76.2mm Ordnance Q.F
17pdr Barrel for
Sherman VC Firefly

ABER 1:35 Set #35 L-57

Review by Terry Ashley

The latest replacement barrel from ABER is the 76.2mm Ordnance Q.F 17pdr Barrel designed for the excellent Tasca Models Sherman VC Firefly (kit #35009) and consists of the full length aluminium barrel, a two part formed brass muzzle brake, two brass collars and a small etched fret with three parts.

metal barrel parts

The Ordnance drawing dimensions, measurements of the actual 17pdr barrel and the plans in the Hunnicutt Sherman book show the tapered section as it comes out of the mantlet is 11 inches (27.94cm) along the tapered edge and the barrel from the front of the tapered section to the back of the muzzle brake is 110.625 inches (280.1cm). This equals in 1:35 scale 7.98mm and 80.02mm respectively and the ABER barrel measures 7.6mm and 80.2mm give or take a fraction of a millimetre making it as close as you could get with any discrepancy being well under 0.5mm at 0.38mm.
This also indicates the Hunnicutt plans are correct and the others slightly out as far as the barrel length goes.

The size and contours of the muzzle brake match the plans perfectly with cleanly machine holes in the sides and muzzle opening and the small brass collar also has the four notches included with the Tasca kit barrel only having two of these notches as the other two coincide with the split in the barrel halves.

Other details include the inner muzzle brake collar and the muzzle brake in two parts which means it is completely hollow but also leaves a join between the two halves. On fitting the two muzzle brake halves together sees the join so good as to be almost invisible but by running a thin bead of solder around the join will see it eliminated completely.

The aluminium barrel has rifling included in the muzzle as well as the small notch on muzzle brake which is not often seen but is included on Ordnance drawings of the 17pdr muzzle brake making this the only metal barrel to date that includes this feature.

Muzzle brake details and rifled barrel

Assembly of the muzzle brake was fairly straightforward with the brass collar and etched ring fitting perfectly to the end of the barrel and the inner muzzle brake collar fits exactly into the front muzzle brake half and the rear section then fits precisely in place leaving just the fine join seam as mentioned above. The fit of the muzzle brake to the barrel was also good but quite tight and very minor filing of the inside of the muzzle brake neck may be needed and test fitting will show if this is the case?

Assembled ABER muzzle brake and comparison the Lionmarc/Passion Models barrel
ABERPassion Models

Fitting the metal barrel to the Tasca kit did require the rear barrel neck to be filed down a little to fit into the kit mounting (part F7), you could enlarge the locating hole in part F7 but I choose to leave this and reduce the barrel neck a little. The barrel then fits neatly in place without any other kit modifications required.

ABER barrel fitted to Tasca turret

A quick comparison with the Tasca kit barrel and the recent Lionmarc/Passion Models 17pdr barrel (Set #LM50001/P35008) see all three match the actual dimensions within a fraction of a millimetre of each other with the main difference being the one piece muzzle brake on the Lionmarc/Passion Models and the two part muzzle brake with inner collar on the ABER barrel.

View of ABER, Lionmarc/Passion Models and Tasca barrels
ABER barrel fitted to Tasca turret
Passion Models/Lionmarc barrel fitted to Tasca turret
Passion Models

This one piece Lionmarc/Passion Models does see the muzzle brake solid other than the hole drilled down the middle while the ABER muzzle brake is fully hollowed out inside but does have the miniscule join seam to be removed.


This new barrel from ABER is in my view the best yet released as the hollow muzzle brake with inner collar offer better defined detail then the other solid muzzle brakes despite the fine join seam between the two muzzle brake halves.

The barrel dimensions are very good and while the fit to the Tasca kit did require some minor filing of the barrel neck for a precise fit the resulting barrel looks very good when fitted.

Highly recommended 8/10

Final note:

This doesn’t mean the Lionmarc/Passion Models is poor, far from it as it too is a very nicely done barrel with correct dimensions and I guess you have to decide between a hollow muzzle brake with a small join and a one piece solid muzzle brake (apart from the drilled out centre) without any join seam as both will look good on the kit.

See the Sherman Subjects page for listings of other detail/update sets available for Sherman kits.

Sherman Firefly
Mark Hayward
Ground Power Magazine
#117 - 2/2004

Sherman VC M4A4 Firefly
Military Ordnance Special No.19
R.P.Hunnicutt. Presidio Books
ISBN 0-89141-080-5
Modeler's Guide to the Sherman
MMIR Special.
Ampersand Publishing Company, Inc
Thanks to ABER for the review sets.
Airconnection carry the full range of ABER update sets and barrels.

Page created May 4, 2007