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10 Largest Caliber Weapons Ever
Popular Mechanics ^ | May 2012 | David Hambling

Posted on 05/24/2012 7:30:35 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

10 Largest Caliber Weapons Ever

Most weapons, from .45 automatics to 155-mm howitzers, are described in terms of caliber—the diameter of their projectile. These are the biggest of the big. Some are impractical showpieces built to satisfy the outsize egos of dictators such as Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Others are pure demonstrations of extreme gunsmithing. All of them pack a punch.

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Largest Muzzle-Loading Cannon

The Tsar Cannon was cast in bronze in 1586 and weighs 40 tons. Its 35-inch bore and could fire about 1800 pounds of stone grapeshot, earning it the nickname the Russian Shotgun. It was never fired in anger and seems to have been intended mainly for display. Regent Boris Godunov, who ruled Russia in the late 1580s and 90s, described it as a way of overawing the local population and terrifying visiting ambassadors.

Napoleon wanted to take the Tsar Cannon back to France when he captured Moscow in 1812, but left without it. The big gun is now a popular tourist attraction outside the Kremlin arsenal.

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Largest Gun Used in Action

In 1936, Adolph Hitler asked artillery-maker Gustav Krupp whether he could build an artillery piece to defeat the new French Maginot Line. Krupp's suggestion: a giant cannon with an 80-cm (31-inch) caliber. Hitler ordered two.

Named Gustav and Dora, after Krupp and his wife, each 1350-ton cannon required its own train to move it and took three days to assemble. They could fire concrete-piercing shells weighing seven tons—as much as a bus—over 25 miles. The huge cannons arrived too late for the war against France, but Gustav devastated Sevastopol in the then-USSR during the siege, firing up to 14 rounds a day. Both guns were broken up at the end of WWII.

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Largest Gun on a Battleship

Japanese monster battleships Yamato and Musashi were fitted with nine 18.1-inch guns apiece, making them the most powerful artillery afloat. But though these guns had an effective range of some 26 miles, they were of little use in real combat. By the time they launched at the start of World War II, aircraft carriers had begun to eclipse battleships.

The Yamato once did get close enough to engage U.S. warships at the battle of Leyte Gulf, but submarine and aircraft attacks forced its retreat. Bombs and torpedoes sunk both ships.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Military/Veterans; Miscellaneous; Science; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: artillery; banglist; bigguns; boom; cannon; guns; gunsandammo; kaboom; weaponsofwar
See the rest of the list at the Popular Mechanics link provided ...
1 posted on 05/24/2012 7:30:43 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
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To: DogByte6RER
MY VOTE FOR THE BADDEST DANG GUN! Photobucket
2 posted on 05/24/2012 7:35:00 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Huskrrrr

Oh yes ... I first saw this in a documentary in the 1990s called Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie

This was test fired at the Nevada Proving Ground in the 1950s with the M65 Atomic Cannon; Operation Upshot Knothole Grable

Thanks for adding this. It should be #1 on the PM list.


3 posted on 05/24/2012 7:44:48 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

I dig the Punt Gun!


4 posted on 05/24/2012 7:45:32 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: DogByte6RER

What? No mention of the Sultan’s cannon used to break down the walls of Constantinople?

I remember seeing drawings of large monster cannon used in Europe in the 1400s.


5 posted on 05/24/2012 7:51:35 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Huskrrrr
The baddest of the bad , many an ass whipping for the use of this little weapon .

The pea or spit-ball shooter

6 posted on 05/24/2012 7:52:43 PM PDT by piroque ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act")
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To: DogByte6RER

Stuck at page 4...


7 posted on 05/24/2012 8:07:14 PM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: MileHi

The gun on the A10 is a winner.


8 posted on 05/24/2012 8:13:12 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Would you rather eat dog food or cat food? Guess it's Romney 2012.)
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To: DogByte6RER

The Yamoto class had big guns, but they were vastly inferior in fire control to American systems.

The Iowa class used the Mark 13 Fire Control suite. The system was insanely ahead of it’s time. It had a 3cm wavelength to Yamatos 10cm, and almost 25 times the power output.

Iowa had better speed(27 vs 33+ knots), adequate armor, highly-effective guns, and excellent fire control.

Yamoto had unreliable shells and brittle steel armor.


9 posted on 05/24/2012 8:30:16 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Ah, good choice. Don’t know why the site was stuck at page 4...


10 posted on 05/24/2012 8:40:28 PM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: DogByte6RER
The .600 Nitro Express handgun. Everyone should have at least one.

That recoil doesn't look "manageable" to me. It looks like it tried to split the shooter's head in two.

11 posted on 05/24/2012 8:42:26 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: moonshot925

12 posted on 05/24/2012 8:43:19 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: Huskrrrr

The Atomic Cannon is/was at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, MD. I last saw it about 8 years ago. Very impressive. I tried to bring it home but it wouldn’t fit in my van. Damned. There went my plans for urban renewal.

One of the German railroad siege guns was also there.


13 posted on 05/24/2012 8:59:00 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Huskrrrr
Definatly a favorite. Definatly.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

14 posted on 05/24/2012 9:03:53 PM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: piroque

Spitballs. I once nailed a couple kids in high school during a food fight. Got the first between the eyes. The second opened his mouth and I got his upper left broad tooth.

The stealth spitballer strikes again!


