Original U.S. WWII 1944 Dated Navy 3 Inch Wooden Drill Rounds by VMC - Cased Set of 4
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic unissued set of 4 inert, wood construction, drill rounds for the USN 3 in./50 calibers QF gun . Each weighs 23 lbs 8 oz. (10.7 Kg), and measures 34 3/4” (88.3 cm) in length. They are all contained in the original wood transit box that fully packed weighs 122 lbs.
All four round are in excellent condition and each is weighted to match a live shell for accurate Naval training handling purposes. Each base is marked: 3 DUMMY CARTRIDGE MK 6/50 CAL and VMC 1944.
The transit chest with steel lid is nicely stenciled and retains rope handles to one side.
This is an excellent piece of World War II artillery and naval memorabilia which will make a very impressive display!
The 3″/50 caliber gun (spoken "three-inch fifty-caliber") in United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 50 calibers long (barrel length is 3 in × 50 = 150 in or 3.8 m). Different guns (identified by Mark numbers) of this caliber were used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard from 1890 through the 1990s on a variety of combatant and transport ship classes.
Dual-purpose guns of the World Wars
Dual-purpose 3″/50 caliber guns (Marks 10, 17, 18, and 20) first entered service in 1915 as a refit to USS Texas (BB-35), and were subsequently mounted on many types of ships as the need for anti-aircraft protection was recognized. During World War II, they were the primary gun armament on destroyer escorts, patrol frigates, submarine chasers, minesweepers, some fleet submarines, and other auxiliary vessels, and were used as a secondary dual-purpose battery on some other types of ships, including some older battleships. They also replaced the original low-angle 4"/50 caliber guns (Mark 9) on "flush-deck" Wickes and Clemson-class destroyers to provide better anti-aircraft protection. The gun was also used on specialist destroyer conversions; the "AVD" seaplane tender conversions received two guns; the "APD" high-speed transports, "DM" minelayers, and "DMS" minesweeper conversions received three guns, and those retaining destroyer classification received six.
These dual-purpose guns were "quick-firing", meaning that they used fixed ammunition, with powder case and projectile permanently attached, and handled as a single unit weighing 34 pounds (as opposed to older guns and/or heavier guns, in which the shell and powder are handled and loaded separately, which reduces the weight of each handled component, but slows the loading process). The shells alone weighed about 13 pounds including an explosive bursting charge of 0.81 pounds for anti-aircraft (AA) rounds or 1.27 pounds for High Capacity (HC) rounds, the remainder of the weight being the steel casing. Maximum range was 14,600 yards at 45 degrees elevation and ceiling was 29,800 feet (9,100 m) at 85 degrees elevation. Useful life expectancy was 4300 effective full charges (EFC) per barrel.
Submarine deck guns
The 3"/50 caliber gun Marks 17 and 18 was first used as a submarine deck gun on R-class submarines launched in 1918-1919. At the time it was an improvement on the earlier 3"/23 caliber gun. After using larger guns on many other submarines, the 3"/50 caliber gun Mark 21 was specified as the standard deck gun on the Porpoise- through Gato-class submarines launched in 1935-1942. The small gun was chosen to remove the temptation to engage enemy escort vessels on the surface. The gun was initially mounted aft of the conning tower to reduce submerged drag, but early in World War II it was shifted to a forward position at the commanding officer's option. Wartime experience showed that larger guns were needed. This need was initially met by transferring 4"/50 caliber guns from S-class submarines as they were shifted from combat to training roles from late 1942. Later, the 5"/25 caliber gun, initially removed from battleships sunk or damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and later manufactured in a submarine version, became standard.
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