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Old June 15, 2021, 02:26 PM   #1
DaleA
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U.S. Navy shipboard weapons

Well the compressed air "dynamite guns" the Navy had in the late 1800's pretty much went away after the Spanish American War:
https://www.wearethemighty.com/might...d-air-cannons/
(The USS Vesuvius, launched in 1888, was armed with three fifteen-inch pneumatic guns capable of firing an explosive projectile 1.5 miles (2.4 km), and eventually bombarded Cuba in the Spanish–American War.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamite_gun

And the $800,000 per round Advanced Gun System on the Zumwalt class U.S. Navy destroyers was cancelled around 2017:
https://www.foxnews.com/us/at-800k-a...is-in-question

And now the U.S. Navy has decided NOT to field a rail gun system:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...edgdhp&pc=U531

Lest you think innovation is dead the U.S. Navy is still developing laser weapons so they ARE looking to the future.
https://news.usni.org/2020/05/22/vid...st-at-sea-test

Despite all the innovations (and I am actually glad they are looking into this stuff) it seems gun powder will be with us for the forseeable future. Just for reference it seems the 16 inch guns of the WWII battleships get brought out of retirement on a semi-regular bases, Viet Nam, Gulf War.
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Old June 15, 2021, 02:40 PM   #2
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just remember.....they are telling you what they want you to think.
skunkworks still abound in every corner of military r&d.
there are things out there that no one will ever know about...until its needed.
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Old June 15, 2021, 02:51 PM   #3
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Have to have something for the high chief-to-indian modern US military managers to do.
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Old June 15, 2021, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'll take a dynamite gun. They were very inaccurate though.
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Old June 15, 2021, 03:44 PM   #5
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Dynamite gun sounds like something made by ACME that ultimately blows up a lupine shooter.

I confess to have never heard of pneumatic dynamite guns.
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Old June 15, 2021, 04:49 PM   #6
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This thread and the mention of the battleships got me thinking:

What's the minimum range for a 16-inch gun on a WW2 battlewagon like the Missouri? I'm thinking about the Steven Seagal movie Under Siege. At the end, the terrorists cast off from the Missouri and take off in their submarine. They couldn't have gotten more than a few miles away, but Ryback and the crew open fire on them with one of the main guns, not one of the smaller guns that might be more suitable (in the real world) for shooting at a surfaced submarine at comparatively close range.

It never occurred to me before that the shot that sank the submarine is probably impossible.
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Old June 15, 2021, 09:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
This thread and the mention of the battleships got me thinking:

What's the minimum range for a 16-inch gun on a WW2 battlewagon like the Missouri? I'm thinking about the Steven Seagal movie Under Siege. At the end, the terrorists cast off from the Missouri and take off in their submarine. They couldn't have gotten more than a few miles away, but Ryback and the crew open fire on them with one of the main guns, not one of the smaller guns that might be more suitable (in the real world) for shooting at a surfaced submarine at comparatively close range.

It never occurred to me before that the shot that sank the submarine is probably impossible.
So Wikipedia says up to 24 miles for a projectile weighing 1900 pounds (1 ton basically). Yes I don’t automatically trust Wikipedia but I have visited the USS North Carolina several times and I knew it was 24-26, just couldn’t remember if it was miles or kilometers. Looks like it’s miles. That’s a very long way. I do know that the projectile is chambered and the charge comes in bags of powder. I can’t remember a bags weight but I believe it’s around 60-80 pounds. Anywhere from 3 to (I believe) 8 bags of powder can be used to charge depending on the range the gun is going for.

I could actually see those big guns still being useful as a missile defense system with some type of canister shot. Should give a good bit more range than the sea whiz (phalanx)
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Old June 15, 2021, 10:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
This thread and the mention of the battleships got me thinking:

What's the minimum range for a 16-inch gun on a WW2 battlewagon like the Missouri? I'm thinking about the Steven Seagal movie Under Siege. At the end, the terrorists cast off from the Missouri and take off in their submarine. They couldn't have gotten more than a few miles away, but Ryback and the crew open fire on them with one of the main guns, not one of the smaller guns that might be more suitable (in the real world) for shooting at a surfaced submarine at comparatively close range.

It never occurred to me before that the shot that sank the submarine is probably impossible.
Probably more than you ever wanted to know about 16" guns.http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php
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Old June 15, 2021, 11:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 5whiskey View Post
So Wikipedia says up to 24 miles for a projectile weighing 1900 pounds (1 ton basically). Yes I don’t automatically trust Wikipedia but I have visited the USS North Carolina several times and I knew it was 24-26, just couldn’t remember if it was miles or kilometers. Looks like it’s miles. That’s a very long way. I do know that the projectile is chambered and the charge comes in bags of powder. I can’t remember a bags weight but I believe it’s around 60-80 pounds. Anywhere from 3 to (I believe) 8 bags of powder can be used to charge depending on the range the gun is going for.

I could actually see those big guns still being useful as a missile defense system with some type of canister shot. Should give a good bit more range than the sea whiz (phalanx)
16 inch gun way way too unwieldy to be used for missile defense.

