Category Archive 'Artillery'

28 Sep 2016


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04 Feb 2016

Serious Recoil


25 Feb 2015

How Accurate Was Artillery During the American Civil War?

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Pretty darned accurate.

Whitworth breechloading rifle

07 Dec 2011

Mythbusters Hit Homes With Cannonball

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Television’s Mythbusters had one of their experiments, apparently testing the velocity or the penetrating ability of a cannonball, go severely wrong. The projectile, intended to penetrate multiple barrels of water and a cinderblock then wind up buried in a hillside on an army base southeast of Oakland, instead sailed over the Diablo foothills and went right into the suburbs.

The misaimed cannonball went straight through the front door and the interior and exterior walls of one house in Dublin, California, then flew across a busy highway (luckily missing the passing cars), and took out the slate roof of a second house 50 yards away before coming to rest in a third family’s minivan.

I bet that program’s insurance will be markedly more costly next season.



Vanderleun offers maps.

21 Feb 2010

Skeet Shooting With a Tank

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An Australian “Carlton Dry Dreams” commercial for Carlton Dry beer. 0:59 Video

I think what they are doing is actually closer to Trap Shooting, but….

16 Jan 2010

US Artillery Battery in Action in Afghanistan

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Cobra Battery at FOB Frontenac, Arghandab, Afghanistan

Michael Yon has a spectacular set of photos of an M777 howitzer battery in action at night.


Thanks to Lazarus, who corrected my misidentification of the howitzer model.

08 Sep 2009

Enthusiast Testing Replica Cannon Accidentally Hits Neighboring House

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Replica cannon, cannonball, entry hole, house (Post Chronicle photos)

54-year-old William Masur, a resident of Georges Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania (about 35 miles/56 km. southeast of Pittsburgh) is an arms collector, a historical reenactor, and an enthusiast who also builds replicas of antique arms.

Last Wednesday, Masur was testing an 80lb/36.4 k. replica of a French and Indian War cannon firing a 2 lb./.9 kg. projectile. Unhappily, the cannonball hit a rock and ricocheted into the side of a house 400 yards/366 m. away. The cannonball penetrated an exterior wall breaking a window in the process, passed through another wall inside the house, and ended up in a closet. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Masur apologized for the mishap, and promised to stop testing his replicas anywhere remotely near human habitations, but as the original story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicates, official reaction was swift. The replica cannon was confiscated, and Masur was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.

All the facile hoplophobic condemnation from the mainstream media provokes in me a certain sympathy for Mr. Masur. Doubtless the accident was a very unfortunate thing, and someone certainly could conceivably have been killed or injured (in which case Mr. Masur would have had some very serious liability problems). Realistically though, it seems obvious to me that the cannonball’s ricochet was fairly improbable. Its then actually hitting a house was even more unlikely, and so on. On the whole, I’d really rather live in a country in which eccentric people are free to do unusual things like firing off cannons, even if that involves some modest risk of misadventure, than live swaddled in so much safety that anything fun, adventuresome, and entertaining to do is utterly precluded by law.

0:57 video

06 Dec 2008

Paperweight Proves to be Live WWI Artillery Shell

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British reporters are calling it a “bomb,” but it is clearly a small Naval artillery shell. Too bad no one bothers to identify it more specifically.

Daily Mail:

When a friend out diving found a foot-long lump of metal on the seabed, printing firm boss Jeff Hayes decided it would make an ideal paperweight.

For the next two years it sat on his desk as he chatted to his 150 employees – blissfully unaware that it was an unexploded bomb from the First World War.

It was only after the firm went into administration that the office landlord arrived with a friend who is a weapons expert and they realised the truth.

The pair gingerly carried the bomb out of the building and placed it in a flower bed before calling 999. ..
After inspecting the device, two soldiers from the Army bomb disposal unit placed it in the back of a truck and drove it to their base in Powick Hams, Worcestershire, where it is understood a controlled explosion took place.

The landlord, Clive Parks, had been touring the empty building with his friend Jon Williamson.

‘I saw the bomb on the desk and thought, “That looks dangerous”,’ said Mr Williamson. ‘I shoot so I know about firearms, it still had a live detonator and the explosive TNT was exposed.

‘We phoned the managing director and told him and he said, “I cannot believe it is dangerous, it was given to me by a friend of mine”.’

Mr Hayes, 42, refused to comment yesterday about his potentially deadly paperweight which was found on the seabed in the Solent.

But a close friend, Jon Parvin, said: ‘Jeff’s had it on his desk for ages and never realised it could go off.

‘You’d expect a shell that had been submerged under water for the last 90 years or so to be defunct but apparently this one still had a bit of bite to it.’

A fire brigade spokesman said: ‘There was TNT still left in it. If the managing director had put his feet on the desk after a hard day and accidentally knocked the shell on to the floor with a big thud, who knows, it may well have gone off.’

25 Oct 2008

Really Big Bore Deer Hunting

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Model 1841 12 pound Mountain Howitzer

This web-site explains how to hunt white-tailed deer using a Civil War-era Model 1841 12 Pound Mountain Howitzer.

This method of hunting seems likely to provoke criticism, but, after all, the hunter is restricted to a single shot before having to undertake an elaborate and time-consuming process of reloading. There can be no second shot at the same target. And just look at all the effort required to transport, maneuver, and aim the weapon! Besides, the unreasoning prejudice of today’s authorities toward any kind of seriously innovative approach to reducing game to possession makes the project still more sporting by introducing a distinct note of hazard for the sportsman.

If the idea makes you squeamish, or you start getting all liberal and statist, just repeat after me: Rats with hoofs! Rats with hoofs!

I do kind of think myself that a real artillerist could get his buck with an exploding shell, and someone really good could do it with solid shot. If those darned Civil War cannon were just a little cheaper…

Run for your lives!

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