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Vickers Prototype gun

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I have been forwarded these pictures from a colleague who has just taken delivery of a very unusual gun,It was made by Vickers in 1931 as a prototype.

It has a bore of just over 4 inch and built up of many bespoke componants.

It resides at the Sunderland air museum.

 

Rob........................rnixartillery.

PICT0966..jpg

PICT0963..jpg

Edited by rnixartillery

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Although the barrel looks way too long it looks otherwise like a Vickers model 1922 105mm L/23cal including the original patteern wheels which have lost the rims, it should have a wheel racer underneath like the 25pdr.

 

Model 1922 were sold to Estonia and Lithuania. The box trial was the pattern for the 25pdr Mk2 carriage.

Interesting that it traveled only a few miles from its manufacture place at Vickers elswick, I would imagine it came out of a municipal museum collection- probably Newcastle or Gateshead who are bo****s regarding military history.

 

Steve

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two stock photos of Vickers M1922 and M1931 pieces, note the M1922 is almost a match for the NE Air Museum exhibit,

 

looking at the photos posted in #1 possibly the barrel has been replaced with a later unrelated type as a museum exihibit or a section of tube has been added to "improve" the appeal. If the big square thing at the back is the breach ring then the above postulation is almost certainly correct.

 

It is pointless trying to get imformation from BAE on anything historical as the files were for some stupid reason pased to Cambridge University where motivated by profit a single copy will cost an enquirer a minimum of £20 and that assumes the search assisant knows the difference between witworth and metric- unlikely.

 

It would be nice to cosmetically rebuild the little gun however- although finding a suitable breach ring might be a problem- its superficially similar to a 18pdr.

 

vicker 105 M1922..jpg

vickers 4.1in bl

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Although the barrel looks way too long it looks otherwise like a Vickers model 1922 105mm L/23cal including the original patteern wheels which have lost the rims, it should have a wheel racer underneath like the 25pdr.

 

Model 1922 were sold to Estonia and Lithuania. The box trial was the pattern for the 25pdr Mk2 carriage.

Interesting that it traveled only a few miles from its manufacture place at Vickers elswick, I would imagine it came out of a municipal museum collection- probably Newcastle or Gateshead who are bo****s regarding military history.

 

Steve

 

They don't look like the same wheels to me. The photographs appears to show a thinner steel disc inside a steel rim. This seems like someones attempt to make up something that looks broadly similar. Obvoiusly bottom photo shows a pressed steel disc, with reinforcing crinkles in it. I would assume the top photo was an all steel affair, that proved to flimsy, that is why a move was made to a crinkles centre disc. There certainly doesn't appear to be any bolts fixing a steel rim to a wooden centre, I reckon the rim is part of a sigle pressing.

Edited by antarmike

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If the big square thing at the back is the breach ring then the above postulation is almost certainly correct.

 

 

 

 

I would say that the "big square thing", is actually a counterweight to allow for the length of the barrel. Without this it would make elevating difficult due to the weight on the gears. Look at a 25 pdr and you will see one just forward of the breach. This would indicate that the barrel length is original.

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I have been forwarded these pictures from a colleague who has just taken delivery of a very unusual gun,It was made by Vickers in 1931 as a prototype.

It has a bore of just over 4 inch and built up of many bespoke componants.

It resides at the Sunderland air museum.

 

Rob........................rnixartillery.

 

Something needs to be done to preserve it. It can only deteriorate if left out in that enviroment!

Even a roof over it with four legs to support it will prevent a rapid increase in damage. :-(

If it's a scarce weapon (& I havent seen anything like this before) it needs saving, it may well be the only existing example! :-X

Mike

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antarmike

They don't look like the same wheels to me.

 

 

Fair point, as you say the rims were probably fitted to the steel disc and have been lost, I think the wood could be original and was a backing to the outer disc but not flaired as on the production model. I really doubt some-one would attempt to refurbish, mock up, with wheels in timber c/w the cut outs and then add the strange barrel. What is without a doubt it started out as an M1922 and whether it was used as a trial for such a large length in calibre. I don't know -but I doubt the barrel is original - or shall I say I doubt the extreme length is orignal, a 105mm L/60 -(and i'm guessing at the length) in 1931 would be really revolutionary, thats better than vickers were doing in 1943 with the 8pdr and the Vickers HV 75mm.

 

Steve

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Richard Farrant

I would say that the "big square thing", is actually a counterweight to allow for the length of the barrel. Without this it would make elevating difficult due to the weight on the gears. Look at a 25 pdr and you will see one just forward of the breach. This would indicate that the barrel length is original.

 

 

Fair enough, I'm aware of the back end of a 25pdr but if you look closely at the left hand side there is what looks like a cut out ie the mouth of a QF breach and the size of it, if I had to speculate, looks like a breach ring off an abbot. In addition the carriage and the size of weapon are not really compatable, a 25mk2 carriage (and thats what the m1922 gave to posterity) was hard pushed to retain a 76.2mm x L/55 17pdr.

 

I would go and have a look at it as it is only 15ml from home but at the moment that's not practicable.

 

ferretfixer

Something needs to be done to preserve it. It can only deteriorate if left out in that enviroment!.......

If it's a scarce weapon (& I havent seen anything like this before) it needs saving, it may well be the only existing example! :-X

 

 

The local Newcastle science museum has a number of military exhibits including an original Armstrong Bl gun and had- perhaps still has one of the Parsons turbine as fitted to the Conqueror Tank in the 1950s. however I would stand more chance discusing saving the history of Vickers and anything else military if I spoke to the staff in ancient Georgian. The gun assuming I am right in saying it is M1922 (and it is not M1931 as that is the 2nd photo in my earlier post) it is an example of a small scale production for commercial export- ie what kept Elswick in business between the World Wars and has a place in history as the basis for the 25pdr Mk2 carriage, but probably not greatly important.

 

Steve

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nice pics -the Eskmeals range still exists as part of DERA. IMO the barrel on the split trail mount differs significantly from the original at Sunderland. The short barrel gun in the photos were probably one of those exported to the Baltic states.

 

Steve

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Hi All interested parties in the Vickers Gun at Sunderland

 

I have recently taken over the manufacture of replacement wheels, from another volunteer, for the gun using all the original parts apart from the wood inserts. I am at present completing the first wheel.

 

The intention is that when the wheels are complete and the Military Vehicle Museums new display hall is errected at the Sunderland Aircraft Museum the gun will be fully refurbished and housed in the hall.

 

I will keep you updated on how it is progressing.

 

Regards

Dave

Day 5 a.jpg

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nice pics -the Eskmeals range still exists as part of DERA.

 

Steve

 

Eskmeals is an MOD range run by QinetiQ under the Long Term Partnering Agreement (www.ltpa.co.uk)

 

Andy

Edited by andym
Agreement, not Arrangement!

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