Skip to comments.10 Largest Caliber Weapons Ever
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 caliberthe 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.
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.
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 tonsas much as a busover 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.
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.
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.
I dig the Punt Gun!
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.
The pea or spit-ball shooter
Stuck at page 4...
The gun on the A10 is a winner.
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 its 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.
Ah, good choice. Don’t know why the site was stuck at page 4...
That recoil doesn't look "manageable" to me. It looks like it tried to split the shooter's head in two.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Sure hate to have a fizzle launch that dropped short.
They were great ships. The last true class of battleship.
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