Biggest Gun You have ever seen? (Size-wise)


February 12, 2005, 07:26 PM
What the title says.

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February 12, 2005, 07:42 PM
Does a self propelled 175 mm gun count?

February 12, 2005, 08:45 PM
Six inch naval gun. That's six inches in diameter.
I had to photograph a test years ago, when a projectile from it was being tested.
You stood in a concrete bunker 50 yards away, with it pointed away from you, and you had to hold the steel door shut or the blast would kick it open!
Now, that's muzzle blast!
But aside from it ... um ... a four-shot revolver with a "cloverleaf" type cylinder chambered for the 40mm anti-personnel grenade. Had a six inch barrel, laser sights, fit in a big ol' holster and made of stainless steel with tasteful engraving. Special Ops carries it.
Ha! Gotcha! Made the whole thing up! Mannnnn .. you should see how many guys with Magnumitis are drooling right now! :evil:

February 12, 2005, 08:52 PM
Biggest gun I remember ever seeing was the S&W 500.

But this pocket gun comes pretty close.

Double shot .45-70 derringer. :eek:

February 12, 2005, 09:11 PM
A little large for CCW & gunleather not available at this time! :evil: :D

Biggest Gun (


Zach S
February 12, 2005, 09:17 PM
Barrett M82A1.

//edit: Just realized I'm in the handgun section, in which case the biggest would be the S&W 500.

happy old sailor
February 12, 2005, 09:41 PM
a 4 guage elephant rifle an older man had picked up in Africa. muzzleloader it was. i made the mistake one day, in the break room, saying that i would shoot anything with a trigger on it. he said he had one he wanted to see me shoot. i gave a little shrug and said for him to bring it out. he did. man, that was a big rifle. must have weighed thirty pounds. down at the hundred yard range, he proceeded to load it. he had made a powder measure from a ten guage brass shotgun shell. the first scoop made my eyes big, then he poured in another one. i asked if that was a standard load, he said yes. then he patched it and dropped a one inch, quarter pound, lead ball down the bore, capped it and handed it over. i gulped and took it. a half dozen guys had come down the hill to see me put on my butt, so i ended up shooting that monster five times, which was not nearly as bad as i had expected. all in all, it was very interesting, and taught me to consider my words before yapping. the absolute biggest was a sixteen inch rifle, yes rifle, on a battleship. some guys were having a homemade photo op and they were backing down the bore with their heads sticking out. suspect the folks at home were set to exclaiming. you cant believe those things when you look in that hole. OMG is not apt. thus my little story on big guns

February 12, 2005, 10:40 PM
The Gustav's 800mm bore accepted two giant projectiles: a 10,584-pound high-explosive shell and a 16,540-pound concrete-piercing shell. :eek:

February 12, 2005, 10:49 PM
16" main battery on the uss iowa when it was in port everglades. brings new meaning to " go ahead, make my day."

February 12, 2005, 10:50 PM
In a gun shop nearby the whole wall is a gun rack .As you glance along the wall one one gun is very obvious - a 4 guage double . It's MUCH bigger than anything else !

February 12, 2005, 11:01 PM
An old coastal defense cannon on an island in the East Carolines in the Pacific.
The Japanese controlled the island during WWII and put up a cannon to cover the harbor.
Somewhere my dad has a slide of my brother and I sitting about halfway out on the barrel.
There's nothing under us but air, and some kunai grass a long way down. For some reason that slide always made my late mother nervous.
We thought it was great. Sort of typical of hiking trips with dad.

February 12, 2005, 11:05 PM
The 16"/50s on the USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin, and the 16"/45s on the USS Alabama.

February 12, 2005, 11:22 PM
Biggest handgun ==> Deserted Beagle

Biggest gun ==> 16", battleship Massachusetts

February 12, 2005, 11:45 PM
S&W 500. Awfully big handcannon I thought. Hate getting beat up just to shoot it :eek:

February 12, 2005, 11:59 PM
14"/45cal main rifles on the TEXAS?

Livin in Texas

February 13, 2005, 12:02 AM
Have to be a Barrett, although the Browning .30 is right up there too.

February 13, 2005, 12:07 AM
Biggest gun I ever served was a naval 5"/38 caliber.

