25 pounder field gun

#2
F.A.C. required for UK
Oh yeah....that's going to give the local FLO a giggle..."Now, Sir"..."about this artillery piece that you've applied for?" "Vermin control, you say?"
 
#3
Yes - a very good, simple, rugged squaddy-proof gun..

It's only fault was it was rather heavy for it's capablities and could not be realistically slung, although they did produce a lightweight varient with no shield and a folding trail. The circular gun platform and box trail combination was easy to use, and allowed for rapid traverses with minimum effort (unlike the Pack How).

It could fire a vast range of ammuniton from AP to Mars Bars (I kid you not!) although the design of the round was 1920's vintage and not as efficient as the 105. The original pre-war design did not have a muzzle brake; this was added in the early years of the war to allow SuperCharge+ to be used with AP shot in the direct fire role against tanks (always a bit of a dodgy prospect IMHO!)

In service up to the late 70s at Larkhill where it was used to exploit the last of the wartime ammunition stockpile for training OPs - a complete battery was converted to "mils and meters" for this purpose..

Shell production stopped in the 50s although Blackburn and Chorley were knocking out fuzes well into the 60s.

A great gun, which lies in my memories along with the .303 Bren and the SLR!

"HE117 Charge 3 - 5 rounds fire for effect!"
 
#4
Had one in the cadets at school. Remember being taught drills on it, but doubt I could remember them now. Ours had a hairline crack down the barrel (which is why they'd given it to us, of course), so on inspection day we "fired" it by placing a thunderflash in the breech and detonating that with a banger, piece of fuse wire and the 90 V battery from a WS 88.

No wonder the Russians didn't dare invade.
 
#5
Loved this gun! I did my Basic Guns course on this in JLLRA - so it was still in service in 1981! From memory, it was a nice gun to work on. My regiment also had a pair of these as Gate Guards in Germany. The Light Gun that came later, was also a nice gun to work on.
 
#8
You don't have to be that old and bold. They were still in use for basic guns training at Woolwich when I was there in 1992 and only went out of service for saluting in the mid 90's
 
#9
Would it be true to say that the Light Gun had some basis of design on the 25 lb'er? Strikes me that it does but I know nuffink.

Did a quick google and got this for a start, seems well informed : Light Gun v. 25 Pounder
There's a lot of similarities between them. One that wasn't carried over - sadly - was the turntable design. The 25 Pdr's was carried under the trails and the Stays were always fixed, so it just had to be dropped or lifted into position, whereas the Light Gun's is seperate and loves to trap fingers; especially tired and cold fingers! Having said that, I know that the reasons for having it detatchable completely outweigh this.......and whoever decided that instead of a couple of inches extra in wheelbase, was inferior to having to remove the r/h wheel to come into and out of action, was a complete muppet! There's nothing like having the Strut Jack slip and having the wheel hub on the deck, to raise moral!!
 
#11
There was so much grief with the Italian Pack howitzer with it's split trail (and the wheels falling off) that they decided to go back to the "box trail and platform" design for the the Light gun. The challenge for this design was that it had to fire the much heavier MkII 105 ammunition system deigned for the Abbott SP gun yet keep the weight down to airportable limits. This was much more of a challenge than the US designed MK1 ammo used in the PH.

As with many things there were lots of problems in the early stages. The "wishbone" box trail was of an advanced design, made by explosive forging and meant to flex and absorb recoil. The initial problem was that it would "whip" and would have broken the pelvis of the No2 who was sitting on it! This took some time to resolve!

Another case of a "design too far" perhaps..?
 
#12
118 Bty, 31 Fd Regt, RA, Cyprus 1942. TFA Snr far right. Sadly no longer available to answer questions.
T4A brill photo .... did my gunnery training on 25s at Oswestry in '67. a great gun ... with the slight drawback that Recce19 brings up

Now all I want is a 40/60 bofors ... me dadddy's gun!
 
#13
There was so much grief with the Italian Pack howitzer with it's split trail (and the wheels falling off) that they decided to go back to the "box trail and platform" design for the the Light gun. The challenge for this design was that it had to fire the much heavier MkII 105 ammunition system deigned for the Abbott SP gun yet keep the weight down to airportable limits. This was much more of a challenge than the US designed MK1 ammo used in the PH.

As with many things there were lots of problems in the early stages. The "wishbone" box trail was of an advanced design, made by explosive forging and meant to flex and absorb recoil. The initial problem was that it would "whip" and would have broken the pelvis of the No2 who was sitting on it! This took some time to resolve!

Another case of a "design too far" perhaps..?
HE117 ... 'twas ever thus for Gunners!!!

As for your Fire Order ..... A 400 Repeat!

(the last FFE landed in Parliament Square ... so the range increase should get the gits as they sit!)
 
#14
Still in use at the RSA Larkhill in the mid to late 80s along with the 5.5s for courses as there was still a shed load of ammo. I cant remember such about firing them as I was not a gun bunny and only remember the weight due to the, at least, annual bty gun run when they were buggers to pull and to stop.

Now the light gun, that was and still is the only real gun in the RA. The abbot and AS90 crews are just frustrated donkey wallahs in comparison to the light gun crews!!! :)
 
#15
How about the 105mm Pack Howitzer?
 
#16
How about the 105mm Pack Howitzer?
I think the 105 pack was a good gun for what it was designed for - specialist use in the light/mountain/para role. If it had been seen as the replacement for the 4.2" Mortar and only used by Cdo and 7RHA then fine.

As a replacement in the field role for the 25lbr it was a disaster.. It was too flimsy and delicate for GS Gunner use. The wheels fell off if you towed it more than 10 miles!

I remember the firing handle assembly coming off in my hand and having to fire the thing by poking at it with a trip flare picket.. I never liked the idea of shoving the complete round up through the hole in the breech either - Too Freudian - I always expected to lose my hand at the wrist.

The HE shell was always a bit crap as well...
 
#18
Still in use at the RSA Larkhill in the mid to late 80s along with the 5.5s for courses as there was still a shed load of ammo. I cant remember such about firing them as I was not a gun bunny and only remember the weight due to the, at least, annual bty gun run when they were buggers to pull and to stop.

Now the light gun, that was and still is the only real gun in the RA. The abbot and AS90 crews are just frustrated donkey wallahs in comparison to the light gun crews!!! :)



Aren't you forgeting the big daddy of all towed guns the FH70. Try towing that with a one tonnie!

As for the 25pdr still used on basic guns courses at JLRRA in 85/86
 
#19
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Aren't you forgeting the big daddy of all towed guns the FH70. Try towing that with a one tonnie!

As for the 25pdr still used on basic guns courses at JLRRA in 85/86
Who could forget that huge piece of crap! Limbers that sank as soon as they went off road, a VW beetle engine to 'self power' on to their firing platforms and were way underpowered!...

Best was when the Big Wigs thought it could be air portable by Chinook in 6 AM Bde! :grin:
 
#20
How about the 105mm Pack Howitzer?
HE117 is dead on about this.... for the Para and Cdo role it was a good piece of kit.

I was alway worried about them though as I spotted the sight on the first one I ever saw had 'Direzione' and 'Elevazione' still on it. Being a Wop gun made you wonder if the sight was reversed to fire in the 'Retreat' mode!!!!
 
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