Faster than Boiling an Egg
September 26, 2010 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Royal Navy Field Gun Competition 1997: Take it apart and put it back together, again and again, and fast. A history of the event.
posted by bwg (14 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
My Dad did this in the sixties. He still talks about it, given half a chance. I believe he still has bits of hardware in his body from injuries sustained.
posted by pompomtom at 5:54 PM on September 26, 2010

I was looking for a decent video of this when that post about the Jeep dismantling came up. Kind of a different league, this, though.

I got side tracked looking, though. It's kind of fascinating, and there is a behind the scenes training glimpse online too.
posted by Brockles at 5:56 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing this in London in 81 or 82 during the Royal Tournament at Earl's Court, and it was a huge, impressive show. Apparently they've gotten even faster since then.
A little while ago I had a Royal Navy ship moored for a few days right outside my office window. A large chunk of their day does seem to be spent taking their guns and missile launchers apart, cleaning them, and putting them back together again. The rest of the time was occupied by drinking tea and texting.
posted by Flashman at 7:16 PM on September 26, 2010

So who won? We don't see any penalties and the WikiP site gives results for a different competition (if I'm understanding it correctly.) I'm not even clear if that was a final or a heat, or if there even are finals and heats.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:32 PM on September 26, 2010

They do gun run competitions at the annual Tattoo in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so I've seen it seven or eight times in person. It's pretty cool.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:16 PM on September 26, 2010

That was pretty excellent.

In Kipling's Kim, Kipling briefly describes a British Army brigade raising their tents at sundown according to a rigorously drilled procedure. His description of all the tents being hauled aloft at exactly the same moment stuck with me and I've often wondered if a re-enactment of that particular drill has ever been done - I'd love to see it for myself.
posted by Ritchie at 8:33 PM on September 26, 2010

Did the announcer really just refer to the mass of an object in hundredweight?
posted by grouse at 9:38 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this. I've got a black and white photo somewhere of 40 recruits racing to move three a-frame modular tents (similar) and all of their possessions from one concrete slab to another, and then back again. There's nothing more satisfying then seeing a team function as a unit.
posted by furtive at 9:40 PM on September 26, 2010

grouse: He was British and describing the weight of a field gun being hauled on a limber by a pack of burly limeys based out of Portsmouth. It struck me as being an entirely appropriate unit of mass given the circumstances. Kilograms... well that has a whiff of the French about it that would be entirely unbecoming to the proceedings.
posted by Grimgrin at 10:14 PM on September 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

Did the announcer really just refer to the mass of an object in hundredweight?

Yeah I was shocked by that too. Although I realise that a large part of the audience for this is made up by people like my grandparents, and so hundredweight is probably easier for them to understand.
posted by theyexpectresults at 11:02 PM on September 26, 2010

In a hundred years, we'll all go to Earls Court to watch quaint competitions where teams of men dismantle IBMs and rush around with the bits. Victory will not be signalled by firing the ordnance.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 11:58 PM on September 26, 2010

I've done this over an assault course, albeit with a wooden dummy gun rather than the real thing. It is as physically hard and painful as it looks.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:12 AM on September 27, 2010

This is fucking epic.
posted by Fizz at 5:51 AM on September 27, 2010

Turned Phillip Schofield's hair white, it did.

(Jeez he looks young in that clip.)
posted by bright cold day at 1:26 PM on September 27, 2010

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