Do batttleship guns still use black powder?


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rajb123
May 24, 2012, 09:37 AM
...I guess most of our battle ships in the USA have been taken out of service since they are volnerable to attacks from subs but a few are still around; right?

I believe they used to fire their guns using black powder propellant. Is this true today or is a smokless alternative used?

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4v50 Gary
May 24, 2012, 09:50 AM
Without referencing Norman Friedman's book on Naval Firepower, smokeless powder was used starting in the late 1800s. The USS Maine blew up because it's powder deteriorated and became volatile. At the most, black powder would be limited to primers for the big guns.

junkman_01
May 24, 2012, 09:50 AM
At present the US Navy has no battleships in active service. Big naval guns firing bagged powder and projectile do use duplex loads to get things going. Larger naval guns retained bag charges in guns of 8in or above - for reasons including the handling of +200lb projectiles and +50lb charges.

Jim, West PA
May 24, 2012, 09:56 AM
Now that is a real cool question !!
I can't answer it but i sure know that it is one beautifull sight to see them belch that yeller fire and all that smoke when they go off.

Here's a link to a lot of info on these guns but i can't find where they specificaly name the propellent.

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.htm

CraigC
May 24, 2012, 10:05 AM
Yep, unfortunately all our battleships have been retired. Although I think there are two or three that are still in good enough condition to be refitted. Which is what the Marine Corps wants. I also think the US was the last to decommission its battleships. The big guns have given way to missiles and fighters. Which is a shame. Maybe some of those trillions Obama has wasted on other things would've been better spent refitting our battleships???

rajb123
May 24, 2012, 02:40 PM
So Gary:

The WW2 TV and movie shots with firing guns from the battleships were stoked with smokeless powder?

For smokeless propellant they sure did smoke em?

I thought I read somewhere that the battleship guns were breach loaded first with the projectile followed by bags of powder that weighed a couple hundred pounds. Apparently, the big pill went up to 20 miles or so.....

WOW!

junkman_01
May 24, 2012, 02:46 PM
You did read it somewhere....in post #3.

Shultzhaus
May 24, 2012, 03:25 PM
I believe they use 90Lb. sacks of stuff called cordite. Loads were adjusted according to the projectile used. General purpose shells were 1900 Lbs., armour piercing were 2700 Lbs. (in 16" guns). The navy called them naval rifles, not artillery. Maybe we have some retired navy chief on this forum that can edit me and set things straight.

4v50 Gary
May 24, 2012, 03:42 PM
Cordite and other nitro-cellulose powders were used during both World Wars. The trouble is they produced both smoke and flash (thanks to the huge volume of powder involved). The Imperial Japanese Navy did something that reduced their flash signature immensely and this gave them an edge in night fighting. In fact, the Japanese would initiate their night attacks with long lance torpedoes and would only fire their guns after the torpedoes hit our ships.

Back on topic, smokeless was adapted about 1889 by the Royal Navy. As chemistry was an imperfect science, the nitrogen would sweat out, rendering it highly volatile. Hence several ships were lost to non-combat related magazine explosions. For more reading see Appendix A of Norman Freidman's book, [b]Naval Firepower[/].

CraigC
May 24, 2012, 05:31 PM
Last I remember hearing the range was more like 65miles.

Marlin 45 carbine
May 24, 2012, 05:54 PM
cordite is the 'powder' used. it has a tubular shape as a long 'stick powder'. BP is used as the igniter. accuracy depends on conditions such as weather, range, proficiency of spotter, waves and other factors. ideal conditions a football field at 30 ms is possible but generally around 20 ms is effective range but max range is much further than that.

Driftwood Johnson
May 24, 2012, 06:44 PM
Howdy

Calling it a duplex load is a bit of a stretch, but that is the general idea.

Many large caliber cannons use what is called an initiator to help get the Smokeless powder burning. The very large grains of extruded powder used in large caliber artillery shells are a bit more difficult to ignite than the types of powders we use in small arms. So a Black Powder initiator is often used, because Black Powder is very easy to ignite. In self contained artillery shells, the initiator is often a perforated tube running up the center of the 'cartridge'. The tube is filled with Black Powder, or some other highly volatile material. When the primer of the shell is struck, it ignites the initiator, which in turn ignites the main charge.

