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  1. #1
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    HMS Cavalier's guns fire for the first time since 1972.

    The 4.5" Mk IV guns mounted in A & B mounts onboard HMS Cavalier the wartime RN destroyer, preserved at Chatham historic dockyard. Now fire once again after being silent since 1972 when the ship was desposed of by the Royal Navy.
    My team the Heritage Naval Gun crew have just finished restoring both of these guns back to firing condition.
    When first surveyed in January this year the guns were found to be in a dire state. The breech blocks were welded up thus blocking the firing orifaces. The firing pins and shuttles were missing and finally the barrels had been attacked with a gas axe to bore holes in the top midway down the barrel. Both loading trays, elevation and training gear were solid with paint and rust plus an additional mess of hardened paint remover.
    After putting in hundreds of hours in restoration and getting the missing parts manufactured at our own expense. These gun were test fired at the end of August. (search You trube for videos of HMS Cavalier gun firing). The guns will be fired three times a day at the Chatham historic dockyard salute to the 40's event 17 / 18 September. So come along and see them in action. If any of you want a closer look and a more involved description of the restoration. Please make yourself known to me when visiting the ship.
    Last edited by minerva; 1st September 2011 at 08:35 PM.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to minerva For This Useful Post:

    beihan62 (1st September 2011)

  3. #2
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    Any Live or Dug ordnance shown by me has been disposed of by military EOD personnel .


    Site administrator. damned if i do..damned if i dont


    BOCN HELPING TO PROMOTE SAFE RESPONSIBLE ORDNANCE COLLECTING


  4. #3
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    Firstly, THANKS minerva, for your time and efforts in restoring this gun. I can only imagine the physical, as well as political, efforts involved to complete it. Would have loved to have been involved. So anyway, from the video, it was apparent that the hole cut into the barrel was NOT repaired/filled, resulting in the puff of smoke midway up the barrel, on firing. Will it be filled, or do the powers-that-be require the hole to remain?

    Rick
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

  5. #4
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    The holes in the barrel are being plugged and welded up this week. We did not have time before the media shoot shown on Youtube. The charge is and 18" solid bored steel insert secured in a standard 4.5" cartridge . This is filled with black powder. Hence my quest for more pre 1960's 4.5" naval cartridges. (7/8" BSP thread)
    If anyone has a spare please contact me. aguila5780@yahoo.co.uk

  6. #5
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    Good to see the guns firing again. Did you copy the firing pins and shuttles from originals or did you have to work out the dimensions yourselves?

  7. #6
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    Well done to you and your friends may I ask a few questions ?
    1 What charge are you using
    2 What are you using to ignite the charge

    3 I filled 1000,s of original 4.5 cases so am a little curious

    Good luck yours

    Steve ex EMD RNAD Trecwn

  8. #7
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    Hi,
    The charge is an 18" long bored solid steel tube insert. with a 7/8 " BSP thread that fits into a standard pre 1960's 4.5" naval cartridge case. This accepts a standard 12 bore shot gun cartridge filled with black powder. The tube is then also filled with black powder and some custard powder for smoke. The firing pins and shuttle gear were made from original drawings supplied by Explosion museum of naval fire power in Gosport ( EX R.N.A.D Priddy's Hard). These were made by a specialist tool making company in Essex who make items for F1 racing cars. The team consists of 16 members with 8 in each gun crew. We have also restored the 4.7" Mk IX gun at Explosion museum and fire HMS Belfast's 4" Mk XVI guns regularly. Projectiles were made by loaning an origianal from "Explosion" and making a silicon mould. Then casting the projectiles with resin. When painted and correctly marked they are very good replicas and weight 10lbs each instead of the 55 lbs of the original.

  9. #8
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    Both "A" and "B" mountings fired during our gunnery display. Salvos of three rounds per mount.
    amount of rounds fired is dictated by the number of cartridges we have , although always looking for more 4.5" cases.
    I have attached a photo of "B" opening fire and the muzzle flash. We now aim to restore "Y" mounting to operational condition. To enable us to fire the first full broadside under the White Ensign since HMS London fired the last in 1982.
    The fire control was so good at one time (firing on the bell). that each mount assumed that the other had misfired.
    What actually happened was that they both fired at the same instant.
    Cheers
    Minerva
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #9
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    Mortified!!
    My mate & i had a full set of drawings for a 4.5 turret & gun from scavenging around H.M.S Cambridge back in the mid 70`s in our teens!!
    also threw loads of 4.5 cases into Heybrook Bay (made an impressive splash at the time) - sorry.
    Nice work & good luck for the future.
    Any chance of turning a sleeve/adaptor to take a more commercially available black powder charge/round??

  11. #10
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    Once again great work - good to see these guns doing what they were made for once again.

 

 
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