By A Web Design
- Created on Saturday, 15 January 2011 15:49
The Phalanx Gun System is a 20 mm computer controlled anti-missile gatling gun primarily used on surface ships. Practically every US warship has one, affectionately known as "R2-D2" to Navy personnel, and the gun is continually updated by Raytheon for more capability. The gun system does it all, search, detection, evaluates threats, tracks, engages, and assesses the damage after killing the threat. Humans have finally been let in on the action with an upgrade that allows users to observe and identify targets before engagement.
The system has also crawled onto land and into a truck. The gun system has been mounted in an Oshkosh HEMIT A3 (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) and was tested at the Yuma Proving Grounds and has passed all tests, according to sources in Raytheon, by tracking, engaging and killing 9 mortar rounds. The land based Phalanx had been proven in Iraq, where at least 20 of the gun systems were mounted on trailers for some mobility. The Iraq system was known as the Centurion, and the new truck mounted system is the MLPWS or Mobile Land-Based Phalanx Weapon System. This system aids in the US Army's Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar Initiative.
The truck itself is pretty cool, with eight wheel drive and weighing 10 tons. Equipped with a diesel electric powertrain, it gets 20% more mileage than it's diesel only counterpart, can climb a 60% grade and can go 65 mph over bad roads. It boasts an armored cab, A/C, an onboard generator that can produce 100 amps of military grade AC power and can be transported in a C-130 aircraft.
- Created on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 00:46
Drake Island, in Plymouth harbor, was named for Sir Francis Drake, who left here in 1577 to circumnavigate the world. It is but a rock sticking up in the mouth of the harbor, but makes a great place for a fort, and has been fortified since Drake's time, but lies idle now. Big 12 inch Woolwich guns litter the center of the fort, installed after 1860, and buried around 1900 when later quick firing guns were put in. They're dug up now, the island and the fortifications are silent, but there are plans for a luxury hotel and helipad, which is about all that would fit on this small rock. The biggest excitement this small piece of land has had was in 2005, when anti-nuclear protesters took over the island.
- Created on Saturday, 08 January 2011 16:40
The British faced a crisis in 1900 during the Boer War. They suddenly realized they couldn't hit what they were shooting at. The Boers didn't present themselves as easy targets anyway, and they also fielded the excellent Mauser rifle which had features that outshone the Lee Enfield.
The Lee Metford was the standard army rifle since 1888 and had been modified with a new barrel when the nitro-cellulose powders started eating up Metford barrels. The new 10 round double stack magazine also was standard. The resulting Lee Enfield went to war in South Africa.
The Brits found their guns to be shooting to the right, and sometimes to a large degree. There were several causes but the main one was the specifications released by the government. There was not much in it as mandating accuracy for the Lee Enfield, and all a rifle really had to do was hit the broad side of a barn. A committee was formed in 1900 to straighten out these affairs, which included how other powers tested their rifles for accuracy.
A quick field fix for the accuracy problem was replacing the rear backsight leaf with the V notch moved to the left. Rifles back home at the factory had a new foresight installed .02" to the left. The specification was drastically changed to ensure future rifles would hit to the point of aim, or be returned to the factory to be repaired. To much clearance in the bolt shoulders was also found and the clearances tightened up. Some pressure from the stock on the barrel was also relieved.
The Boers also had a technological innovation in their Mausers that the Brits didn't have. Their magazines could be topped up quickly with 5 rounds mounted on a stripper clip, which could be inserted into guides in the bridge and slid into the magazine with the operator's thumb. The clip was then pulled out and the shooter was back in action. This also was incorporated into the Lee Enfield, which up till then had to be loaded a single round at a time. And with that, the Lee Enfield had the advantage. An accurate, fast working, bolt action rifle with 10 rounds in the mag. However, it still had the magazine cutoff, so officers could still interfere with the rate of fire by commanding it be used.
- Created on Saturday, 08 January 2011 14:13
The gun to get a gun is being built again by Vintage Ordinance. Originally, the Liberator pistol was conceived as a cheap weapon to drop to resistance forces in Europe during WW2. It was the gun to get a gun, as it wasn't designed to be shot over the ten rounds that came with it. It was a crude pistol, with no rifling, stamped together and over a million were made. Designated the FP-45, it was also known as the "Woolworth gun" because of it's low quality. Relatively few survived the war and now can command prices in the thousands.
Vintage Ordinance is a museum oriented machine shop in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, that can build historic firearms that are hard to tell from the originals. They also offer historic research services and exhibit design. Their products range from firearms to historic clothing.
Their FP-45 pistol is a reproduction, but not exactly. They didn't want it to be confused with original guns so it is marked on the bottom of the barrel and on the bottom of the handgrip with their identification. The other big difference, besides the modern steels that it is made from, is the barrel is rifled (that should keep it from keyholing in less than 5 feet!). Even with modern materials, the gun is safer than the original, which was never meant to be shot much, and they discourage shooting it. In order to keep the lawyers at bay, the firing pin hole is not drilled all the way through, and on delivery is not technically able to fire. It is sold for $599.50 plus shipping and handling.
- Created on Sunday, 02 January 2011 19:28
Manroy Engineering Ltd. has been a supplier of spares to the British Army since 1975, following the Falklands War. They make updated versions of the venerable Browning .50 caliber machine gun, the standard Nato 7.62 machine gun, 20 mm guns and all the associated mounts and turrets. They can adapt any of their guns to any kind of vehicle, whether land, air or sea based. Their M2 heavy machine gun features a quick change barrel assembly, reducing the danger of messing up the headspacing when installing a new barrel. A standard M2 barrel can still be used in an emergency, but must be headspaced in the old manner.
Manroy is the last producer of heavy machine guns in the UK, and recently raised 6 million euros by trading on AIM, London's stock market for smaller companies, according to a story in the Telegraph. One builder of heavy machine guns for a country like the UK doesn't seem like enough.
Prince Harry using a Manroy M2 in Helmand Province, from the Telegraph