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Hen Hunter

FH 70 operation tips and tricks

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I'm trying to restore a FH70 that has stood for several years. The breech has been lightly welded shut and even though I think all the welds have now been ground off, the breech is well and truely stuck in the closed position. Does anyone know if the breech has any locking mechanism that may be holding it shut? Also, is there any tricks to get the gun to raise and lower - the wheeled handle by the firing lever is jammed! Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

Some of those welds have still got a hold. A lot more time and patience yet. When this was deactivated it was supposed to be

perminent. There are questions to be asked before reactivation, if that is the route that you are going. For example, Why are you reactivating it, have you the correct authority and relivant licence. I am just floating these thoughts.

Edited by john1950

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Hi John, I think you are right about the welds - I will have another go at some point. It's on my FAC for blank firing and display purposes. I'm interested in how it all works, but I'm finding it fairly complicated though! The engine works and the hydraulics do something sometimes! Any tips are greatly received. I can't get the traverse or elevation to work as yet.

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One of our members the North Staffs MVT has 2 of these monsters and he lives in the Stoke on Trent area

I am sure he could be of some help

Commander

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If you get a handle that holds a broken hacksaw blade you should be able to work it up the gap. A dremel is also quite usefull as you can use it in confined spaces. Some of the welds you will be able to drill a series of small holes and then cut through them to join them up.You may have enough space to use a jig saw on some of them. Plenty of penitrating oil on the slides and hinges.

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One of our members the North Staffs MVT has 2 of these monsters and he lives in the Stoke on Trent area

I am sure he could be of some help

Commander

 

That would be really useful- how could I contact him or her?

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Hi John, I think you are right about the welds - I will have another go at some point. It's on my FAC for blank firing and display purposes. I'm interested in how it all works, but I'm finding it fairly complicated though! The engine works and the hydraulics do something sometimes! Any tips are greatly received. I can't get the traverse or elevation to work as yet.

 

Be VERY careful. Even if you have an FAC for it, reactivating a deactivated weapon is an offence. Have a chat with your local firearms officer before going any further.

 

Andy

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One of our members the North Staffs MVT has 2 of these monsters and he lives in the Stoke on Trent area

I am sure he could be of some help

Commander

 

Be VERY careful. Even if you have an FAC for it, reactivating a deactivated weapon is an offence. Have a chat with your local firearms officer before going any further.

 

Andy

 

Cheers for the advice - I have spoken with my local officer. Its only the breech that was held down with some pretty poor tacking to stop it being messed about with.

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There's a FH70 sitting outside a cafe on the A17 or at least was the last time I went that way and I felt like crying every time I saw it! It sits fully elevated with no muzzle cover and I remember how we'd pull through the barrel so diligently putting a beautiful oily sheen to the rifling. Sheeeze :cry:

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There's a FH70 sitting outside a cafe on the A17 or at least was the last time I went that way and I felt like crying every time I saw it! It sits fully elevated with no muzzle cover and I remember how we'd pull through the barrel so diligently putting a beautiful oily sheen to the rifling. Sheeeze :cry:

 

She is a beauty - I need to get a muzzle cover or find a bit of canvas. I don't suppose you know if the breech is held down with any locking mechanism or does the autoloader need to be in a certain position? I'm trying to open the sliding breech so I can have a go at cleaning it inside - but it's jammed somehow - it does not look too rusty.

IMG_5876.jpg

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She is a beauty - I need to get a muzzle cover or find a bit of canvas. I don't suppose you know if the breech is held down with any locking mechanism or does the autoloader need to be in a certain position? I'm trying to open the sliding breech so I can have a go at cleaning it inside - but it's jammed somehow - it does not look too rusty.

 

Hi, try the guys at the Weybourne Military Museum in Norfolk as they have one in their collection but as I remember it as soon as the layer had fired, the breech was pulled open ready for the next shell, so the carrier would have been down. Incidentally in case you didn't know the American ammo we used weighed 96lb and the British ammo 92lb so you can see why we had a tray for the shell! You also called it an auto loader and there was nothing automatic about it, it was pushed up to the breech by hand ready for the shell to be rammed into the rifling. Do you have the Foden gun tractor to pull it? And does your gun still have the self propel VW engine? Along with the crew cab (Wendy house) the gun tractor had an Atlas crane which was an essential piece of kit when pulling out the breech for cleaning as it weighed 308lb, which is also the weight of the muzzle so beware if you ever unscrew that bad boy off the barrell :cool2:

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ATTACHED is a list of publication for the FH 70 and a page from the general introduction handbook these may help you

to get to know what it is all about great bit of kit fun to operate

 

REGARDS WALLY

fh701.jpg

fh702.jpg

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ATTACHED is a list of publication for the FH 70 and a page from the general introduction handbook these may help you

to get to know what it is all about great bit of kit fun to operate

 

REGARDS WALLY

 

Hi Wally, that's fantastic, thank you very much for the info. Do you know what the SA Gear does that is marked on your diagram?

Also, how hard do you think it is to take the whole breech block off to service all the parts? Would loads of springs and parts drop out never to be refitted correctly ( this seems to happen to me a lot!).

Regards Bruce

IMG_4833.jpg

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SA gear is semi-automatic gear, this opens the breech on runout. I have no knowledge of FH70 but it usually has a manual setting which will keep the breech closed on runout.

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Hi Wally, that's fantastic, thank you very much for the info. Do you know what the SA Gear does that is marked on your diagram?

Also, how hard do you think it is to take the whole breech block off to service all the parts? Would loads of springs and parts drop out never to be refitted correctly ( this seems to happen to me a lot!).

Regards Bruce

 

It will come out in one piece but as I said in an earlier post it's a heavy lump, a steady smooth vertical lift and she'll pop out no problem. Saw from an earlier post that I hadn't read that you still have the engine, which a least saves you from the hassle of cupelling up to an auxiliary hydraulic source to raise and lower onto the plate etc. Only ever fired the gun with the spades dug in when on the anti tank range at Lulworth, can't remember the exact charge bag but got a feeling it was number 7 but I'll never forget the violence of the gun when she fired! Those spades really did need to be dug into a hole.

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Posted (edited)
I've been out of the mob since 96 but it's nice to talk about these guns again.

 

One day it will be restored and you can come and show us how to use it! We are based in Shropshire.

Edited by Hen Hunter
Spelling mistake

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It's not the handiest of military history to move around due to its size and weight. I need to work out why it won't fold back on itself - maybe the wheels need to be fully down - the hydraulics are a bit temperamental (like me!).

IMG_4810.jpg

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