Lead Gun and Cannon repairs.

Posted by: GunnerJim in Member Blogs

I picked up another Britains Ltd 4.7 inch Naval Gun 1915 Paten, on eBay which needed some straightening up.   That means this gun would be about 90 years old or more .  Not really much in dismantling this gun as it is only held together by the axle and pivoting barrel pin used for elevation and fixing to the box trail gun platform and the one holding down the flat spring.

The axle was slightly bent which also bent part of the cross tree axle housing on both sides.  The elevating adjuster was missing and the ranging telescope and range setting scale is also missing.  Might have to make one of those one day, as I don't think I can get that particular replacement part.  Also rust accumulation on the spring that slides in between the box trail needed cleaning.

Having stripped the gun down.   I was able to find a bit of brass fitting that would be able to be used for the elevation adjustment screw or nut,  whatever.   So I drilled it out to the required size and tap threaded to the same thread on the gun elevating threaded shaft.

In the picture above at the bottom of the box trail you can see the pin holding the spring steel in place. Just grind or file which I did the clinched end and pull the pin out and from the underside take out the flat spring which is actually two placed on-top of each other and pushed into place.

Axle straightened. I then applied some gentle heart to the cross tree axle housing and straighten them up. Then re assembled the gun and is now waiting for me to make a new part for the sighting telescope and elevation scale. This is usually done with a two part mix of silicone rubber mould taken from a original part. Re clinch the ends when assembling when the gun is finished.

The other cannon in the picture could be one made from a Prince August rubber moulds.  Some of the traps of eBay when buying old looking cannons.

The Prince August cannon had to have some adjustments as the axle was made of soft lead.   That means this cannon has no tin and antimony combined with in the mix which helps harden the lead.

I drilled out the wheel hub and used a nail for the axle. I glued two peaces of wood  onto the box trail, centering them over the axle housing or where the box trail sits on the axle.  This enables the axle to be held in position.  I drilled a hole through the two bits of wood representing ammunition boxes and then was able to slid the new axle in, so as the axle doesn't drop off when someone lifts up the cannon.   I then super glued the wheels on and painted the cannon. Only one thing to do is re straighten the barrel again.

Remember if anyone decides to by a lead cannon on eBay or anywhere else make sure it is not made of pure lead and that the metal used is in-fact White Metal.


Tags: Military

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