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Thread: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

  1. #1
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    Default USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Whith this topic I want to assemble detailed information about the barrel armament of the US air forces including the Navy and U.S Army from 1930 up to the operations in Irak in 2003. ( that will be partitioned outside the ww2 zone of course)

    Evidently to cover the entire subject with a decent amount of information per every weapon is not an easy task, fortunately to me the argentine DNA have a fairly big and well know component of excessive self confidence.


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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Development of the Browning Cal .30.

    fist part:






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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Development of the Browning cal .30 part II.








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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Lots of people don't realize that the P-40s at Pearl Harbor carried 2 .50s in the cowling and 4 .30s in the wings (early P-40s, I gues Cs.) And when George Welch went up only the 4 .30s had ammo. No .50s were available.

    The P-39s had 4 .30s in the wings, 2 .50s in the nose, and that big stick, a 37mm in the prop.

    Even the P-36 had 2 .50s in the cowling and 4 .30s in the wings.

    Only the F4F had 4 .50s.

    The next generation was much much better.

    But then the Spitfire and Hurricane had .30s to (actually .303s.)

    Deaf

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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Lots of people don't realize that the P-40s at Pearl Harbor carried 2 .50s in the cowling and 4 .30s in the wings (early P-40s, I gues Cs.) And when George Welch went up only the 4 .30s had ammo. No .50s were available.

    The P-39s had 4 .30s in the wings, 2 .50s in the nose, and that big stick, a 37mm in the prop.

    Even the P-36 had 2 .50s in the cowling and 4 .30s in the wings.

    Only the F4F had 4 .50s.

    The next generation was much much better.

    But then the Spitfire and Hurricane had .30s to (actually .303s.)

    Deaf
    You are right about that!

    USAAC policy was initially (circa 1936) centered on at most, a pair of .30's and a .50 in most fighters. This held true right up until the Pearl Harbour raid.
    Often, the armament was one .30 and one .50.
    The real changes only began once the ETO combat data started arriving from the UK.
    By the time the UK was shifting to the 20mm cannon the US had just begun to shift to the .50 as main armament for fighter aircraft.

    Source: Wm Green "Famous Fighters of the Second World War".

    Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Lots of people don't realize that the P-40s at Pearl Harbor carried 2 .50s in the cowling and 4 .30s in the wings (early P-40s, I gues Cs.) And when George Welch went up only the 4 .30s had ammo. No .50s were available.
    Incidentally in the awful movie "pearl harbour" all the P-40s are depicted with full 6 .50 machineguns , that is historical accuracy.

    2 pictures of the Caliber .30 MG, one in in a Stearman biplane and the other in the rear cockpit of the North America AT-6 texan.


    Browning Cal .30 characteristics:

    caliber: Us rifl M1 .30 ( 7,62x63mm)

    Action: short recoil sliding breech.

    Refrigeration; air

    Feed: disintegrable metalic belt.

    Rate of fire: 950 to 1000 rpm. 700 to 800rpm in synchronizated mountings.

    Muzzle velocity: 850 mps ( 2820 fps)


    - M1918 model

    - M1924 model, note the slimmer barrel jacket and case/link collectors.





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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    Incidentally in the awful movie "pearl harbour" all the P-40s are depicted with full 6 .50 machineguns , that is historical accuracy.
    Yes and I was real impressed in that move the idea that the P-40 was outturning Zeros at low altitudes.

    Now I have Joe Foss's book. He said on Guadacanal that when they got the six .50 version of the F4F, they would turn off the two outboard .50s, do their fighting with the 4 inboard guns, and use the last to as 'get home' guns. When you ran out of ammo for the 4 .50s, it was time to get home.

    He said 4 .50s were plenty if you could shoot. I fact, Bud Anderson, when flying P-51Cs, which had just 4 .50s, said they were totaly adequate.

    So gunnery skils play a big part.

    Deaf

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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Shooting dow japanese planes was simplified by the lack of self-sealing tanks and proper pilot armor up to 1943.

    The incendiary barium nitrate .50 ammunition was very, vey high quality one must say. Probably the best of the war, add that to a high muzzle velocity and short travel time to target and you got a winner. Probably not the best defeating bombers but against fighters and attack aircrafts was very good.

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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    I remember they had a shortage of that in the PTO (the incendiary barium nitrate .50 ammo) after, I think, some fighter squadrons started using it totaly and no AP, ball, or tracer.

    Raining almost 80 rounds a second of that stuff would catch any Japanese plane, fighter or bomber, quickly.) Even Japanse bombers had no self sealing fuel tanks.

    Man was that a bad decision the Japanese military made! Few radios, few parachutes, little air-sea rescue, and vunerable aircraft.

    Lose your pilots and you lose the war. Germany and Japan both found that out.

    Deaf

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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    I remember they had a shortage of that in the PTO (the incendiary barium nitrate .50 ammo) after, I think, some fighter squadrons started using it totaly and no AP, ball, or tracer
    The "puff" and flash effect of this type of ammunition was very good for aiming purposes. In this way was very similar to the german 7,92mm explosive semi-armor-piercing B-patrone, but with large destructive effect because it large caliber, of course.
    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 05-26-2009 at 09:10 PM.

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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Browning Caliber 50.

    The masterpiece of John Moses Browning, one of the best all around use aircraft guns of WW2.

    Part 1.








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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Browning cal .50 continues

    By the way, the Armored aeroplanes mentioned by Chinn in the early post are the "J" series, made by Junkers, AEG and Albatross.












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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Browning cal .50 part III

    Caliber: .50 Browning machine Gun ( 12,7 x 99mm)

    Action: Short recoil, sliding breech, air cooled.

    Feed: disintegrable link metalic belt or linkless belt feeder.

    Rate of fire: 720 to 770 rpm, 400 to 480 in synchronizated mountings.

    - Twin .50 in the infamous Sperry ball turret.

    - Nose emplacement in B-17, note the empy linkless belt guide.

    - Disassembled.

    - 2 guns in North American P-51A Mustang, the guns layed on a side.

    - 3 guns inside the left gunbay of North American P-51D, the guns are in upright position











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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    Thje massive use of .50 calibers Brownings in the North American B-25a, C and J.








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    Default Re: USAAF & US Navy Guns since 1930.

    I know the Brit. had a .50 mg (Vickers Mk V) in service when the war started and have often wondered why it was not developed for aircraft use? Anybody know.

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