The Navy's 16" guns use 40 pound bags of extruded stick powder. The individual grains are almost as large around as a pencil. Since this powder is relatively difficult to ignite, the last bag in the stack has a pouch filled with Black Powder sewn at the rear. The normal charge for the Navy's 16" guns is four forty pound bags of powder. The bags are made of silk, so they completely combust in the gun. The shell is rammed into place by a mechanical ram, then the bags of powder are placed on the ram and gently shoved into the breech. Bad things can happen if they are rammed in too quickly. The last bag has the BP initiator at the rear. The actual primer used to fire these guns is about the size of a 38 Special cartridge. When the primer is struck, it ignites the Black Powder first, which then ignites the 160 pounds of Smokeless.

One of the reasons Goex is still in business is they are the only supplier of Black Powder made in the USA. Remember, BP is not just used in the 16" Naval guns, smaller shells have a BP initiator in them too.

DoubleTapDrew
May 24, 2012, 07:11 PM
This is pretty neat, not sure what year but it's in black and white, explaining and showing the loading process
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9eSda7gbSc&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL502D42C5E11E99A2

Pancho
May 24, 2012, 10:11 PM
The Navy is full of tradition a lot of it lost in time and research. Such as, I've read there are no cannons on a ship just guns. I don't know why but that's what I've read multiple times.

Carl N. Brown
May 24, 2012, 10:20 PM
The old war movie "Sink the Bismarck!" has several scenes inside a battleship 15-inch gun turret showing ramming the shell in the breech, then ramming one, then two what appear to 200 lb powder bags the size of duffle bags, and swinging the huge interrupted thread beech plug in place.

As I recall reading, on American battleships, the primer used in the breechplug was a .30-06 blank that fired into a black powder pad at the back of the powderbag which was filled with smokeless powder.

Driftwood Johnson
May 24, 2012, 11:01 PM
That video is British.

I toured the Battleship USS Massachusetts in Battleship Cove in New Bedford, Mass a few years ago. The Big Mamie has three turrets with three 16 inch guns in each turret. The only difference between the guns on the USS Massachusetts and the guns on the Iowa class ships is the length of the guns. The Massachusetts and the other ships in its class have guns 45 calibers long, the Iowa class ships have guns 50 calibers long. Measuring gun length by calibers was the standard way to measure big guns. 45 X 16 inches makes the gun 60 feet long. 50 X 16 inches makes the gun 66 2/3 feet long. The longer guns fired slightly heavier shells.

While in the turret I watched a film of the guns being loaded and fired. Unlike the British video, our ships used a folding slide to load the breech. The gun had to be lowered from firing position to a level position. The slide was folded so the shell could rise up into it. The shells rose up vertically on an elevator from down in the babbette. Once the shell was raised onto the slide, the slide unfolded, rotating the shell to the horizontal. Then the ram shoved the shell into the breech. Powder was stored separately from the shells. Powder bags came up on a separate elevator outside of the turret. There was a pass through for the powder bags into the turret. I distinctly remember the bags weighed 40 pounds. The number of powder bags used could vary to vary the velocity and the trajectory, but they weighed 40 pounds. The last bag had the Black Powder initiator sewn onto the rear. It contained ten pounds of Black Powder. The primer was about the size of a 38 Special cartridge, not a 30-06. Each gun had its own separate compartment and crew, separate from the other two guns in the turret. When the gun recoiled, it recoiled about six feet, so every man had to be in their post in the turret. If the gun had recoiled into a man it would have killed him. The floor of the turret was non sparking aluminum, all the crewmen wore shoes with copper nails, to prevent sparks. And the men handling the powder bags wore protective suits to prevent static sparks. Handling the powder bags was the most dangerous job.

twofifty
May 24, 2012, 11:36 PM
According to a couple specialist sites, the velocities and pressures attained
by US 16" naval rifles were not much different than what a .30-06 produces.

Shadow 7D
May 25, 2012, 12:09 AM
Right, but then change the projectile weight buy a *few* orders of magnitude....

hawkeye74
May 25, 2012, 01:00 AM
I know nothing about these big weapons, but I do read. The article referenced above Navweapons.com lists different charge weights. Per that article, Full charge was 600-655 lb. charges, half charge 300 lbs or so.

Was there that much difference between the early 16" guns and the Iowa class guns?

spyder1911
May 25, 2012, 01:01 AM
The first few minutes of this video shows the loading process of a 16" Naval gun.

Guess this forum doesn't allow imbedding videos.

The video is at

USS Wisconsin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5ATYPrZnSQ&feature=youtu.be)

CSestp
May 25, 2012, 01:13 AM
Dont know much other than the mighty mo was recommissioned for the gulf war to provide bombardment before the invasion.

