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Old 04-07-10, 06:38
Rod Bellars (RIP) Rod Bellars (RIP) is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 60
Default 17 Pounder anti tank gun

well this is an impressive gun and one of my favourites , the 17pdr was the largest Commonwealth anti tank gun used in the field although two proto- type 32 pounders were made in uk and one still exists at Rotunda .

Australia realized the need for substantial and up to date anti tank weaponry during the war and sourced much of its supplies where it could and if not made them here as is well known most of the 2pdrs were made here ,almost half the 6pdr and amazingly all but three pilot models of the 17pdr ! according to Gower. An initial order of around 500 guns were made but it is estimated only 125 complete guns were made and rest was parts

From observations of guns in the collection and elsewhere again it is evident there were two basic models of locally produced guns . These are easily distinguished by the shield sight apperture holes .For some strange reason it appears the shields when made were cut out for sight appertures on right and leff of gun and the right one was simply covered up on assembly a strange practice I would like to know more about reasoning behind this .

The early production models had a riveted plate over the spare apperture hole on right and latter models had an almost invisible flush welded plate .
The guns were not well liked by their crews preffering the 6pdr as it was easier to handle and less likely to damage the trucks assigned for towing them, so many guns saw little practice use , the guns were last upgraded in 1955 which seems to be sight related upgrades and after being declared obsolete 12 accoring to Gower were kept on for coastal defence and its these 12 that adorn various parks and gardens today others all being scrapped earlier
In the 70s one fellow relayed to me as a kid in Plumb and Critons scrap yard they had sword fights with barrels on 17pdr guns!!!! in there for scrap .in the80s i can still remember going to that yard and recovering new recoil housings and other parts from the spares being scrapped then which have come in handy since i have four 17pdr three aussie made ones and parts of a Fourth Brithish gun .
one Aussie gun i have recently rebuild paying much attention again to preserving as much as possible in original paint and make it as complete as possible . results were good as this gun was pretty shot originally being probably salvaged from the scrap yard and when i got it was a skeleton missing all brass bushes even and grease nipples .after a total rebuild it is one of the few complete ones here and definetly probably only one in original ww2 period colours although I still need to polish the chamber

Again I am using this article to chase parts and i need for second and third guns elevator units ie both gear boxes and for third gun one traverse as well . I also need one recocking link that bolts to rear of breach block and may copy this off another I have along with that the third gun has had its trails trimmed and axles so these two are on a shopping list although I have had interest in thsi third gun from a number of people who may trade it off me to do up, saving me the effort

predominant differences between Aussie made guns and uk made guns are folowing
-uk used dished holed handwheels where aussies used standard heavy bronze steering wheel type four bar
-Uk shield had less fittings for stores and and a sight slot open to top of shield where Aussie one was enclosed with sight cover sliding door
-uk gun had a lot more rivets on it and especially in forming spades that were simpler welded models on Aussie guns Uk sight unit was also more complicated where Aussie one was simpler but made more use of bronze in its construction

all my three aussie guns and parts of others are dated 1943 and mk1

again i do have spares available for swap ie the thrid gun in bits about 75%, ammo tins , breach blocks , sight mounts ,recoil parts , etc

just an update dated 1/2011 I will be selling off one 17pdr with some stores shortly

Last edited by Rod Bellars (RIP); 25-08-15 at 10:52.
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