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Where can I find 105 Light Gun please?


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Af'noon gents.

 

Could anyone suggest or offer me the chance to photograph & measure a 105 Light Gun please?

Anyone have a complete one in private hands that I could photograph to death? ...or even suggest where there might be a good gate guard? The more complete example the better of course.

 

I'm in the Boston Lincs area, so while I am prepared to travel, the closest one would obviously be most attractive. Any suggestions chaps?

 

This is advance research for one of the next 1/24th models. The 5.5" howitzer is just about to be released in the next month, but meanwhile the 1 ton LR masters have been finished & is next for release. The 105 Light Gun is to accompany that model.

 

Any help much appreciated.

 

Cheers......Howard @ KFS

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Howard,

you have a couple of options,Shaun Hindle has two at the Battle front Museum (he is on this forum) and Micheal Savory (Muckleburgh) has one in his collection. :thumbsup:

 

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

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Cracking Rob, !!!! many thanks........I did`nt realise the Muckleburg Collection was actually as close as it is, just around the bend from me in fact :D....never been there & never looked it up. But I will now.........looks like a good day out :D:D

 

Had a look for the Battlefront Museum, found the web page, but I see its moving house.......but again I did`nt realise it was East of England located. Shall have to watch that & make contact asap.

 

Superb info, question answered in a flash!. Many many thanks:thanx::tup::

 

Howard @ KFS

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Hi again,

Can anyone put me in touch with Shaun Hindle please...?

 

I have a pattern maker standing by with an empty production slot waiting to start the 105 patterns. Ideally I'd like to get one measured up before Monday if at all possible.

 

Cheers fellas.

 

Howard @ KFS

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Evening all,

Well I made contact with the Muckleburgh collection & got in on Sunday for a good photo shoot & a measure up.

 

I just have a couple of questions regarding the 105 Light Gun, if anyone can offer any advice I'd be eternally grateful.

 

I'm seeing them with & without the large circular base plate (pardon my ignorance if it has a tech term), the Muckleburgh gun does not have one so I'm reliant on pictures from t'interweb for any info.....which are not too clear

 

Was this just a 'loose item' once detached from the trails or was the gun 'mounted' onto the plate in some way. Presumably the plate is dropped on the deck & the gun rolled back onto it ?....but is the gun then 'attached' to the plate in some way, or free standing on it ?

 

Is there a particular reason why some have them & some don't ?....a mod of some sort perhaps ?

 

Cheers.....H

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The turntable is fixed to the carriage for tarnsport by chians and a quick release mechanism. When the gun is deployed the tractor turns 180 then lines up on the gun commander and stops level with him. The crew drop the table, the commander then signals you forward. You then have to jump the vehicle enough to pull the gun up on to the table, but not so hard you bounce or breack any thing. Good game I can assure you. The gun is then unhitched and the tractor moves off to a position ready to turn in and pick up after the shoot. :D

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Thanks Tony....got that much ok, I can visualise that all taking place.... but is the gun actually free standing on the table & not 'fixed' or 'chained to it' any way while in action ?

 

And, is there a reason why some are seen with the table & others without......even on U tube clips of guns in action.

 

Just trying to understand it all fully before I pass the info to my pattern maker.

 

Cheers.........H

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Whist in action the table is free, it just sits on the ground. The idea is easy traverse, it is a heavy bit of metal ideal for shearing toes when dropped. Initially it was a copied from the 25 pounder that 105 replaced. Just seems to have been discontinued on later guns.

 

There was a prototype gun on display at Fort Halstead RARDE, where the gun was developed. It had a lot of detail changes from the final service design. Then the US got hold of it, and altered more things, including the barrel length. Funilly enough the 25 pounder was only declared obsolesent in about 1992, and finally obsolete in about 2001, when the last saluting gun was retired.

Edited by Tony B
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Cheers Tony...question answered on the attachment of the table :thumbsup:

 

You're certainly right about all the various mods & changes....the more pictures I collect the more differences I can see.

 

I have a few shots of a very recent 105 with all the ballistic computer trickery boxes fitted, taken on a TA show stand 2010...& yet that one is set up & displayed on its turntable.

 

I assume with the longer barrel version then it could no longer be towed with the barrel reversed & pointing toward the tractor ? I was informed at Mucklburgh RA gave up doing that anyway due to having to remove a wheel to bring the gun into action.

 

Like most military kit.......complex history!

