AUS 17 Pdr Anti-Tank Gun 1943

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Starting bid: 10,000.00

The most powerful anti-tank gun the British and Commonwealth forces fielded and used in WW-II!


This gun, being offered in this Tracks & Trade Spring auction, is genuine
17-Pdr anti-tank gun on its original Mk 1 carriage produced in Australia.
It is discovered in the spring of 2021 by Mr. Chris Luxmoore, BAIV’s representative in Australia, in a barn, shipped to Europe the same year and recently nicely restored and serviced in BAIV workshop.
It is in great condition and still live. Moreover, it is very complete, comes with a lot of original small details (even the toolbox is filled), renewed tires which are exact copies of the original WW-II model and even the small towing ropes are there!

This is an example the real collector is looking for. All original, straight army release and always stored properly.

The Ordnance Quick Firing 17-pounder anti-tank gun was developed and produced in Great Britain and Australia during World War II. By the end of the war, it was the best compromises between firepower and weight in service with the Western Allies.
It was developed in response to the ever-increasing amounts of armor being carried on German tanks.
Its predecessor, the QF 6-pounder anti-tank gun had not even gone into production when development of the 17-pounder started in late 1940.

While the gun itself was already in production in mid-1942, the two-wheeled, split trail carriage commonly associated with it was not ready.

In order to get the 17-pounder in the field, the 25-pounder Mk 2 field gun carriage was successfully adapted to take the big anti-tank gun. Production of the type referred to as the “Pheasant” began in late-1942 with the first guns arriving in North Africa by the beginning of 1943.

By the time of the Invasion of France in June 1944, the standard Mk 1 carriage was in full use and beca me the standard heavy British anti-tank gun for the rest of the war

The 17-pounder was adapted for tank and self-propelled gun use as well. Several models of the M4 medium tank were adapted to carry the gun in place of the standard 75-mm cannon. This provided British Commonwealth troops with a potent tank killer (The Firefly). They were also fitted on the American built M10 gun motor carriage in place of its 3-inch anti-tank gun (Achilles).
And finally, the 17-pounder was mounted on a Valentine infantry tank-based tank destroyer called the “Archer”, and the cruiser tank series where it was called the “Challenger”.

The 17-pounder remained in British service until early 1950s when it was replaced by the 120-mm BAT recoilless rifle.

The 17pdr was (alongside the German Pak 40) one of the best compromises between firepower and weight, both being about as large as was usable in combat and very lethal. There of course were larger, more powerful guns; the problem came when you tried to move them…….

Please note: If you also are the successful bidder of Lot 229 (Class A restored 1940 Chevrolet Field Artillery Tractor (FAT) and matching 1939 Limber) you will become the owner of a fantastic combination!

© Tracks & Trade BV the Netherlands, January 2023

Introduction 17 Pounder
By 1942, the 6-pdr was starting to become obsolete as the newer German tanks became even more heavily armoured, but back in 1940 the subject of an eventually replacement for the 6-pdr had been raised. What was proposed was a 3-in (76mm) weapon firing a 17-lb shot. By early 1942 prototypes had been built, tested and approved and by May 1942 the 17-pdr gun had been formally introduced. This was a considerable leap forward and the 17-pdr was to become one of the most formidable anti-tank guns of the war.
As the first guns were being produced news of the appearance of the German Tiger Tank, so about 100 17 -pdr barrels were fitted to 25-pdr carriages, as the proper 17-pdr split-trail carriages were not ready, and flown to North Africa, in 1943, to counter this new threat. The guns were code named “Pheasant” (officially known as 17-pdr MK2) and proved remarkably stable and robust in use, shown left. They served until the correct mounts were available. It should be noted that although these guns were rushed to North Africa to combat the Tiger tank, it was in fact a 6-pdr, which claimed the first Tiger “kill”. The gun went on to be mounted in the Sherman “Firefly”, the Challenger Tank and the Achilles and Archer Tank Destroyers.

Gun development
Before the QF 6-pounder had entered service, the British predicted that it would soon be inadequate given the increasing armour of German tanks. In late 1940, the design of a replacement began, and was largely completed by the end of 1941. A prototype production line was set up in spring 1942, and with the appearance of Tiger I tanks in early 1943 in the North African Campaign, the first 100 prototype 17-pounder anti-tank guns were quickly sent to help counter this new threat. So great was the rush that they were sent before proper carriages had been developed, and the guns had to be mounted in the carriages of 25-pounder gun-howitzers. These early weapons were known as 17/25-pounders and given the codename Pheasant. They first saw action in February 1943.
Fully developed 17-pounders started production in 1943 and were first used during the Italian Campaign. They became one of the most effective weapons on the battlefield, on both carriages and tanks.
The 17-pounder anti-tank guns also saw action in Korea against tanks and in general support use against bunker positions. After Korea, the gun was largely replaced in the tank role by the 84mm caliber, Ordnance QF 20 pounder, and in the anti-tank role by the BAT, MOBAT and 120 mm L6 WOMBAT series of recoilless rifles.

