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A._Roads

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600 pounder
« on: December 21, 2005, 09:17:09 PM »
I was reading the other day that the largest British service gun made, in the mid 1860's, was a 600 pounder. This was a built up gun, utilising 7 layers. I assume that this was obviously a RML & was wondering if anyone can direct me to any info. I'd especially like to know what it was renamed to, was it a 10" or 12" gun etc & of what Cwt.  (eg the 110 pounder later known as the 7" of 82 Cwt). Thanks in advance for any help. Adrian.

Offline David

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600pr RML
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 02:57:44 PM »
The first experimental 600pr RML of 25tons had a calibre of 12 inches and was tested at Shoeburyness in February 1858. Although a number of the 25ton guns were made for the Navy in the 1860s i.e. for HMS Monarch and Captain by 1870 a heavier gun was proposed. By October 1871 it was re-bored to 12-inch with a weight of 35tons. By 1872 this gun, with an increased bore length and a weight of 36tons, was issued for land service. In 1873 four of the 12-inch 35ton RMLs were mounted in Devastation. In the following year the original 11.6/12-inch had been re-tubed, weighed 38 tons and was then bored out to 12.5-inches. The production of this gun commenced in 1875 with 21 built in 1875/76. Most were deployed for Coast defence although Dreadnought had four of them.
The heaviest RML trialled at Shoeburyness, in 1876, was the 16-inch of 80tons, resulting in two of being mounted in the Admiralty Pier, Dover. Then of course came the 17.72-inch of 100tons for Malta and Gibraltar!
David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

A._Roads

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600 pounder
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2005, 08:54:13 PM »
Thank you David that is indeed most helpful. Just one query though, when the heavier 35 ton version was re-bored to 12 inch, what size was it re-bored from? Regards, Adrian.

Offline David

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Re-bored 12-inch 35 Ton RML
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2005, 01:47:27 PM »
It started as 11.6 inches.
David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

A._Roads

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600 pounder
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 06:23:12 AM »
Thanks again David, one last query, did the 600lb description go with the 11.6 inch or 12 inch bore size?

Offline David

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600pr
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 04:40:35 PM »
Only one 11.6-inch was produced as an experimental piece. It was rebored in 1871 to 12-inch with a weight of 35tons and production continued with this calibre. In 1874 the original 11.6-inch, now converted to 12-inch, was retubed again to make a longer bore, now weighing 38tons. This was then tested at Shoeburyness before being rebored to to 12.5-inches. The production of the 12.5-inch began in 1875 with 21 built in 1875/76.
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David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

A._Roads

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600 pounder
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2006, 03:25:12 AM »
I note that on a very helpful list of Ordnance herek, the 12-inch R.M.L. of 35 tons (L) was first produced in 1871 as the 700 pr.

Do the projectile weights of 600 lbs for the 12 inch R.M.L. of 25 Tons & the projectile weight of 700 lbs for the 12 inch R.M.L. of 35 Tons therefore represent the weitht of an elongated projectile, rather than a representitive solid round ball weight of this diameter?

Do you know when the nomenclature went from solid ball weight to shell diameter on these?

Thanks
Adrian

Offline David

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700pr
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2006, 04:49:29 PM »
The palliser shell for the 12-inch RML of 25 tons had a weight of 614 lbs, the common shell weighed 511lbs.

The nomimal weight of 700lbs for the projectile for the 12-inch 35-ton MkI was referred to in this test version but not in the service issue, which was designated by its calibre and barrel weight as the 12.5-inch of 38tons, rather than the weight of the projectile. Heavy RMLs (those from the 7-inch of 7-tons upwards) were always referred to by this method. The change in nomenclature came from the introduction of elongated projectiles.

Despite this smaller calibres of ordnance and the medium RMLs were often referred to by the weight of their projectile, even though this changed through time. i.e. the Armstrong 40pr RBL,  or the weight of their barrel i.e. the 64pr 71cwt.
David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

A._Roads

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600 pounder
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2006, 02:12:06 AM »
Thanks David, you have clarified that well for me.

Regards
Adrian

Offline David

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Re: 600 pounder
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2013, 11:44:36 AM »
The Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle reported in May 1866 that the largest Armstrong gun from Woolwich weighing 23tons with a 13-inch bore and a length of 15ft 6in and to carry a 500lb shot was removed from the dockyard and landed at Southsea Castle. It was placed in the new eastern battery for an experimental trial. In 1875 The Standard reported that this gun, called ‘Big Will’, was the only one of four, still intact and serviceable at Southsea. As it was experimental and retained the original shunt rifling it was not classed as service issue and therefore did not appear on Parliamentary returns.
A 600 pounder is photographed here at Shoeburyness:

David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

Offline hampshireman

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Re: 600 pounder
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 03:57:21 PM »
I have attached diagrams of the 12" 25 and 35 ton which my help your analysis.

Offline David

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Re: 600 pounder
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 05:06:16 PM »
Thanks hampshireman.
This is the emplacement for Big Will at Southsea Castle West Battery.
A lucky survivor of the Portsmouth City Council's programme of filling in the battery and converting the emplacements to gardens.
David Moore

Die, my dear Doctor? Thats the last thing I shall do. - Palmerston (attrib)

 

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