Explosive i incendiary shells

The term 'shell' is again of ancient origin and obvious meaning a hard outer casing protecting something more vulnerable inside, in this case a high-explosive or incendiary compound. In larger artillery calibres, shells can contain a wide variety of materials including smoke to obscure visibility, starshell for illumination, chemicals, various anti-personnel rounds, and anti-tank sub-munitions (some capable of homing onto their targets) but these need not concern us here. Cannon shells were...

Rapid Fi

A cartridge or explosive which cannot fire or the science of the passage of a projectile down a gun barrel (Japanese) 'Divine Wind name given to suicide attacks German Navy light AFV typically, an armoured car or light the smaller interior diameter of a rifled barrel the correct point of aim for deflection (German) tracer often written L'Spur a gun mechanism in which the elements reciprocate in line with the gun barrel an element of an ammunition belt a method of supplying ammunition to a gun...

British developments

The first British experiments with a different armament from the usual two RCMGs were with large cannon. Between the wars a variety of installations for the 37mm COW gun appeared, mainly in the form of flexible nose mountings in multi-engined aircraft, either for self-defence or for anti-shipping use. Two were apparently proposed for the huge Handley Page V 1500 bomber and among many other fruitless schemes were those in 1927 for heavy three-seat fighters, carrying two flexible COW guns, and a...

Naval Equipment Key Texts

Naval Weapons of World War 2. Conway Maritime Press (London, 1985) Friedman, N. The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems. US Naval Institute (1989 and 1994 update) Friedman, N. US Naval Weapons. Naval Institute Press (Annapolis) Allsop, D. F. Cannons. Brasseys (UK, 1995) Chinn, G. M. The Machine Gun. (5 volumes) Bureau of Ordnance, Department of the Navy Hodges, P. and Friedman, N. Destroyer Weapons of

LOSS Alt V

Mounted at the top of a vertical rod a gun mechanism in which the breechblock movement is pivoted unofficial name for a slow-firing automatic weapon, usually of 37mm or 40mm calibre a percussion cap fitted into the head of a cartridge case, used to ignite the propellant the part of a cartridge case into which the primer fits with a gentle or zero twist, which gradually increases in twist down the length of the barrel any bullet, shot or shell iired from a gun the chemical which burns rapidly to...

RAPID Filil

There are no mechanical safety devices. The characteristics of the fuze compound and its metal exterior therefore have to be extremely carefully judged to ensure the necessary combination of reliable detonation with safety when mishandled. Put simply, the shell must never detonate when dropped point-down onto a concrete floor, but must always detonate when it hits a target at high velocity. Raufoss multipurpose ammunition uses such fuzes. Fuzes which are detonated by the close proximity of the...

Info

Aimed light cannon of up to 40mm calibre, with improved weapons, ammunition and mountings. These are normally intended for low-intensity 'police* work, when the use of major cannon or missiles might be inappropriate, although they may also have a backup A A role in an emergency, depending on the sophistication of their mountings and sighting arrangements. The second strand is the introduction of remotely controlled and usually radar-directed light cannon specifically intended for anti-aircraft...

Notes on the tables

The country of origin' abbreviations are the usual international motor vehicle letters, except for UK and PRC (China). Both Soviet and Russian equipment are listed as SU Entries are normally limited to the country of origin or principal production, but may be duplicated where there is major production in other countries. Cartridge case measurements are taken from individual examples and there may in practice be some variations from those given. Many other loadings of some cartridges have seen...

Propellants

Machine Guns Work

The earliest machine gun cartridges were designed to use black powder (gunpowder) as a propellant. This is a simple mixture of saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal, and has been used for centuries. It is not ideal as a propellant, however, because of its inefficient burning characteristics and the large quantities of smoke and other residues generated. Improvements in chemical science in the late nineteenth century led to the development of smokeless powders, the first of these entering service in...

Amd W

Hawk, Bell P-39 Airacobra and early Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks these were fuselage-mounted. These synchronised installations were criticised by British testers as they reduced the rate of fire to 400-500 rpm. As the number increased, guns were moved to the wings and synchronised weapons were abandoned, except in the specialised P-39 and Bell P-63 Kingcobra which were specifically designed for a heavy nose-mounted armament. While the Browning s projectiles lacked the destructive effect of cannon...

Il API FIllIS

A type of magazine in which the cartridges are stacked on top of each other (they may be single or double stacked) (German) incendiary shell (German) high-explosive incendiary shell the opening at the rear of the chamber which allows cartridges to be loaded and fired cases extracted alternative term for bolt, normally used when its operating movement involves pivoting, or sliding vertically or horizontally the part of the barrel surrounding the breech see ball a rifle in which the action and...

Radardirected antiaircraft

The problem of hitting fast-moving aerial Targets is so difficult for manually aimed weapons that this task is now given to missile systems or remotely controlled guns which are automatically directed by radar. All the gunner has to do is specify the target and command the system to open fire. These are generally known as close-in weapon systems CIWS . Many of these mountings also carry electro-optical back-up sights to provide an alternative control mode. Sea-skimming anti-ship missiles are...

Introduction

The period from the middle of the nineteenth century to the early years of the twentieth saw a transformation in military firearms. British troops went to the Crimea in 1854 armed with rifles not very different from those of centuries earlier muzzle loaders, in which the powder, shot and primer were separately loaded, limiting the rate of fire to only a few rounds per minute. Sixty years later they fought in the Great War with bolt-action rifles capable of thirty aimed rounds per minute rpm ....

KA Pli F I Ii

Charge at the rear, detonated by a time fuze to explode just before reaching the target named after its nineteenth-century inventor nowadays loosely used to describe shell fragments the devices used to aim a gun a type of propellant line-of-sight range from an AA position to a target aircraft a type of gun action locking mechanism which moves across the breech face a barrel which is not rifled used with fin-stabilised ammunition self-propelled anti-aircraft gun usually mounted on an AFV chassis...