Sent from my MB865 using Tapatalk 2

4v50 Gary
May 25, 2012, 01:59 AM
The 16" guns of the newer post WW I battleships including the Washingtons, South Dakotas and Iowa class were 50 caliber. The earlier Colorado class (CO, WV and MD) were armed with 16" 45 caliber guns).

The longer guns had a higher velocity (2,800 fps v 2,600 fps) and longer range over the earlier ones. This came at a price of shorter barrel life and higher expense ($268,000 v $235,000) as well as weight (128 tons v 105 tons). Weight of course comes into play when designers must strike a balance between offensive firepower, armor protection and speed.

Auto426
May 25, 2012, 03:33 AM
I guess most of our battle ships in the USA have been taken out of service

The U.S.S. Iowa is the last battleship afloat that hasn't been turned into a museum yet, but it is currently in that process. The U.S. kept it's Iowa class battleships in service much longer than any other nation, who had all decommissioned and/or scrapped theirs by 1960. The U.S. kept the Iowa's in reserve fleets and would pull one or two out whenever the fire support that their big guns could provide was useful for operations close to shore. The Iowa's were present for Korea, Vietnam, and even Operation Desert Storm.

since they are volnerable to attacks from subs but a few are still around; right?

Battleships are some of the best ships to be on when it comes to withstanding torpedo attacks from subs (at least in WWII). Their size allowed them extra layers of protection from torpedoes, while most smaller ships couldn't afford the space for such protection.

Last I remember hearing the range was more like 65miles.

With the guns elevated to 45 degrees, firing a full charge with a 2,700 lb. Mk. 8 AP shell, range was 42,345 yards. That works out to just a tad over 24 miles. Muzzle velocity was approx. 2,500 fps, and at the 40,000 yard mark the shell would have spent 80 secs in the air.

Auto426
May 25, 2012, 03:38 AM
The 16" guns of the newer post WW I battleships including the Washingtons, South Dakotas and Iowa class were 50 caliber. The earlier Colorado class (CO, WV and MD) were armed with 16" 45 caliber guns).

Note quite.

The Iowa was the only class to be armed with the 16"/50 Mark 7 guns. The South Dakota's, North Carolina's, and Colorado's were armed with 16"/45 guns of various marks.

junkman_01
May 25, 2012, 08:45 AM
USS Wisconsin BB-64....a BIG ship.

http://www.northfloridashooting.com/images/BB_64/BB-64_10.jpg

Steel Horse Rider
May 25, 2012, 10:03 AM
I was surprised when I read about the short barrel life of the big guns when I read the story of the USS Houston; I believe it was 300 rounds before the rifling was worn enough to affect the accuracy. I stood next to an AP 16" shell in the museum at Astoria, Oregon. They have a picture on the wall of a 16" battery firing and you can see the projectile in the air about 15' from the muzzle.

4v50 Gary
May 25, 2012, 10:53 AM
Auto246 - you may be right. Norman Pollar on his books on US Battleships says 45 cal. Friedman says 50 caliber. Conway's also says 50 cal. We'll have to go to the US Navy Historical Center (DANFS) to see what the USN says.

TomADC
May 25, 2012, 05:36 PM
I checked with an old gunners mate chief and here's what I got.

"It was a Cordite N flashless propellant known in the Navy as SPCG. The composition was 19.0% nitrocellulose (13.1% N), 18.7% nitroglycerine, 55% nitroguanidine and 7.3% centralite."

alsaqr
May 25, 2012, 09:09 PM
The USS Maine blew up because it's powder deteriorated and became volatile. At the most, black powder would be limited to primers for the big guns.


Bingo!!!
At the time of the Maine explosion the US Navy had not yet adopted smokeless powder for use in larger caliber guns. The powder that destroyed the Maine was brownpowder or cocoapowder. Brownpowder was the final refinement of blackpowder. The charcoal used in brownpowder came from rye straw. Sulfur content was greatly reduced, sometimes to zero and the saltpeter content was slightly raised. This was a powerful propellant that was very unstable. Soon after the Spanish-American War all Navy stocks of brownpowder powder were destroyed.

The Navy had big airguns in the Spanish-American War too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Vesuvius_(1888)

Marlin 45 carbine
May 25, 2012, 09:44 PM
the guns had replaceable rifled liners pressed into the hull.

4v50 Gary
May 25, 2012, 09:51 PM
The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships is silent as to the caliber of the 16" guns.