 

Cheers.......H

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The base design of 105 light gun is quite old. The recent sighting updates were only finished around the 1990's, and of course are subject to constant upgrade. The original trail was tubular, and I don't remember a table on the prototype. The actual production ended some time ago, Royal Orrdance were the main contractors, some were even made at Wolwich. One thing I remember is that one stage the barrel underwent a 54 hour heat treatment. To get every mark including the L115, blank firing only version, you'd need about two dozen kits. :-D The traversing table was originally thought up in the 1920's. With the improvement of recoil systems on artillery the carriage would stay stable , but if you were on soft ground there was still the problem of fast traverse. As pneumatic tyres came into use when motor transport , and hence higher speed of towing, was adopted, the problem became worse, no big spokes to grab and twist. So someone had the bright idea, carry your own smooth low friction surface with you. I think it was the 18/25 lb was the first to deploy them. I'd have to check the books to get an exact story. Firepower probaly have a lot of info, they inherited a lot of local material when the Arsenal finally closed.

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Just to help clarify the situation.

 

The 105mm Light Gun was designed to fire the UK 'Abbot' ammuntion and this version was known as the L118 (max range 17.2km with standard UK HE shell). During development it was decided that the ability to fire the US 'M1' ammunition was required (this was used by the BA with the 105mm Pak How) and this version was known as the M119 (max range 11.4km with standard US HE shell). The intention was to use the L119 for training using the old stocks of US ammunition held.

 

The L118 was fitted with the L19 ordnance which was nominally 37 calibres long, the L119 was fitted with the L20 ordnance which was nominally 30 calbres long. The first Production L118 was formally accepted into service on the 25th October 1974.

 

 

 

early_105_L118_LG at ROFN.jpg

 

 

 

The US after undertaking a number of evaluations took the Light Gun into their service where it was type classified as the M119. Over the years they have incorporated a number of detail changes to suit their methods of operation and maintenance methods.

 

The design of the Light Gun was such that the ordnances could be interchanged and alternative firing boxes fitted (L118 is electric, L119 is percussion) without affecting the out-of-balance and operation (elevation/depression) of the equipment. A support bar is fitted across the rear of the trails to support the barrel when the shorter ordnance is fitted.

 

In both cases the gun could be towed with the equipment folded with the barrel over the trail, or with the gun forwards with the ordnance supported with an A-Frame.

 

The firing platform is carried on the carriage/trail assembly during travel and then dropped down and the gun pulled onto it for firing. A number of steel ropes or stays are attached to the bottom of the carriage when in the firing position to hold it in position.

 

 

LG_Platform_02.jpg

 

 

 

 

Note it is possible to fire the equipment without the firing platform fitted, but it does aid the firing stability.

 

Bit of additional information. There was also an alternative spade assembly fitted to the rear of the trail assembly called the Rock spade which was smaller than the standard Field spade.

 

Also when used in artic conditions it was posible to fit 'skis' to/around the wheels to enhance mobility. Here is a set fitted to an early version of light gun.

 

 

105_L118_LG Skis.jpg

 

 

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Tony B, OldROF.....

 

Many thanks chaps for those two inputs & especially the pics. Very interesting & informative, cheers.

The more I talk to people & study the thing the more I'm understanding about the weapon & the various changes it went through. Which at the same time makes it all the more confusing in some respects !! (as you say Tony...20 kits needed)

 

BUT....at least I'm getting more of a handle on what fits where & why / how. The stowed turntable though in the above picture appears to be 'within' the trails....another picture I have shows it stowed 'over' the trails & it appears to be a much wider turntable than the one above. Another mod perhaps ?

 

If you think of anything else that might be of use please do fire it at me (pun intended)

 

Cheers........Howard @ KFS

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If it helps here is a comparison between a pre-production or early production L118

 

105_L118_LG_at_ROFN_c1973.jpg

 

and a late production version, unfortunately not from the same viewpoint but hopefully better than nothing. :)

 

105_L118_LG_at_ROFN_c2000.jpg

 

Out of interest the original firing platform design was produced by explosive forming however the production engineering and projects staff at ROF(N) worked with RARDE(FH) to develop a standard press manufacturing process which was used for all the later systems.

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Blast from the past those pictures! No chance of any futher development both FH and RO just a memory.

 

Might be worth trying QuinetiQ (The £50,000 spelling mistake, but that's another story) PR bunch at Fort Halstead, you may be allowed to see some of the original plans.

Edited by Tony B
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Thanks chaps. Those pictures are priceless & answer a dozen other questions too. If you have any more Old-ROF keep em coming :D pleeeeeese.

 

I also happened across this yesterday;-

http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1941.html

Which I've not yet read fully but it looks informative history wise at least.

 

It like olive green archeology this is:undecided:

 

Cheers again.....H

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A couple more views of the early light gun to go with the ones already provided.

 

105_L118_LG_at_ROFN.jpg

 

 

This shows the early configuration of the lighting bar/beam used when towing.

 

105_L118_LG_at_ROFN_Old_Light_Bar.jpg

 

 

A later period Light Gun on Test inside the factory being towed by the factory's forward control Land Rover. Used to do brake tests etc. before delivery. The light beam was changed over the years to fall in line with the changes in the UK Vehicle Construction and Use regulations and Road Traffic Act requirements.