Manually loaded cannon

The use of large-calibre cannon continued into the First World War, although mainly on a small scale or experimental basis, with two principal uses in mind downward firing, against ground or naval targets, and upward firing, against airships. In either case, this meant that the guns were rarely fixed to fire forward, being either flexibly mounted and fired by a gunner, or fixed to fire upwards or downwards. These planned uses also meant that rate of fire was not particularly important, so the...

The Cartridge

Extractor groove, but these have not been a particularly successful compromise. Rimless cases need a method of accurate location in the chamber and this is normally achieved by using a bottleneck case, in which the headspace is determined by the contact between the shoulder of the case and the matching part of the chamber. With straight or tapered cases this becomes more difficult to achieve, so such cases often have a projecting belt just in front of the extractor groove to provide positive...

APPli NinX TWO

TABLE 1 cartridges used in automatic weapons 11.35mm - 57mm TABLE 1 cartridges used in automatic weapons 11.35mm - 57mm 11.35mm Madsen aircraft gun Argentina .5 Vickers V 565 12.7mm Breda-Safat, Scotti, I JA 12.7mm Type 1 Ho-103 aircraft guns .50 Browning M2, M3, M85, GAU-19 A, CIS 50MG, Barrett, LCZ and other rifles APDS SLAP penetrates 25mm 1,000m DShK 38 46, UB, NSV, YakB-12.7, PRC Type 77 amp W-85 Sholoklov ATR. Gepard Ml, LCZ amp OSV-96 rifles Rheinmetall-Borsig MG 131 electric , UN 13mm...

Postscript

M60 Machine Gun Disassembly

Finally, the US Army has selected Alliant Techsystems to develop a future infantry rifle called the Objective Individual Combat Weapon OICW . This is planned to combine 5.56mm and 20mm weapons in a gun no heavier than the current 5.56mm M 16 rifle with M203 grenade launcher. By means of extremely sophisticated but highly automated sighting and computing systems, the low-velocity, low-recoil 20mm ammunition can be set to air-burst over a target at a range of up to 1,000 metres, although impact...

Weapons F Or A Fighting

The long-recoil design reduced the peak loads to no more than those of the 20mm Hispano. The Hurricane IID system proved highly accurate, much more so than the rocket-firing Typhoon fighters which replaced it, which despite their reputation were not precision weapons. Under trial conditions, the IIDs could achieve a hit-rate of 25 on tank-sized targets in comparison with less than 5 for airborne RPs rocket projectiles Operational Research calculated that in action in Normandy, the strike rate...

Combined projectiles

It is usual for projectiles to combine characteristics in order to maximise the effect on the target. The term 'AP shell' which should properly be APHE is used to describe an essentially armour-piercing projectile which also contains some high-explosive usually only a very small percentage of the projectile weight , intended to detonate once the armour has been penetrated. It is generally only worth doing this in larger calibres, although national practices have varied. In World War Two, for...

Rapid Fi Kl

The Machine Gun. 5 volumes Bureau of Ordnance, Department of the Navy USA, 1951-87 Hoffschmidt, E. J. Know Your Antitank Rifles. Blacksmith Corp USA, 1977 Musgrave, D. D. German Machineguns. Greenhill Books London,1992 Allsop, D. F. Cannons. Brassey's UK, 1995 Anon. 100 Jahre Eidg. Waffenfabrik Bern. ND Anon. Technisches Reglement No. 16 Die schwere Tankb sche Tb. 41. 1941 Chamberlain, P. and Gander, T. WW2 Fact Files Ami-Aircraft Guns. Macdonald and Jane's London,1975 Chamberlain,...

Weapons For Air F I

Arrangements because of the distance from the engine. The traditional inter-war twin-RCMG equipment was almost invariably mounted in the engine cowling and synchronised to fire through the propeller disc. As the number and size of guns increased, differences in national preferences began to emerge. Soviet, German and Japanese practice generally continued to favour cowling-mounted synchronised guns and Soviet, German and French air forces also used aircraft with engine-mounted cannon. In...

T Ii E C A T K

Shaped Charge Exploding

Office Design Department to remove some shortcomings in De Wilde s design. However, such small projectiles are barely able to contain enough chemicals to make the effort worthwhile. The heavy machine gun is really the smallest calibre in which incendiary shells are common, with HE shells being more common in cannon 20 mm calibres. During the Second World War, it was discovered that adding aluminium dust to HE compounds not only improved the strength of the explosion but also had an incendiary...

Intro Ij C Tionf

Rifle Machine Gun

Essentially it was a weapon which used rifle-calibre ammunition but was intended for sustained weapons have remained important in army and naval applications throughout their existence, their fire. It was therefore tripod-mounted, usually water- period of major development occurred in the mid- cooled, belt-fed and served by several men. The Maxim was the first of these, with the Vickers die years of the twentieth century, especially for aircraft installations. The constant pressure for...

The Naval Antiaircraft Gunnery Committee

Even at the beginning of the 1930s there was some concern about the adequacy of the British weapons. The problem was considered by the Naval Anti-aircraft Gunnery Committee, which produced a report in April 1932. The committee went into great technical detail in calculating the effectiveness of different guns. They took into consideration such matters as the nature of the threats, the time during which aircraft could be brought under effective fire by different weapons, the range and rate of...

Index

The index is divided into five different parts in order to facilitate browsing as well as locating specific items Cartridges and guns, by metric calibre Gun index by designation designer, manufacturer and name Gun mountings, self-propelled guns amp vehicles Aircraft index Warship index General index The following conventions have been followed 123 numbers in bold are page references to significant information about the item 123 ordinary numbers indicate other references to the item 123 numbers...

Rapid Fire

A pivoting lever inside a short-recoil mechanism which acts to accelerate the rearward movement of the bolt armoured fighting vehicle automatic grenade launcher advanced hit efficiency and destruction a proprietary Oerlikon ammunition development armoured infantry fighting vehicle also known as MICV a weapon which achieves barrel cooling by radiation direct to the atmosphere collective name for cartridges or equivalent armour-piercing a projectile designed to penetrate armour, or a cartridge...