According to Battleships: United States Battleships in WW II by Dulin, Garzke and Sumrall the earlier pre-Iowa class 16" BBs had 45 cal guns. I consider this book more authoritive than Freidman's Naval Firepower.

alsaqr
May 25, 2012, 10:45 PM
Only the Iowa class had 16"/50 caliber guns. The Montana class ships would have had 16"/50 caliber guns.

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.htm

The North Carolina class ships, BB55 through BB60, had 16"/45 caliber guns as did earlier 16" armed ships.

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/18315/16-INCH-TRIPLE-GUN-TURRETS-45-caliber-North-Carolina-Class

Beagle-zebub
May 25, 2012, 11:05 PM
The powder that destroyed the Maine was brownpowder or cocoapowder. Brownpowder was the final refinement of blackpowder. The charcoal used in brownpowder came from rye straw. Sulfur content was greatly reduced, sometimes to zero and the saltpeter content was slightly raised. This was a powerful propellant that was very unstable. Soon after the Spanish-American War all Navy stocks of brownpowder powder were destroyed.

Why was it so unstable? I thought sulfur was there to make ignition easier.

Auto426
May 25, 2012, 11:40 PM
The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships is silent as to the caliber of the 16" guns.

According to Battleships: United States Battleships in WW II by Dulin, Garzke and Sumrall the earlier pre-Iowa class 16" BBs had 45 cal guns. I consider this book more authoritive than Freidman's Naval Firepower.

I've been meaning to pick up a couple of the more famous books on battleships, as they are one of my big interests but I just never got around to it. Almost every every online resource that I have come across has showed the Iowa's as the only class with 16"/50 caliber guns.

General Geoff
May 26, 2012, 12:40 AM
Having visited the North Carolina first hand on several occasions, I can say without a doubt they are 16"/45 caliber. Since the North Carolina was the preceding class of battleship before the Iowa class was built, that would lend credence to the probability that the Iowas are the only ones with the 16"/50 caliber Mark 7 guns.

alsaqr
May 26, 2012, 07:43 AM
Why was it so unstable?

For one thing, brownpowder is very sensitive to friction.

http://www.dutch-net.nl/~dennis/bpowder.html

Cocoa powder was more sensitive to friction than ordinary black powder. Samples were reported to have inflamed from shaking in a canvas bag. Cocoa powder was used in the Spanish-American war, 1898. When its use was discontinued, existing stocks were destroyed, and single grains of the powder are now generally to be seen only in museums.

I thought sulfur was there to make ignition easier.

Sulfur does reduce ignition temperature. Some say its a kind of plasticizer. The role of sulfur in blackpowder may be complicated. Blackpowder made without sulfur is nearly smokeless.

http://www.musketeer.ch/blackpowder/recipe.html

scrat
May 26, 2012, 12:45 PM
My brother in law served on THE BATTLE SHIP U.S.S NEW JERSEY. Of course you hear this stuff all the time people who say they were on a battle ship. At first i did not believe it. However he pulled out the book. Kinda reminded me of a high school year book. U.S.S New Jersey filled with pictures and then the crew and flipping through the pictures there he is. Pretty cool he served during the Regan years one of the things he mentioned was they had to all carry flash lights. As when the big guns went off the lights in the ship would blow out all over the place. they were constantly changing light bulbs.

I tell you what that crap that Iran was doing a few months ago on blocking some straight not allowing ships to go through that was on the news. If the Iowa and her sisters were there i bet they would have done that. Shoot send them ships only and they will take care of business.

Remember the year some taliban guy hit the USS Cole on the side and blew a 40foot hole in her. If they did that to the Iowa it wouldnt have even budged just would have put a small black spot by the water line.

In recent news on the 7/7/12 The Battleship BB61 U.S.S Iowa will be docked here in San Pedro CA. Cant wait for her to make it. Going to go for sure. May even get a yearly pass.


here is a training video from the uss iowa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OmOQs0ziSU&feature=related

TomADC
May 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
Don't get a yearly pass become a member, close to the same thing now that I think bout it, I belong to the USS Midway, and can go anytime we want plus bring two guest. We get all kind of special deals too.

TomADC
May 26, 2012, 03:35 PM
BTW my gunnersmate friend tells me the "flakes" are 2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Plus they were full of holes for a better burn rate.

Silverado6x6
May 27, 2012, 08:19 AM
When I went to see the movie "Battleship" with my son I told him that the ship was the same length as the Titanic, he had to do a special book report on the Titanic.
I myself read somewhere that no matter where these battleships wind up they can be mobilized, that Congress actually passed a law that all ammunition especially the 16" shells must still be readily available.

