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Bofors 40mm Anti-Aircraft Guns

Sorry, this one and three others were sold! 

Two are in USA Museums now and one is in New Zealand in private hands.

 A Museum Quality 40mm Bofors

Certified demilitarized, located in Europe, and ready for export!

These guns is in absolutely fantastic condition, complete with tools, spare parts, utility boxes, custom covers, new tires, new original ammo holders in their original  boxes, shell casings, and various other accessories.  They can easily be towed anywhere and includes the towing lights and hook up cables. 

They are complete and ready for display! 

The price is very RIGHT and we can ship it anywhere in the world where it can legally be imported in a sealed 20 or 40 foot container.

These are All actual photos below of the three guns we sold:

 

The weight of these guns is about two tons each and they were still in active service inventory until 1999 with the Finish Army.  These not some war surplus junk that sat around for many years someplace out in the weather, as they were in active inventory and always stored inside and covered when being transported.

   

Markings: 40 ITK 38 S  & 40 ITK 38 U

Finland Army  identification/inventory numbers below:

Number 91

  

    

Look at the great condition of the ammo feeders!

    Take a look at some of the terrific assortment of accessories, tools, original containers, and numerous new spare parts that are included with this gun!

   

   

 

Here is one we sold to a museum in the USA - now on display!

Bofors

Is it vintage or contemporary? The 40 mm Bofors purchased through The Antique Cannon SuperStore is set up and manned by a living historian in this black and white photo taken at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport, NY. 

Bofors in Air Museum

US Congressman Steve Israel (2nd C.D.) greets the "gun crew" while explaining to the visiting public the role of an anti aircraft battery during WW 2.

 If you are looking for any WWI or WWII cannons - Please contact us and get on our wanted list.  We are also buyers for almost ANY  type of WW1 or WW2 cannons for cash purchase or to place on consignment on this website located anywhere in the world.

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  Specifications and history of the Bofors anti-aircraft gun!

The Swedish firm of Bofors started developing its famous 40mm anti-aircraft gun in the late 1920s at the request of the Swedish Navy. The first production version emerged in 1932 and immediately attracted international interest because of its combination of a high performance cartridge with a high and reliable rate of fire. The cartridge case, at 311mm long, is marginally longer and also wider than the contemporary Army 2 PR No.2 and fired a 0.9 kg shell at 880 m/s. The gun, which weighed around 2 tons on its carriage (1.2 tons in naval service), achieved a cyclic rate of 120-140 rounds per minute, depending on the elevation.

The gun was adopted by the British Army in 1937 as its standard light AA weapon in a single-barreled, air-cooled version. It was a great success and demand exceeded production until 1943. The quality of the gun was such that the Royal Navy also started fitting it to ships in 1941, before adopting a purpose-designed twin-barreled water-cooled version, first used in late 1942. The extra performance over the Navy's 2 PR meant that attacking aircraft could be engaged at a significantly longer range. Several different mountings were used, the ultimate being the six-barreled radar-directed 21-ton weapon fitted to the postwar battleship HMS Vanguard. The Bofors gun was still in use by the RN into the 1990s, in a single barreled air-cooled version, although it was gradually phased out in favor of 30mm guns.

After the war, Bristol developed a new mounting for the Bofors which had a heavier carriage including a generator to provide powered elevation and traverse. The gun was controlled by a joystick and aimed by a gyro-stabilized computing sight. This modification, known as the Bristol Bofors, was adopted for service around 1950 but was rapidly overtaken by Bofors' own development, the L/70. The original Bofors gun had a barrel 56 times longer than the caliber and was therefore known as the L/56, although this version is now usually referred to as the L/60. In the late 1940s, Bofors developed an improved gun with a longer (L/70) barrel firing a larger (364mm long case) cartridge in order to increase the muzzle velocity to 1,020 m/s. At the same time the mechanism was altered to increase the rate of fire to 240-300 rpm, and power operation was introduced. The gun was promptly ordered by the British Army to replace the Bristol Bofors and remained in service from 1953 until its replacement by the Rapier missile in 1979. Although the Royal Navy had many plans to acquire the L/70, it never did so, the L/60 remaining in service to the end.

