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der5997

18 PDR QF Shell Markings

22 posts in this topic

Our local museum has an unfired Canadian made 18 PDR QF shell (plugged but never filled - or so the local bomb squad is satisfied, who have certified it "Inert Range Scrap")

Shellforweb.jpg

The marks are:

Stampdetailslargefile.jpg

We would be interested in knowing what the IT mark means, similarly the FS and the MP

"Scotia" as a Makers Mark gives us the idea that it was made in Nova Scotia, but we have been unable to narrow that down to a specific company.

Lastly the date, 11th Nov 1915, puts the projectile in production at the height of the 1915 Shell Crisis. We understand that shells were supplied for the 18PDR by both Canada and Australia (among others) We are intrigued by our example's removal, unfilled but plugged, from the supply chain.

Any help you may be able to provide in these matters would be much appreciated.

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The "IT" is in fact a poorly stamped "II" for a Mark II shell. It does not mean it is a Mark I shell fitted with tracer.

"FS" idicated that the shell is made from Forged Steel and whilst I am sure that I have seen the "Scotia" trade mark before I cannot find the full name of the manufacturer.

For "MP" still looking!

Regards

TonyE

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Thank you Tony, that's a great help already.

I've drawn a blank (Unable to fit a Tracer :whistle: ) on the Scotia. My enquiries at the Citadel, Halifax have not yeilded a response either - could be of course that they aren't interested, rather than that they don't know!

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Scotia is the Trade Mark for Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co. Ltd of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, who received an order to forge shells. Mr H.H. Vaughan, Superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Angus Workshops, Montreal, designed a forging press for 18 Pr shells. Mr Vaughan undertook, on behalf of Angus Shops to make and deliver four of the presses in four weeks, in fact the vfirst press was delivered in twenty days, including shipment to New Glasgow, and was actually working in twenty three days from the date when designed. The remaining three presses were delivered and working a few days later. These presses were 4,000 ton Hydraulic Presses converted to forge 18 Pr shells. The shell in #1 is a 18 Pr Shrapnel Shell.

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Thank you John, that Scotia information adds great details to our "Narrative" section for cataloguing this. What mark on the shell tells you about the Shrapnel load?

I have a further question on 18 pdr Field Guns. If this thread isn't the place for it, perhaps a moderator could kindly re-direct me; the issue is this:

I want to display a 1:72nd scale model of the gun beside the shell. The kit I have claims to be based on an example at the Royal Armories Museum, Fort Nelson, Fareham, Hants. It shows, as you can see IMG.jpg

the shield with a hinged section on the bottom reaching to the ground. This surprised me because I wasn't expecting that. (My memory of a model of a 25 pdr WWII gun I had as a child did not have such an extension)

So, is the flap genuine equipment?

When the gun was moved behind its ammunition "tender" (sorry I don't know the correct term), how was the extension stowed? _ I'm presuming it hinged up and was latched in some way. I intend to attempt to scratch build the ammunition carrier, and would like to know the correct configuration for moving.

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I think you mean the "limber".

For travelling the lower shield was "swung back under the trail and secured by a pawl with releasing handle and keep pin" - from Len Trawin's book "Early British Quick Firing Artillery"

Recommend getting a copy of Trawin's book it has detailed drawings of the 18 Pdr limber.

Regards,

Charlie

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Charlie, thanks for this, and I do indeed mean limber - as I've just come back to this thread to paste this

"The 18 Pounder was a quick firing horse-drawn field gun designed to be towed behind a limber and six horses." - which I found on http://smnmcshannon.hubpages.com/hub/World-One-War-Quick-Firing-18-Pounder !

Our local library may be able to get Len Trawin's book "Early British Quick Firing Artillery" - so thanks for the tip. I'll also see if I can locate a source for the drawings, or a decent photo from which I can scale some drawings myself. It's a matter of time - i don't know how long it may take the library to get the Trawin.

I'm curious about that lower shield swinging back under the trail, as that's the direction of incoming shot against which the sheild was to give protection - any thoguhts anyone?

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The lower portion of the shield was hinged to the upper portion. In action it hung almost verticlly almost to the ground. For travelling it was swung back under the trailand secured by a catch with release handle and pin. The shield would be teated with a service rifle bullet at a range of 400 yards and should not be pierced, cracked or distorted.

John

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der5997 (or may I call you dir? :w00t: )

I hope to be at Fort Nelson within the next few days, maybe as soon as tomorrow.

I will take some general photos for you, including the shield and it's storage.

If there is anything in particular which you would like, just let me know and I will do my best for you.

Nigel

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Nigel:

der5997 (or may I call you dir? :w00t: )
...just don't call me late for dinner!hungrysmilie.gif

Yes, thanks - if Fort Nelson has the limber for either the 13 or 18 pdrs, I would like some photos that show the construction (I have a set of wheels, but must scratch built the rest of a proposed model to accompany that purchased for our interpretive display of the shell at the museum.) The arrangement of the axle is a particular unknown - The wheels I have come from a duplicate 18 pdr in the kit I purchased, so the only modeling start point I have is the axle/gun support from that.