In the 17 Pdr. Range following models can be identified:
Mark I
first production versions.
Mark II
intended for tank use. Removed the carrier mountings and replaced the muzzle brake with a counterweight. The brake was added back on in March 1944 with the introduction of the APDS shot. The Mk. II was used on the Archer self-propelled anti-tank gun and Cruiser Mark VIII Challenger tank.
Mark III
Royal Navy adaptation for use on landing craft, generally similar to the Mk. I, but included an automatic loading system. Unused.
Mark IV
Another tank adaptation, this time with a different breech where the block slid to the side instead of down to take up less room. Used on Sherman Firefly.
Mark V
A version of the Mk IV with different mounts to allow it to replace the US 3 in (76.2 mm) Gun M7 on the 3 in SP, Wolverines, creating the 17pdr SP Achilles.
Mark VI
Another Mk. IV adaptation with a shortened breech.
Mark VII
Similar to the Mk. VI, yet another change to the breech.
Straussler Conversion
This was an experimental gun, designed by Nicholas Straussler that was fitted with a motorized guncarriage. A modified ammunition limber would be attached to the gun’s trails, making a four-wheeled, self-propelled vehicle, and removing the need for a truck to tow the g

The 17-pounder used the following ammunition types:
Armour Piercing Capped (APC)
Armour Piercing Capped was a basic AP shell used with field guns but was not used when the 17pdr was mounted in the Sherman Firefly tank.

Armour Piercing, Capped, Ballistic Capped (APCBC)
Armour Piercing, Capped, Ballistic Capped ammunition could penetrate 163 mm of armour at 500 meters and 150 mm at 1000 m.

Armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS)
Armour-piercing discarding sabot could penetrate 256 mm of armour at 500 m and 233 mm at 1000 m, and allowing it in theory to penetrate the armour of even the German Tiger II heavy tank. Most sources agree that APDS was not available on D-Day itself but reached Normandy in increasing amounts by the end of June or early July 1944. It was available for the breakout battle from Normandy (Falaise) and the advance to the Netherlands and Germany. The weight of the enclosed shot, excluding the enclosing sabot, was 7.7 lb (3.5 kg).

High Explosive (HE)
The HE shells for the 17-pounder had smaller bursting charges (Mk 1: 1.28 lbs, Mk 2: 1.06 lbs)than those for the 75mm gun used by the Sherman (M48: 1.47 lbs, Mk 1: 1.64 lbs).

Practice, Shot Mk 10
“The components of this practice round are similar to those of Shot APCBC, except for the projectile. The projectile is made of cast iron and is uncapped. It is fitted with tracer.
APCBC ammunition was the standard ammunition for the gun, while APDS shot was used for about 6% of the average load of a 17-pounder-equipped British tank.

While offering greater penetration, the smaller (sub-caliber) tungsten core of APDS was considered to provide less accurate fire than APCBC ammunition at ranges beyond 500 yards. This was due to the much lesser visible impact of rounds that fell short, making it hard to spot the fall of shot and correct aim. The APDS was also considered to cause less damage to an enemy tank if it did penetrate the armour. After penetration the core usually disintegrated.
However, the 17-pounder produced a very large muzzle flash due to the large amount of propellant in its cartridges. Muzzle blast was also significant, described by crews of the anti-tank gun variant as resembling a hard slap on the chest.

