Picture the scene: three museum professionals with years' of experience behind them, looking like smartly-dressed reincarnations of Fred Dibnah, hands on hips wondering why the damned thing wasn't working.
The "damned thing" in question was a VIckers gun we were getting ready for Go Ballistic at the weekend.
We'd done everything right, loaded the ammunition into the belt right, put it together right, we could even load a round into the chamber. Could we get it to feed? Could we hell.
Royal Marines have used dozens of different types of firearms over the years – from black powder muzzle loaders through to fully automatic weapons of today – and that’s not including the many types of Artillery pieces they have used on Sea and Land as well. The Fort Cumberland Guard help give a flavour of the black powder era with the demonstrations they perform at the Museum from time to time.
If you'd like to see weapons demonstrations, the Royal Marines Museum is running an event on Sunday 14th August 'Go Ballistic' where you can see weapons demonstrations and much more.
A day of explosive science based fun, bangs and noise! Take part in making rockets, hydrogen cannons and firing a catapult. Watch the Cadet Field Gun and take part in a Battleships game. See live demos of Royal Marines weapons and a tennis ball mortar.