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Everything posted by spider

  1. John posted same photo on Axis History Forum today. It is a Soviet 76.2mm M1931 anti aircraft gun left by the treating Red Army. Large numbers of these were captured in the advances of 1941 and 1942. When the ammunition started to run out and the barrels wore out they were relined to fire the German 8.8 cm ammunition like the gun for sale in rnixartillery photo. Spider
  2. Hi ROF The heavy muzzle brake on the L119 makes sense in keeping the balance on the elevating gear the same. The pressure in the air cylinder of the L118 was 750 psi. The L119 was different, one of the gunners managed to break most of the valve off when he was charging it up and I had to replace it. I recall the pressure was slightly higher but it was over 30 years ago and cannot remember what it was. Same gunner was very good at breaking things. They had to ban him from being the one who either swung the barrel from travelling position into battery or releasing the saddle travelling lock. When on the barrel he would swing it before the lock was undone or forget to undo the lock when someone else swung the barrel. I got into trouble for ordering too many replacements because of him but afterwards I did become good at fixing the travelling lock. He was put out of harm’s way in the officers’ mess as a steward. Hi RecyMech As a railway modeller......:cheesy:
  3. Hi RecyMech I was a fitter-gun with LAD 47 Fld Regt, when they had 105 mm Light Guns in the late 70s. I worked on both the L118 (which the regiment was equipped with) and the L119 when 3 Bty borrowed some for a while. The L119 is a different beast compared to the L118. Not only are the breaches different so are the muzzle brakes, and the muzzle brake clamp when towing the gun (due to the shorter barrel). The L118 has an electrical firing box, where the L119 has a firing lever. Sights and things like the air pressure in the recuperator where not the same. I am not too sure if the balance springs were of different length again because of the shorter barrel. Note about the firing platform. Firing platforms are placed directly on the spot the Battery Surveyor and GPO had selected, the gun is then wheeled on to the platform and fixed by the steel cables to the platform. This ensures the gun remains in the same spot when being given a new target. Not too sure if it is as important today with the on board gadgets but it was when the laying of the gun was done by using the coordinates from the CPO and TARAs in the Command Post it was. Traversing the gun was a lot easier using the firing platform, especially on an anti-tank shoot. I trick of mine was to pick the gun up by the gun spike and traverse it a full 360 degrees on my own. The new gunners to the battery were amazed that the skinny gun fitter could do this, none figured out that I had elevated the gun so it was balanced on its wheels. The gun could be moved on sort tows using the A frame under the cradle. This was the main support for the barrel when being transported by Puma helicopter. It was introduced when the RAF still had the Wessex. The gun had to be split in two, cradle and recoiling masses in one load and the saddle and trail on the second lift. To get the gun into the travelling position the right hand wheel had to come off. To keep the gun within the width to load on to one of the then RAF transports the saddle would have come into contact with the wheel when turning the barrel round. The whole trail would have had to be redesigned after the RAF only had Hercules left. I spent most of my time sorting out wheel knock from this wheel and found if the crews kept the face plates of the wheel and brake drum clean then there was less knock. We had some boffins from Woolwich come and investigate the wheel knock with our guns. When I told them that my batteries guns had less knock after we started to keep the face plates clean they poo pooed it and said I was lucky not to have as many problems as others were having. After leaving REME one of the chaps I worked with was in a TA gunner unit and he was moaning to me about the wheel knock so I suggested that they cleaned the face plates. He came back to work after an exercise and said that my method worked. Lastly personal a note about the ammunition. As I had to be on the gun position when they were firing them I would often join a crew if they were sort of gun numbers. Spending a day lugging the semi fixed US ammo was more knackering than what appeared to be twice the effort with the British separate ammo. If you feel I might be able to answer any questions please do contact me.
  4. I know this thread is nearly a year old but nobody seems to have mentioned the wonderful collection of Vickers photos held at the Barrow Dock Museum. http://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/archive/details.asp?imageid=4542&title=Field+Weapon&subject=Armaments&subtitle=Field+Gun http://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/archive/details.asp?imageid=4544&title=Field+Weapon&subject=Armaments&subtitle=Field+Gun http://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/archive/details.asp?imageid=4545&title=Field+Weapon&subject=Armaments&subtitle=Field+Gun http://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/archive/details.asp?imageid=6518&title=Field+Weapon&subject=Armaments&subtitle=Field+Gun The above links seem to have the same carriage, and the ones below the same barrel, recoil system etc. http://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/archive/details.asp?imageid=4785&title=Field+Weapon&subject=Armaments&subtitle=Field+Gun http://www.dockmuseum.org.uk/archive/details.asp?imageid=4783&title=Field+Weapon&subject=Armaments&subtitle=Field+Gun Could Vickers used the box trail from the earlier 105mm gun with the longer barrel to make the gun that is rotting away?