Despite the age of the basic design, the Bofors 40mm L/70 remains a highly competitive weapon, still in production in a range of versions (including the license-produced Italian Breda 'Fast Forty' with the firing rate increased to 450 rpm) and used in a number of applications including land-based AA systems, a turret-mounted gun for light armored fighting vehicles and in naval anti-aircraft/anti-missile single and twin barreled systems. None of these, however, has been or is likely to be adopted by the British armed forces.

A 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun on "The Strand" in Townsville, Australia.

Gun

Mk 1 - Original Swedish manufacture. Type "A" auto-loader

Auto-loaders

Type A - Swedish pattern. Took two 4 round chargers, ejected to left

Type A* - Type A with peep sight in rear guide. Only used with Mk 6 gun on tanks

Type B - Simplified design. Took three 4 round chargers, ejected to right

Type C - Non standard Type B made by Chambon Company

Type M - Type B made more reliable

Type M* - Type C made more reliable

Data - Mk 1 on Mounting Mk 1

Wt gun & breech mechanism - 966 lb

Wt in action - 4,368 lb

Total length - 117.7 inches

Length of bore - 88.58 inches

Rifling - 16 grooves increasing RH 1/54 to 1/30

Breech mechanism - Vertical sliding block, auto, percussion fired

Elevation - minus 5 to plus 90

Traverse - 360

Recoil system - Hydro spring

Recoil length - constant 7.87 inches

Rate of Fire - 120 rpm

Introduced in April 1937, they were later built under license. British variations included a simplified auto-loader and various types of sight. Towards the end of the war, remote power control was perfected.

 Performance

With 2 lb HE shell:

Muzzle velocity - 2,700 ft/sec

Max horizontal range - 10,800 yards

Maximum ceiling - 23,600 feet

Effective ceiling - 5,000 feet

Mountings

Mk 1 - Original Bofors design. Direct laying, prepared for data receiving dials but not fitted

Platforms (carriages)

Mk 1 - Original Bofors design. Riveted girder,  Ackermann steering, independent suspension. Tires 6 x 20 inch hydraulic brakes on rear wheels carrying a single gun. Single layer controlling traverse & elevation by means of a joystick

Ammunition - fixed, cased round

Shell HE Mk 4T - Percussion fuse No. 251 or 255 and tracer-igniter in the base. Different tracers gave self-destruction at ranges of 3,400 or 5,500 yards

Shot AP Mk 6T - Plain steel shot with internal tracer

Propelling Charge

In brass case 12.25 inches long. For clipping into the charger it had a deep groove in the base.

As usual Finnish military ended up with collection of 40-mm Bofors guns manufactured in variety of countries. During World War 2 the Finnish Army naming system used to separate these various models seems to have been quite mixed. "40 ItK/38" seems to have been used as a name for Finnish license-made version already during the war, but otherwise the information looks quite sketchy. In wartime naming system the letter "B" (like "40 ItK/36 B") meaning "Bofors" seems to have been commonly used to separate these guns from 2-pound pom-pom AA-guns. Letters "BK" were used in similar manner with to indicate static version of the gun and "BK 2" for static double-barrel version. The chart below shows Finnish Army post-war naming system.

40-mm Bofors guns used in Finland according Finnish Army post-WW2 naming system:

Exact model: Country of Origin: Special data:
40 ItK/35 B Netherlands Swedish and/or Polish made
40 ItK/36 B Sweden Swedish made M/34
40 ItK/36 BK2 Sweden Static 2-barrel Naval version
40 ItK/37 B Sweden Static Naval version
40 ItK/38 B Finland Finnish license version, 77 made by VTT
40 ItK/38 U Hungarian made 36 guns with Johasz-Gamma on-carriage predictor sights
40 ItK/38 S Poland and ? Guns the Germans had captured earlier in the war.
40 ItK/39 B "UK" (*) Arrived with boats and ships bought in 1950's

(Notice: 40 ItK/Bofors was not really how Finns called these guns, but instead guns were called with exact models listed in this chart as guns had small differences, mainly in gun-counters and sights).

