1941 Quick Fire 25 Pounder Mark II Gun on Mark I Carriage and Cradle Bo. 5 Mk I – lot 0103

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Auction Expired

  • No Reserve
  • Margin
  • Buyer’s premium 16.5 % of the hammer price
  • Location: Nederweert, The Netherlands
  • Estimated Price: €30,000 – €37,500
  • Brochure: Lot 0103 T&T 1943 25Pdr Mk I Rev 2.0

Genuine 1943 Ordnance QF 25-pounder

The most outstanding field artillery piece used by British and Commonwealth forces in the Second World War!

During the British Army’s analysis of their artillery in the wake of the First World War it was felt there was a requirement for a light artillery piece that combined the advantages of a howitzer and a gun. This new weapon would replace both the 18-Pdr and 4.5-inch Howitzer. Development work was carried out during the 1920s and 1930s, but a limited budget meant little real progress was made.
The outcome of initial investigations concluded that a gun of 3.7 inches (94 mm) in caliber firing a shell of 20 to 25 lbs. (9 to 11 kgs) and with a range of 15,000 (13,716 meters) yards or more would be required to replace both the gun and howitzer.

Tests were run with 18, 22 and 25-Pdr guns in 1933. It was soon decided by the War Department that the 25-Pdr was the best design to equip the field artillery.
Due to the large number of existing 18-Pdr field guns the Treasury was reluctant to scrap them in favor of an entirely new weapon! Treasury demanded that a way be found to use the existing stocks of 18-Pdrs in the development of the new gun.

The 18-Pdr had a caliber of 3.3 inches (84 mm) but was fitted with a barrel liner that could easily be removed and replaced, but unfortunately the maximum caliber achievable by relining the barrel was only 3.45 inches (87.6mm), a far cry from the originally intended 3.7 inches.
So, in 1935 it was decided to adopt 3.45 inches as the new caliber of the 25-Pdr.

This first model, Ordnance, Q.F., 25-Pdr Mk 1, or more commonly known as the “18/25-Pdr”, was to see service in Europe and North Africa in the early stages of WWII, it used the Mk 4P 18-Pdr carriage, the ’P’ indicating the use of pneumatic tires for motorized use.

Because the 18-Pdr carriage was not intended for use with the new 25 lb. round a reduction was made to the charge and consequently the range was decreased from the desired 15,000 yards to 11,800 yards.

Many 18/25-Pdrs were lost during the evacuation from Dunkirk, and they needed to be replaced. The Mk 2 25-Pdr saw the introduction of its own carriage. The trials were between the original split trail design and a Vickers box trail design that came with its own firing platform.

After test firing at the School of Artillery it was unanimously decided to adopt the Vickers design. This new weapon was known as the 25-Pdr Mk 2 on the Mk 1 carriage. The Mk 2 first saw action in Norway 1940 and by the end of the war over 12,000 had been made.

Complete 25 Pdr. in great condition, full restoration to factory condition includingmany New Old Stock parts. Always stored inside and ready to use in all kinds of ceremonies and events. 

25-Pdr. In Service

Many 25 Pdr’s saw Service in North Africa and were often pressed into the anti-tank roll when the 2-Pdr proved inadequate. The circular firing platform proved its worth in the anti-tank role, the 25-Pdr was able to be repositioned by its crew with ease when faced with multiple direct fire targets.
The Vickers carriage proved to be so hardy and robust that it was used when the 17-Pdr was first introduced, the carriage standing up to the strain of this more powerful weapon.

A narrower and lighter carriage was also developed for use in jungle warfare, this was known as the 25-Pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 2.
A hinged trail model was also developed for mountain warfare to give increased elevation (25-Pdr Mk 2 with Carriage Mk 3).

The Australians designed a pack version that could be broken down for easier movement.

It was also motorized in Canadian armored chassis (in a similar concept to the American Priest) known as the Sexton. The Bishop was of British design and was based on the Valentine tank chassis, unlike the Sexton the gun was enclosed in a turret like superstructure with rear facing doors for access.
The 25-Pdr had a very effective High Explosive (HE) round. As well as the explosive concussion caused by the round, it also broke into 500 or more splinters, each capable of killing or maiming. It has even been estimated to be 1.5 times more effective than the equivalent US 105mm round.

Modifications were also made to the ammunition, the introduction of the super charge and later super plus meant the addition of a muzzle break was required to reduce the strain on the carriage but increases in range were achieved out to 13,500 yards. Further modifications were made to the breach ring to prevent cracking when firing the new ammunition, this became the Mk 2/1.
Modifications were made to the breach to prevent slip-back when loading (Mk 3), with those having the breach ring modification of the Mk 2/1 known as the Mk 3/1.
The final mark included all the modifications like the Mk 3/1 but was of new manufacture.
The 25-Pdr, despite its compromised design specifications, proved to be an effective and well-liked weapon for its crew.
It had a good range, a carriage that proved robust in the harshest conditions; it had an excellent High Explosive round and could be deployed in the anti-tank role when needed.

Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Nederweert, The Netherlands.
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Model 1943 Quick Fire 25 Pounder Mark II Gun on a 1943 Mark I Carriage
Weight: 1.633 kg (3,600 lb.)

Main Gun: 1943 25 Pdr. Mk. II: RWC UK

Cradle 25 Pdr No. 5 Mk 1
Carriage Mk 1/L: 1943: produced by G.&J. Weir Ltd. Reg. Nr. 12430

Crew: 6
Caliber: 3.45-inch (87.6 mm)
Barrel Length: 2.47 m (8 ft 1 in)
Traverse: -5° to 45°
(80° with dial sight adapter and digging trail pit or wheel mounds)
Elevation: 4° Left & Right (top traverse)
360° (platform)
Rate of Fire: 6-8 rounds per min.
Range: 12,253 m (13,400 yards) (HE shell)

Height:      Ground to Tip Barrel: 1.325 mm

Ground to Shield: 1.710 mm

Length:     Hook to Barrel: 4.600 mm (15 ft 1 in)

Width:       Shield: 1.855 mm

Wheel hubs: 2.130 mm (7 ft)

Production: Number Produced: 12,000 (UK, Canada, Australia)
Level of restoration: Class A (older restoration)
Breach ID: L/12950
Barrel ID / Sliding block:
Note: This gun is ready for blank firing. Can be deactivated at costs.


Ian Galliers 

UK Collector and Restoration Specialist

This 25 Pdr. is a ‘must have’ in any serous artillery collection.

This very nice and complete unit comes in great condition, was since full Class-A restoration always stored inside and ready to use in all kinds of ceremonies and events.  

This example is a genuine WW-II survivor. After WW-II it was located as a gate guard in front of a museum near the city of Ieper in Belgium for many decades. Because it did not fit in well with the museum’s WW-1 collection, it finally came up for sale. The previous owner had already introduced himself years before as a serious candidate.
He was therefore, after long deliberation, allowed to buy the 25 Pdr. finally take over for many years. after it was purchased by the previous owner. During a 5 years period he restored it to factory condition acquiring many NOS parts from as well Belgium, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

This is without any doubt a great gun for a serious collector. Real WW-II British Artillery becomes more and more difficult to find and collect!.

Experts estimated value:             in current blank firing condition between Euro 30.000 and 37.500,- (May 2022)