  5. Hi AlienFTM I lived just down the road to you in them days. I was at 10 Field Workshops. I think I got caught up in that exercise>. Our FRG was out running behind the likes of 4/7 Goons replacing power plants every two minutes. The likes of me as a gun fitter shouldn't have had much to do with what was going on but some how it was my turn to go out with the FRG when the call for a gun fitter was made. Combats on, SLR in hand off I went to help on of the Goons gun fitters change a barrel on a Chieftian, in noddy suits, in the hottest summer I have ever known. > Top the lot it did not need replacing cos we put the same bu**er back. As for your Scorpions, the previous unit to have them was 1 Tanks. I was detatched to them to help their gun fitter do some mods to the traversing gear. Wizzing the turret around I became aware of some black berrets in the gunners sight. So I shouted, "Turret traversing, get your f***ing heads out the way". There was a clattering sound of someone climbing on the turret. Very soon followed by a upside down and very red RSMs head poking through the commanders hatch. "Next time you tell the CO to get his f***ing head out the way don't forget to say SIR":D
  6. Hi FerretFixer When in battery the light gun had all its bits in the right place. If the barrel would have been a little higher it would have been an uncomfortable gun to fire. The problem lay in the wheel track width, the diameter of the firing platform, the shape and bow of the trail, and I believe the doors of the Belfast. A slightly wider track would have meant a larger diameter firing platform and a redsign of the trail to carry the platform. That would have been OK if the specification had not included airtransportable in the hold of a Belfast, any wider and it would not fit. :undecided: As normal with any MOD specifications :writing:no one has the forsight to see that the Belfast would be out of service before the light Gun was in service The gun was designed to be split into two parts for transport by Wessex heliocopter, each 1 tonner had to make room for a frame and winch to be able to do this. Never saw a Wessex shift a light gun. The frame and its winch were very handy for us gun fitters and the VMs :-)
  7. Hi Ferret Fixer The Pack Howitzer's replacement the light gun should have had a restriction on it. To get the gun into action the kerbside wheel had to be removed so that the barrel could be swung round. The amount of times we would stop on the way home because one of the guns had developed a wheel knock. While I was in the boffins never found out what was the cause of the knock. I was always convinced it was a small amount of dirt between the faces of the hub and wheel, but who listens to a mere craftsman. I did get my gun crews to give the wheel and hub a good clean before any long journey and we suffered less than the other two batteries. A few years later I was working with a guy who was a TA gunner (well a TSM) and he mentioned they had just got the L118 and moaned about how bad the wheel knock was. I suggested he got the crews to give the matting faces a good clean. After he had been on holiday (exersice???) he said he took my advice and the amount of wheel knock problems were far less. As for Mobats, one ended up in our LAD from god know's where and the gun fitters were asked to fix it. My mates and me spent a good afternoon lokking at this thing and conculded it was a pipe on wheels.:-D As an infantry weapon it was an armourers job so we were clueless, more than normal.
  8. Hi Clive When serving with LAD 47 Fld Regt RA, our EME's Land Rover was taken off the road by the C.O. because it was not painted the same pattern black and green like all the others in the regiment.:laugh: Ten years after these photos were taken our regiment was taking part on artillery day. As the gun fitter for 31 Battery I had to be around in case the gunners broke a gun (as if they would). The battery was short of gun numbers so I volunteered to be part of A sub's crew. As we entered the arena the driver of our 1 tonner shouted "The accelerator cable has broke", we were going nowhere. Some bright spark said "let’s pull the gun". We jumped out the 1 tonner and ran like mad with 2 tons of light gun. Even manhandling the gun we still beat the gun from the commando battery behind us into action. Word came from the Brigadier that we looked very impressive appearing out of the dust created by the other vehicles and guns. I don't think one of us got our breath back until after the display. Yours Spider
  9. Hi All Sorry for dragging up this old post but as no seemed to have answered Mike I might be of help. I am an ex REME gun fitter so I might be able to shed some light on why the Pack Howitzer can only be towed 20 miles. It is worth remembering it was designed to be taken apart easily by gunners. The reason for the 20 miles limit was to stop it being bounced around too much and bits falling off. Frequent stops would be required for any journey over 20 miles to check it was still all there. There is no hope of the REME vehicle following the battery stopping to pick up any bits laying on the road, if all had gone to plan the gun fitter would be fast a kip in the back and the VMs would not recognise the bits in the middle of the road they were avoiding.
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