Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun
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TOPIC: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun

Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #1

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Britains Ltd has been making this basic gun design since 1902. Overtime this gun has taken some modifications over the years and here are some of those images that I have in my collection that the searcher or interested person can view. Edit: The Great Book of Britains by James Opie.

Below is the number 1215. 4.7 inch  Naval Gun. This gun had gained its box number in 1915 when a patent was taken out by the toy maker, as to stop other manufactures pinching Britains Ltd designs. Britains Ltd only had the Depose number Rd 388707 on this particular gun which was the French registration number for sale and manufacturing in France would have been casted on the gun when Britain & Sons toy firm opened their French Office in 1905 and a small factory in 1912 until the early 1920's when the factory had to close.  The French Depose number gradually disappeared during that later period. In 1933 Britains Ltd changed the design of this particular gun carriage and box trail configuration, to what was used during the First World War when they done away with the single boxed trail leg. The replacement registered number became the 1264 and carried through to the next change in 1979 when the number changed to 9730. With each change a patent would be taken out just like Matchbox and other toy makers would do.



The green gun in the rear is the last of the re-designed 4.7 inch gun by Britains 1960's, while the restored gun in the front is from the early 1905 era. If you look close there is a home made elevation brass screw being used on the renovation gun.



Obvious the changes to the gun carriage and trail sections can be seen below.



Notice the casted trail leg which dosen't show the spring steel like in the 1915 version that made it easer to replace the flat spring while the new look style shown above the closed trail which lasted until the new look took over in the 1950's.



Some home made brass elevation screw fittings made out of bits and pieces.



 



Some of the early versions up against a can of  VB.



Notice the spring steel has not been casted over with these two 1915 styled guns as in the first release closed in trail from 1905 or 1903 first version.



 



Most of these guns have seen better years although being made from Lead Antimony-Tin or in other words White Metal.  They have never suffered zink degeneration or white rust problems like Zamak alloy that contain zinc. Sometimes due to damp atmosphere problems a white powder may form and if lead is buried in the ground the lead component can breakdown over decades of years environmental degradation. The name Tin Soldier came about in those early days so long ago from the amount of tin added to the molten lead while antimony hardens the alloy.


EDIT:


Britains Ltd experimented with a process called Fuming which is similar to the coating of electrical wire used in electrical motors for insulating the wire when wound onto to the drive shaft. This process of Electrolytic Passivation is to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of the metal alloy surface that gives a harden surface against degradation. The method left the surface of the lead alloy in a blackish coating. This experimental process applied to some of the guns during the First World War until 1924 when considerable health problems among Britains Ltd workers. Britains went back to painting all their guns and vehicles.



On the side of the box trail is the word: patent (in) 1915.



1960's release number 9730.  4.7 inch Naval Gun




I was sure I had posted these images of the 4.7 inch Naval gun in forums but must have only posted them in the Blogs arena.

William Britain Snr who formed the Toy firm William Britain & Sons company in 1884 when a patent was taken out for some toys officially became a toy maker manufacturer. Other patent dates were 1868 and 1888. Two of the named toys were the Waltzing Couple and the Tea Drinking Mandarin. In reality William Snr involved his sons within the toy business around the 1871 period and by 1873 William Jnr had left school to become a toy maker apprentice. William Jnr is credited of making the first hollow cast toy soldiers and later would become the head designer for Britains until he finally took over running the business.

The 4.7 inch Naval Gun was modelled on the original concept when the British Navy used some guns from HMS Terrible with makeshift gun carriages that were made from heavy wood beams and wheels made from heavey plate steel formed these guns into field guns during the South Africa War.