February 13, 2005, 12:12 AM
The 16" TC Contender I used to own in .45-70.

February 13, 2005, 12:28 AM
I have shot a Barret 50 BMG. Biggest one that I have fired is a 155 mm howitzer. :) I was normally the ammo cpl, but got to fire it during "familiarization".

Lots of fun.


Taurus 66
February 13, 2005, 12:32 AM
USS Iowa. I was one of a few EMs selected to repair the electrical to the blown turret. Getting up close for the first time, those guns are very impressive! They made me look and feel tiny.

Flying V
February 13, 2005, 12:41 AM
Biggest handgun? My 8 3/8" Smith .500
Biggest rifle? A H&H .700 Nitro Express - fully engraved with a $250,000 price tag, in a gun store specializing in high-end items.
The same store had a matched pair of 4 and 8 gauge double shotguns at the same time as the .700.
Biggest artillery (in terminal effect, not bore diameter): "Atomic Annie", the 280mm atomic cannon at Ft. Sill, OK.

February 13, 2005, 01:29 AM
8" Naval Cannon. They used to fire the thing as a salute when the Admiral came on base. One day the idiots parked the flatbed between the barracks and BOOM! ALL the windows on both sides of the street blew in. I really enjoyed that.

4v50 Gary
February 13, 2005, 01:43 AM
16" guns on the battleships New Jersey, Iowa & Missouri (never saw the Wisconsin). There have been bigger bores, and even bigger guns (18" on Yamato class), but never better guns. One shot, one block. Urban renewal, Navy style. :)

Oh, we're talking small arms. That would be the .454 Casull. Never did see a 45-70 revolver. In terms of rifle, it would be a McMillan 50 cal. In terms of portable small arms, how about the 13mm Mauser anti-tank rifle or the 20 mm Lahti anti-tank rifle?

February 13, 2005, 01:46 AM
Atomic Annie out at Fort Sill OK, while going to FO/Scout School. 280mm or about 11in

Chuck Dye
February 13, 2005, 02:07 AM
The sixteen inchers on the USS New Jersey. The officer conducting the tour described his job as "like dropping Volkswagens into tennis courts from over the horizon."

February 13, 2005, 02:28 AM
FunGunner wins. Though I have to say that thing's about as smart as firing my Barrett M82A1 inside a yugo withought ear plugs! :)

February 13, 2005, 02:43 AM
The guns on the Missouri last year while in Hawaii. I've seen a single-shot Barret, and both a .50 Eagle and the S&W .500. Big guns all around.

February 13, 2005, 05:48 AM
my dad could say much better than me.
the biggest i ever saw is only whatever is on the Intrepid carrier.
my dad has a shell (empty) and bullet from a 20 mm , that is nice.

but he has seen stuff comparable to funngunner's, alas they were detonated , not shot. (i think).

**fungunner is that an actual nuke?

the reason i posted is my dad had told me one trip to Utah, they were blowing off old ammo, (or possibly post stress-tested) , and it produced mushroom clouds, conventional bombs/shells , but Big. is that what that is or is it a tactical nuke craziness gun?
OMG - loooked it up, sure is a nuke. BOY that is a major artillery piece!

February 13, 2005, 07:11 AM
Yes, it's a nuke. The US spent lots of money to make a big gun to shoot nuclear projectiles. The tested it, and decided it wasn't worth fielding, last I heard. It didn't make it into operational use. Probably becuase about that time we managed to fit one in a 203mm gun, and so all the eight inch howitzers(and curretly the 155s too, AFAIK) are nuclear capable.

February 13, 2005, 08:37 AM
Biggest I've ever seen? 16"/50 cannon on the Iowa-class battleships.

Biggest I've ever fired? G6 155mm./45 cannon in South Africa - with the new 155mm./52 version, range is 50km./31mi. :D

(More information on the G6 here ( in PDF format, if you're interested.)

February 13, 2005, 10:25 AM
The largest one I've seen is that railway gun GaryP posted, but only in pictures. The largest one I've come into contact with is the 16 inchers aboard the Missouri.

February 13, 2005, 10:52 AM
back in the late 80's a gun designer his name was Gerald Bull, he designed a super gun for sadam called Project Babylon. The parts were discovered and stoped before the peice was complete. he as killed, not sure by who before the first gulf war. it was a bore of 1000mm 40 meters long and a 1000 km range.

