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Object Title

Gun - 18-pounder British Quick-Firing Field gun Mark II & Field Carriage

Gun - 18-pounder British Quick-Firing Field gun Mark II & Field Carriage

Date

1918

Object Number

XIX.529

Provenance

Its service history, if any, is unknown.

Physical Description

The gun barrel is made of steel and consists of an 'A' tube, a series of layers of steel wire, a jacket and a breech. The 'A' tube extends from the rear end of the chamber to the muzzle. Over a portion of the 'A' tube are wound successive layers of steel wire. The jacket is fitted over the exterior of the wire and 'A' tube, and is secured longitudinally by corresponding shoulders and the breech ring, which is secured over the jacket at the rear and secured by a set screw. The breech ring is prepared for the reception of the breech mechanism, and is provided on the upper side with a lug for the attachment of the hydraulic buffer. Longitudinal projections on each side of the jacket for guides for the gun when in the cradle of the carriage. The guns are fitted with 'Single Motion Breech Mechanism.' The mechanism is so arranged that by one pull on a lever the breech is unlocked and the screw and carrier are swung into the loading position. After loading, one thrust on the same lever inserts the breech screw into the breech opening and turns it into the locked position. The carriage is the narrow single-pole trail design suited to its towing by teams of horses. It consists of many parts but is constructed to allow of 16 degrees elevation and 5 degrees compression being given to the gun, which recoils axially in a cradle, the latter being fitted with a hydraulic buffer to limit the recoil to about 41 inches and running out springs to return the gun to the firing position. The carriage is also constructed so that the gun's elevation can be altered without interfering with the line of sight. It is provided with a seat on each side of the trail for two of the gun detachment, and with a shield for the protection of the numbers serving the gun. The carriage is fitted to carry various stores. The wheels are 2nd class, 'C', No.45, 4 feet 8 inches in diameter, with a steel nave, removable pipe box, and a 3 inch steel tire with rounded edges. The carriage is fitted on the left side with a rocking bar sight with sight clinometer, and No.4 sighting telescope. It is provided with a No.1 or No. 7 Dial Sight, introduced in 1910 and based on the German Goertz panoramic sight, and No. 2 carrier. The rifling comprises 18 grooves and is Polygroove, modified plain section with a uniform 1 turn in 30 calibres. The firing mechanism is percussion.

Featured in

Techniques

Wire wound

Materials

Dimensions

BarrelBore3.3 in
BarrelBore83.8 mm
BarrelLength2340 mm
BarrelWeight457 kg
Barrellength92 in

Component parts

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number None visible

Calibre

83.8 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Number
6668 L CO 8M
Recuperator
Inscribed
Manufacturer's mark
8 - 2 - 25 [Crown over P] Q.F. 18PR MKII V.S.M. [Broad Arrow] 1918 No.7743 7743 B.E. 40821 V82507
Breech
Inscribed
Inscription
Crown over IC over 164
Muzzle face, barrel
Inscribed
Inscription
Crown over IC over 166
Muzzle face, A-tube
Inscribed
Inscription
VSM STE 81940 Mark I
Muzzle face
Inscribed

Associations

Notes

During the Boer War the British, realising the shortcomings of their artillery, decided on a true quick-firing (QF) gun. No existing model was considered suitable. So the new gun combined the designs of the great firm Vickers, Sons & Maxim and the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. Introduced in 1904, later versions gave improved durability and range. Originally intended for mobile warfare firing shrapnel shell against troops in the open, once the armies became entrenched on the Western Front, the 18 pounder had to be modified to enable it to fire heavy barrages of high exposive shell. Steel barrel sliding on recoil through bronze cradle, by means of a long rib on each side of the barrel, forged in one with the barrel and machined to engage in matching slots in the cradle. Above the barrel is the cylinder containing the hydraulic recoil and run-out control mechanism, part of which was wound with rope in the field, which, if kept wet during prolonged firing provided a cooling effect.

Thumbnail image of 18 pounder QF (quick-firing) field, by Vickers, Sons and Maxim, 1918, Britain. (XIX.529) © Jonty Wilde
Thumbnail image of Limber for 18 pounder field gun XIX.529
Thumbnail image of 18 pounder QF gun. British, dated 1918 (XIX.529)
Thumbnail image of 18 pounder QF gun. British, dated 1918 (XIX.529)
Thumbnail image of 18 pounder QF gun. British, dated 1918 (XIX.529)
Thumbnail image of 18 pounder QF gun. British, dated 1918 (XIX.529)