In 1900's William jnr modelled the 4.7 inch Naval Gun about that time. The word Depose French registration while the RD 388707 (art Number or registration) was British registration was included on all main white metal parts and British Patent or Rd was taken out some time during 1902 for the first style enclosed spring box trail gun and only had the Rd number. The Depose wording was included on those that were sold through the French Office. While the latter open spring version as mentioned above model number 1215 was in 1915 had both. The early W Britains soldiers that had the round or oval base had a paper label stuck on the base showing the date of the copyright date  (artist sculpture copyright Act) and the name W Britain Jnr on them. In 1907 after William Britain Snr death. William Jnr and his brothers and sisters formed a Company Limited by Guarantee and done away with the partnership. Thus Britains Ltd had become their trade name on all their toys. So if you have a 4.7 inch Naval gun and has the wording Britains Ltd Made in England, then the gun concerned or soldiers would have been made from 1908 and there after, apart from those that were made in France which had the Depose number on them. Later on this information was ground out and filled in the dies or new dies were made instead as the do wear with age and lots of usage. I would say the latter was what had happened.


Edit: Below is another find of late, a barrel without the word French word Depose that indicates that this 4.7 inch Naval gun was made before the French office was opened in 1905. Excellent find I must say. The box enclosed trail and wheels have the Rd number as well.


Last Edit: 6 years, 8 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #2

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I don't know much about Britians toys Jim, but these look like they would have packed a punch in their heyday.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #3

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Yes dinkyjay. Many a hollow cast tin soldier lost their heads due to the force of the projectile usually made from matchsticks or lead look alike shell's.

The first deplored from HMS 4.7 inch guns were at Ladysmith South Africa while another two guns were used each at Colenso and Spioenkop. They named these two at ladysmith, Lady Ann and Princess Victoria.

The Naval 4.7 inch gun had quickfire breach mechanism and could propel a 45 pound shell (20.4 kg) some 2.9 miles (5900 metres) with a time fuse for aerial bust and percussion 6 mile (9100 meters). There were also removed the 12 pounder guns from HMS Terrible. The Terrible's 6 inch gun was later used which had a longer distance 2 mile (2750 metres) aerial bust, while common and shrapnel shells could propel a shell some 9 mile (13700 meters).
Last Edit: 9 years, 7 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #4

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Here are some images from those days of the 4.7 inch Naval Gun in action.



 



Below is a superb model of the gun complete with the wood trails.



After the Boer War the British Military before the outbreak of the First World War decided to convert more of the 4.7 inch guns and these barrels were set in a steel gun cradle and box trail system known as the Woolwich carriage. They feared that termites would eat the wood out in tropical arid lands like Australia.
Last Edit: 7 years, 2 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #5

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I had a great great great Uncle who fought in the Boer Wars. He was from England and later emmigrated to Canada. My Mom has a picture of him, Pith Helmet and big handlebar Mustache and my Mom says I look very much like him.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #6

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I had a great great great Uncle who fought in the Boer Wars. He was from England and later emmigrated to Canada. My Mom has a picture of him, Pith Helmet and big handlebar Mustache and my Mom says I look very much like him.
  

 

I like to see a photo of the two of you
Last Edit: 9 years, 7 months ago by RoutemasterNL.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #7

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It would be great to see the picture of your great uncle Jim it would enhance the theme.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 9 years, 7 months ago #8

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I am planning a trip to my parents home in late June or early July. Getting my new Grandson down to see my aging parents (88 now). My daughter lives in Calgary so a trip has to be planned. I will remember to get a picture of him and post it here then.



Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #9

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Sometimes those Britains Ltd guns can grow. Some more on those Britains Ltd Naval 4.7 inch gun.


Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #10

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Last Edit: 7 years, 2 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #11

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Last Edit: 7 years, 2 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #12

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Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #13

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Bit hard to see but the printing on the side of the box trail Patent No 1215-1915 which has the toy number first and followed by the date of registration. There is no mentioning of the word W Britains Ltd on this gun either on the French Depose number and Made in England on the other side of the box trail. Maybe the French Factory was busy making real bullets for the war effort in France.




Last Edit: 7 years, 2 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #14

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Re: Britains 4.7 inch Naval Gun 7 years, 2 months ago #15

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Of course the 4.7 inch gun with the painted bronze barrel and grey wheels and box trail is the first edition Britains Ltd had made. Notice that the clockwork spring is enclosed by the casting. The others with the expose flat spring are those that were registered with the number 1215.





Now I should get back to eBay as I have a very important bid to win. The limber for one of these 4.7 inch Naval guns.
Last Edit: 7 years, 2 months ago by GunnerJim.
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