February 13, 2005, 10:59 AM
The largest gun I have ever seen was the little SIG .380 that the maroon next to me in the firing line pointed at me and said: "It didn't fire, I think it jammed."

The entire world could have fit in the muzzle of that thing...Big, I tell ya, big.

February 13, 2005, 11:59 AM
There was a nuclear projectile (Mark 23) developed for the 16-inch guns of the Iowa-class BBs. I believe it had a yield in the kiloton range.

February 13, 2005, 01:02 PM
Well, if you're counting pictures, I've seen a big rifle on SecurityArms.

I think it was the McBros .95 hunting rifle. What in the world do you hunt with that? Have I missed something, and not found out Jurassic Park was really a documentary?

Black Snowman
February 13, 2005, 01:10 PM
Biggest I've seen, setting out to sea when visiting Florida, was an Iowa class battleship's 16"/50 cannon. Biggest non-crew served small arm I've handled would be a Barret Mod 82 at a gun show that to this day I regret not being able to buy. It was slightly used and they were asking $3000 w/ 2 mags, case, all the accessories, and the military issue scope. :(

February 13, 2005, 01:27 PM
Appropriately enough, the 16-inchers (at least the ones on the North Carolina) are .45's!

Fred Fuller
February 13, 2005, 02:49 PM
The nine sixteen inch guns on the _North Carolina_ are it for me too. She's really the most accessible of the WW2 battlewagons on display IIRC, though the Iowa class ships are newer. Every time I've been on board there was a crewmember or two around who was happy to share some war stories. They used to do an audio presentation in the evenings during the summer, they had stopped at one time and I don't see from the site they ever started again. If you're ever in Wilmington, NC, she is definitely worth a visit- but if you like ships, allow for half a day or more to see her.


Uh oh... :evil:

February 13, 2005, 02:59 PM
That show was always a hoot. Sad they stopped - any idea why?

Eskimo Jim
February 13, 2005, 03:06 PM
Biggest gun that I have seen are the deck guns on the USS Massachusetts in Fall River, MA. I'm not sure what class "Mamie" falls into but her guns are huge. "Mamie" is the ship's nickname.


February 13, 2005, 06:15 PM
not the biggest I've seen, but the biggest I've shot

Dave Markowitz
February 13, 2005, 08:05 PM
The largest gun I've seen in person is Anzio Annie, the WW2 German 280mm canon that made life miserable for Allied troops on the Anzio beach head. Here's a pic I found online:

More info at .

It's currently at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds Ordnance Museum in Maryland.

February 13, 2005, 08:28 PM
1st place tie: USS New Jersey, USS Iowa, USS Missouri
2nd place tie: USS Massachusetts, USS North Carolina
3rd place: 15" Guns in front of Imperial War Museum - London
4rd place: USS Texas

Also Annie at Aberdeen Proving Ground and a 16" gun.

February 13, 2005, 08:40 PM
SSN-698 Fast Attach Submarine w/ 4 tubes

Shooting your choice:

Mark 48 Torpedo

Harpoon Cruise Missile

Tomahawk Cruise Missile

SubRoc Nuclear Cruise Missile

And finally, shot pattern of the Mk.48

February 13, 2005, 09:02 PM
Like many others: the 16 inch main battery on U.S.S. Iowa - I served my Midshipman cruise on Iowa in 1957. When 3 or more guns fired, the whole ship rocked. We used to say we were throwing a cadillac over the side with each shot, because each shell cost about that much.

Before the days of electronic computations, the firing solution was done on a manual analog computer the size of a small desk. It had dial-in knobs all over it's 5 workable sides for inputting course, speed, wind, range, etc. variables, & a world of cams and gears inside to output azimuth, elevation, & time of firing order. What a kluge..... but it worked.

February 13, 2005, 09:11 PM
Ft Riley also has an atomic cannon on display. It's up on a hill beside I70. Very much worth walking up to take a gander.
If you are passing through Houston, by all means stop & see the battleship Texas. The main guns are 'only' 14 inchers. You can walk through many parts of the ship both above & below decks. It's a remarkable thing!

