2 Pdr Barrels
1/35 Kit comparison
by Peter Brown

Looking for a better barrel for my Italeri Crusader I (kit no 6432) I was surprised to find how many were available. I decided to try and get them all and compare them.

Brief Background:
The 2-pounder was the main British tank and anti-tank gun of the early war years and was fitted to Cruisers - A9, A10, A13, A13 Mk II, Covenanter and Crusader I & II - and Infantry Tanks - early Valentines and Churchill I & II - as well as the Daimler, AEC Mk I and Coventry Mk I Armoured Cars and Tetrarch Light Tank.

Different versions existed, from what I can tell there were Mk 9, 9A, 10, 10A and 10B versions with the latter designed for the Littlejohn attachment used on some guns late in the War. Early guns had a smooth outer profile, with a thicker parallel section at the breech end, a definite "necking" then a long taper before swelling at the muzzle while later guns had a step at the breech end, then tapered before being stepped at the muzzle.

The external dimensions were the same, so different barrels could be fitted into different mountings. While the early guns were used on tanks in France in 1940 and the early Desert campaign, the later style barrel would be introduced as time went on and surviving vehicles could have been re-armed and so it is best to check your references and photos before buying your barrel.

The photo shows the different types I have in alphabetical order. I hope it speaks for itself, so I will not add much other than to emphasise than the part number is UNDER each barrel. Apologies for them not being completely lined up and also the shadows plus the areas where I had to move parts of the image to allow space to show the part numbers. The images of the barrels and the ruler - a freebie from an old edition of Military Modelling included as an idea of scale - are all unaltered which I hope allows you to see what they look like and compare them.

All the barrels are metal and single items, apart from the resin Ultracast of which more later. More details which might help with ordering are -

Accurate Armour B35006 is listed as British 2pr aluminium gun barrel

Clipper B006 1/35 OQF 2-pdr L50 is a separate part from their 1/35 Crusader update set 712. The set contains a new turret front, gun mounting and bulbous mantlet, radio set and turned metal 2pdr and machine gun barrels - yes, really, turned metal barrels for the 7.92mm BESA.

Elefant 35.344 is called a 45mm Gun for Matilda II, Tamiya. As far as I know a 45mm was not fitted to the Matilda unless the Russians re-armed some of the tanks they received?

Elefant 35.345 is listed as a 40mm gun for Valentine, Dragon kit. This is the old Allan mould which has appeared in several boxes including VM and Maquette.

Jordi Rubio JR-15 is described as a 2 pounder (early) British anti tank gun. The back of the header card for this shows side views of various AFVs the gun was fitted to, though on my example the captions were wrong in several cases.

ModelPoint 3519 they call 40mm barrel "Valentine" IV MkIII for "VM" kit which is one of the Allan boxings.

Ultracast 135001 is as I mentioned the odd one out in being resin, listed as Mk II Matilda 2 Pdr Barrels & Shells (designed for Tamiya kit #35024) the set includes two barrels and four shells which come on a small sprue.

I am surprised by the variation in sizes, and I will leave you to decide which is best for the vehicle you want to model with more than one barrel being available for each original style.

The Real Thing:
As a check which I hope will be useful, I measured the guns on several exhibits at the Tank Museum at Bovington. These measurements are from the end of the barrel to the front face of the mantlet where the gun enters. There was some variation which may be down to the state of the recoil system on 60-year old tanks as much as the type of mounting fitted. I did not include the gun on the Covenanter as it is not original, it is a replacement fitted in 2003 and I could not reach the gun on the Marmon-Herrington Mk VI.

I measured in inches to the nearest one-eighth with the metric equivalents being worked out on a calculator.

Vehicle Gun Type Length Inches Length cm (approx)
A9 Smooth 52.375 133
A13 Mk II Stepped 52.375 133
Matilda Stepped 51 129.5
Valentine Smooth 49.125 124.75
Daimler II armoured car Stepped 51.375 130.5
Coventry armoured car Stepped 51.375 130.5

Can I thank the various suppliers, Accurate Armour, F&F Models and SB Models here in the UK for many of them, and a special Thank You to Bob Gregory both for putting me on to the Clipper barrel and telling me I could get one through Rainbow 10 who supplied it very quickly and also for exchanging a spare barrel with me which helped me a lot.

Page Created 1 March 2004

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