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  1. #1
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    Ask An Expert- Battleships

    This is a thread for members to ask specific questions of the experts who will then reply if the question is in their specialty. Non-expert members may not answer, I will delete them.

    Opsec is in effect- don't ask for classified information or trade secrets.

    Follow on questions may not be rebuttals of the answer provided, but you may ask for clarification.

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    Field- Gunnery

    Question- How much explosive filler did the average 16" HE round actually have?
    Last edited by zraver; 04 Jan 11, at 01:53.

  2. #2
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    According to Bureau of Ordnance drawing number 440559 for a 16" projectile (H.C.) Mk 16 Mod O dated 28 May 1945 the weight of the bursting charge is (I think as the copy is blurry) 158.57 lbs of Explosive "D" with a density of 1.46. The volume for the bursting charge is 2,670.58 cubic inches.

    The projectile body alone is 1,571.50 lbs. Weights of rotating band, base plug, container & nose, adapter, container charge, base fuze with tracer, time fuze, auxiliary detonating fuze and gaskets brings the total weight of the projectile up to 1,900.00 lbs.

    I have other BUORD drawings of a few other projectiles as well but the question is not asking me to dig them ALL out (thank goodness).
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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Mr.L. is spot on. I have it as 153lbs of High Explosive for the HC round. This may have changed in the late 1980's or early 1990 as the USN was still working on shells that would be incorporated into the BB's inventory had they stayed in service longer.

    This is also why the HC (HC High Capacity) OR "shore bombardment" round blew the huge craters in the ground measuring approximately 20 feet deep x 50 feet in dia and would also defoliate the trees such as in the Vietnam era.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 04 Jan 11, at 17:39.
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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    I wonder what kind of explosive would have been used in a modern version of the projo. Explosive D is pretty old stuff. My guess would be a balenced blend of modern HE, fuels and oxidizers in a more advanced casing.

    I was looking into it and found this interesting little side bar article on Explosive D.
    CBC News - Nfld. & Labrador - Beachcombing Labrador family carries home wartime explosive
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  5. #5
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    I wonder what kind of explosive would have been used in a modern version of the projo. Explosive D is pretty old stuff. My guess would be a balenced blend of modern HE, fuels and oxidizers in a more advanced casing.
    Explosive "D" is considered to be the safest to use in Artillery shells as it is not overly sensitive to the shock of enertia as it goes from 0 to 1700 miles per hour in only 66'-8" feet.
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  6. #6
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    Explosive "D" is considered to be the safest to use in Artillery shells as it is not overly sensitive to the shock of enertia as it goes from 0 to 1700 miles per hour in only 66'-8" feet.
    That is quite an accomplishment for an explosive, I suppose "if it isn't broke - don't fix it" applies here.
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