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Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

 
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:00 PM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

There was a project in the US Navy during the late '60's to make the center gun in one or two battleship 16-inch gun turrets a smooth bore barrel. It would shoot Rocket Assisted Projectiles 100 plus miles. None was ever prototyped as far as I know, but something similar is covered in the link below:

Super High Altitude Research Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:29 PM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

Bart,

Last time I was there, they still had one of Gerald Bull's HARP barrels out on the test range. As described, it was fabricated by joining two 50 caliber 16" gun barrels end to end. I took a pretty close look at it, but the muzzle was taped and sealed. I have no idea whether these were rifled or smooth bored, but it was a hell of a project. Some interesting stuff there.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:35 PM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

Iron Worker,

there's actually some fascinating details concerning the development of US tanks at that period, and the gun systems were really only a minor part of the story. There were some major misunderstandings as to what tanks were going to be asked to do on the ETO battlefields. Very interesting stuff, but if you're interested, you might want to read Death Traps, by Belton Cooper. Cooper was an ordnance recovery officer during the Normandy campaign, charged with recovering and refurbishing (when possible) the knocked out Shermans. He has some very caustic comments for G.S. Patton and several others who were involved in choosing the gun systems mounted in early US tanks. Good read, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:04 PM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart B View Post
There was a project in the US Navy during the late '60's to make the center gun in one or two battleship 16-inch gun turrets a smooth bore barrel. It would shoot Rocket Assisted Projectiles 100 plus miles. None was ever prototyped as far as I know, but something similar is covered in the link below:

Super High Altitude Research Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
there was also a project involving the 8" guns on a heavy cruiser that used a projo that was probably a third longer than a standard round (maybe longer), and a powder charge that looked like it was close to 50% larger. They claimed 35 miles with it! I do know that one of those cruisers parked itself right outside Hia Phong Harbor and shot the place to pieces. The shape of the projo was very much like a typical VLD of today, but the driving bands were made very differently if you look at the round very closely. There were two distinct driving bands that were not brass, and were actually part of the round itself.

gary
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:27 PM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

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Originally Posted by Kevin Thomas View Post
Iron Worker,

there's actually some fascinating details concerning the development of US tanks at that period, and the gun systems were really only a minor part of the story. There were some major misunderstandings as to what tanks were going to be asked to do on the ETO battlefields. Very interesting stuff, but if you're interested, you might want to read Death Traps, by Belton Cooper. Cooper was an ordnance recovery officer during the Normandy campaign, charged with recovering and refurbishing (when possible) the knocked out Shermans. He has some very caustic comments for G.S. Patton and several others who were involved in choosing the gun systems mounted in early US tanks. Good read, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.
wasn't it Mr. Cooper who said the hardest thing he ever say on an Allied tank was the 75mm gun used on a Panther

The Germans had several anti tank cannons of different calibers, and more than one are very interesting. There was one smoother rifle that used a tungsten cored anti tank round that had a tapered barrel! The barrel shrank from 88mm down to 50mm, and velocities were a little under 5,000fps. There are a couple photos of them being used on the eastern front and in the streets of Berlin. That 50mm Sabot was said to be able to crack the hull of any tank on the planet with ease. There was also a similar looking piece that used a 128mm round that had over 2000 meters of effective range, and was known to have penetrated the glaciest plate out front and exited thru the deisel engine out back! Then there was the generic 75mm PAK 40 that was only about 40" tall. Could drill a hole thru just about anything with ease. Russians had deep respect with anything that started out with the letters PAK! That particular anti tank rifle held the long distance one shot kill record till Desert Storm (3300 yards on a KV1)
gary
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:00 PM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Thomas View Post
As described, it was fabricated by joining two 50 caliber 16" gun barrels end to end.
For readers, those 50 caliber 16" barrels were 800 inches long; 16 x 50 bore diameters. Almost 67 feet long.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: Rifling twist in Artillery cannons

The German 75mmL/70 used on the Panther was one of the best anti tank guns used in the war, and was a threat to virtually any armor on the battlefield. Same round that was used in the PAK40 you mentioned as well, and quite different than the 75mm used on the PzKpfwIVs and Stugs throughout most of the war. Don't recall that specific quote from Cooper, but it sounds like something he said, or certainly would agree with. He was pretty bitter about the Sherman's performance in battle against the Panthers. I know of at least one instance where two(2) Shermans were taken out by one round from a Panther, the projectile passing cleanly through the first, and going on to penetrate the second Sherman behind it. That's some pretty impressive penetration in anyones book!

The taper bore guns you mentioned were the Gerlich series. They never really came to fruition, at least never to the claims that Gerlich made for them. Speer eventually got pretty fed up with him over the hype and lack of real results, a dangerous thing in Nazi Germany of that era. After the war, Gerlich got some attention by the US Army Ordnace Corps, but again, his results never quite reached the results that he claimed they would. Still, he came up with some pretty impressive performance for guns of that time. Still, as you said, by the time the Russians hit Berlin, the Germans were throwing everything they had (including the kitchen sink) at them. That was one helluva battle, and the city still bears some of the scars.
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