It A F K

Most complex and troublesome areas are those concerned with ammunition handling the mechanisms for loading, firing, extracting, ejecting, and reloading. All such guns can be divided into four classes according to the motive power used to achieve this externally powered, blowback-operat-ed, recoil-operated and gas-operated. Each of these major categories has sub-groups, for example recoil-operated weapons may have short- or long-recoil mechanisms, and in some cases elements of two or more...

Unpublished Documents

mainly held in the Ministry of Defence Pattern Room Ackers, T. General Survey of Main Problems Connected with Installation, Functioning and Accuracy of Aircraft Gun Armament During the War. Technical Note Arm. 383, A amp AEE Monograph No. 4.08 Royal Aircraft Establishment, 1947 Anon. The Second World War 1939-1945 Royal Air Force Armament Volume II Guns, Gunsights, Turrets, Ammunition and Pyrotechnics. S.D. 737 Air Ministry 1954 Anon. Me 410 A-1 U4 Flugzeug-Handbuch 1944 Anon. Development of...

Air Force Equipment Key Texts

World Encyclopaedia of Modern Air Weapons. Patrick Stephens UK, 1988 Chinn, G. M. The Machine Gun. 5 volumes Bureau of Ordnance, Department of the Navy USA, 1951-87 Gunston, W. Encyclopedia of Aircraf t Armament. Salamander Books London, 1987 Price, A. Combat Development in World War Two Fighter Aircraft. Arms and Armour Press UK, 1989 Richardson, D. The History of the Revolver Cannon. Oerlikon-Contraves Zurich, 1994 Woodman, H. Early Aircraft Armament. Arms amp Armour Press London,...

Ammo 57x438 Weight

Ml AA M9 aircraft Ml M9 loaded to 853 m s, 317,000 joules M9 only RhB FlaK M 42 WW2 naval AA. M M-Geschoss cartridge also used in KwK AFV PaK 36 AT gun see Table 2 for loadings 40mm HV for AGLs MDHC Ml29, Mark 19, CIS 40-AGL, LAG-40, Vektor Striker, HKGMG. -Vickers 2 pdr Pom-pom A A -Vickers High Velocity AA -Vickers Class S aircraft -Vickers Class S MkVI AP shot 57mm Bofors m 54 army and naval SAK-57 AA Molins 6 pdr 7 cwt aircraft naval AFV and AT TABLE2 MISCELLANEOUS MILITARY CARTRIDGES This...

Gun Design Key Texts

Brassey's UK, 1995 Chinn, G. M. The Machine Gun. 5 volumes Vols I IV Bureau of Ordnance, Department of the Navy USA, 1951-55 Vol V RAMP Inc. 1987 Musgrave, D. D. German Machineguns. Greenhill Books London, 1992 Richardson, D. The History of the Revolver Cannon. Oerlikon-Contraves Zurich, 1994 Anon. Oerlikon Pocket Book. Oerlikon-Biihrle AG Zurich, 1981 Hobart F.W.A., Pictorial History of the Machine Gun. Ian Allan Shepperton, 1971 Gander, T. The Machine Gun A Modern...

Other Publications

Research, Development and Production of Small Arms and Aircraft Armament of the Japanese Army. Ordnance Technical Intelligence Report Number 19, 1946 reprinted in USA, 1971 Elks, K. Japanese Ammunition 1880-1945 Labbett, P. and Brown, F. A. British Anti-Tank Rifle Ammunition 1917-1945 Labbett, P. and Brown, F. A. British Service .50 inch Bro wn ing A mm un it ion Labbett, P. and Brown, F. A. German 2cm Cannon A mmunition 1935-1945 Labbett, P. and Brown, F. A....

Manuallyaimed light cannon

Heavy machine guns are still fitted to some light naval vessels, but only on the simplest of mountings with virtually no technical changes since the Second World War. In contrast, several new 20mm, 25mm, 30mm and 40mm cartridges and weapons have been introduced and are used in mountings under local control - that is, with the gunner standing behind or sitting on the mounting in order to aim the gun. One of the few points they share in common is that they are all air-cooled. The main points of...

Fif

Cartridge Oerlikon-Contraves production FAPDS 26mm at l,000m 60 APDS 31mm and APFSDS 37mm. A unique light cannon variant currently applied to Russian aircraft ammunition for ground-attack purposes is the CC, or cargo-carrying, projectile. This contains sub-projectiles which are discharged from the body of the projectile at a set distance after firing in order to saturate the target area. It is designed to cause significant damage to such targets as aircraft parked in the open, but would also be...

Comparative Drawings of Postwar Fighter Guns

The following drawings represent fighter aircraft guns which have been introduced into service since World War 2. As with the drawings in Appendix 4, they are not all drawn to precise scale so measurements should not be scaled from them. The approximate scale used is the same as in Annex 4, so the general size of the guns may be compared. Particular thanks are expressed to the Russian Aviation Research Trust for making material available from which most of the Soviet guns have been drawn. 1....

Gun design

The current emphasis in gun design is on externally powered weapons for arming light AFVs and helicopters, as this provides several advantages compactness, reliability and a rate of fire which can be varied to suit the tactical circumstances. The introduction of new ammunition concepts such as those described above does, however, have implications for gun mechanisms. In particular, caseless cartridges offer the promise of considerable simplification. The Russians have experimented with guns...

A I I N l I X T W

Solothurn Long FlaK 30 38 AA, KwK 30 38 AFV, MG C 30 L air, Breda M 35, Scotti and Lahti L40 AA. plus SI8-1000 1100 and Lahti ATRs 134g loading was for WW2 FMK aircraft and WW2 post-war Flab Kan 38 AA. Rim 2.6mm thick HS 820 0erlikon KAD US Ml39 , Rheinmetall Rh 202, GIATM 693, Mauser MK20, HS 827 exp. Rim 3.5mm thick 20mm Bofors m 40 A A AT sub-calibre training 23mm NS NR 23 690 m s loading 23mm AM GSh23 6-23, Norinco Type 2 740 m s R-23 aircraft post-war frontloading revolver Oerlikon KBA,...

