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Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 22:15:52 -0700
From: Doug Jones <>
Subject: Big Guns (Was Re: Shuttle Retirement)

Tom wrote:
> Derek Lyons wrote:
> > A silly idea, but the Navy was for the longest
> > time extremely keen on tactical nukes.  (This lead to such *really*
> > silly ideas as the Mk36 torpedo.)
> How about the Atomic Cannon - a 150mm Howitzer with a 5 kiloton shell.

I believe this was actually a 240 or 280 mm gun- damn big, almost a
railway gun.  My dad had an "interesting" experience back in the 50s
when working on the short range firing tables for conventional
rounds in that gun.  The target was only 3000 yards away, and the
gun was cranked down to rather low angle, with a reduced propellant
charge.  I recall how dad told the tale (with appropriate hand

BLAM shoooooooof the shell could be heard going downrange...

FLASH it kicked up an impact cloud...

WHUMP the sound of the blast came back...

shooof shoof shooof THUD a twenty pound piece of the shell flew
*back* over the gun emplacment and landed 500 yards behind the gun.

Dad reported that the minimum useful range was *4000* yards.

Growing up hearing stories like that helped me end up where I am

Doug Jones, Rocket Plumber
Rotary Rocket Company

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