17-pounder muzzle blast

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Chris C, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi all,

    I am wondering if anyone has come across references to the 17-pounder muzzle blast amongst the Royal Artillery or any references to the muzzle blast actually causing damage to a vehicle.

    There are accounts of how the muzzle flash obscured view of the target when fired by Firefly, and this made it difficult to keep track of where shot landed. Was this a problem for towed 17-pounder guns?

    There are references to the latter w.r.t. the Archer. I suspect that the muzzle of the Archer's 17-pounder was closer to the front hull than on for instance Firefly. For instance this was reported to break the bulb of the rear light!
  2. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    I looked into this years back and I found lots of Youtube footage of Tigers firing where I could see no difference (17 pdr/8.8cm) in the 'blast' during firing. I did notice that the ground type made a big difference to being able to spot the shot.. I also found a footage of a German gun battery firing where it was anything but smokeless and flashless.
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  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Indeed Harold A. Skaarup makes the point that similar muzzle blast problems to those afflicting Firefly crews wire also encountered by those of Panthers and Tigers.
    "Ironsides": Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicle Museums and Monuments, iUniverse, 2011,page 77
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  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Worse the dust kicked up tended to reveal the tanks position
  5. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    I interviewed Sherman 17pdr crew who all mentioned the dirt kick up obscuring targets. Also air displacement hurting hearing and giving headaches.
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  6. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    If I recall correctly, Stuart Hills said that when he was observing his first test-firing from the turret of his Firefly the 17-pdr muzzle blast whipped his beret off and blew it he knew not where.
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    My cousin was an American tanker in M1s in the seventies and eighties. He said they were trained to constantly watch for the blast of wire guided missile launches and to fire everything they had at the spot. The idea was to get the guy guiding it to duck or flinch and jerk the missile off course. Theory was they would not be able to get it back on track in the time they had.
  8. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

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  9. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Here's a comparative trial from Italy of the 17 pounder against the 7.5 cm PaK 40 and the 8.8 Flak 36. It's from WO 170/9 MGRA AFHQ Italy 1944. It tends to show that the 17 pounder is more flash than smoke prone, while the German guns are vice versa.

    Check if you have this file Chris, as I thought I had given it to you.

    17 pr 1.jpg

    17 pr 2.jpg
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  10. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I wonder how much was due to the propellant as to the gun
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    I know you have, but I didn't remember that that was there!
  12. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

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