RAPID Fill

Mk 12 USN T3, A5, 73, 185 20X113 Lahti L34 T1,T3, A3, 69, 20 x 120 Madsen Tl, T3, T5, A3, 129, 92, 125, 146, 179,218 20 x 125 T , A3,181,220, 174,220 Ho-1, Ho-3 T3, A4, 73, 146, 174, Type 97 IJA T5, 215, 73, 174, 20 x 128 Tl, A3, 14, 138, 25, 71, 78, Meroka T3, C, 82-3, 133 1 67, 76, 165, 171, 185 20 x 138B Tl, A3, 96, 129,220, 58, 92, 94, 122, 161,217 Breda M35 T3, 69, 124 KwK30, KwK 38 T3, 58, 90 MG C 30L T3, A4, 58, 161-2, 164 Scotti T3, 93, 73, 124 Solothurn SI8-1000 1100 T5, 215, 20 x 139...

Journal and Magazine Articles

Anon. 'Die 3,7-cm-Flak M 42 der Deutschen Kriegsmarine', Waffen-Revue 106-107 Anon. 'Paths of Destruction - NWM De Kruithoorn Demonstration of Frangible Medium Calibre Ammunition', Military Technology 12 94 Barnes, S. 'Helicopter Gunnery Options and Tactics', Military Technology 8 94 Boulay, P. Comment L'Helicoptere de combat naquit en France1, Le Fana de VAviation 2 96 Broden, D. 'Revolutionising Combat Capability', Global Defence Review, 1999 Bustin, I. 'Getting to the Point - Cased...

Early beginnings

The first heavy machine guns were designed for naval use. The main tactical problem at that time the late nineteenth century was the introduction of the self-propelled torpedo, which had led to the development of small, fast craft to carry them. These vessels were too large to be damaged by rifle-calibre machine gun fire and too agile to be hit by slow-firing, manually-loaded naval cannon, so an intermediate weapon was sought. The first response was simply to scale up the existing...

T II li C A T K ti li

Anti Air Gun Ammunition

Sub-calibre 35mm projectiles for Oerlikon-Contraves ammunition Left FAPDSfor air defence. Middle APDS-Tfor anti-armour use. RIGHT APFSDS-Tfor enhanced anti-armour use Courtesy Oerlikon-Contraves called arrow projectiles, notably by the Germans reduce the amount who developed this Pfeil-geschoss concept in the Second World War with HE projectiles in order to achieve very long range in large-calibre artillery weapons. APFSDS penetrators with an L D ratio of between 10 1 and 20 1 are in common use...

M242 25mm Machine

25mm Twin Barrel Gun

Offered a better combination of weight and performance than the equivalent .50 Browning and was one of the best guns in its class. The 20mm ShVAK was also an impressive weapon which first became famous in the Polikarpov 1-16 fighter which saw action in the Spanish Civil War, outclassing other aircraft until the arrival of the Bf 109. It was fitted to a wide range of aircraft including Lend-Lease Hurricanes. In late 1944 the ShVAK was replaced in production by the B-20, which used the same...

A ckn owledgem en ts

This book would not have been possible John Carrier, Ron Wallace Clarke, Dr J. R. without the generous co-operation and assistance Crittenden Schmitt, Eugene Dvurechenski, Nigel of Herbert Woodend, the curator, and the staff of Eastaway of the Russian Aviation Research Trust the Ministry of Defence Pattern Room, whose RART , Urban Frederickson, Dr Ian Gooderson, unique library and weapon collection was exten- Jack Green of the US Naval Historical Centre, sively consulted. Particular thanks are...

R Api Fire

OE OTO mounting with twin 35mm Oerlikon guns Courtesy Oerlikonlhm Hogg the Italian OE OTO mounting, both introduced in the early 1970s. The latest Oerlikon development is the Millennium system, being developed in conjunction with Royal Ordnance, who are supplying the gun mounting. It is designed around Oerlikon's new 35 1,000 gas-operated revolver cannon which fires at 1,000 rpm via a linkless feed. The associated AHEAD ammunition system previously referred to has a greater effective range than...

Cartridge design

Chemically Engraved Armour

A cartridge is a unit or round of ammunition consisting of a projectile, propellant to thrust the projectile from the gun, a primer to ignite the propellant and a cartridge case to hold it all together. For as long as it has been used, the cartridge has been the heart of all automatic weapons. It is almost invariably designed first and the gun configured around it. This particularly applies to gas- or recoil-operated automatic and semi-automatic weapons because their functioning depends upon...

British weapons

During the early 1930s the Royal Navy Perhaps less evident were questions of power selected two weapons to fulfil the short-range AA requirements. Powered mountings offered much roles the .5 Vickers Mk III heavy machine gun and faster training and elevation rates but were more the 2pdr which has already been mentioned. Both expensive and vulnerable to loss of power through guns were belt-fed and water-cooled. The .5 was originally intended for all three services, but only the RN made extensive...

The German arsenal

German plans for air-fighting and aircraft armament went through a dramatic series of changes from the mid-1930s to the end of the Second World War, and resulted in a far greater variety of weapon projects than in any other nation, although many of the most technically interesting were still under development at the end of the war. While Germany was among the first to introduce one of the new breed of monoplane fighters with retractable undercarriage and enclosed cockpits the Messerschmitt Bf...

Modern Soviet and Russian armament

30mm Cartridges

Cannon, is also available in a variety of different guns. The GSh-6-30 is an air-cooled version of the The Soviet Air Force also went through a navy cannon, developed in parallel with the GSh-6-crisis in confidence over guns or perhaps a bout of 23 and also accepted into service in 1974. It equips over-confidence in the capabilities of missiles and the Su-9, -11, -15 and -21, the Yak-28P and the the MiG-27 ground-attack aircraft and reportedly some versions of the Su-25 and MiG-31. There is...

