Cutaway Oerlikon Cannon

So a funny thing happened on the way back from the Naval training faciliity…

We were at a museum in Europe looking around with a guide, and noticed a nice Oerlikon cannon on a naval pedestal mount. Our guide laughed, and mentioned that it had come from a naval training facility that was being closed down – they had used it as a decoration and minor training aid, and not really paid much attention to it. The mainspring was painted bright red, and the outer shroud had been cut with a bunch of holes, much like a deactivated cutaway. The base was just trying to get rid of the thing (Oerlikon’s are heavy, y’know), and was offering it to anyone willing to take it away.

Oerlikon AA cannon
Picture this, cleaned up with a bright red mainspring

A representative from this museum happened to be the first on there, and while not really interested in a cutaway Oerlikon, they jumped at the opportunity to take possession of the gun.

Turns out it wasn’t a cutaway at all, but actually a live AA cannon that was being given away. The Oerlikon design features a heavily ventilated shroud over the spring, and the base administrators had no idea that the gun was still functional. They just assumed that between the holes and the red paint it was a dummy.

The moral of the story, of course, is to always take a look, even when you don’t think you want something. You never know what you’ll actually find…