Talk:Ordnance QF 17-pounder

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Best allied gun?[edit]

The Russians too were "Allies", and they had range of high-power vehicle and towed anti-tank cannons like their 76.2, 85, 100, 122 and 152mm weapons, im pretty sure one, if not most of these were more powerful (well really all had prolly better HE performance) / had better (armor) penetration (and after armor effect) than the 17 pounder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Among the entries on wikipedia the largest Soviet anti-tank gun (as opposed to field gun used against tanks) is the 100 mm field gun M1944 (BS-3). Its stated armour penetration is less than the QF17 pdr (with APDS). For the 122 mm gun M1931/37 (A-19) as used on the IS tanks, the penetration is again comparable or better; the 122mm has >150 at 1000m where the 17pdr has 176mm at 1371m. GraemeLeggett 12:22, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
That's generally correct. If we are looking for the best allied towed AT gun, the 17-pounder stands head and shoulders above all the rest; in penetrating power it is the best, and it was in service mid-war (albeit without APDS until later). The US 90mm towed was never used in combat, and even the BS-3 saw limited service in the towed role very late in the war. All guns of this class were heavy; the BS-3 is lower but that's a small advantage.
The "best allied gun", whatever that means, is a very different question. The 17-pounder would be a poor contender for best general-purpose tank gun or field gun, but that was not the original question. DMorpheus 17:50, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
One correction -- the 90mm US gun was used in combat against tanks -- in the Ardennes offensive. Larry Dunn (talk) 20:10, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Do you have a source saying the towed 90mm was used in the Ardennes? We're concerned here with towed AT guns, not vehicle-mounted guns. Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 13:36, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Why are you attempting to limit this to towed guns? The article is not about the towed gun but about the gun itself, regardless of mount. Guns used for anti-tank roles are used from a variety of mounts, from towed mounts, self-propelled mounts, carried mounts, naval mounts, airborne mounts etc. What classifies an 'anti-tank gun' is a gun regularly intended for use by a military to combat tanks. In this role the 152mm & 122mm which both notably saw a large amount of use in their towed varieties are superior to the 17 pounder and I don't care how much you go on about armour penetration. There are plenty of reports from 17 pounder operators who will state categorically that their best penetrating ammunition was both innacurate AND inneffective after penetration yet somehow I doubt the same applies to the 152mm gun.
Lets put it this way, you're trying to claim that a gun with a 4,000 f/p/s muzzle velocity and a 3kg shell is better at knocking out armoured vehicles then a gun with a 2,000 f/p/s muzzle velocity and a 45+kg shell ... and you're doing so contrary to the opinions of those who served in WW2 --Senor Freebie (talk) 04:34, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
The simple fact about the 17pdr with APDS ammunition was that if you could see it, you could hit it, and if you hit it, it was knocked out. That included Tiger Is and Tiger IIs hit from the front. With APDS ammunition it was in a different league than other guns of comparable calibre. That's what all the reputable military history books say. As regards its alleged 'inaccuracy' with APDS, that was only ever meant in relation to it's younger sibling the 77mm HV, which was renowned for its accuracy, and was capable of putting an aimed round through a driver's periscope at ranges approaching a mile. And as for AP shot being 'inneffective (sic) after penetration' I can only assume that the writer has never had to clear up the remains of a tank battle where the dead occupants of the vehicles have been mashed to a pulp by AP shot and then left to fester for several days in the heat of the summer. On approaching an armoured fighting vehicle hit by AP shot if it hasn't 'brewed up' there often doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it. Then one notices a small hole. Upon opening the hatch(es) one then encounters an appalling sickly and overpowering smell. Looking inside, the whole inside of the fighting compartment appears to be smeared with what looks like either strawberry or blackcurrent jam. Then there are the flies. That is what AP shot does to the crew when it enters the hull and ricochets around-and-around inside, until it dissipates its kinetic energy. Although it did happen, the likelihood of AP shot passing through both sides of a vehicle without harming the occupants was very small, and not a thing to bet your life on. And that was why APDS became THE standard British armour piercing tank-gun round right up until the 1980s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
There's some contemporary test film on YouTube here: [1] of a 17 pdr-armed Archer firing APDS at a Tiger I at short range. One shot has blown out the hull side panel on the opposite side. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:06, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

What about the question of rate of fire? According to the wikipedia article the JS2 tank had a very slow rate of fire. What about the question of ammunition capacity within the tank? The JS2 also had a very limited amount of shells. Along with this the issues of producing ammunition, and the logistic issues of getting to the tank or anti tank gun. Potentially a smaller calibre gun with almost as strong armour penetration could be more useful than a larger calibre gun if it could fire more rapidly and be more readily supplied with ammunition — Preceding unsigned comment added by Livinginparadise75 (talkcontribs) 08:28, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

