HC Deb 24 May 1886 vol 305 cc1828-9
COMMANDER BETHELL (York, E.R., Holderness)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether any heavy guns, of 35-tons and upwards, have recently been subjected to a course of firing under such circumstances of continuity and rapidity as may reasonably be supposed they would be called upon to undergo in action; what guns have been so tested; and, have the results proved satisfactory?


(who replied): The guns to which the hon. and gallant Member refers are presumably the 12-inch. These have been tested at Shoeburyness and on board Her Majesty's ships Handy, Colossus, Conqueror, and Collingwood, in addition to the usual proof rounds. Thirty-three rounds were fired in the Handy from one gun, 16 in one day; 10 rounds from each of the four guns of the Colossus, the practice extending over two consecutive days; 13 rounds on one day from the two guns of the Conqueror; and 12 rounds on one day from each gun of the Collingwood's fore turret. It may be observed that the 12-inch guns for land service of the same design have been similarly tested. The gun at present at Shoeburyness has fired 108 rounds, 15 in one day, and is in good condition. The other heavy breech-loading guns at present in the Navy are the 8-inch and 9.2-inch. These have been similarly tested. One of the former fired 67 rounds of battering charges in one day, the last five being in 4½ minutes. One of the latter fired 20 rounds in one day, the last eight being delivered within 10 minutes.


inquired whether the guns had been allowed continuously to heat?


said, he thought that the answer he had given was conclusive in regard to that point—namely, that eight rounds had been fired within 10 minutes, and five rounds within 4½ minutes.

MR. CARBUTT&c.) (Monmouth,

asked whether there had been full charges in each instance?


said, that he did not know positively, but presumably they had been the ordinary charges.