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Thread: 16 inch guns as defensive weapons

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    2000 meters was danger close for 16in
    Old Fart Disease strikes again!

    But then again the class was taught by Marine Officers and NOT Marine Gunnys!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  2. #32
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    But then again the class was taught by Marine Officers and NOT Marine Gunnys!
    Well theres your problem
    Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    Little Creek?
    Infantry Officer Basic Course....all US Army Infantry officers were trained to be our own fire support officer. Not that we could be as competent but more to know weapon system capabilities so we could plan fire effects into our scheme of maneuver. Hence why we had amphibious operations taught by Marines....and our practical exercises included examples of a Republic of Korea Marine Corps assualt as well as a US Army assault in the Phillipines.

    We always deferred to the field artillery officers and NCOs to do the fire planning and execution but we at least understood when they said things like FSCL, converged sheaf, FASCAM planning factors, etc.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Ok so in the hollywood movies, when you see bodies being propelled by the blast and somehow the hero miraculously get up and brush off the dirt off his shoulders and walk away, it won't happen in real life then?

    What would a blast do to a human body at the edge of its blast zone?
    If you're close enough to be tossed, you're close enough to be shredded by the shrapnel and that is after the over pressure squashed you to a pancake.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    I have a question for you. When you are firing the 5 inch gun on your ship is there a minimum safety zone where no humans are allowed to be in when those guns are fired? If you were in that zone, what would happen to your body if your body were to face the full brunt of the force emanating from firing the gun?
    Though your question is addressed to desertwo, I can offer some answer.

    GET WELL BEHIND THE GUN.

    My first experience was trying to take a movie shot of the muzzle blast of a 76mm gun on an M-41A1 tank. I was squatting directly off to the side zeroed in on the blast deflector (I said deflector, it is not a muzzle brake). I was about 20 feet away. The gun fired and I wound up on my back.

    As for Navy 5"/38's, I have been behind lots of them on two Battleships during their gunnery trials. Except for once. The New Jersey was on gunnery trials to shoot at sleeves towed by an airplane on a 25,000 foot long wire. The first pass was from starboard and Mt. 21 CIWS shredded the target and took out 2,500 feet of wire as well. I have stood directly under a CIWS while firing (checking surrounding bulwarks and non-armored decks for vibration) and it's not too bad at all if your hearing aids are turned off and are wearing ear "muffs" as well. After the pilot went back to North Island for a new reel of wire and a sleeve, he made a pass from the port side. But he was a little ahead of the ship and we decided to try out the 5"/38's first with VT non-frag. I stood at the railing on the port side of 05 level. The ship's Gunnery Officer "Jaws" (he eats GM's for snacks) was on the stbd side. A civilian rep from General Dynamics (who built the Gatlings) was about in the middle of the deck.

    Oh how pitiful those port side gun crews were. BANG (wait a few seconds). BANG (wait a few seconds). BANG (wait a few seconds). BANG (wait a few seconds). BANG (wait a few seconds). By that time the sleeve was about ready to pass over the ship's bow. I'm watching Mt 52 still traversing. It had fired it's left gun some time ago and about the time I could just see the start of the rifling in the right gun (closest inboard) BANG. Zipped that 5-incher just a few feet from my nose.

    The rep from General Dynamics had just taken off his ear protecotors (I still had mine on, thank goodness) and he buckled over and fell to his knees cupping his hands over his ears and groaning in pain.

    Well, not a single hit from the port side. I don't think even a near miss as there was never a single puff of smoke from those common target rounds. But when the tow plane came around on the stbd side, remember, Mt 55 is manned by the Marines. COMPETITION TIME.

    BANG, BANG, KABANG, KABANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, KABANG, BANG, KABANG, KABANG.

    12 rounds piercing the air and 5 hits. I stomped my foot and said, "Now THAT sounds like a BATTLESHIP". The plane had to return to North Island for a new sleeve before testing the CIWs guns again. The Gunnery Officer called all Mount Captains up to the 05 level and start demonstrating why he had that certain nickname. I just elbowed the General Dynamics rep and said, "I think it's time to get a cup of coffee".