Postwar developments in the Soviet Union

The post-war Soviet designers agreed with the British and French that the priority was the ability to shoot down nuclear-armed heavy bombers and thus chose to develop large-calibre cannon. The NS-23 Nudelman-Suranov , which first appeared in 1944, was a logical replacement for the 20mm ShVAK and the B-20 it was effectively an NS-37 scaled-down to use a new 23 x 115 cartridge. This short-recoil gun was very light at 37kg, but could fire at only 550 rpm. It saw initial use in propeller-driven...

The cartridge case

The cartridge case has two major functions. First, it holds together all the active components of the cartridge - the projectile, propellant and primer -ina waterproof container which is rugged enough to withstand rough handling, especially in automatic weapons. Second, when the gun is fired, the cartridge case is expanded by the pressure against the walls of the firing chamber, forming a gas-tight seal which prevents any propellant gas from seeping back into the gun mechanism - and possibly...

American weapons

While the USAAF and USN aircraft started the Second World War with the .30 Browning as their primary weapon, the story of American air armament is dominated by the .50 Browning M2 HMG. The big Browning has already been described so it is unnecessary to say more than that it was a belt-fed gun weighing in light-barrelled aircraft form 29kg. Although prototypes were tested in the 1920s the gun saw little use until the introduction of the M2 in the mid-1930s. In pre-war form the rate of fire was...

AP Cartridge

Today, they are not only highly effective long-range anti-personnel weapons, with the ability to punch through walls and other types of cover favoured by infantrymen, but with the use of advanced ammunition types are also effective against soft-skinned or lightly armoured vehicles. An alternative approach to the anti-personnel role is represented by the OCSW objective crew served weapon programme which is intended to enter US Army service by 2008. The 25mm gun, which fires at 220 rpm, weighs...

Other projectiles

Most projectiles are variants or combinations of those already described. 'MultibalT rounds have been developed for heavy machine guns as well as infantry rifles. As the name suggests, two or more short projectiles are stacked on top of each other in the cartridge case and all fired at once, with the aim of increasing the hit probability against infantry. These are also known as duplex or triplex loadings, when they have two or three projectiles respectively. The problem is that, being light...

Ballistics

Ballistics is a complex and highly technical subject. In this book, it will be covered only in sufficient detail to enable the reader to grasp the essentials. The subject is generally divided into internal and external ballistics. The first deals with the passage of the projectile up the gun barrel, the second with what happens to the projectile between the gun muzzle and the target. There is a third category -terminal ballistics - concerning what happens when the projectile hits the target,...

It A I Ii Fi Ii

Of a vee-engine to fire forwards through the hollow propeller hub. There is some confusion about identification of the gun and ammunition most sources list the gun as a Puteaux but there were in fact two guns the first was developed from the Modele 1885 naval gun and was a single-shot weapon fitted with a smooth-bore barrel to fire shotshells canister . The other was the SAMC which featured a five-round vertical feed ammunition hopper and had a conventional rifled barrel for firing HE shells....

Modern Western Weapons

Gau Helical Magazine

There was a period in the 1950s and 1960s when most nations felt that guns would no longer be required, and several fighters were designed to use only missiles. Most of these, such as the USAFs F-102A and F-106A, were intended for intercepting strategic bombers. Naval fighters such as the RNs Sea Vixen and the USNs F-4 Phantom II were also introduced without guns. The US realised its mistake in the Vietnam War and accordingly fitted the USAF s F-4E with an M61A1 cannon. This version achieved...

UAPin IllK

Small Arms .5 observer s gun intended for flexible mounting, which initially used similar but slightly different ammunition, although it was later adapted to fire the standard Vickers round. However its size, low rate of fire and the small magazine capacity of 37 rounds deterred the RAF from adopting it. Tests against aircraft structures and engines in comparison with .303 guns favoured the smaller calibre and work on the HMGs stopped in 1928, although versions of the .5 Vickers were selected...

Weapons For Air Fighting

Soviet 37mm Gun

Before the start of the war, the 11-2 saw extensive service with over 36,000 being built. After unsuccessful use of 20mm cannon, the 11-2 was re-equipped with the high-velocity 23mm VYa Volkov- Yartsev firing a far more powerful 23 X 152B cartridge, capable of penetrating 25mm of armour at 400m. Two of these were carried, with two RCMGs for sighting. In 1942 the VYa was supplemented in service by the 37mm NS-37 Nudelmcin-Suranov , which had replaced an earlier design, the Sh-37 Shpitalny ,...

Cartridge Machine Gun Ho301

40mm case ess projectile for Ho-301 next to 12.7 X 108 for scale Courtesy MoD Pattern Room It is sometimes claimed that the Imperial Japanese Navys 30mm Type 2 was a copy of the MK 108, but despite some similarities in the ammunition shape they have little in common. The Type 2, which seems to have been developed some time before the MK 108, is simply a scaled-up 20mm Oerlikon with the usual front-mounted recoil spring. It has a much longer barrel than the MK 108, which accounts for both its...

101mm Machine

Oerlikon S 20 X 11 ORB fired case next to unfired cartridge, showing expansion of case neck on firing through subsidiaries abroad, especially in Switzerland. including anti-tank weapons it did not achieve great success until the rearmament boom of the late 1930s. By this time it was available in three main forms, all of which retained the API blowback mechanism. The first form was the Swiss Oerlikon FF aircraft gun, a development of the Becker, which originally retained the Beckers 70mm case...

Weapons For Air F I Ii T I j

Because it was still on their secret list. Much more productive was the work on 37mm cannon, which produced several different types amid some confusion. The American Armament Corporation AAC marketed several weapons in this calibre. None of these was successful and suggestions by some sources that they were involved with the development of the Oldsmobile T9 adopted into service in December 1939 as the 37mm M4 are unfounded. The M4 was a Browning-type long-recoil gun the barrel recoiled some...

