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  1. #1
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    1.59 inch Crayford

    Given the ridiculous high prices asked on Fleecebay for Crayford rounds and the nonsense that has been written about these being "Rocket" guns, I thought this picture might be of interest.

    It was taken in 1917, probably at either RSAF Enfield or Woolwich, although it could be a Vickers photograph. Ignore the mounting, which was purely for demonstrating the gun.

    Regards
    TonyE
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  2. #2
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    I discovered some material in the PRO (as was) which proved that the gun was dubbed the "rocket gun" during WW1, and that this was already leading to confusion about what the gun was.

    I believe that the very bright flare of the incendiary round was to blame.

  3. #3
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    Crayford

    Thanks Tony, interesting that the name went back that far.

    it certainly seems likely that the incendiary proj could have been the cause of the myth.

    Regards
    TonyE

  4. #4
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    I've gone back to my PRO notes and found the following, in case it's of interest to anyone:

    File MUN 4/2884: Vickers 1.45 inch gun (that's what it was called initially) papers dated July 1916 onwards:

    21/7/16: order from Dept Assistant Director of Aircraft Equipment for a "light gun" (50 lbs) of 1.45 inch bore, firing a projectile of 1 lb 1 oz with an MV of 800 fps, fitted with a special anti-recoil attachment for use in an aeroplane. The mounting should be interchangeable with the .45 inch Maxim which Vickers now have in hand, and suitable for the F.E.2B machine.

    22/9/16: Military Aeronautics requested 25 Vicker Light Guns plus 3000 rounds including 2000 case shot. It was referred to as a "rocket gun"; quote: "I understand that these 1.45 inch guns are required for firing rockets". Design not yet approved.

    28/11/16: trials of gun entirely satisfactory, urgently needed for home defence purposes

    29/11/16: DAE request for 100 rocket guns and 250,000 rounds of ammo.

    16/12/16: Vickers reports 800 rounds of filled incendiary and 300 rounds of case shot made (denied request to switch to all-incendiary).

    5/1/17: Muzzle velocity quoted as 800 fps

    8/2/17: "Crayford 1.45 inch" approved by DGMG for aircraft work

    12/2/17: "All Vickers Aeroplane and Trench Guns (Vickers Rocket Gun) are to be made capable of firing an AP shell at 1,000 fps".

    17/2/17: Fuzes: thought that 1.45 inch shell will take base fuze, so Fuze No.131 not required.

  5. #5
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    Case Shot ?

    That's a new one, I don't think one has been found yet. There are so far two versions of incendiary known (2 body lengths), Base fused HE, Nose fuzed with #131. It sounds like the incendiary was primarily for Zeppelin defense---
    Last edited by Gspragge; 18th July 2010 at 12:00 PM.

  6. #6
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    Does it say anywhere the total number of rounds made for this gun?

  7. #7
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    No, but according to another (July 1918) document I found, 150 guns were in service at that time. I doubt that more than a small fraction of them saw service in aircraft, though - the artillery-style breech operation was too slow-loading.

    One of the guns survives in the NFC, Leeds.

  8. #8
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    I'm confuzed - why did they call it a 1.45" if it's actually 1.59" ?

    D
    Always looking for projectiles, cases, fuzes and paperwork related to Burney and Davis guns.

  9. #9
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    Bore vs projectile diameter?

 

 

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