Posted February 15, 2024 3:28 am by Comments

By Editor

Story by Boyd Allen
While many top competitive shooters trickle their stick powder charges to a kernel or two, that would be impractical when loading charges for giant naval guns. You may be surprised, but the shells fired by the U.S. Navy’s massive 14″ and 16″ naval guns were also propelled by stick-type extruded powders. You couldn’t trickle these ‘kernels’ though — a single stick or ‘grain’ can be over 2″ long.

The U.S.S. Iowa fires her massive 16″ main battery. The U.S. Navy’s Iowa-class battleships carried nine huge 16-inch Mark 7 cannons in three turrets. The big naval guns were 50 calibers long, i.e. 50 times bore diameter, making the barrels 66.7 feet long from chamber to muzzle.

In connection with a Benchrest Central discussion that drifted to the subject of powders used in large naval guns, I heard from Joe McNeil, whose father was involved in manufacturing those very propellants as a DuPont employee. Joe writes:
“My Dad worked for the DuPont company for over 40 years. Every time the nation went to war he was assigned to the gun powder plants which DuPont ran for the government for $1.00 per year! His last assignment was at the Indiana Ordnance Plant in

Source: Accurate Shooter

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