February 13, 2005, 11:18 PM
16" USS Iowa

February 13, 2005, 11:31 PM
not sure of the veracity of the rumor (ie the timing of the tests to see if the gun was viable versusthe korean war) but at least One gun is rumored to have been sent to korea to encourage peace talks.

February 14, 2005, 12:49 AM
Was privledged to see the New Jersey and during a fire mission no less. Guess the biggest thing I ever fired from hand or shoulder was the 3.5" rocket launcher; that's the one that replaced the old bazooka.

February 14, 2005, 10:59 AM
Can't say I've seen this or even vouch for its veracity, but:

A .600NE revolver. Yikes!

February 14, 2005, 11:12 AM
Don't remember the size, but the guns on the "Yorktown" docked in Charleston, SC are pretty darn big.

I have shot a 10-ga shotgun, .54 muzzleloader rifle, and a .458WinMag. The .458 was [ahem] a handfull.

Harry Paget Flashman
February 15, 2005, 10:00 PM
Back in 1973 when I was stationed in San Francisco the owner of the Old West Gun Room in El Cerritos had a rifle hanging on the wall behind the counter that he called the "Earginsplittinloudenboomer". He said it was a military .50 caliber necked down to .22. He never let anybody handle it and I never saw the breach open and I don't know to this day if he was just pulling my leg. It was, though, a great conversation piece.

Biggest guns I ever fired were 5"/38, 5"/54 and 6"/47. Tossed a few Tomahawks at Baghdad in 1991 but that doesn't qualify.

February 16, 2005, 02:56 AM
The biggest guns I have ever seen were on the USS Alabama. Standing on that deck was unreal! 16 inchers

All I could think was...If some of those morons attacking us could stand on this ship's deck, which was in service 50 years ago, they wouldn't even dream of screwing with the United States. I think we need to send one of those ships over there and give tours to show these idiots what they are dealing with minus fifty years of technology advancements.

February 16, 2005, 08:02 AM
Does the Civil War era mortar down at the CT capitol building count?

I think it's an 8 incher.


February 16, 2005, 05:07 PM
Fired a 4.2 " mortar and the old 105mm howitzer. (Not bad for a paper pusher). Got to sit on the weather deck of small ship while it fired the 76/62 Otomalara(?) - a 3" anti-air/surface cannon firing 60 rounds a minute. Also got to watch 105mm M60 tank firing the night course. Do beer-can mortars count??

February 17, 2005, 04:18 AM
Biggest handgun: S&W 500 (on tuesday, rentgun :) )
Biggest gun been fired AT: 130mm coastal cannon. I was steering a small boat (13 meters long) as a target and they were supposed to shoot 100 meters in front of me. Well somebody didn't remember to calculate that while the projectile is flying I'll be moving :what: Nice 5 shot group landed about 60-70 meters directly in front of the boat. Oh yeah, the ~90 meter high water statues were cool :D

One of the cannons that fired at me Link (

February 17, 2005, 05:18 AM
Seen in person - this one: 280mm atomic cannon (at the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, MD).

OK - 280mm works out to be about 11" so technically the 16 inchers I saw on the USS Massachusetts in Fall River are bigger, but this thing in impressive!

February 17, 2005, 05:38 AM
There is (or used to be) an old "two man rifle" on display at the "Ye' Old Curiosity Shoppe" on the Seattle waterfront (if your ever in town it's worth a visit just for the mummy). The idea is that one poor fellow would crouch down to support the front end of the rifle while the luckier of the two would fire the aft portion. It was close to 6 feet long. I think it was really an old "punt" gun.

February 17, 2005, 05:09 PM
"This is my rifle, this is my gun...." That would be a canon.

Nando Aqui
February 18, 2005, 05:37 PM
(Similar to Ric's)

Biggest up close and personal: M110A2 Self-propelled 8" Howitzer
Max speed = 34 mph; Projectile Range = 19 miles; Rate of fire = 2 RPM

During Desert Storm, the USMC used these M110A2 for the last time - that's what me son did back then. Years later, I had a chance to get up close to one of these manificent weapons, but I have seen them fire only in videos.


February 22, 2005, 02:37 PM
Some linear accelerator (?) that ran under the freeway somewhere in Northern California.

I but that'll make a nice one :D

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