Naval IjiTS

Twin 40mm Bofors on Hazemeyer stabilised mounting Courtesy MoD Pattern Room the Oerlikons was seen to disturb the approach of of the war the simpler and slightly lighter 6,500kg the Japanese aircraft. The recommendation was Mk V twin mounting was developed instead and strongly in favour of fitting Bofors guns in the future. The air cooling obviously limited the continuous this became the basis of the standard post-war twin mounting. The increase in automatic AA firepower fitted to rate of fire....

Ammunition Key Texts

Ammunition for the Land Battle. Brassey's UK, 1991 Davis, D. M. Historical Development Summary of Automatic Cannon Calibre Ammunition 20-30 Millimeter. Air Force Armament Laboratory USA, 1984 Hogg, I. V. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ammunition. Quarto London, 1985 Hogg, I. V. Jane's Directory of Military Small Arms Ammunition. Janes Publishing Company London, 1985 Anon. Small-Caliber Ammunition Identification Guide. US Army Material Development and Readiness Command...

Combat persistence

One typically Russian characteristic is the tendency to favour heavy projectiles at the expense of muzzle velocity. The 23 x 115 round fires a 170g or 200g projectile, in comparison with the 102g of the 20 x 102 M61 and the 180g of the much bigger NATO 25 X137. Similarly, the 390g 30X165 projectile compares with around 270g for the 30 x 113B Aden and 30 x 150B GIAT . If the Russian cartridge were loaded with 270g projectiles, muzzle velocity in the GSh-301 could be expected to increase, for the...

Air force equipment

The first and most obvious conclusion is that after a period in the 1950s and 1960s of believing that aircraft-mounted guns would be made obsolete by missiles, all fighter aircraft are now fitted with them. The main reason for this is the flexibility of the gun. It can be used for air-to-air and air-to-ground fighting, will not be deflected by the electronic or thermal countermeasures used against missiles and provides a backup for when the missiles run out. The lack of range in comparison with...

Sea Zenith Ciws

M197 Machine Gun Mount

Have been developed to circumvent this problem. Some of the guns used in radar-directed systems are also available in locally controlled mountings and have therefore already been described. The main exceptions are at the extremes larger-calibre guns which are always radar-directed, and very fast-firing cannon used in the specialised CIWS anti-missile mountings. Dealing with the weapons in calibre order means starting with the CIWS. The American Phalanx was the first in the field in the late...

Comparative Drawings of Second World War Aircraft Guns

The following drawings represent aircraft guns of between 12.7 and 57mm calibre which saw service in the Second World War, together with some models which saw only experimental use. They have been compiled from a wide range of sources, mainly photographic and of varying quality. They are therefore not precise scale drawings, and detailed measurements should not be taken from them. They are included here to give an impression of the general appearance and relative size, as they have all been...

Gun mountings

All heavy automatic weapons need some type of mounting. For the simplest infantry use, heavy machine guns will typically use a tripod with a limited range of elevation. If intended for AA work, the tripod needs to be much higher to permit the gunner to sight the elevated gun some tripods can be adjusted to meet either need. For use from a vehicle, the gun may be mounted on a simple pintle a post with a head which permits traverse and elevation , or on some kind of horizontal ring mounting which...

Rapid Fi Uk

Cal Sniper Rifle

The belt, and the links are designed to fall free of each cartridge as it is chambered. Initially devised in Germany, this was quickly introduced into British service in 1916 the Air Service Mk I and was rapidly adopted elsewhere. Not all steel belts have been of the disintegrating type, and some e.g. for the German MG 131 and 151 were designed to be convertible between disintegrating and non-disintegrating depending on the installation requirements. Disintegrating-link belts can be extended by...

P-47 Heavy Damage

Devastatingly effective at short range. As with the French, the German 37mm gun in use early in the war was not automatic. The 3.7cm SKC 30 fired an exceptionally powerful 37 X 380R cartridge 750g at 1,000 m s but at only 30 rpm. The Italians also used 37mm and 20mm cannon, the former using a 37 X 230SR cartridge and the latter firing the same 20 X 138B ammunition as the German guns. There was also a 13.2mm Breda Ml931 machine gun, using Hotchkiss ammunition and with a similar specification,...

Ammunition feeds

The earliest machine guns relied on gravity to feed ammunition to the weapons. Typically, there would be some form of vertical guide above the gun into which the cartridges would slot, properly aligned with the chamber. The lowest cartridge would be suspended just above the bolt, or pressed against it, so that after recoiling to the rear, the bolt would push the next cartridge into the chamber on its return. Aircraft reflector sight, British, WW2 Courtesy R.W.Clarke Gravity feed for Bofors 40mm...

Ciws Goalkeeper

Mounting contains twelve externally powered guns, using electrically-primed 20 X 128 ammunition, which are closely packed together in two rows of six. The 4,500kg mounting includes a guidance radar, but without a closed-loop system. Another CIWS which has achieved service status with the Turkish Navy is the Contraves Seaguard. The 3,500kg gun module, called Sea Zenith, uses four Oerlikon KBB cannon, which fire a lengthened, large-capacity 25 X 184 cartridge to improve the performance over the...

The caseless cartridge

If it is a good idea to use plastic-cased telescoped cartridges to reduce the size and weight of the ammunition load, surely it would be even better to dispose of the cartridge case altogether This would not only save more weight, it would remove the need for the case to be extracted and ejected, thereby simplifying gun design. In larger artillery calibres cartridge cases are not normally used. The projectile and propellant are loaded separately and priming arrangements are contained within the...

Weapons For Ai Fi Ii Tiiv

Weapon Heavy Machine Gun

2cm MG-FFfor flexible mounting note the barrel casing, handgrips and shoulder stock BuOnt. VSN 2cm MG-FFfor flexible mounting note the barrel casing, handgrips and shoulder stock BuOnt. VSN not suitable for driving a belt feed, but a complex electrically driven belt feed GZ 1-FF, or It is worth commenting on the Schr ge Musik installation. There were basically three reasons for Gurtzufiihrer 1-FF was developed. It was mainly fitting guns in such a way. First, the RAFs night used in some night...

