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Re: 3inch gun

August 29 2015 at 6:56 AM
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Nelson  (no login)
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Response to 3inch gun



> Upon further review, the placard may read Model of "1905" and not "1895". >

I suspicion that is precisely what happened, because your photo shows a typical U.S. Army 3-inch field gun of the first decade of the 20th century. If you made additional images of this gun, look at any taken atop the breech. Stamped in large letters is this standard array:


The greatest number made and thus the most common survivor today is the Model of 1905 (but the predecessor Models of 1902 and 1904 are also out there). The finisher of the gun, e.g., Watervliet Arsenal, Bethlehem Steel, or a couple of others, is stamped on the muzzle, along with the fabrication year date and the gun serial number. The carriage serial number shows on the bronze builder’s plate on the carriage just under the breech. Often, however, that builder’s plate has been torn off or otherwise removed.

A special feature shows in both your photo and the one from the First Division Museum. When the battery was on the move, two gunners sat in front of the shield of each piece, one on either side of the barrel. Note the seat and the perforated steel foot plate on each side of the gun. Now carefully note the pair of tubular elements just behind each foot plate and under each gunner’s seat, with another pair on the opposite side; they correspond with nice little covers or hatches on the rear side of the shield. These tubes stored a total of four reserve rounds, very likely shrapnel, that were forbidden to be used in normal firing. They were there IF the need arose in a last-ditch, backs-against-the-wall defense. I know of no contemporary European light field gun that had such provision for the stashing of emergency rounds.


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