Page 15 - Moncrieff's Disappearing Guns
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Moncrieff’s Disappearing Guns                                                                            David Moore

           ‘....that Captain Moncrieff’s invention was entitled to
           be regarded in a favourable light.’
           Captain Moncrieff accepted the terms and instructions
           were given at once for carrying out the committee’s
           The Treasury agreed to the propose remuneration.
           Provisions were made in the estimates for 1869 to
           1874 for the construction of twenty 7-inch Moncrieff
           axle-tree cracked.Preview
           carriages and orders were given for the preparation of
           the necessary materials.

           During 1868 and 1869 experiments continued with
           the first 7-inch carriage. The trials proved to be
           generally successful but minor fittings seemed to be
           liable to failure of a serious nature. The following  Moncrieff with mounting at Woolwich Butts in May
           period saw many tests, failures of small fittings and
           subsequent modifications. Moncrieff came up with   9-inch carriage, the 7-inch carriage with new breech
           proposal after proposal all the while looking ahead to  attachment and the other carriages enumerated above
           adopting his system for larger calibre guns. The   as well as to consider any other designs for similar
           Committee resolutely stuck to their slow and       purposes which might be submitted to them.
           thorough testing of each stage before the next     Colonel Elwin R.A. President
           development was considered. Whilst overseeing the  Colonel Adye C.B. R.A.
           modifications to the 7-inch carriage and the       Colonel Galway R.E.
           manufacture of the 9-inch carriage Moncrieff, in   Colonel Millwood C.B. R.A.
           consultation with Sir William Armstrong and        Colonel Graham C.B. R.E.
           Company, had been developing a simpler             Captain Alderson R.A.
           construction for applying the system to heavier    Lieutenant-Colonel Hayman R.A. Secretary
           ordnance. During 1869 a great proportion of the
           whole work in the Royal Carriage Factory consisted  The following drawings were submitted to this
           in manufacturing the 7-inch muzzle-loader 7 ton    Committee 7/3/70
           carriages which were in service by April 1870.     1. Moncrieff carriage and platform for 7-inch B.L.
           In June 1869 Moncrieff was requested to submit     2. One of the proposed conversions of wooden
           drawings for the 64 pdr. and 7-inch B.L. rifled guns  garrison platform carriages to a Moncrieff Barbette
           for land fronts and defences by the Deputy Director of  Platform.
           Works.                                             3. Sketch of proposed arrangement for mounting
                                                                 7-inch B.L. guns on Moncrieff carriage with
           In September 1869 Moncrieff submitted the drawings    converted wood platform.
           for a 7-inch B.L. gun. The estimated cost for this,  4. Moncrieff carriage for 7-inch B.L. gun proposed
           including the carriage, was £446. In view of the great  cheap construction.
           cost of mounting the large number of guns required in  5. Proposed conversion of wood garrison carriages
           this way it was decided to defer the matter until     and platforms for 7-inch B.L. guns into barbette
           information had been obtained concerning the          carriages.
           utilisation of old materials. Moncrieff was not put off.
           In October 1869 he prepared drawings to show how   The preparations of models of these several designs
           his system could be adapted to utilise existing    was approved by Lord Northbrook 19/2/70.
           platforms for the 7-inch B.L. guns. In 1870 he     On 4th February 1870 another preliminary trial of the
           prepared carriages for the 9-inch, a heavy and a light  9-inch carriage was made at Woolwich. It was still
           version.  The 9-inch carriage was reported to be ready  not fit to go to Shoeburyness due to the many design
           for trial on 3rd. January 1870 and a few rounds were  alterations which had not yet been completed. The
           fired from it on the 24th January 1870. The rear   twenty 7-inch carriages were finished except
                                                              elevating gear in March 1870.

           A special committee was appointed under authority  On 30th March 1870 the Special Committee reported
           dated 7th January 1870 consisting of the           on the designs submitted. They dismissed proposals 1
           undermentioned officers to conduct the trials of the  and 4, they were not favourably impressed with 2 or

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