronised 12.7mm Breda-SAFAT in the engine cowling. They called them the Hejja, and then produced their own locally-made version, the Hejja II - and they changed the armament. They replaced the Breda-SAFATs with one twin-barrel Gebauer GKM which was driven by the engine to ensure good synchronisation (the Hungarians were the only nation to use engine-driven guns - a fascinating design). This version of the GKM used the same 12.7x81SR cartridge as the Breda-SAFAT.

So for a relatively unimportant little cartridge this one has led a really exciting life! Definitely worth adding to any military collection if the price is right.

There is a photo of an Italian 12.7x81SR AP round on the photo gallery on my website; look under Heavy Machine Guns at:

Tony Williams
Military gun and ammunition website:
Military gun and ammunition discussion forum:
21 January 2003, 00:41
Thomas M
Well, what can I say...

Thanks a lot, it was more than I asked for! I will deffenetly get this one.

Thanks again!