Archive for the ‘Weapons’ Category

US Navy keeps electromagnetic cannon in its sights   Leave a comment


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A railgun is an electromagnetic projectile launcher based on similar principles to the homopolar motor. A railgun uses a pair of parallel conductors, or rails, along which a sliding armature is accelerated by the electromagnetic effects of a current that flows down one rail, into the armature and then back along the other rail.

Railguns are being researched as a weapon that would use neither explosives nor propellant, but rather rely on electromagnetic forces to achieve a very high kinetic energy of a projectile. While explosive-powered military guns cannot readily achieve a muzzle velocity of more than about 2 km/s, railguns can readily exceed 3 km/s, and thus far exceed conventionally delivered munitions in range and destructive force. The absence of explosive propellants or warheads to store and handle, as well as the low cost of projectiles compared to conventional weaponry come as additional advantages.

In addition to military applications, NASA has proposed to use a railgun from a high-altitude aircraft to fire a small payload into orbit; however, the extreme g-forces involved would necessarily restrict the usage to only the sturdiest of payloads.

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The United States Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division demonstrated an 8 MJ railgun firing 3.2 kg (7.1 lb) projectiles in October 2006 as a prototype of a 64 MJ weapon to be deployed aboard Navy warships. The main problem the U.S. Navy has had with implementing a railgun cannon system is that the guns wear out due to the immense pressures, stresses and heat that are generated by the millions of amperes of current necessary to fire projectiles with megajoules of energy. Such weapons, while not nearly as powerful as a cruise missile like a BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile that will deliver 3000 MJ of destructive energy to a target, will theoretically allow the Navy to deliver more granular firepower at a fraction of the cost of a missile, and will be much harder to shoot down versus future defensive systems. For context another relevant comparison is the Rheinmetall 120mm gun used on main battle tanks will generate 9 MJ of muzzle energy. An MK 8 round fired from the 16″ guns of an Iowa Class battleship at 2500 fps (762 m/s) has 360 MJ of kinetic energy at the muzzle.

Since then, BAE Systems has delivered a 32 MJ prototype (muzzle energy) to the U.S. Navy. The same amount of energy is released by the detonation of 4.8 kg (11 lb) of C4.

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The Navy may eventually enhance railgun technology to enable it to fire at a range of 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) and impact with 64 megajoules of energy. One shot would require 6 million amps of current, so it will take a long time to develop capacitors that can generate enough energy and strong enough gun materials.

Posted June 27, 2016 by markosun in Weapons

Gigantic Gun for bringing down Waterfowl   Leave a comment


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A Punt Gun, used for duck hunting but were banned because they depleted stocks of wild fowl

Called the “Punt Gun” this firearm of unusual size could discharge over a pound of shot at a time, and dispatch upwards of fifty waterfowl in a single go.  A punt gun is a type of extremely large shotgun used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for shooting large numbers of waterfowl for commercial harvesting operations and private sport. “Used for duck hunting” isn’t the right expression for aiming this piece of artillery in the general direction of a flock of ducks, firing, and spending the rest of the day picking up the carcasses.

 

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In the early 1800’s the mass hunting of waterfowl to supply commercial markets with meat became a widely accepted practice. In addition to the market for food, women’s fashion in the mid 1800’s added a major demand for feathers to adorn hats. To meet the demand, professional hunters developed custom built extremely large shotguns (bore diameters up to 2″) for the task. These weapons were so cumbersome that they were most often mounted on long square-ended flat-hulled boats called punts. Hunters would typically use a long pole to quietly push their punt into range of a flock of waterfowl resting on the lake and, POW. A single shot from one of these huge guns could kill as many as 50 birds. To increase efficiency even further, punt hunters would often work in groups of 8-10 boats. By lining up their boats and coordinating the firing of their single shot weapons, entire flocks of birds could be “harvested” with a single volley. It was not unusual for such a band of hunters to acquire as many as 500 birds in a single day. Because of the custom nature of these weapons and the lack of support by the weapons industry, they were often rather crude in design. Most were sturdy hand-built muzzle loaders fired with percussion caps.

