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Published on Dec 23, 2007
The 1½ Pr C.O.W. gun (so-called because it was developed by the Coventry Ordnance Works) was distinctive in that the recoil spring was wrapped around the barrel in the interest of compactness. Ammunition was fed to the gun via a five-round clip, meaning that only a short burst could be fired before reloading (the cyclic rate of fire was 100-120 rpm). The C.O.W. gun was tried in various installations, especially in large flying boats in which the gun was intended primarily for anti-submarine work. The twin-engined Armstrong Whitworth Sinaia, the Short Cromarty and the experimental Vickers Valentia, all made in 1921, had provision for one in the nose. In the late 1920s the Blackburn Iris and Perth, similar three-engined biplanes built in small numbers, were also available with a C.O.W. gun in their bow position instead of the usual Lewis, and in 1932 the Short Sarafand had a similar installation.