    Also standing BEHIND a 5"/38 isn't too cool either. On another gunnery trial on the Missouri, the muzzle blast (technically titled "overpressure") of Mt 54 was echoing off the decks and life raft racks and opening up deck lockers on 03 level on centerline. I had to step over to the lockers after about every four rounds and try to hammer the dogs back down to keep it closed. Therefore my INSURV report recommended putting common crossbolt latches in as you would on your own door at home.

    Usually I've always been on the "outgoing mail" end of artillery. Only once was I reasonably close to a 76mm HE round of "Friendly Fire". The tank gun was loaded but the gunner (or commander who both have elevation controls) hadn't raised the tube (barrel) yet for sighting in. Now there are two "triggers" in a Walker and somebody hit one too soon and the round hit the dirt only about 200 to 250 feet in front of us. The overpressure of the HE explosive at that range with that "small" of a round could be felt but was not harmfull. A couple of guys needed new skivvies of course.

    The closest we ever came to in real danger during "peace time" training was at Fort Irwin in the Mojave desert (I think it's actually a copy of Death Valley but at a slightly higher elevation). We were bivouaced in an impact area (of all places to set up camp among artillery craters). One guy was wandering around and found a souvenir. Here he walks up carrying a LIVE 90mm HE round that had been a miss-fire and placed in a crater to be exploded later. He started poking his "buddies" with the nose fuse saying, "Hey, look what I found." Two sergeants immediately confronted him. The sarge in front calmly ordered, "Gently hand over that round to me." Ding-a-ling pulls back and says, "NO. I found it and just because you're a non-com doesn't mean you can have it." (or something like that). Anyways, the two "non-coms" met each other's eyes for about 1 second. The one to the left of the "walking hazardous material" delivered a perfect right cross dislocating his jaw while the one in front grabbed that 90mm piece of artillery. It was then placed in another crater with little red flags all around the rim and a guard detail was set up.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    I have a question for you. When you are firing the 5 inch gun on your ship is there a minimum safety zone where no humans are allowed to be in when those guns are fired? If you were in that zone, what would happen to your body if your body were to face the full brunt of the force emanating from firing the gun?
    Weeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, Rusty provided a pretty complete answer, but I'll provide a few words based on my experience. Let's look at the photograph of a modeling kit for a US Knox-class frigate. I doctored it up with some information so that you can see relative distances between the MK42 5"(127mm)/54 main gun, and the bridge wing where the XO and or CO usually kick back in their bridge wing chairs to enjoy the show (in that class in actual combat, the CO would be in CIC, and the XO on the bridge). I actually took the time to look up the prints on this thing and I calculate the mean distance from the proximate location of the gun's breech (can't really see it because it is in the enclosed gun house, but I know about where it is) to the "height of eye" of someone my size standing on either bridge wing is about 70 feet. I wore either external sound suppressors or earplugs. Either work just fine. The only issue I ever had with the 5" gun is that rather than a nice, throaty "crump" that one might hear from a lot of artillery pieces, you get a really nasty "crack," like a .30-06, only a hell of a lot bigger. It kind of sets your teeth on edge.



    As a general precaution, the fo'c'sle is always secured during operation of either the gun or the ASROC/Harpoon launcher aft of it. A couple of things to keep in mind are that: a) in that model 5" gun, the gun house is manned, and; b) prior to and during WWII similar guns were operated by crews in open gun tubs. So, I guess what I'm saying is that unless one has a real need to demonstrate their degree of machismo, anywhere aft of the breech (but not directly in the length of travel of the recoiling gun; that could hurt . . . a lot) is safe.

    I can hear the next question before it's even asked. Yes, there is a danger circle painted on the deck, but it's not there so much to protect stupid people from the muzzle blast, although that certainly doesn't hurt. No, it's really there to keep stupid people from stepping into a 5" gun tube being trained onto the target at Warp Factor 8. That's a confrontation that the tube and training mechanism will win every time.

  7. #37
    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if the danger area really is dangerous. Finally had one guy clipped in the face by the sea sparrow launcher. Got a bloody nose, took one look at the blood and he fainted on the spot. Curious to know what his reaction would have been if it had been a shoot.

  8. #38
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Lets just say, Strong enough to throw a Rear Admiral to the deck from his Starboard side observation chair and give him permanent eye damage. One crack of the 5"/38 twins (Mt 51) on the Starboard side from approximately 25 feet away. There are several entries of chest & nasal damage as well as flash burns from those working around them.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 22 Oct 14, at 01:19.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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