Ammo Handling

How many rounds per minute can a Firefly fire… if some of the gaming forums are to believed, this is as much as 12… reality however is very different.

Extracted from the 1944 report, hopefully some will find this interesting and informative.

Best place to start is to understand what ammunition bins are available, how many rounds they could hold (in practice not all bins were filled completely), and where they were by degrees of a circle.

The Ammo Bins…

WO 291/253 (0013)

In summary…

A – 2 rounds – turret basket – Ready Bin

B – 3 rounds – turret basket – Ready Bin

C – 18 rounds – hull – Hull Bin

D – 20 rounds – hull – Resupply Bin

E – 20 rounds – hull – Resupply Bin

F – 9 rounds – Co-Driver’s Compartment – Resupply Bin

The loader would have access to 5 rounds in the turret basket, and assuming the turret was rotated between 292.5 and 90 degrees, depending on the degree of rotation within this, at most a further 12 rounds from Bin C.

The driver could however, with some difficulty, access rounds in Bin F, assuming he wasn’t driving of course.

WO 291/253 (0007)

Next consideration is what order to take the rounds out of the Bins… and how quickly could this be achieved…

Bins A and B, accessible at any degree of turret rotation:

WO 291/253 (0008)

On average therefore an experienced loader can load each round from Bins A and B in 6 to 7 seconds.

However, some degree of flexibility appears to be required…

Loading from Bin A

“The loader should bend down and grasp the base of the round with the right hand and the neck of the case with the left hand, lift the round into the breech and ram it home with the right hand”

Loading from Bin B

“The loader should stretch his right hand across his body and grasp a round near the base, at the same time grasping the base with his left hand. He should lift the base to the right and draw the nose to the left until he can reach the neck of the case with his left hand. He should then grasp the case, slide his right hand onto the base and lift the round into the breech”

Bin C… accessible only between 292.5 and 90 degrees

WO 291/253 (0016)


Then, even when the Bin was accessible, rounds needed to be removed in a particular sequence…

WO 291/253 (0010)

Note the average time per round for Bin C is 9.7 seconds.

Loading from Bin C

“The loader shall first make himself conversant with the number and position of each round in the bin, adjust his seat to the right height and sit down. On commencing to load he should grasp the strap on the safety clip of the selected round with his right hand, and withdraw the round from its container with a backward and upward movement. When the round is sufficiently clear of the bin for the neck of the case to be exposed, the loader should place his left hand under the round at the neck of the case, and using both hands should lift the round onto his knees with the nose of the round pointing in the same direction as the barrel. He should then remove the safety clip with his right hand, place the shell into the chamber with both hands, remove his left hand, and ram the shell home with his right.”

Words into pictures… there is this handy guide…

WO 291/253 (0017)

Simple eh?

How many rounds per minute does a Firefly fire…

Given the above, perhaps at most 6 rounds per minute is realistic

We’d love to hear from a Veteran loader to know what the real experience was like.