Now I know it was kind of hokey seeing how they took a museum ship to battle in hours in that movie but that these ships are NOT to be made unusable, they may be restored to a particular era but they cannot be gutted out. That in some extreme event and in some fashion they can be steamed up and ready to use. Not much is said about that to the public.

YumaKid
May 27, 2012, 11:21 AM
(YumaKid is late to the game, as usual)

Jim in West PA posted up a pretty good link; most impressive was the picture at the bottom of the first page, showing the "dents" in the water's surface from the concussion of the shots.

Now, I'm not saying "It's on the internet, so it must be true"; but there's a link right below that picture to "Additional Pictures", including a very illustrative series of loading the guns on the Iowa, BB-61. The caption for one picture includes the sentence, " The red quilted primer patch on the end of each bag holds the black powder igniter." May be (probably is, for reasons specified in this thread) an incorrect statement, but there it is.

I'm not an expert on Naval Guns, I'm an "Army Brat" (born 16 years after "my Dad's War") and an "Army Dad" (until my oldest daughter out-processes at Eustis this Friday -1 June- with 6 years' service); but the Army rejected my bum right knee in 1979. Regadless of that, these are guns, BEEEEEEGG GUNS. And, even if considered "obsolete", they're just cool.
Really enjoyed this thread.

jungle
May 29, 2012, 01:13 PM
Inside the 16" turret on the USS North Carolina. The powder came from the magazine through the hatch on the left. It is very confined in the turret despite the huge size of the mount.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff249/jungle375/BattleshipNorthCarolina037.jpg

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff249/jungle375/BattleshipNorthCarolina035.jpg
Lots of other guns, 5", 40mm ,20mm.

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff249/jungle375/BattleshipNorthCarolina041.jpg

http://i237.photobucket.com/albums/ff249/jungle375/BattleshipNorthCarolina059.jpg

kBob
May 29, 2012, 03:45 PM
About barrel life. The US army when I was last in had each artillery piece keep a log showing how many rounds they had fired and what charge had been used. Once a tube reached the max number of Full CHarge Equivilant shots the gun was to be pulled and the tube replaced. No reason to think the Navy would do less. As I have stated before BP was used in US army and USMC Field Artillery to get the main charge going. Again no reason to think the Navy would not.

What I would like to know is was BP used (as I was told it was) in the starter cartridges for the 100 series USAF fighters and Phantom II Diesel Bricks. When aircraft were being scrambled away from support starters and such there would be a somewhat loud bang and then usually a second followed by smoke as the engines spooled up. In the late 1960's when observing such a start I was told by USAF personel that they were 12 gauge BP blanks. Were they and are such still in use with "modern" fighters?

-kBob

Ryden
May 29, 2012, 04:19 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/BB61_USS_Iowa_BB61_broadside_USN.jpg

USS Iowa speaks...

Check out the wake at the bow, she is being pushed sideways by the recoil...

4v50 Gary
May 29, 2012, 05:43 PM
Jungle - thanks for the pictures of the North Carolina. I've never been aboard her and it looks like she's wearing the Measure 32 camouflage pattern.

jungle
May 29, 2012, 06:07 PM
@4V50 Gary-she had just been recently painted to match the battle color scheme actually used in WWII




What I would like to know is was BP used (as I was told it was) in the starter cartridges for the 100 series USAF fighters and Phantom II Diesel Bricks. When aircraft were being scrambled away from support starters and such there would be a somewhat loud bang and then usually a second followed by smoke as the engines spooled up. In the late 1960's when observing such a start I was told by USAF personel that they were 12 gauge BP blanks. Were they and are such still in use with "modern" fighters?

-kBob

It was used in the F111, B-52 and KC135. I flew several versions of the F-4 and none had provision for cartridge start, they took 30 psi air through a hose about 4 inches in diameter generated by a small jet engine. Some older jet fighters may have used them and some WWII fighters used a Coffman starter driving a piston with cordite.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Counsellor-Defence
Acquisition & Logistics, Embassy of Australia, Washington, D.C., has awarded a
$3.01 million contract for production of MXU 4 A/A jet engine starter
cartridges for the Royal Australian Air Force RF-111 jet aircraft to General
Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics
(NYSE: GD).
The MXU 4 A/A cartridge drives turbo/mechanical starters to start engines
for aircraft such as the F-111, B-52, KC-135 and others. The starter
cartridges will be produced at the General Dynamics facility in Marion, Ill.
The MXU 4 A/A starter cartridge uses OMAX 800 solid propellant, also produced
at the Marion facility. Work on this contract is expected to be completed in
March 2003.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs
approximately 46,000 people and anticipates 2001 sales of approximately $11.5
billion. The company has leading market positions in business aviation,
information systems, shipbuilding and marine systems, and land and amphibious
combat systems.

