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Bofors nut from Australia

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Hello from Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.


I have enjoyed reading a lot of threads on this forum over the last few days so now I suppose I had better do an introduction.


I'm interested in 40mm Bofors stuff, inert ordnance, handbooks, ammo boxes, tools etc.

I also have a 1942 British made Nuffield "M&A" gun. I've spent the last year or so acquiring a few missing bits (including sights) and I've recently started a light cosmetic restoration. Cosmetic because it's been covered most of its life and other than flaking paint (at least 5 different coloured coats!) and minor rust it's in pretty good shape. Plenty of grease everywhere and things like wheel bearings are like new. So for my purposes it doesn't need a full strip down "nuts and bolts" restoration.


It's basically in 1950s Korean War trim with the inertia-braked draw bar (not sure what it's called) and front axle conversion (the hand-operated Lockheed master cylinder rear axle has been removed for a plain axle), and the loader platform is the cut-down version. Also the barrel lock is the later WW2 (circa 1944?) clamp arrangement mounted on the rear chassis cross-girder, and of course it has no electric motors or hydraulic pumps - very rarely see them on any guns these days. I am considering returning it to WW2 trim, but finding the correct parts will be difficult .


Unfortunately like many Australian guns for deactivation it's had the barrel plugged and holed with an oxy torch (including cutting the recoil spring in the process) and had the breech block, closing spring, crank arms and crankshaft removed. It would be possible to replace these items (at a fairly hefty price!) but I'm not sure I want to. Completely happy with a deactivated gun at the moment.


I will post a few photos, including of the (very slow) restoration shortly.


Cheers, Graeme

Edited by Ballarat Bertie
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Hi Graeme and welcome!


It sounds like a Mk 3 platform. Were Mk 2s converted, is there evidence of the hydraulic rear brakes having been there?


I have a 1942 British Bofors that still retains its motors and never had shields. I'm looking for a Mk 3 drawbar for it as it has a Mk 2 and hence no brakes at all!


Looking forward to pictures!



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Thanks for the welcome everyone.


What a great site this is.


Adrian, I'm not sure when the smaller loading platform was introduced. I only have handbooks up to 1942. Gander's book states that the Mk3 platform mod involved fitting of the front axle over-run brakes (plus actuating draw-bar), but I don't know when this was. I was told 1951-53 here. The Mk3 rear axle housing mod is not a converted Mk2 as it's a plain piece of steel tube over the axle with a square plate welded on each end. The Mk2 axle housing had round plates (flanges) each end plus brackets for the master cylinder and central rope pull set-up welded on. I'm not sure how effective these over-run (inertia) brakes are as my gun was delivered on a tilt-tray lorry. I do know the handbrake works though! You never see any WW2 era guns in Australia with the layer shields, I don't believe we ever fitted them during WW2. (You only see them on the 1960s electric conversions as per the museum gun referred to below and pictured above.) I will start a new thread with pictures hopefully on the weekend.


Terry, the gun at your museum is interesting, I like the sand-grip tyres - I haven't seen that tread pattern before. I'm just in the process of sourcing some new tyres for mine. The 9.00 x 13 size is very difficult to get. I can get some "Olympic" pattern (hexagonal tread pattern) sand tyres but they are worth a small fortune. That gun appears to be of WW2 era and has had the 1960s full electrical (only) operation mods done. It also has the ready-to-use ammunition racks fitted. Interestingly though it still has the early (Mk2 platform) solid type draw-bar and presumably rear axle hand-operated brakes fitted. I don't know why they would retain these and not convert to the over-run front brakes as most other guns were. I know this is original though as there is an identically set-up electrical gun in Stawell, Vic. It started life as a 1942 Otis-Fensom Elevator Co, Canada (O.F.E./C) gun.


Cheers, Graeme

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Thanks for the info, Graeme,


I don't know much about that particular gun, other than the fact that it was loaned to us by the DSTO and is marked as being put into long term storage in the early 70's.


If you want any detail photos or other info, let me know and I'll see what I can dig up.




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I had never considered the Mk3 platform as a conversion of a Mk2, just later production. You said yours had been converted to the overrun front brakes, hence the question! Of course, the interchangeability of both front axles means various permutations are possible. Indeed, a friend has an OFE Mk2 with a Mk3 front axle, I have the opposite..... I'm trying for an exchange but no luck so far!

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