15 posted on 05/24/2012 9:04:49 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: EQAndyBuzz
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

16 posted on 05/24/2012 9:08:56 PM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: moonshot925

Biggest baddest guns were the 16”ers on the Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and New Jersey.

My uncle was a signalman on the Missouri when the Japs signed.


17 posted on 05/24/2012 9:24:02 PM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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To: EQAndyBuzz

The A-10 Thunderbolt II was actually designed around its cannon. The GAU-8 Avenger. It fires over 3,000 30×173 mm rounds a minute.


18 posted on 05/24/2012 9:25:26 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: DogByte6RER
The Davy Crockett had a range of 2-1/2 miles, with a yield equal to about 18 tons of high explosives. Contrary to myth, the crew were indeed outside the danger zone.

Sure hate to have a fizzle launch that dropped short.

19 posted on 05/24/2012 9:38:38 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

They were great ships. The last true class of battleship.


20 posted on 05/24/2012 9:45:39 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

When I served in the army in Germany 59-62, the atomic cannon was a common site during field exercises. We weren’t allowed up close but I saw it at least 5 separate times being moved(no easy fete)about Graf or Hoenfels.


21 posted on 05/24/2012 9:52:00 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Oops, post #21 site should be sight. Need to proof read my comments.


22 posted on 05/24/2012 9:54:23 PM PDT by calex59
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To: moonshot925


23 posted on 05/24/2012 9:58:42 PM PDT by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: calex59

Are you talking about the M65 Atomic Cannon? Only 20 units were produced. I’m suprised that it was a common sight. it was retired in 1963.


24 posted on 05/24/2012 10:06:35 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: moonshot925
Are you talking about the M65 Atomic Cannon? Only 20 units were produced. I’m suprised that it was a common sight. it was retired in 1963.

Yep, talking about the one and the same. It was already slated to be retired when I entered the army and I think there were only two units in Germany at the time but we saw them almost every time we went to the field. Quite a sight indeed and the truck they hauled them around was hard to handle.

25 posted on 05/24/2012 10:15:58 PM PDT by calex59
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To: TigersEye

The W54 warhead with a yeild of 18 tons of TNT was small for a nuclear weapons, but still 4 to 5 times more powerful than the Oklahoma City bomb in 1995.


26 posted on 05/24/2012 10:23:25 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: calex59

The M65 fired some pretty powerful nuclear shells.

W33 mod.1 Y1 = .05 KT
W33 mod.1 Y2 = 40 KT
W33 Mod.1 Y3 = 10 KT
W33 Mod.1 Y4 = 5 KT

For comparison:

Little Boy(dropped on Hiroshima) = 16 KT
Fat man (dropped on Nagasaki) = 21 KT


27 posted on 05/24/2012 10:43:25 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: moonshot925

28 posted on 05/24/2012 10:46:23 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: DogByte6RER
How about the Project Babylon that never finished after Dr. Gerald Bull was assasinated?

Project Babylon

29 posted on 05/24/2012 11:16:13 PM PDT by hamboy
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To: mountn man
Dr Gatling's marvelous invention has proved most effective in smaller-scale implementations, with the emphasis on quantity per unit time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYNbaYL-puQ

30 posted on 05/24/2012 11:45:19 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: cynwoody

Speaking of CW era, this is something I saw at a reenactment called a Williams Repeating Cannon used by the confederates. This is a replica. Apparently maybe a half dozen or so were made or so I read. I slapped this together. The owner really liked it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-3Fsjf1iwE


31 posted on 05/25/2012 3:46:51 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: DogByte6RER

Largest caliber gun ever?

That’s easy - Obama’s mouth.


32 posted on 05/25/2012 5:40:55 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: DogByte6RER

Its a shame that for most people trying to access that PM link results in slow page loading while all the advertising popups and browser tracking cookies get lined up tracing your email and shopping info.

Its interesting to know this info but the link fails to deliver. I would rather see a condensed version of cut and paste post by any FReeper.


33 posted on 05/25/2012 5:49:35 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (Liberals need not reply.)
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

Nice try! My dad gave me model of the Atomic Cannon when I was about six. One of my favorite toys.


34 posted on 05/25/2012 6:07:03 AM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Delta 21

Nice film. Thanks!


35 posted on 05/25/2012 6:08:55 AM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

I’ve heard comments that they broke up the display. I was there during that record breaking 22 inch snowfall. Just couldn’t get around although I enjoyed the indoor museum right down to seeing Dr. Atwater (sp?) who is on video saying M-16 bullets swelled in the chamber causing the right to jam. Otherwise I’m sure he is a weapons wiz.


36 posted on 05/25/2012 9:49:35 AM PDT by mcshot (God bless the USA! OMG PLEASE vote ABO or OWW and our Country dies.)
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To: mountn man

May not be large cal. but NASA has a gun that fires .50 cal at 23,500 fps! Seen it with my own two eyes.


37 posted on 05/25/2012 10:15:38 AM PDT by houeto (FReepathon 2Q! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: DogByte6RER

What’s up with that little double barreled .45 ACP?

They make even smaller derringers that fire .45 Long Colt or .410 shells.

Someone was not doing their homework!


38 posted on 05/25/2012 9:51:42 PM PDT by Gabrial (The nightmare will continue as long as the nightmare is in the White House)
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