(*) It seems that these guns were actually made by Bofors. They had been ordered by United Kingdom, but had not been delivered before World War 2 broke. Since Great Britain was in war with Germany the neutral Sweden refused to deliver these guns to UK. In this situation at October of 1939 Finland succeeded securing license of Great Britain for these guns to be delivered to Finland instead. It seems that at least 12 of the 44 guns delivered from Sweden in October and December 1939 were these guns originally ordered by Great Britain. Finnish military seems to have named these 12 guns as 40 ItK/39. These guns had no predictor sights.

Many countries used somewhat simple sight arrangements (like annular sights) with 40-mm Bofors during World War 2. Finland however was somewhat exception in this, as the large majority of Finnish guns were equipped with Bofors made "Bofors course and speed corrector", which was small mechanical computer connected to sight and could be used against targets which had speed up to 563 km/hour. Also guns manufactured under license in Finland were equipped with m/38 version of "Bofors course and speed corrector". From all Finnish used 40-mm Bofors guns without "Bofors course and speed corrector" both Hungarian and Austrian made guns had other mechanical computers connected to sights. The Austrian made guns had Goertz-system and Hungarian made had "34/38M Johasz-Gamma Loelemkepzo" on-carriage predictor sight. From these three mechanical computers Goertz was least effective, while Bofors and Johanz-Gamma were about equally effective, but Hungarian Johanz-Gamma was easier to use. Only very few guns in Finnish use didn't have any of these three mechanical computers. The influence of these sight systems was very clear: They demanded well-trained crews, but as the Finns managed to train their AA-gun crews well they made Finnish 40-mm Bofors guns more effective and accurate then what was average internationally during 2nd World War.

The guns came with several mount versions, but they can be roughly divided to mobile ones (two-axle arrangement with four wheels attached to guns mount) and static ones. The static single-mounts were mainly used in ships of various sizes, but with Finnish military saw also use in Landsverk Anti II antiaircraft-tanks and armoured trains. Double-barrel static mount was very rare in Finnish use and used it only on some ships.

Bofors 40-mm was the gun with which Finnish soldiers were very happy. It had good accuracy, enough range, firepower and very good reliability. During Winter War Finnish 40-mm Bofors guns shot down 128 planes while spending only 392 shots per downed aircraft. As World War 2 progressed Soviets introduced Sturmovik ground attack aircraft, which was practically almost immune to HE-shells of 20-mm guns. This made 40-mm Bofors even more important weapon for Finnish air-defence during late part of Continuation War. In Finnish use 40-mm Bofors antiaircraft-guns downed over 500 enemy aircraft during World War 2. Wartime use included also being used as direct-fire support weapon and (however very rarely) also in antitank use.

Finnish military used variety of ammunition with its 40-mm Bofors guns. High-explosive tracer (HE-T) ammunition (ammunition-type used against aircraft) was naturally the most used. They also seem to have been the only ammunition type in use when Winter War started. During that war Finnish military bought also armor-piercing (AP) and armour-piercing tracer (AP-T) rounds, which became widely available. Several HE-T versions existed in Finnish use, the one with longest burning tracer version had 10-second tracer, which burn up to 4,500 meter distance.

After World War 2 Finnish military continued using 40-mm Bofors AA-guns. After the war Bofors also introduced L/70 version, which had both longer barrel and more powerful ammunition. The old version became known as L/60 (name coming from rough barrel length of each version). Finnish military had the wartime 40-mm Bofors L/60 anti-aircraft guns in training-use for a long time and then storage them for possible wartime use until 1990's. Galileo P 36 counter equipped more modern version of L/60 called "40 ItK/36-59" was introduced in late 1950's and remained in Finnish use until late 1990's.

 

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Last up-dated on 06/17/2013