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  #1  
Old 25-03-18, 22:14
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default 4.5" howitzer questions

Some years past I acquired one of the above units imported into the U.S. in the 1960s era. It is a live registered unit and includes the limber/ammunition trailer. It has always been stored either in a shipping container or under a good roof, so its condition is essentially as it left MOD: that is, it is greasy and dirty, but not rusty. 99% complete, including the sights. It is on rubber tires, tho it is my understanding that it originally was on wooden wheels.

It is getting near the head of the line in restoration projects, so the issue of doing it ourselves or moving it on in its present condition has arisen, leading to the following questions.

1. Is it desirable/possible to convert it back to wooden wheels, and if so, are the parts available? As a display piece it seems to me wooden wheels would be more attractive, at least it would be to me. Tho to a shooter the rubber tires are no doubt better.

2. Is the limber/ammo trailer significant? It appears that some here have seen fit to restore some fairly rough specimens.

3. If it is not improper to inquire, can anyone suggest a range of value?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Don't recall ever posting here before, and don't view very often, so if I'm out of line just advise.

Barry
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  #2  
Old 26-03-18, 01:06
rob love rob love is offline
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The conversion to rubber tyres (at least on the example we have here in Shilo) was a Martin Perry conversion, and was common on several of the WW1 vintage guns thru the 30s. It allowed much higher speeds and less maintenance, especially as horses were being replaced by vehicles. It should not be hard to convert back since the original axle still exists underneath the hub adapters for the rubber tyres. I can't speak though as to some of the bracketry that supports the adapters. It seems to me these may have been riveted into place along the caisson. In Canada, the 4.5 with rubber tyres were only used for training purposes in WW2, and not for operational needs. Finding original wood wheels will be tough I suspect. However, I see on Wikopedia talk about other conversions, one of which included cutting off portions of the stubs. You might be in for a little more work if that is the case.

Yes, finding the proper limber to go with the gun is significant. The limbers were generally useless in the civilian world, so not many survived. I am pretty sure having the limber adds about another $8K to 10K to the price of the gun in whatever currency is being used.

We recently got in 4 of the 4.5 limbers to the Shilo museum that previously resided on the Petawawa ranges. I figure we should be able to make 2 limbers out of the piles.

Sorry, can't help on the value. As I am sure you are aware, generally British guns do not fetch near as much as US made guns in the USA.

How about some photos of your gun? Always nice to see what else is out there.

Last edited by rob love; 26-03-18 at 01:13.
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  #3  
Old 26-03-18, 03:11
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I picked up a nice WW1 ammo box last year for one of these guns. Repacked and marked 1940. An interesting find nonetheless, it definitely shows WW1 vintage complete with leather wrapped wire cable carry handles.
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  #4  
Old 26-03-18, 03:12
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Thanks for the reply.

I'll try for some pictures soon. Both items are pushed together with other things so the photos won't be the best until sometime down the road.

If the axels are the same might just need hubs. Spokes, felloes and such are not that difficult, if somewhat time consuming. Even the hubs would be doable with good drawings or pictures. Or pieces.

Barry
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  #5  
Old 26-03-18, 04:58
rob love rob love is offline
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The British artillery hubs are not quite your normal hubs, and certainly not hubs you would make from a photo. The spokes are retained by two opposing halves (Most are cast, but I think I have seen some that are fabricated) which are bolted together. It is my understanding that the design would allow a broken spoke(s) to be replaced in the field without having to tear down the entire wheel. We do have some loose components that came with an 18 pounder imber that was recovered from the ranges. I'll try and get some photos once the snow melts.

I have been doing a bit of work with these type wheels lately, and have seen some original 120 year old examples. Each spoke was numbered as was each falloe. There were also manufactures marks on many of the wood components as well as the hub.

I actually found a 9 pdr limber a few years ago, and ended up giving it to a museum group on Ottawa. The challenge of finding the wheels was just too much, and I felt they could do a better job of it.
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  #6  
Old 26-03-18, 15:47
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George Moore George Moore is offline
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Default 4.5 inch

Gents,

I am a model maker and although I deal in small scale, I make the master patterns for kits to be made in resin.
You can search for some of my stuff on the "resicast" site.

As I require reference material, I have quite a bit on the gun and limber.
Scale drawings, photographs etc, plus information on the construction of wheels (spoked).
In my collection is a copy of the manual for the gun.

The conversion from spoked to rubber tyred wheels used the Martin Parry kit, an American design originally used to convert the (ex French WW1) 75mm guns used by the US Army, to be used with rubber tyred wheels. The same was used for the 18pdr guns.....one example of a 4.5" howitzer here in the UK, has the Martin Parry design, with "18 pdr" cast on the body.

If I can be of any help let me know.

georgemoore66 followed by hotmail.co.uk

Only too happy to help if I can.

George.