 

105_L118_LG+_FwdControl_LR.jpg

 

 

 

Latest standard of the Light Gun, rear view showing the update to the aiming system with the incorporation of the APS / LINAPS system.

 

105_L118_LG_APS_Update_01.jpg

 

 

Hope these help.

 

Out of interest is the Model Land Rover on sale yet and where is it available from. My father in law collects Land Rover models of all sizes, goes from tiny cast ones used by wargames, via matchbox and corgi sizes up to large sheet metal versions. He's only got about 900 so far. :)

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Blimey Tony , you nearly sound like you know what you are talking about!;)

 

:pfrt: Some of the original design team were still at FH when I was there. One of the chaps at the original Rotunda artillery musuem had been on the development team as well. A lot of stories about trials, and what didn't get into the official reports.:-D

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... Some of the original design team were still at FH when I was there. ...

 

 

Spent time at FH myself 1981/83 time scale attached to GR1 as liasion between RARDE and ROFN. Out of interest which section were you with when you were there?

 

A lot of new design and analysis techniques were developed in the original creation of the Light Gun with a lot of interaction between the designers and the manufacturing capabilities of the ROF's. Its probably one of the reasons that the system is still considered amongst the best small lightweight artillery systems.

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Spent time at FH myself 1981/83 time scale attached to GR1 as liasion between RARDE and ROFN. Out of interest which section were you with when you were there?

 

A lot of new design and analysis techniques were developed in the original creation of the Light Gun with a lot of interaction between the designers and the manufacturing capabilities of the ROF's. Its probably one of the reasons that the system is still considered amongst the best small lightweight artillery systems.

 

Bit later, I was on contract security at Woolwich just as it was closing, then went on to Main as MOD Staff in 1990 , and up to the Fort, where I knew a lot of the people as I live near by. Was up there five years, when the privatisation started a lot of the originals decided time to retire etc, and I decided time to move on.

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Hi O/ROF

Thanks for those latest pics.

They just answered a question I had not even asked yet....about markings & lights when towed.:thanx:

 

The 1 tonner kit goes for casting next Thursday.....but is still about 2-3 months off release. Once I get sample castings back there is still a fair bit of development & tweaking to do on the brass etch work, canopy parts, test builds instructions & so on.

 

Rarely does everything fit 100% first time round....much like the real thing...prototype, test, mod, test, mod...

I have it all laid out as I write, designing the windscreen etch parts.

 

Its just over 7" long & will hopefully look good towing a 105 :cool2::cool2:

 

Thanks again.

H

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"Ah BUT!! How many variations of the 101 are you going to do?"

 

Difficult to say at this point till the masters get underway & we see where it takes us.

 

Generally though `1 kit` only, maybe with a few optional parts.......have to draw a line in the sand with the number of 'optional' parts supplied otherwise no matter what version is built there are a heap of wasted bits....which the customer has obviously paid for & become useless.

 

It's intended to go with the 1 tonner.....so that ties it down a bit period wise. I.e not the latest gun with computer wizardry for a start. Having said that I send a lot of kits to the US & Australia....both of whom used the gun, si both barrels will be in there for a start.

Would like to provide the ability to tow it either way round too of course.

 

H

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...both barrels will be in there for a start. ....

 

Just to say that the 'barrel' exchange was actually for the complete ordnance as there are also differences in the breech configuration - which you may already be aware of - due to the different ammunition systems.

 

This assembly would look like this which includes the recoil rails which slide inside the cradle fabrication.

 

 

 

105_L118_Ordnance+Rail_Assy.jpg

 

 

 

This is the L19 (L118) breech, UK electric firing ammunition.

 

 

105_L118_Breech_Assy.jpg

 

 

 

 

This is the L20 (L119) breech, US percussion firing ammunition. You can see the safe and fire arm on the side and the recock lever at the rear.

 

 

105_L119_Breech_Assy.jpg

 

 

 

 

Should give you some more headaches thinking about what to do ;)

 

 

With reference to the firing platform this is held on top of the trail by utilising supports built into the top of the suspension units and a pair of clamps located partway along the trail legs.

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Old_ROF........

 

Thanks for that snippet......a few more minor additional parts required, but nothing to break the bank there I think.

 

Given that the portion of the barrel that is housed within the cradle is largely out of sight once the rest of the gun is built up around it...what I'd 'planned' to do was make the barrel in 3 pieces;-

The rear portion including the breach block would be a 'universal' item (as I said it is largely hidden)

The muzzle brake would be a separate item

The 'exposed' part of the barrel would be the optional long/short piece

 

Thats the plan at present anyway:nut:

 

How many more of those wonderfull drawings are available & how can I get a set (he drooled;))

 

Shall go read more on the beast

 

Cheers

H

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