The 17 pdr APDS projectile was a solid tungsten carbide shot of IIRC 57mm calibre - the same as a 6 pdr - and left the muzzle at around 4,000 fps, and being extremely dense and therefore heavy, whilst having less aerodynamic drag than other more normal-sized projectiles, the shot had a flat trajectory and very long range, i.e, 'carrying power', comparatively-speaking.
It was because of APDS that the smaller 6 pdr was still a useful AT gun in 1944-5.
IIRC, the first guns to get APDS were the 6 pdr, the 17 pdr, and the 77mm HV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Penetration of APDS projectile[edit]

I've noted a fair amount of variation in penetration quotes for the APDS projectile, for example, at 1000 yards at 30º, two quotes are 170mm (Bovington) and 231mm (Jane's Armour and Artillery 1981-82). This page seems to carry a good sample of different quotes -- the variation is striking. I wonder what is causing it, perhaps improved post-war ammunition or changes to the definition of how penetration was measured in tests of armor-piercing projectiles during and after the war. Cheers, W. B. Wilson (talk) 18:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

The devil is usually in the details. I've not checked each of these tests, but typically it's due to: ammunition improvements, angle of target armour, composition of armour - and sometimes; misreporting, propaganda. (Hohum @) 16:46, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Angle and probability of penetration is most likely culprit. (talk) 08:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Inaccuracy in Sherman Firefly section.[edit]

The article states the box mounted at the rear of the turret of the Firefly conversion was to allow for the recoil of the gun. It doesn't really make clear that the gun itself was a much-modified variant of the 17pdr, including a modified cradle and recoil system.

Further, The gun itself was still too long to fit inside the standard Sherma/M4 turret so the radio was moved from inside the turret into a separate armoured box welded onto the outside back of the turret. The radio was dropped into the box, a lid was welded into place and the radio was accessed by a rather crudely cut opening at the back of the turret. The recoil travel of the gun did not intrude into the space provided by the radio box, as this section of the article might imply.

Andy Loates143.167.140.112 (talk) 13:33, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I believe it's covered in adequate detail in the Sherman Firefly article, and to some extent what is in this article is just a brief summary. The movement of the radio was due to the long gun and its recoil so its not so much inaccuracy as a less than complete explanation. I'm sure a quick tweak of the text will suffice. GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:26, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
UK practice was to have the radio equipment inside the turret where it could be operated by the Commander or Loader - US practice at the time was for it to be inside the hull proper. That was why the Grant had a different turret from the US-designed Lee one, as it had to house the wireless equipment. So when the 17 pdr was modified for carriage in the Sherman turret the space in the turret bustle that had previously been used in British Shermans for the radio was no longer available. Hence the additional external box to accommodate the wireless equipment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Some Pathe News 1943 footage of 17/25 pdr Pheasant guns in North Africa here on YouTube: [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

77mm linked to Vickers 75mm HV ??[edit]

Whomever added the claim that the 77mm was based on the design of the Vickers HV needs to strongly support that claim with sources before even thinking of putting it back as it goes totally against the established facts, the 77mm shared neither barrel design, nor breach design, nor the general dimensions of the Vickers 75mm gun. Lets put it this way, If you change the handle of a broom and the head of a broom you have a new broom, If you change the barrel of a gun and the breach of a gun you have a new gun. If the barrel or breach or both come from other existing guns it is more accurate to say the new gun is based on those guns rather than the gun you have completely replaced, the 77mm is a cut down conversion of the 17pdr the 75mm HV is only relevant as the proposed gun it effectively replaced. kyphen (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:56, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

The 77mm HV was effectively a shortened 17 pdr barrel with a new shorter breech firing a shorter, fatter cartridge. The projectile fired was the same, however due to the shorter barrel of the 77mm HV, muzzle velocity was somewhat less than the 17 pdr.
The normal 17 pdr could not be fitted into a vehicle with a turret ring of the Cromwell's or Comet's diameter as the breech was too long. It would have hit the turret ring during recoil when fired at some elevations. That was why the 77mm HV was designed, to allow a gun with most of the 17 pdr's characteristics to be fitted to cruiser tanks, as opposed to the Sherman only - the Sherman had a larger diameter turret ring than the Cromwell or Comet which is why a conversion like the Firefly was possible.
As it was, with normal AP shot the 77mm HV was more than adequate in most cases, but with APDS it was well up in the performance league, albeit still below the 17 pdr.
Despite what you may read elsewhere, a 17 pdr firing APDS would knock out any operational 1944-45 AFV from the front (i.e. head on) at well over a thousand yards, and that included Tiger I's and Tiger II's.
APDS was why the next British tank gun was only an 84mm. In Korea it was reported that a 20 pdr APDS round fired from a Centurion would go right through a T-34 at over a mile. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
The 77mm case was SHORTER than the 17pdr case but NOT FATTER. It was skinnier than the 17 pdr. Scroll down to the lineup of the 6 pdr, 75, 17 pdr and 77 mm: (talk) 22:58, 26 December 2016 (UTC)