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  #7  
Old 26-03-18, 19:13
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Rob: I've done a bit of work on the wheels of both a 50mm Krupp Mountain Gun and one of the Bethlehem Steel 37mm 1916 guns and agree that the spokes are often numbered. Not clear why, unless it had something to do with the military fetish of numbering everything, including the men... But because the tire is bolted, rather than shrunk, on, it's easy to replace spokes, at least on those two examples. The ones in question have a more complicated design, but surely it is reproducible.

Further, I also have an 18 pdr and limber in the same condition, so if the wheels on that unit are the same size it would mean 8 wheels, which makes the construction of jigs/fixtures for the wood parts worthwhile. Do you know if the size is the same?

George: At the moment a drawing/closeup photo of the hub would maybe decide if I'd be over my head here.

There is no particular rush here, as the present project in the shop is not quite in the roll out stage, and there is cleanup on the units in question regardless of the outcome of the reconversion issue.

Did a little web searching last night. Had not realized just how significant the 4.5 and the 18 were in British history. They and their users certainly got into the mix of things.

Really appreciate the responses. It's pretty amazing how much knowledge and info is available if one just finds the appropriate people.
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  #8  
Old 26-03-18, 21:01
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George Moore George Moore is offline
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Default Wheels

The enclosed drawing is from the book on British Quick Firing artillery by Len Trawin. It has some excellent illustrations and cut away for the 4.5.
Also included is a section on the types of wheels.
The 18pdr and 4.5 used the same wheels, as did the limbers.
The official designation was 2nd class 'C' No 45.

You can see the spokes are offset to the next one around.

Yes, both the 18 pdr and 4.5 were quite important, the 4.5 fired over 25 million shells....the 18 pdr 99.3 million.

George.

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  #9  
Old 27-03-18, 17:11
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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George: Thanks for the pictures. While the easy way would be with existing hubs, it is clear one could make them. We'll see.

Looked at the units again yesterday and the 4.5 has the conversion marked "18 pdr" as shown in your earlier picture. Interesting.

Also noted that the limbers especially have a number to leather pouches still attached, which might be of interest to some, assuming most would not have survived.

Will get pictures posted asap.

Thanks again.

Barry
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  #10  
Old 28-03-18, 09:58
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George Moore George Moore is offline
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Default Leather pouches

Interesting find, especially the leather parts. I have stowage lists and drawings of what was carried.

The info I have states 3 types of limber.
Two were identical except the items carried:
1A Limber with gun, ammunition and tools
1B Limber no gun, all ammunition

A third was longer, basically twice the capacity of the standard limber, again, all ammunition. It has a different "towing pole" that is shorter and not used hitched to horses, but connects to the towing hook on the rear of the limber.

All types were seen again in WW2, all fitted with rubber tyred wheels.

I do have fairly detailed drawings with dimensions and layout for them all, if interested.

George.
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  #11  
Old 11-04-18, 16:42
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default Limber pic

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/at...1&d=1523457554

Test load of pic.
Attached Thumbnails
P1030123.JPG  
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  #12  
Old 11-04-18, 17:05
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default Limber pics

Attached are some pictures of the referenced limbers, etc. The units are in rather cramped conditions, so not the best pics.

Any comments are appreciated.
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/at...1&d=1523457978
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/at...1&d=1523457978
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/at...1&d=1523457978
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/at...1&d=1523457978
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/at...1&d=1523457978
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  #16  
Old 11-04-18, 21:38
Ben Ben is offline
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Hi Barry

Very nice collection. As the guns are WW1 dated they could justifiably be returned to wooden wheels rather than the pneumatic Martin Parry conversions. If it was well done youd add a considerable amount to their value, perhaps 30-40% more.

The Limber is a later date and would have had the pneumatic conversion from new (its a US build limber) they do command unusually high prices if original, there are many more guns than limbers.

Ben
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  #17  
Old 13-04-18, 21:01
Alan McGuinness Alan McGuinness is offline
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Barry, you may want to have a chat with John Slough as to what may be available: http://www.johnsloughoflondon.co.uk/
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  #18  
Old 16-04-18, 05:42
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default pictures

Pics that I mis-loaded. Maybe this time is a charm.

/Users/barrycox/Desktop/pics/P1030124.JPG
/Users/barrycox/Desktop/pics/P1030125.JPG
/Users/barrycox/Desktop/pics/P1030126.JPG
/Users/barrycox/Desktop/pics/P1030127.JPG
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  #19  
Old 16-04-18, 05:54
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default Pics

One more attempt.

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
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  #20  
Old 16-04-18, 06:06
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default Pics

Ah hah! Did I mention how much I hate computers?

http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif
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P1030128.JPG   P1030129.jpg   P1030130.jpg   P1030131.jpg  
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  #21  
Old 18-04-18, 01:48
Barry J. Cox Barry J. Cox is offline
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Default 18 & 4.5

George: I think my email to you failed. Will try again.

Alan: Thanks for the reference.

Barry
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