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Old June 16, 2021, 12:30 AM   #10
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Probably more than you ever wanted to know about 16" guns.http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php
I read that. It gives maximum range, but not minimum.
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Old June 16, 2021, 05:12 AM   #11
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What's the minimum range for a 16-inch gun on a WW2 battlewagon like the Missouri?
The barrels will only go so low, so there is a minimum range. I don't recall the details, but during a naval battle in the Pacific 2-3 US destroyers attacked a group of 2-3 Japanese battleships. They were protecting a convoy of troops on their way to an invasion. It was a suicide mission but the destroyers were trying to distract the battleships long enough for the troop ships to get away.

The Japanese mistook the destroyers for battleships and originally thought they were much farther away than they were because of the small ships. Their initial shots went long. By the time they realized their error the destroyers were so close the Japanese guns wouldn't lower enough to get hits. The destroyers used torpedoes to sink one battleship. The others left fearing there were other US ships in the area. IIRC at least one of the US destroyers was sunk.

I'm a little fuzzy on details and may have mis-remembered some things so I won't be offended if someone corrects any errors or adds details I left out. Interesting story from WW-2 regardless.
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Old June 16, 2021, 07:41 AM   #12
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The barrels will only go so low, so there is a minimum range.
They can depress lower if the Skipper floods the approaching side anti-torpedo blister
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Old June 16, 2021, 08:00 AM   #13
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The barrels will only go so low, so there is a minimum range. I don't recall the details, but during a naval battle in the Pacific 2-3 US destroyers attacked a group of 2-3 Japanese battleships. They were protecting a convoy of troops on their way to an invasion. It was a suicide mission but the destroyers were trying to distract the battleships long enough for the troop ships to get away.

The Japanese mistook the destroyers for battleships and originally thought they were much farther away than they were because of the small ships. Their initial shots went long. By the time they realized their error the destroyers were so close the Japanese guns wouldn't lower enough to get hits. The destroyers used torpedoes to sink one battleship. The others left fearing there were other US ships in the area. IIRC at least one of the US destroyers was sunk.

I'm a little fuzzy on details and may have mis-remembered some things so I won't be offended if someone corrects any errors or adds details I left out. Interesting story from WW-2 regardless.
Your memory is just fine. That is the Battle off Samar. The battle is documented well in the book The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
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Old June 16, 2021, 09:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jmr40
The barrels will only go so low, so there is a minimum range.
That's exactly my point. And I haven't been able to find anything to tell me what the minimum range is.
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Old June 16, 2021, 09:36 AM   #15
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_off_Samar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Johnston_(DD-557)

The found the Johnston in March of this year.
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Old June 16, 2021, 12:36 PM   #16
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One comment at this site: https://www.quora.com/How-close-coul...lliam-D-Porter

indicates that Iowa class can depress main guns to to -5 degrees and possibly hit a sea-level target at 50 meters.
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Old June 16, 2021, 01:04 PM   #17
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http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php

-2 degrees is the Iowa class main battery limit

Last edited by Bart B.; June 16, 2021 at 01:11 PM.
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Old June 16, 2021, 01:55 PM   #18
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50 meters sound waay to close, but I'm not really well versed in ultra short range battleship main battery gunnery.

The battle off Samar isn't the only example, there was also a "knife fight in the dark" a couple years earlier off Guadalcanal where US destroyers & cruisers and the Japanese force of battleships & destroyers/cruisers "interpenetrated" each other's formations.

US destroyers got to within small arms range and the Japanese battleship main guns were not able to depress enough to bear on them, until the range opened up as the ships separated.

Battleship main guns and cruiser main guns were used several times as AA weapons during WWII, but not in the usual sense. They were used against torpedo planes, and they didn't aim at the planes. They aimed at the water!

Hitting a tiny fast moving thing like an airplane with an 8", 14" or 16" gun would be a fluke, and not something to rely on.

Hitting the ocean ahead of a low flying plane raises a LARGE "waterspout" which could knock down a plane. I've seen no records that specifically credit that with downing a plane, but I know that the sailors on both side did it, while everything else was also shooting at the attacking planes, and the records just say "shot down" rarely mentioning which gun or tactic did it.

The idea of using a battleship main gun with cannister shot for AA/Missile defense simply doesn't work. Cannister lacks the needed range, and while you could make "flak shells" for the main gun, the slow firing rate cancels any range advantage (and bursting charge radius) you get over smaller bore guns.

knocking down airplanes in the days of pre-radar guided munitions means you need to fill a volume of airspace with projectiles/fragments) and multiple smaller, lighter faster firing guns do that better than a few big slow firing ones.
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Old June 16, 2021, 04:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bart B. View Post
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php

-2 degrees is the Iowa class main battery limit
One might say the muzzle blast if directly downrange could be an effective weapon at that range.

How high the bore is above sea level is another factor I'm sure. Older battleships were smaller. Pitch and role and shot timing.
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Old June 16, 2021, 06:00 PM   #20
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Effective against what is the question. A nearby surface vessel? Sure. A close by shore target? Yup. A ballistic or even conventional missile? Not even close...

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