6-Inch QF Gun

The 6-Inch QF (Quick Firing) Gun Mark II as mounted in Singapore, weighed just over 6 tons, 11 cwts and 3 qrs (6645kg) including the breech and fittings. It was introduced into service in September 1894.

The gun fired a shell of 100lbs (45kg) to a range of 10900 yards (9967 metres) with the barrel elevated to 20·7°. The time of flight for the shell was 31·5 seconds.

A well drilled gun crew could fire up to 7 rounds per minute.

6-Inch QF Gun
6-Inch QF Gun

The barrel of the gun shown above was found buried in 2001 during construction work at the site of the Beach Road SVC (Singapore Volunteer Corps) Camp in March 2001. I was in Singapore at the time and was asked to help to identify it. The barrel is a Mark II 6-Inch QF Gun Barrel. It is more than likely that it was used in a training role by the Singapore Volunteer Artillery. The barrel was cleaned up, good replica fittings fitted and mounted in the No.2 6-Inch QF Emplacement of the Pasir Panjang Battery in Labrador Park.

Six 6-Inch QF guns saw service in Singapore. There were two each at Fort Siloso, Fort Pasir Panjang and Fort Connaught. The For Connaught Guns were moved to Fort Silingsing sometime during the period between 1910/1911.

The gun was mounted on a carriage with a pivot pedestal mounting which allowed 10° depression and 360° traverse. A small curved shield provided a minimum of protection for the crew. The Elevation and traverse was by means of hand wheels. Depression and arc of fire could be limited by bolts and stops if required. The firing mechanism could be either percussion or electrical.

Gallery

The gun used what was termed ‘Separate’ Ammunition. QF ammunition normally had the round an the casing holding the propellant assembled in a single unit, like a round of rifle ammunition. Separate, as the name implies, meant that the projectile (shell) and propellant were separate units. The Cartridge holding the propellant, consisted of a drawn brass casing with an Igniter in the base. 13lb 4oz (4·48kg) of Cordite provided the charge. The brass cartridge case case was cleaned, checked and returned to Ordnance after use. They could then be re-filled and be re-used several times.

The gun crew consisted of the Gun Captain and six men.
The Gun Captain was responsible for the Sights, spare strikers and the electric firing battery is it was not on the mounting.
No.2 was responsible for the Cartridge Extractor, and wrenches for the Breech mechanism and Buffer.
No.3 was responsible for the Rammer, McMahon spanner, oil can and waste.
No.4 was responsible for Percussion Tubes and Lanyard.
No.s 5&6 Assisted the No.3.

To load the gun the No.2 opened the Breech, and had the gun been fired, extract the used Cartridge Case with the Extractor, then lays the case to one side. The No. 5 (or 6) Takes a projectile (shell) and lays it in the breech for the ramming into the Chamber, then assists the No.3 to ram the projectile home. No. 6 (or No.5) takes up another projectile. No.4 is handed a Cartridge by the supply party or takes one which is ready to hand, places it in the chamber. For Percussion Firing, he inserts a Percussion Tube, and cocks the Striker as soon as the Breech is closed, then attaches the Lanyard for firing the gun. The No.2 closes the Breech.

The Gun Captain sets the Sights (if not using Automatic Sighting) as instructed by the Gun Commander. He lays the gun using the elevation and traverse wheels.

6-Inch QF Gun
The 6-Inch QF Gun at the Pasir Panjang Battery

The Guns of Singapore