Naval applications

Future Heavy Machine Guns

The relative advantages and disadvantages of gun and missile air defence systems for warships is a complex issue, the balance of which shifts from time to time depending on technological developments both in the systems themselves and in the threats with which they have to cope. The major advantage held by missiles at least up to the present is that they can be steered all the way to the target. By contrast, the hit probability of a projectile from a gun decreases very rapidly with increasing...

Postwar developments in Western nations

After the Second World War there was a lull in the previously rapid development of new weapons while the Allies absorbed the progress made by German weapon designers, debated the role of aircraft guns in the light of the prospect of guided missiles and in the case of all except the USA struggled to recover from the disastrous financial consequences of six years of war. The post-war period can therefore be divided into phases. Until the mid-1950s, weapons based on the wartime guns remained in...

11 X 59r Ammo For Sale

Experimental Limited Service Machine Gun and Cannon Cartridges .5 BSA Mod 24 inter-war exp. aircraft gun ARES TARG exp. post-war plastic telescoped case .50 Colt-Kynoch North exp HMG, 1901 .50 60 T17 series WW2 exp. aircraft gun .5 Vickers High Velocity V690 Class D inter-war A A .50 Tround post-war exp. plastic triangular case FN BRG-15 post-war exp. AFV first pattern .60 WW2T17 series exp. aircraft guns originally developed for experimental ATR FN BRG-15 post-war exp. AFV final pattern .661...

The Japanese miscellany

Japanese aircraft armament was characterised by a wide variety of different types most of which used their own unique ammunition. This is partly explained by the fact that the air forces were divided between the army and navy, although a similar situation did not prevent a high degree of commonality in US aircraft guns. Certainly the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy IJA and UN respectively followed wilfully different procurement policies and seemed unconcerned about the benefits of...

Helicopter guns

Maxim Nordenfelt

The Vietnam War was the first conflict in which helicopters played a major role, initially for rapid troop deployment in a country in which other forms of transport were slow and subject to guerrilla attack. The necessarily low-flying helicopters were vulnerable to ground fire, particularly when landing or picking up troops, so some were fitted with machine guns. These were initially mounted in the windows or doorways of transport helicopters on simple pintle mounts, a practice which continues...

The Pompom

The early history of the heavy automatic weapon has already been related. To recap, the first of these weapons intended for army use was the Hotchkiss rotary cannon, but this was far more successful as a naval gun. The 37mm Maxim, which effectively superseded the Hotchkiss two decades later, was much more compact and saw land service most notably in the Boer War , mounted on a typical large-wheeled carriage. Despite this, by the Vickers-Maxim I-Pounder Pom-pom' Courtesy R. W. Clarke First World...

Soviet equipment

By the start of the war on the Eastern Front the Soviet Air Force had a choice of three main air-fighting guns the 7.62mm ShKAS, 12.7mm UB and 20mm ShVAK. During the war these were supplemented by weapons with more of a ground-attack emphasis, such as the 23mm VYa and the NS-37. As might be expected, the armament fit of aircraft became heavier as the war progressed, but not by as much as in the case of most other combatants. The Soviet Union did not field any large-calibre cannon for air-to-air...

It Api Fire

Cartridge case design is a science in itself. There are certain basic requirements - the case must locate the projectile in precisely the correct position in the firing chamber with the exception of advanced primer ignition - API - blowback guns which fire as the case is moving forwards it must be easy to extract once fired and it must function well in automatic weapons - but there are various methods of achieving these aims. Before proceeding further it is well to be clear about the...

A I i l I X T W

Cased telescopic for GAU-7 A post-war exp aircraft T239 round for T182 post-war exp aircraft revolver HS 825 post-war exp aircraft belted version later Hispano-Suiza HS 836 postwar exp AFV Hotchkiss M 1935 inter-war naval A A trials use NS-45 WW2 exp. aircraft trials use RhB MK112 WW2 exp. aircraft M-Geschoss RhB WW2 FlaK 58 MK 114 exp. aircraft N-57 post-war exp. aircraft OKB-16-57 dimensions approx Manually Operated Repeating Machine Gi n and Cannon Cartridges 19th century .65 Gatling naval 1...

APPEiXdix Two

Current aircraft DEFA 550 e XC-30 is heli version 700-900 rpm current AA AFV e M89 has dual belt feed 19th century w effectively international TABLE4 OTHER HEAVY AUTOMATIC WEAPONS This includes information about some of the weapons referred to in the text which saw little or no service, or have completed development but have not yet been officially adopted, or are still under development. Weapons in the latter two categories are described as 'current'. It is by no means a comprehensive list of...

Lessons of the First World

The Great War, among many other lessons, emphasised the need to provide various kinds of anti-aircraft fire. These ranged from high-velocity large-calibre cannon for engaging high-flying bombers, to light machine guns on mountings which permitted high-angle fire in order to provide a last-ditch defence against low-flying strafing fighters. To these problems was added a new threat the tank. It was soon realised that the design of weapons to deal with aircraft and tanks had certain similarities....

Gasoperated guns

French Cannon Breech Mechanism

A few years after maxim introduced the short-recoil gun, John Browning invented a different principle of operation for his first machine gun. After observing that the propellant gases escaping from the muzzle still had considerable force, he devised a simple mechanism to trap some of the gas and use it to drive the loading cycle. In his first practical machine gun, the gas was tapped from the barrel before the projectile left the muzzle. A prototype was sold to Colt by 1890 and the gun was...

Fuzes

The triggering of incendiary compounds may not be too critical as they burn for a noticeable, albeit short, period of time. HE shells, however, have to be detonated at precisely the correct instant and for this, a fuze is needed. Every fuze has two distinct requirements. First, it must reliably detonate the explosive filling at the precise instant required. This might be the instant it hits the target, a fraction of a second later, at a preset point of its flight, or when it detects the target...