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The Punt Guns were too big to hold and the recoil so large that they were mounted directly on the punts used for hunting, hence their name. Hunters would maneuver their punts quietly into line and range of the flock using poles or oars to avoid startling them. Generally the gun was fixed to the punt, thus the hunter would maneuver the entire boat in order to aim the gun. The guns were sufficiently powerful, and the punts themselves sufficiently small, that firing the gun generated so much force that it pushed the boat back.

In the United States, this practice depleted stocks of wild waterfowl and by the 1860s most states had banned the practice. The Lacey Act of 1900 banned the transport of wild game across state lines, and the practice of market hunting was outlawed by a series of federal laws in 1918.

 

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The 2004 film Tremors 4: The Legend Begins featured a punt gun used in combat. This punt gun was custom-built for the film and was 8 feet 4 inches (2.54 m) long, weighed 94 pounds (43 kg), and had a 2-inch-diameter (51 mm) bore (classified as “A” gauge by the Gun Barrel Proof Act of 1868 in Schedule B). The weapon was not actually of this bore, instead being a large prop shell concealing a 12 gauge shotgun firing triple-loaded black powder blanks, with the barrel sprayed with WD-40 lubricating oil to produce a large smoke cloud on firing.

TREMORS 4 THE LEGEND BEGINS 4

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Posted June 1, 2016 by markosun in Weapons

“Atomic Annie”   Leave a comment


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The M65 atomic cannon, often called “Atomic Annie“, was a towed artillery piece built by the United States and capable of firing a nuclear device. It was developed in the early 1950s, at the beginning of the Cold War, and fielded, by 1953, in Europe and Korea.

Picatinny Arsenal was tasked to create a nuclear capable artillery piece in 1949. Robert Schwartz, the engineer who created the preliminary designs, essentially scaled up the 240mm shell (then the maximum in the arsenal) and used the German K5 railroad gun as a point of departure for the carriage. (The name “Atomic Annie” likely derives from the nickname “Anzio Annie” given to a German K5 gun which was employed against the American landings in Italy.) The design was approved by the Pentagon, largely through the intervention of Samuel Feltman, chief of the ballistics section of the ordnance department’s research and development division. A three-year developmental effort followed. The project proceeded quickly enough to produce a demonstration model to participate in Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural parade in January 1953.

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The cannon was transported by two specially designed tractors, both capable of independent steering in the manner of some extra-long fire engines. Each of the tractors was rated at 375 hp, and the somewhat awkward combination could achieve speeds of 35 miles an hour and negotiate right angle turns on 28 ft wide, paved or packed roads. The artillery piece could be unlimbered in 15 minutes, then returned to traveling configuration in another 15 minutes.

On May 25, 1953 at 8:30am, the atomic cannon was tested at the Nevada Test Site (specifically Frenchman Flat) as part of the Upshot-Knothole series of nuclear tests. The test — codenamed “Grable” — was attended by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Arthur W. Radford and Secretary of Defense Charles Erwin Wilson; it resulted in the successful detonation of a 15 kt shell (W9 warhead) at a range of seven miles. This was the first and only nuclear shell to be fired from a cannon (the Little Feller 1 test shot of an M388 used a Davy Crockett weapon system which was a recoilless smooth bore gun firing the warhead mounted on the end of a spigot inserted in the barrel of the weapon.)

After the successful test, there were at least 20 of the cannons manufactured at Watervliet and Watertown Arsenals, at a cost of $800,000 each. They were deployed overseas to Europe and Korea, often continuously shifted around to avoid being detected and targeted by opposing forces. Due to the size of the apparatus, their limited range, the development of nuclear shells compatible with existing artillery pieces (the W48 for the 155mm and the W33 for the 203mm), and the development of rocket and missile based nuclear artillery, the M65 was effectively obsolete soon after it was deployed. However, it remained a prestige weapon and was not retired until 1963.

