Odd little find from Topsham's Quay Antiques Centre yesterday;
This is a U.S.Navy aircraft reflector gun sight, Mark 7, dating from the late '40s, and clearly from a wreck.
The sight is fixed in place in front of the pilot, in his eye-line, and the sighting reticule is projected up through the sight onto the angled glass, giving him a 'heads up' display. The third photo shows the projected sight picture as it would appear to the pilot, which would be superimposed over the view forward from his cockpit.
This particular model of gunsight is off a P2V Neptune anti-submarine aircraft, developed during the war but not put into service until just after the war had finished. You can tell because, uniquely, the sight was fixed 'upside-down' in the Neptune, suspended from the cockpit roof, and the deflection dials and projected reticule image are correspondingly inverted.
As an anti-shipping aircraft, the sight is set up for attacking targets on the surface, the aiming reticule being graduated for distance to take account of the ballistic trajectories at different ranges. There's no lateral adjustment for 'lead', the deliberate 'aiming off' necessary when shooting at something crossing your path at speed (such as another aeroplane).
All I need now is a Browning M3 .50 cal machine gun to go with the sight. Oh, wait; it just so happens that I HAVE one.....
#gunsight #ww2 #usnavy #browning50cal #p2v #neptune #p2vneptune #myaviationartifacts