WW2 Ball Turret with twin .50 cals at the Big Sandy Shoot (VIDEO)
By Ben Philippi
One of the highlights at this fall’s Big Sandy Shoot was a vintage WW2 ball turret with twin .50 cals that spectators could shoot.
Although it’s not uncommon to see unique and rare guns and military vehicles at the event, the fully functioning ball turret garnered a lot of attention.
Taigh Ramey, president of Vintage Aircraft, towed the Sperry A2 ball turret all the way from Stockton, California to the shoot, which takes place every April and October just outside of the town of Wikieup, Arizona.
Sperry A2 ball turrets were commonly mounted underneath either a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress or the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. They were used to defend the bomber against aircraft attacking from below.
A diagram depicting how a gunner sits inside a Sperry A2 ball turret.
Ramey found the turret in a surplus shop many years ago. It took him 15 years to convince the owner to sell it, and he’s sure glad he did. Ramey fixes up and maintains vintage aircraft for the Stockton Field Aviation Museum. The ball turret has proven to be very popular with visitors.
The turret was new ‘old stock’ from the 1940’s, so it never saw service. Despite having sat on a storage skid for half