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Pounder ?

My Dad was a Gunner.
I remember the 25 Pounder Quad set he bought me as a kid.
Know I know we had 2 Pounder Anti tank guns, followed by 6 Pounder and 17 Pounder.
Just what does the "Pounder" refer to ?
The total wieght of the 'Shell' ?
The weight of the Projectile ?
The Weight of the Propellant ?

And while I'm at it why where some Guns Pounders and others where inches.
My old lad mentioned he was 1 st Medium Regt RA and memory says he served with both 60 Pounders pre WW II and later 5.5 Howitzers that they had to fire by a double lanyard, for some 'Blew up' with the shell still in the barrel.
tropper66 said:
Weight of shot, Projactile, It seems guns were in weight of shot, and howitzers in calibre
Agreed. This classification goes back to the C18th. Some weapons were also further designated by the weight of the ordnance - (The barrel, and breach.) when two guns had the same calibre. E.g. the QF 3" 20 Cwt AA gun was thus designated distinguish it from other 3" guns. Ditto the 6" 30 cwt gun vs the 6" 26 cwt gun.

However some ordnance was named idiosyncratically to avoid confusion over ammunition supply.

E.g. During the Second World War there were several anti tank or anti aircraft weapons with the same calibre - 3" or 76.2mm

The 3" 20 Cwt AA gun of Great War vintage - and used extensively in the Second World War, at least one appearing as the armament for a marder III SP Anti Tank gun captured at El Alamein.

The US 3" Gun fitted to the M10 Wolverine which had a different ammunition system.

The British Anti Tank gun with the same 76.2mm calibre and much better ammunition designated the 17 Pdr

The British tank gun fitted to Comet tanks of the same 76.2mm calibre designated the 77mm Tank gun.
From wiki but IIRC it is accurate;

Measurement of the bore of large weapons was often expressed in pounds. The weapon would be named according to the weight of a sphere of lead of the same diameter as the bore. The density of lead was used because it is a traditional material for projectiles.

This leads to certain guns being referred to as 6-pounder, 25-pounder, and so forth. However, this relationship between calibre and projectile weight changed with the introduction of the cylindrical rifled shell. The gun continued to be named by the weight of projectile it threw, although this no longer gave a direct indication of the barrel size.

Tartan_Terrier said:
Isn't it a similar system as with shotguns, i.e. weight of a lead ball that fits the bore?
The number of lead balls that are the diameter of the barrel that are in a pound in weight. (sumuts like that, it's 17 years since I did history of the gun).

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