Ammunition overview

APCBC APDS HE/Red HE/HC reduced HE/Super/HC reduced Smoke screening Smoke colored
Length complete round 34.475 in
(875.7 mm)
29.925 in
(760.1 mm)
31.655 in
(804.0 mm)
34.51 in
(877 mm)
34.17 in
(868 mm)
Weight complete round 37 lb 9 oz
(17.0 kg)
24 lb 12 oz
(11.2 kg)
26 lb 5 oz
(11.9 kg)
28 lb 5 oz
(12.8 kg)
28 lb 5 oz
(12.8 kg)
Projectile mark 1 and 3 1B and 2 2 1 1
Weight projectile 17 lb 0 oz
(7.7 kg)
7 lb 11 oz
(3.5 kg)
13 lb 6 oz
(6.1 kg)
14 lb 10 oz
(6.6 kg)
14 lb 10 oz
(6.6 kg)
18 lb 10 oz
(8.4 kg)
17 lb 5 oz
(7.9 kg)
Projectile fuze action Percussion direct action (DA) Super quick (SQ) or delay Percussion Time Time
Projectile filling TNT TNT TNT
Bursting charge
including exploder
1 lb 1 oz
(0.48 kg)
1 lb 4.5 oz
(0.58 kg)
1 lb 4.5 oz
(0.58 kg)
Propellent type Nitrocellulose NH035 Nitrocellulose NH033 Cordite WM017 Cordite WM017 Cordite WM017 Cordite WMT Cordite WMT
Weight propellent 8 lb 2 oz
(3.7 kg)
6 lb 12 oz
(3.1 kg)
1 lb 10 oz
(0.74 kg)
1 lb 10.25 oz
(0.744 kg)
1 lb 10.25 oz
(0.744 kg)
0 lb 6.875 oz
(0.1949 kg)
0 lb 6.875 oz
(0.1949 kg)
Muzzle velocity 2,950 ft/s
(900 m/s)
3,950 ft/s
(1,200 m/s)
1,800 ft/s
(550 m/s)
750 ft/s
(230 m/s)
750 ft/s
(230 m/s)
EFC full charge 0.5 0.75 0.25 0.25 0.25 negligible negligible
EFC reduced charge 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03

NH = non-hygroscopic; i.e. does not absorb moisture.
HC = High capacity.
EFC = Equivalent full charge. EFC was the basis of calculating the wear effect of propellent charges. Instructions were to examine the barrel for wear after every 40 EFC

Below an overview of the calculated penetration figures (90 degrees)

Gun type Ammunition type Muzzle velocity Penetration (mm)
(m/s) 100 m 250 m 500 m 750 m 1000 m 1250 m 1500 m 1750 m 2000 m 2500 m 3000 m
QF 77 mm APCBC 785 m/s (2,580 ft/s) 147 143 137 131 126 121 116 111 106 98 90
QF 77 mm APCBC FH 785 m/s (2,580 ft/s) 157 153 147 141 135 130 124 119 114 105 96
QF 17 pdr AP 884 m/s (2,900 ft/s) 200 190 175 160 147 135 124 114 105 88 74
QF 17 pdr AP FH 884 m/s (2,900 ft/s) 164 156 144 132 121 112 103 94 87 73 62
QF 17 pdr APCBC 884 m/s (2,900 ft/s) 174 170 163 156 150 143 137 132 126 116 107
QF 17 pdr APCBC FH 884 m/s (2,900 ft/s) 187 182 175 167 161 154 148 141 136 125 115
QF 17 pdr APDS 1,204 m/s (3,950 ft/s) 275 268 256 244 233 223 213 204 194 178 162

Note: FH marks the performance against face hardened armour (FHA), as opposed to rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) FH marks the performance against face hardened armour (FHA), as opposed to rolled homogeneous armour (RHA)

Usage of the 17 Pdr.
Anti-tank gun
The 17-pounder was a much bulkier and heavier weapon than its predecessor. As a result, it had to be towed by a gun tractor, such as the Morris Quad, M3 Half-track or the Crusader, as it could not effectively be moved by its gun crew alone, especially on poor ground. After firing on soft ground, the 17-pounder frequently had to be pulled out of the ground due to the gun recoil burying the trail spades. After the Second World War, it was issued to anti-tank units of the Royal Artillery in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) towed by the M3 Half Track. When the Royal Artillery anti-tank units were disbanded in 1951, it was transferred to Infantry battalions in the BAOR (six per battalion), towed by the Oxford Tracked Carrier. It was later replaced by the 120 mm BAT recoilless rifle anti-tank weapon.

Pheasant carriage
Also known by the 17/25 pounder designation, a stop-gap measure named Pheasant mated the 17-pounder gun with a modified 25 pounder carriage. This enabled the gun to be pressed into service before its own carriage design was ready.

Split trail carriage
A custom designed carriage for the 17-pounder comprising:
• Split trail carriage, with gun shield
• Weight: 3 t.
• Elevation: −6° to +16.5°
• Traverse: 60°

Vehicle mount
The 17 Pdr was installed on following vehicles
World War II
• Tank, Cruiser, Challenger (A30) – 200 built
• Tank, Cruiser, Comet I (A34) (77 mm OQF HV) – 1,200 by end of war.
• SP 17-pounder, Valentine, Mk I, Archer self-propelled anti-tank gun built on Valentine tank hull, 655 built
• Sherman Firefly – Modified Sherman tank (Medium Tank M4), about 2,000
• 17pdr SP Achilles – Modified 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage M10, about 1,100 by end of war
• Tank, Infantry, Black Prince (A43) (experimental development of Churchill tank, never fielded)
• TOG2 (prototype tank, never fielded)
• Australian Cruiser tank Mk IV (prototype turret only, never fielded)

