17-Pdr Anti-tank Gun
The development of anti-tank guns during the Second World War was driven by the progressive need to cater for the progressive increase in the thickness of tank armour. At the outbreak of the Second World War, anti-tank guns of 37mm/40mm calibre were quickly superseded by larger calibre guns capable of penetrating the increasingly thicker armour being fitted to tanks. The Ordnance, Q.F., 17-Pr., Mark I was developed as a replacement for the Ordnance, Q.F. 6-PR. 7-CWT. The increase in calibre from 2.24” of the 6-Pr was to 3” for the 17-Pr.
The 17-Pr entered service entered in 1942 and first saw action in North Africa in 1943. Initially the gun was fitted on to an Ordnance, Q.F., 25-Pr carriage. Guns were later fitted to carriages specifically designed for the 17-Pr as they became available.
The 17-pr developed a fearsome reputation as a tank killer. A modified version was fitted at a tank gun to Sherman and Challenger tanks. The required modifying the breech to allow it to open sideways and this version of the gun utilised a shorter cartridge. It was also fitted to self-propelled chassis – the Archer, Achilles, and Avenger in British service.
It was also used in Naval service fitted to Landing Craft Gun Medium. Two 17-Pr guns were fitted in turrets and used as close support during amphibious assault landings.
The 17-Pr continued in British service until 1960, being replaced for infantry use by recoilless anti-tank rifles or terminally guided anti-tank missiles.
ORDNANCE, Q.F., 17-Pr., MARK I on CARRIAGE, 17-Pr., MARK I
Length: 24ft 4 in.
Weight: 1,822 lb (unloaded).
Maximum Range: 4000 yds.
Muzzle Velocity: 2,980 f.s (new gun).
Barrel life: 350 or equivalent full charges.
Rifling: 20 grooves, uniform 1 turn in 30 calibres.
Ammunition types fired: A.P. Shot, A.P.C. shot, A.P.C.B.C. shot, HE, Practice, Clearing, A.P.D.S. practice flathead shot, blank.
Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon
The Hotchkiss revolving cannon is one of several repeating guns developed in the late 19th Century. Its designer Benjamin B. Hotchkiss was born at Watertown, Connecticut, in 1826. Born into a family familiar with both invention and machinery he had been responsible for designing both guns and ammunition prior inventing the Revolving Cannon.
The revolving cannon was a manually operated gun, comprising of five barrels operated by the continuous turning a crank which caused automatic loading, firing and extraction of empty cartridge cases. The Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon fired a much larger round compared to other repeating guns of the time (such as the Gatling Gun). The Hotchkiss fired 37mm projectiles, which being larger than the conventional machine bullet of the time allowed shell filled with high explosive to be fired. The gun operated in both a land and Naval role. Hotchkiss revolver cannons were also made in larger 47mm and 53mm calibres. They were used by several nations including Brazil, France, China, the USA, Holland, Greece, Chile, Argentina, Russia, and Denmark.
Weight: 255kg (with pivot and socket).
Maximum Range: 4500m.
Muzzle Velocity: 402 m.s
Rifling: 12 grooves, left hand twist.
Ammunition types fired: Common Pointed Shell (H.E), Steel shot, Canister