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Type Towed artillery
Place of origin  United States
Specifications
Weight 83.3 tons (gun and carriage)
Length 84 feet (26 m)
Width 16.1 feet (4.9 m)
Height 12.2 feet (3.7 m)
Crew 5–7

Caliber 280 mm
Effective firing range approximately 20 miles (30 km)

Posted May 16, 2016 by markosun in Weapons

Gargantuan German World War II Rail Gun   Leave a comment


The Mother of all artillery pieces:

 

Schwerer Gustav was the name of a German 80 cm (31.5 in.) railway gun. It was developed in the late 1930s by Krupp as siege artillery for the explicit purpose of destroying the main forts of the French Maginot Line, the strongest fortifications then in existence. The fully assembled gun weighed nearly 1,350 tonnes, and could fire shells weighing seven tonnes to a range of 47 kilometres (29 mi). The gun was designed in preparation for the Battle of France, but was not ready for action when the battle began, and in any case the Wehrmacht’s Blitzkrieg offensive through Belgium rapidly outflanked and isolated the Maginot Line’s static defenses, eventually forcing them to surrender and making their destruction unnecessary. Gustav was later employed in the Soviet Union at the siege of Sevastopol during Operation Barbarossa, where among other things, it destroyed a munitions depot buried in the bedrock under a bay. The gun was moved to Leningrad, and may have been intended to be used in the Warsaw Uprising like other German heavy siege pieces, but the rebellion was crushed before it could be prepared to fire. Gustav was destroyed by the Germans near the end of the war in 1945 to avoid capture by the Red Army.

It was the largest-calibre rifled weapon ever used in combat, the heaviest mobile artillery piece ever built in terms of overall weight, and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery piece. It is only surpassed in calibre by the British Mallet’s Mortar and the American Little David mortar (both 36 inch; 914 mm).

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Weight 1,350 tonnes (1,490 short tons; 1,330 long tons)
Length 47.3 metres (155 ft 2 in)
Barrel length 32.5 metres (106 ft 8 in) L/40.6
Width 7.1 metres (23 ft 4 in)
Height 11.6 metres (38 ft 1 in)
Crew 250 to assemble the gun in 3 days (54 hours), 2,500 to lay track and dig embankments. 2 Flak battalions to protect the gun from air attack.

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In February 1942, Heavy Artillery Unit (E) 672 reorganised and went on the march, and Schwerer Gustav began its long ride to the Crimea. The train carrying the gun was of 25 cars, a total length of 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi). The gun reached the Perekop Isthmus in early March 1942, where it was held until early April. The Germans built a special railway spur line to the Simferopol-Sevastopol railway 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of the target. At the end of the spur, they built four semi-circular tracks especially for the Gustav to traverse. Outer tracks were required for the cranes that assembled Gustav.

The siege of Sevastopol was the gun’s first combat test. Installation began in early May, and by 5 June the gun was ready to fire.

Hitler checking out the beast

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Dora was the second gun produced. It was deployed briefly against Stalingrad, where the gun arrived at its emplacement 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the west of the city sometime in mid-August 1942. It was ready to fire on 13 September. It was quickly withdrawn when Soviet encirclement threatened. When the Germans began their long retreat they took Dora with them.

The Langer Gustav was a long cannon with 52 centimetre (20.5 in) caliber and a 43-metre barrel. It was intended to fire super-long-range rocket projectiles weighing 680 kilograms to a range of 190 kilometres (118 mi). This gave it the range to hit London from Calais, France. It was never completed after being damaged during construction by one of the many RAF bombing raids on Essen.

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Caliber 80 centimetres (31 in)
Elevation Max of 48°
Rate of fire 1 round every 30 to 45 minutes or typically 14 rounds a day
Muzzle velocity 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s) (HE)
720 m/s (2,400 ft/s) (AP)
Effective firing range about 39,000 metres (43,000 yd)
Maximum firing range 47,000 metres (51,000 yd) (HE) 32 miles
38,000 metres (42,000 yd) (AP)

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Posted April 7, 2016 by markosun in History, Military, Weapons

Amazing Old West Saloon Gunplay   Leave a comment


From the seventies movie “My Name Is Trinity”

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Posted April 3, 2016 by markosun in Movies, Weapons

Stun Grenade Renders Target Deaf, Dumb and Blind   Leave a comment


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A stun grenade, also known as a flash grenade, flashbang or sound bomb, is a non-lethal explosive device used to temporarily disorient an enemy’s senses. It is designed to produce a blinding flash of light and an intensely loud “bang” of greater than 170 decibels (dB) without causing permanent injury. It was first used by the British Army’s SAS in the late 1970s.