• Ratel IFV Concept 1 – a heavily modified South African test-bed chassis.
• Eland Mk7 Concept 2 – a heavily modified South African test-bed chassis.
• Alvis Saracen Concept 3 – a heavily modified South African test-bed chassis.[16]
• Centurion – on A41 prototype and on production Centurion Mk 1 and Mk 2.
• SP 17-pounder, A30 (Avenger) – variant of Challenger, not available in time for war, 250 built


Location: & Collection

Current location of this object is Nederweert, the Netherlands
Local collection is available for this lot.

Depending on the destination the Buyer shall obtain an International Import Certificate / End User Certificate. Some of the items listed in the auction may require special licenses or permits or existing documents must be prepared for export. If this is relevant, Tracks & Trade will take care of this for you, with the applicable costs being passed on to the successful bidder
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

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This object is offered by Tracks & Trade pursuant to consignment sale on behalf of a private individual. Therefore, the margin scheme will be applicable, so no sales tax (VAT) over the hammer price will be applicable. For more info see General Conditions of Sale Article 9.

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Parts, accessories, and militaria

The batches of spare parts, various accessories and militaria are stored in the best conditions but are sold as-is and delivered without any guarantee of functioning.


Vehicles and vehicle related equipment such as

Cars, motorcycles, trucks, cannons or howitzers, armored vehicles, and tanks are sold in as-is condition, no technical guarantee and guarantee of authenticity and with or without registration (see description).



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If required and applicable (fire)arms can be made inoperable or permanently disabled by BAIV in The Netherlands as being a licensed Arms & Weapons Dealer Registration Nr. NL20191618779. In this case all relevant cost will be charged to the Buyer in addition and have to be paid in advance in full. Collection by appointment only!


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General Conditions of Sale Version 2.0 dated 29-04-2022 are applicable.

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Model 1943 Ordnance Quick Fire (QF) 17-pounder Mark 1 Gun on Mark 1 Carriage

Main Gun: produced by G&R Ordnance Factory Australia

Carriage: produced by Ruwolt Australia

Production figures Unknown
Color SCC 15 (Standard Camouflage Colour 15)
Caliber 3 inches (76.2 mm)
Barrel length 13 ft 9 in (4.19 m) 55 calibres
Traverse 60°
Elevation -6° to +16.5°
Carriage 2-wheel split-trail carriage
Rate of Fire

20 rpm cyclic

10 rpm practical


Effective; 1.5 km (0.93 mi)

Maximum: 10.5 km (6.5 mi)

Muzzle velocity

2,900 ft/s (880 m/s) HE

3,950 ft/s (1,200 m/s) APDS

Weight 3 long tons (3.05 t)

Height:  Ground to Tip Barrel: 1,82 m (6 ft 11 5/8 in)

              Ground to Shield: 1,61 m (5 ft 3 1/2 in)

Length:  Center of trail eye to end of Muzzle brake:

              7,35 m (24 ft 1 1/2 in)

Width:    Shield: 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)

              Wheel hubs: 2.21 m (7 ft 3 in)

Level of restoration Class B
Breach ID No / L6929 (Vertical sliding breech)
Registration Non
Remarks Live firing: can be deactivated at costs.
Licence Firearms licence for category 2 weapons will be applicable. 
Condition / Remarks In case if Buyer has no appropriate Firearms Licence of partner BAIV BV can deactivate this gun to the applicable regulations at costs.

Ian Galliers UK

UK Collector and Restoration Specialist.

This 1943 gun, being offered in this Tracks and Trade Spring auction, is genuine 17-Pdr anti-tank gun on its original Mk 1 carriage produced in Australia. The 17pdr was (alongside the German Pak 40) one of the best compromises between firepower and weight, both being about as large as was usable in combat and very lethal. It is discovered in the spring of 2021 by BAIV’s representative Mr. Chris Luxmoore in Australiaand since than nicely restored and serviced in BAIV’s workshop.

It is in great condition and still live. Moreover, it is very complete, comes with a lot of original small details, renewed original model tires and even the small towing ropes are there!

My conclusion: This QF 17 Pdr. Anti-Tank Gun very desirable and is hardly ever offered on the market, certainly not in this very complete condition. This is without any doubt a unique opportunity for the serious collector of WW-II British Artillery! 

Estimated value:     between Euro 65.000,- and 75.000,- (February 2023)