OMAX 800 is a magnesium/aluminum blend(I think) like a small rocket motor, used to generate a lot of gas.

Modern fighters rely on ground support, but some carry a small internal jet engine, called an APU(aux power unit) to supply start air, electric and hydraulic power. Almost all modern airliners have an APU located in the tail.

Driftwood Johnson
May 30, 2012, 01:02 AM
he first few minutes of this video shows the loading process of a 16" Naval gun.

Guess this forum doesn't allow imbedding videos.

The video is at

USS Wisconsin

Howdy Again

That video shows what I was talking about earlier. At the beginning, the shell is vertical on the loading slide. It has just risen on an elevator from the babbette under the turret. Then the slide folds open, rotating the shell to the loading position. The shell is rammed into place. Then the pass thru is opened for the 40 pound powder bags. Looks like I was wrong about the number of bags, they shove in a total of six, not four. The dark pad on the rear of the bags is the Black Powder initiator. Notice the shell is rammed in quickly, but the bags are rammed in slowly. It was finally determined in the explosion in the turret of the Iowa that the powder had been rammed in too quickly, which probably caused the explosion in the turret.

As I said earlier, the USS Massachusetts has the 16" 45 caliber guns.

rajb123
May 30, 2012, 11:42 AM
Nice pic of the Iowa blowing off some steam.... I would not want to be on the receiveing end of those shots.

So that is why Congress decided not to scrap the battleships?

Good idea.

Squeaky Wheel
May 30, 2012, 12:07 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/BB61_USS_Iowa_BB61_broadside_USN.jpg

USS Iowa speaks...

Check out the wake at the bow, she is being pushed sideways by the recoil...

False. She is not being pushed sideways by recoil. What you're seeing is from the blast and not from ship movement. To convince yourself of this, take a look at photos where the 16" guns are firing on port and starboard (different turrets) at the same time. You'll see the 'wake' on both sides of the ship. The iPhone app 'U.S. Battleships' shows such a photo and answers this question in the FAQ section.

rajb123
May 30, 2012, 01:58 PM
Bang! ....Are those the biggest military guns that have ever been used in combat?

It must be expensive to shoot these..... shells are a few tons each and smokeless powder is a few hundred pounds a pop.... wow, that could add up fast.

mje
May 30, 2012, 03:21 PM
Fascinating. I just read that fully half of Goex's production goes to the Military, so they must still be using a lot of BP.

rajb123
May 30, 2012, 03:38 PM
Does Goex also sell BP to makers of fireworks? I beleive fireworks use BP; right?

What is the military using BP for?

junkman_01
May 30, 2012, 03:46 PM
Haven't you been listening? The military uses it to initiate the smokeless powder in the big guns! :banghead:

TomADC
May 30, 2012, 05:42 PM
Bang! ....Are those the biggest military guns that have ever been used in combat?

It must be expensive to shoot these..... shells are a few tons each and smokeless powder is a few hundred pounds a pop.... wow, that could add up fast.

No during WW II the Japanese had two battleships with 18 inch guns but there use was limited, they both ventured in at the end of the Leyte Gulf landing hoping to catch the troops and equipment on the beaches but we foiled those plans and I believe both were sunk the Yamato was one and the Musashi was the other.

rajb123
May 30, 2012, 05:50 PM
I thought the big guns are no longer used?

junkman_01
May 30, 2012, 06:06 PM
Every Naval gun above 5 inch uses bagged powder and projectile.

Lunie
May 30, 2012, 07:26 PM
Bang! ....Are those the biggest military guns that have ever been used in combat?

It must be expensive to shoot these..... shells are a few tons each and smokeless powder is a few hundred pounds a pop.... wow, that could add up fast.

As TomADC mentioned, they were not the largest naval guns of their time, nor were they the largest artillery pieces to have been fielded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwerer_Gustav Gustav and Dora. 80cm guns, (~31.5 inches) 7 ton projectile.

WANO Schwarzpulver GmbH also supplies BP for military purposes to many countries.
Their German website: http://www.wano.de/
American website: http://www.schuetzenpowder.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=54

However... I doubt they are supplying any for use in battleship artillery anymore.

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