Some detailed shots of the ranging instruments etc would also be of interest.

Ian and John: Thanks also to you - this is building up an information file from which I should be able to natter on in the Narrative section of our on-line catalogue.

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I have the pictures, now all I have to do is work out what to do with them. :whistle:

The gun is dated 1918 and is, according to the museum, the only firing 18pdr in the world. Today is one of the few days in the year when it is fired and I have pics of that as well.

The lower shield is held in the up position, not with a catch but with a chain. I couldn't see any evidence of any catch but I am no expert. The chain fixings didn't look modern.

Watch this space

Nigel

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Thanks Nigel: The 18 pdr photos are great! I agree the chain retaining the lower shield in the raised position is not a modern addition. I presume its twin is on the other side.

Next questions folks:

The recoil mechanism is shown wrapped in what looks like a rope winding (but not reproduced by the makers of the model I'm about to build).

  • Was this standard?
  • What was its purpose?
  • It will be fiddly to add to a 1:72nd scale model with thread and a needle -will the model be laughably inaccurate without it?

Thanks,

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no chain on the other side I'm afraid.

Nigel

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I've been AFK for a few days folks, Nigel has suggested that I bring a PM conversation we've been having on the 18 pdr and limber into the main Forum so we can both benefit from your collective expertise. So, here's my latest post to him

I agree the photos that show pristine and gleaming white rope-work are museum pieces. I do see that there are one or two photos of 18pdrs in action - and they have the binding - so I think I'll try to include it.(in the model I'm going to build)

Could anyone suggest the purpose of that rope binding on the recuperator ? ( I think that's the correct term)

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post-1365-0-72258700-1345913495_thumb.jpI

I would suggest that the Outer Spring case was wrapped in rope or cord was to protect it from being dented or damaged by being knocked. With regards to lower shield retaing catch see attached drawing.

John

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Afaik the rope wrapped around the recoil/recuperator assembly was an asbestos rope. The Mk I 18 Pdr had problems with the recoil assembly overheating

during extended firing - the rope was an attempt to insulate the recoil assembly. This was fixed in later Marks by adding an oil reservoir to the front of the assembly.

The Mk I also suffered from recuperator spring breakages but I don't know if that was related to heating of the springs.

Regards,

Charlie

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John

That catch looks more up to the job than the flimsy spring there now. there was no sign of it but I'll have a look for evidence of it when i am next up there.

Nigel

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Thank you John, that shield retaining pawl may be easier for me to scratch build as well, I'm rather short of scale chain. I would ordinarily cannibalize a 1:87th scale railway caboose "porch" safety chain - but I haven't any to hand.

The asbestos rope or cord solution to a heat problem sounds just the technical detail that will justify my adding the feature to my model - thanks Charlie.

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Gentlemen: I've not been on while I was building the replicas of the 18 Pdr. and its carriage limber. I chose the carriage limber because it had a more interesting arrangement of covers for the rear end. I've re-produced the wicker basket tubes for the cartridges, which gives a colour difference as well. I assumed the interior would be painted with the same paint; if wrong, its too late to fix as the whole display is encased, and crazy-glued in place! Anyway, here are some photos. I decided, John, not to attempt the shield support pawl after all, as it wouldn't be seen without magnification. But thanks for that excellent drawing.

I did manage to do the rocking bar sight with a sight clinometer (but screwed up on the positioning, so it's further forward than it should be ( TV induced inattention ) and it was crazy glued by the time I checked the Handbook. :( So, I'm assuming the gun is set for Direct Fire - and therefore the shield could come in handy!

2012-007-001.jpg

I suggested the range drum on the right hand side for detachment member #2's use

2012-007-001b.jpg

Here's the business end, with the asbestos rope winding on the recuperator

2012-007-001c.jpg

I have to limit the number of photos per post, so I'll be back

Cheers, John.

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Here's the carriage limber:

Nigel, I took the arm rests from the handbook rather than the photos you posted, but those were essential for much of the rest of the build - again, thanks.

2012-007-002.jpg

2012-007-002b.jpg

2012-007-002c.jpg

....I shall return (to borrow from a later conflict in a different theatre

..and finally, the unit, with detachment member #5 carrying a round to the gun from the limber

2012-007-001e.jpg

Purists may argue my having the pole trail traversing lever housed rather than deployed; but that was more work, would have lengthened the model more than display shelf could accommodate. Besides, #5 was the only detachment member supplied apart from #1 whose pose is extraordinary in the circumstances, see the Kit box illustration above.

Now I have to get these replicas entered in the on-line catalogue for our museum which is (currently not 100% functional after a server drive crash) at http://novamuse.ca/index.php/Detail/Entity/Show/entity_id/6300

Enjoy.

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