IVaval Cuns

These fired steel bullets rather than explo- the French Navy alone ordered 10,000 of the sive projectiles, but their weight gave them sufficient Hotchkiss cannon, and at least thirty other coun- range and penetrative power to damage light craft. tries acquired them. The weapons were effective The 10-barrel .65 Gatling adopted by the British enough to remain in service well into the automatic Royal Navy weighed 370kg and could fire at up to weapon era, still being in use at the...

Fiat Revelli M1917 25.4 Mm A C

Coventry Ordnance Works see 37 X 93, Cray ford 1.59 see 40 X 79 R De Kruithoorn De Lisle carbine De Wilde DEFA DEFA 30M540 series DEFA 30M550 series Degtyarev see 7.62 X 54R, PTRD Eidgen ssische Waffenfabrik 54 FI AT-Revel Ii M14 see 6.5 X 52 FIAT-Revelli 25.4mm see 25 X 87 Flab. Kan 38 20mm see 20 X 139 FMK Flab. Kan 38 34mm see 34 X 239 FlaK 18 FlaK 30 FlaK 36 FlaK 38 FlaK 41 FlaK 43, M43 FlaK 58 FlaK M42 FMK 38 FN BRG see 37 x 263B see 20 X 138B see 37 X 263 B see 20 X 138B, 30 X 184B see 50...

30 X 165 Cartridge

Kal 20x139

Ammunition and is available with a gunhouse As well as achieving great success with their designed for low radar reflectivity, which conceals 40mm L70, Bofors produce a 57mm gun. This is the barrel when not required. This version has been simply a scaled-up version of the 40mm and was developed during the Second World War. Introduced in the late 1940s as the SAK 57 L 60, it selected for the Vis by class of 'stealth' corvettes which will enter service early in the new century. The first post-war...

Army uses

Machine Gun Chamber

For terrestrial anti-aircraft defence, there are the same kind of gun-versus-missile arguments as in naval applications, with the additional point that features such as hills, trees and buildings can greatly reduce the range at which low-flying aircraft are detected, giving quick-reacting, gun-based systems an advantage. On the other hand, the increasing range of the anti-armour missiles carried by attack helicopters is taking them beyond effective gun engagement range, with the possible...

Mpi Fi Kl

Bushmaster 30mm Chain Gun

Protruding from the propeller hub of a Yak- 9K Courtesy Russian Aviation Research Trust NS gun under Ilyushin 11-2 wing, with fairing removed. This appears to version, as indicated by the muzzle brake. There was only one experimen tal installation of this gun in the I1-2 Courtesy Russian Aviation Research Trust Soviet bombers were generally defended by RCMGs at the start oi the war, with the notable exception of the four-engined Petlyakov Pe-8 which featured 20mm cannon in two turrets. The...

Barrels and cooling

The burning of propellant, and the friction of projectiles accelerating down the barrel and being gripped and rotated by the rifling, combine to generate considerable heat in gun chambers and barrels. The higher the rate of fire per barrel, the more heat is generated and the less time there is available for it to be dissipated. The problem is also exacerbated by high-pressure, high-velocity cartridges. Heat generation causes two problems. The first is that after firing, the heat of the chamber...

The plastic cartridge case

Apds Projectile

Cartridge case design has so far changed much less than projectiles. Despite the practical advantages of the cartridge case it has always been regarded as something of a nuisance by weapon designers. It adds greatly to the weight of ammunition and complicates weapon design because of the need for mechanisms to extract and eject the fired case from the gun. Other types of cartridge case have occasionally been tried, many of them making use of modern plastics. Attempts to produce entirely plastic...

Postwar heavy machine guns

AS ALREADY INDICATED, THERE WAS ON THE FACE Of it little post-war development of HMGs. However, the USSR produced a revised version of the 12.7mm gun, the DShK-38 46, with an improved ammunition feed, using belts which could be linked together, and a quick-change barrel something the Browning M2 still lacks . They also produced a brand-new weapon, the formidable 14.5mm KPV, the king of the HMGs. This is based around the powerful 14.5 X 114 AT rifle cartridge and uses recoil operation with gas...

Longrecoil mechanisms

Push Unlatch Mechanism How Works

The need for the entire barrel bolt unit to recoil a considerable distance, followed by a delay in commencing reloading while the barrel returns into the firing position, gives long-recoil mechanisms a relatively low rate of fire. As a result, weapons using this system are much less common than the short-recoil type. However, the long and relatively soft recoil push puts less strain on the mechanism and makes accuracy easier to achieve while avoiding the need for the whole gun to recoil in its...

Powered guns

Gatling Gun Operational Principle

For half a century after the demise of the Gatlings, Gardners and Nordenfelts, the externally powered weapon disappeared from service, although some thought was given in Germany during the First World War to a gun driven by an aeroengine. The reason for this was that the most successful formula for fighter aircraft was found to be a front engine with fuselage-mounted machine guns. In order to avoid shooting the propeller away, complex engine-driven mechanisms to synchronise the firing of the...

Antitank and Modern Heavy Rifles

The first anti-tank AT rifle, the Mauser Tank-Gewehr M1918, was developed towards the end of the First World War in parallel with the MG TuF machine gun which used the same 13 x 92SR ammunition. It was rushed into service to provide infantry with some protection against the Allied tanks until the TuF could be introduced. The M1918 was conceptually very simple a bolt-action weapon just like a scaled-up infantry rifle but 1.68m long and weighing 17.7kg. The steel-cored projectile was claimed to...

Postwar MM antiaircraft cannon

Naval Gun Nordenfelt

The search for high-velocity 20mm cannon with a high rate of fire led both Hispano-Suiza and their rivals Oerlikon to develop new cartridges and guns, as described in detail in Chapter 2. The new cartridges, 20 X 139 and 20 X 128 respectively, offer muzzle velocities of around 1,000 m s, while the guns fire at 1,000 rpm, both very significant improvements on the equivalent Second World War equipment. GIAT, Rheinmetall and Mauser have built rival weapons around these cartridges. The army...