The flash produced momentarily activates all photoreceptor cells in the eye, making vision impossible for approximately five seconds, until the eye restores itself to its normal, unstimulated state. An afterimage will also be visible for a considerable time, impairing the victim’s ability to aim with precision. The loud blast is meant to cause temporary loss of hearing, and also disturbs the fluid in the ear, causing loss of balance.

The concussive blast of the detonation can still injure, and the heat created can ignite flammable materials such as fuel. The fires that occurred during the Iranian Embassy siege in London were caused by stun grenades.

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Unlike a fragmentation grenade, stun grenades are constructed with a casing made to remain intact during detonation, containing most of its explosive force and avoiding shrapnel injuries, while having large circular cutouts to allow the light and sound of the explosion through. The filler consists of a pyrotechnic metal-oxidant mix of magnesium or aluminium, and an oxidizer such as ammonium perchlorate or potassium nitrate.

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A stun grenade explodes as protesters clash with police during unrest in central Kiev, Ukraine,  Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. After a night of vicious streets battles, anti-government protesters and police clashed anew Monday. Hundreds of protesters, many wearing balaclavas, hurled rocks and stun grenades and police responded with tear gas.  (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Stun Grenade detonates in Kiev, Ukraine.

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Although stun grenades are usually designed to be non-lethal, several injuries and deaths have been attributed to their use. These include the following:

  • In 1989, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, conducted a drug raid at the home of an elderly couple, Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weiss, after receiving inaccurate information from an informant. The flashbang grenades police used in the raid set the home on fire. Police said they were certain no one was inside, and so, at first, made no attempt at rescue. Smalley and Weiss died of smoke inhalation.
  • In May 2003, a woman named Alberta Spruill died from a heart attack after a police team detonated a stun grenade at her residence in Harlem, New York while looking for a drug dealer who was already in police custody. Her family eventually won a $1.6 million civil suit against the city.
  • In February 2010, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, raided the apartment of Rickia Russell looking for drugs. While Russell was eating dinner with her boyfriend, police threw a flashbang grenade after breaching the door. The exploding flashbang gave Rickia 3rd degree burns on both calves, and burns to her head. No drugs were found in Russell’s apartment and the Minneapolis City Council agreed to pay $1 million in damages.
  • In January 2011, a California man named Rogelio Serrato died of smoke inhalation after a flashbang grenade launched by a police SWAT team ignited a fire in his home. The man was believed to have been hiding in the attic when the fire broke out.
  • In February 2011, a North Carolina SWAT police officer was injured at his home when a stun grenade accidentally detonated while he was attempting to secure his equipment. He underwent emergency surgery, but later died of his injuries.
  • In January 2014, a man was severely injured during rioting caused by the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after he attempted to pick up a live, undetonated stun grenade. The grenade detonated seconds before he could reach it. The explosion caused damage to his right hand and arm, leading to the loss of most of his fingers, as well as heavy blood loss. As of February 2014, the man’s condition is unknown. However, a video of it has been uploaded to LiveLeak.
  • On May 28, 2014, a 19-month-old baby boy’s face was severely burned and mutilated when a stun grenade was thrown into his playpen by a SWAT team looking for drugs in a Cornelia, Georgia home. The baby survived with facial disfigurement.
  • On August 3, 2014, a Macedonian fan of the FK Vardar football team was seriously injured during a football match after trying to throw a stun grenade used by police when a fight between the police and the fans broke out in the stands of Stadion Tumbe Kafe stadium in Bitola. The grenade exploded in his hand causing him to lose two fingers and suffer severe damage to the structure of his arm.

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Posted March 30, 2016 by markosun in Weapons