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My sort of Reader writes.

Some time ago I wrote about Long Cecil the remarkable Gun made in Kimberley during the Siege.
"Labram had noticed a billet of steel, 3 metres in length, ordered originally as shafting for one of the workshop machines, which was lying in the workshop yard. As it had a diameter of almost 28 cm it occurred to him that a fairly large calibre gun might be made from it. There were no books on gun-making in Kimberley but he remembered attending a lecture given some years previously by Sir William Anderson on the engineering aspects of the subject.

After 24 days continuous work, much of it under shellfire (one or two direct hits had been scored on the workshops and there seem to have been several near-misses), gun and carriage were completed on 18 January 1900."
Go read the rest..

A comment appeared today:

Sir
I have built a half scale muzzle loading model of long cecil.She has a weight of about one ton. I have managed to aquire the material to fabricate a full scale barrel.I intend to fabricate a life size, firing replica of the gun, while keeping within our legal requirements, and will do the best I can with the information available.
I am hoping you can identify the wheels used in the original guns construction.I am of the opinion they must be of european origin,however that is just a guess.
I am currently keeping busy on other projects,as this gun is too big to build by myself,and the U.S.Army has currently stationed my son in Iraq,with the queens royal lancers, so this project will have to wait until he returns.
Any information on the wheels would be greatly appreciated.I look forward to your reply.
thank you very much
David L. Bell
email generalgorloff@aol.com

Wow, some one must be able to help him. Kim?

Comments

Much more detailed description of manufacture here:
http://rapidttp.com/milhist/vol041dp.html

Also has obturator details, and mentions that the wheels cane from a disused mobile steam engine.

Having inspected the real gun, I believe that the wheels were made in the Kimberley Engineering Works (where the lathe used by Labram still exists). The design is probably based on agricultural wheels of the time (as were the wheels of the "Wolf" in Mafeking.
I am getting some detailed dimensions taken of the gun in the next few weeks to go along with the pictures I took some time ago, so detailed dimensions will be available.
Tony

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