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Lancaster machine guns


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A good many years ago I read something that said that in addition to the standard oval cooling jacket .303 barrels the Lanc also flew with .303's with circular cooling holes in the barrel jackets. Similar to a .50cal but definitely .303. Quickboost actually do separate sets with round and oval holes but I am trying to get Master to do 1/32 .303's with round holes because I think they were fitted to late production Lancs. It could be B.X's but I just can't remember where I read it. Possibly the MDF but I couldn't find anything following a cursory glance last night nor in Lanc at War vol 1 or 2. Does anyone else know about this and, if so,  could you please tell me where I might find a reference to validate my 'knowledge'?

 

Many thanks

 

Simon

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AFAIK the B.X's were built in Canada and flown to the UK without turrets which were installed when they arrived so it's unlikely that these would have been the sole recipients of guns with round perforations.

 

I know Quickboost do guns for the Lanc in 72nd scale with both oval and round perforations but I can't find any reference as to when the round versions were produced or introduced so perhaps some one out there can shed more light on this?

 

Regards

Colin.

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Thanks Colin . Well I didn’t imagine it and Quickboost don’t make things that didn’t exist either so I must have read it somewhere but where? Very frustrating!!! 

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17 hours ago, Simon Cornes said:

A good many years ago I read something that said that in addition to the standard oval cooling jacket .303 barrels the Lanc also flew with .303's with circular cooling holes in the barrel jackets. Similar to a .50cal but definitely .303. Quickboost actually do separate sets with round and oval holes but I am trying to get Master to do 1/32 .303's with round holes because I think they were fitted to late production Lancs. It could be B.X's but I just can't remember where I read it. Possibly the MDF but I couldn't find anything following a cursory glance last night nor in Lanc at War vol 1 or 2. Does anyone else know about this and, if so,  could you please tell me where I might find a reference to validate my 'knowledge'?

 

Many thanks

 

Simon

Basically produced by different manufacturers, they were interchangeable between guns, you could probably find aircraft with both styles fitted at the same time. 

 

Selwyn

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12 minutes ago, Selwyn said:

Basically produced by different manufacturers, they were interchangeable between guns, you could probably find aircraft with both styles fitted at the same time. 

 

Selwyn

That’s interesting- you only see photos of the oval hole variety. Probably the same gun photographed from different angles!! Must find the reference that gave me the idea!

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32 minutes ago, Simon Cornes said:

That’s interesting- you only see photos of the oval hole variety. Probably the same gun photographed from different angles!! Must find the reference that gave me the idea!

303 Brownings were fitted to all turrets found on Lancasters ,Halifaxes, Stirlings, Wellingtons, etc etc. The guns  were made by various manufacturers and had a few detail differences, but the key factor was that they were standardized so all parts were interchangeable, otherwise you would end up with the ultimate spare parts nightmare.

Being simplistic by saying late or early manufacture does not necessarily stand up.  If an early model Lancaster crash landed after ops it was dismantled, and after assessment parts were either repaired or reduced to spare parts. These recovered parts were checked, and fed into the supply pool for use as spares,or sent to a manufacturer or overhaul site to be used on new or repaired aircraft. 

Turrets and guns recovered could be  quite possibly issued to Avro's for fitting to a new production aircraft, or used  at the Avro refurbishment centre at Bracebridge Heath to be fitted to a repaired aircraft.

This sort of thing happened a lot. You can see images of late model Lancasters with rear fuselages with windows, where a  battle damaged aircraft has been repaired by  fitting a recovered and repaired replacement early manufacture fuselage. 

 

Selwyn

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Though I can't remember where I read it, because it was quite some time ago, but I recall that the round holes were on early made guns but when production ramped up, they went to the oval holes as they could be stamped out quicker ans easier.

 

 

Chris

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37 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Though I can't remember where I read it, because it was quite some time ago, but I recall that the round holes were on early made guns but when production ramped up, they went to the oval holes as they could be stamped out quicker ans easier.

 

 

Chris

Thanks Chris, wonder if I saw this in the Modellers Data File in the context of the Manchester then? The .303 was obviously around before then but I take Selwyn's point that there could be a degree of 'mix and match' as time went by providing the two weapons fitted the same mounting - and why shouldn't they? 

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Just an anecdote but some of the very early Lancs had guns fitted that were actually broom handles for press pics due to the shortage of supply, but no idea if such had any perforations!

 

Regards

Colin.

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8 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

Just an anecdote but some of the very early Lancs had guns fitted that were actually broom handles for press pics due to the shortage of supply, but no idea if such had any perforations!

 

Regards

Colin.

I rather doubt it - woodworm maybe!!

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Any real truth in this or just a bar story?  Given the mass production of these weapons started long before Lancaster production, it seems highly unlikely that there would have ever been such a shortage at this time.  Think of the priority given to the Lancaster above all the other myriad uses.

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3 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Any real truth in this or just a bar story?  Given the mass production of these weapons started long before Lancaster production, it seems highly unlikely that there would have ever been such a shortage at this time.  Think of the priority given to the Lancaster above all the other myriad uses.

True but Quickboost believe it otherwise they wouldn’t have done a Lanc set with round cooling holes!! Every photo I’ve looked at in the last few days shows oval holes!!

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39 minutes ago, Simon Cornes said:

True but Quickboost believe it otherwise they wouldn’t have done a Lanc set with round cooling holes!! Every photo I’ve looked at in the last few days shows oval holes!!

Quickboost didn't offer broomsticks.  That was what i was referring to, not a minor change in the cooling holes

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Instead on concentrating on just Lancaster guns, a better question would be looking into all RAF .303 Colt-Browning machine guns that were used in most all British aircraft gun turrets. Whitleys, Wellingtons, Halifaxes, Sunderlands, Stirlings, etc.

 

 

 

Chris

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8 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Instead on concentrating on just Lancaster guns, a better question would be looking into all RAF .303 Colt-Browning machine guns that were used in most all British aircraft gun turrets. Whitleys, Wellingtons, Halifaxes, Sunderlands, Stirlings, etc.

 

 

 

Chris

Good idea Chris!

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Not sure where I read about the 'broom handles' but it makes a nice story even if, as Graham suggests, it may have been a slight exaggeration of the truth. That said there is no evidence to confirm to the contrary so I'm happy to believe, as well as in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy!

 

Regards

Colin.

 

Ps. I've checked quite a few of my Lancaster pics and can't see guns with round perforations which suggests they were far less common

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Definitely not in the Data file. I've now emailed both Aires and Hendon to see if someone can shine a light on this. Getting a bit obsessive! 

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29 minutes ago, europapete said:

About the broomsticks with oval holes or the guns with round holes Simon?

Ha ha! We're moving to the ridiculous! No, about the guns, not the broomsticks - that's too Harry Potter!

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