Yeah, I’d imagin it would really suck to get hit in the head with that. Sounds like fun, but allot of work tying up 2 big ass boats!


It was alot of work, but the help was cheap and plentiful. With lots of guidance provided for free to the schleps on the ropes.


Haha! How fat is the final tie down rope? 3" + and WAY HEAVY?


I’d say it was about 1.5-2" rope. And there was a steel cable that had to be pulled over first to hook up. Then the trolley rig and line was hooked up. We always, or nearly always, fueled from one side and supplied from the other. Depending on the oiler, we could supply forward or aft and take on fuel amidships. I was always on the amidships station, and after getting hooked up, we communicated with each other via sound powered phones. Telling each other when we were ready for whatever and when we were done. Plus talked bad about our officers and such.


During my time in the RN we used old .303 inch Lee Enfields, heavily wire reinforced like the old grenade rifles. The steel rod was about 20 inches long and had a steel ring at the front end to tie the line to. The risk with line throwing was if the line bunched or snagged, then it became a long elastic cord with a ship at one end and this whirling steel rod at the other. People did get hit and there were a few fatalities over the years when the rod was whipped back by the line and even hit people who were sheltering behind ship structure. The later rifle was a scrap 7.61mm L1A1 with the Energa Grenade launcher, no rod, just the special bomb-shaped plastic thing.



Really interesting 1st hand information on a subject I never even thought of. Thanks guys! This forum is great! You never know what you may jearn after posting a few pics of a shinny chunk of metal :-)


Yea. From breech blocks to headstamps to line throwing guns. And to Gravebelly, I had the opportunity to interact with a crew from the RN, a destroyer, and tried my darndest to to get a transfer to their humble seagoing ride. The main reason for that was I had the pleasure of experiencing their messdecks BAR. Of the drinking kind. Stocked with some of the worlds finest spirits. The USN did not and does not afford their sailors that morale booster.
Go RN!


Well, I learned allot of cool info from this tread the way it took off. I’ll have to go shine up the breech block :-) I want to shoot a big deck gun at something!


BRASSO. Lots and lots of BRASSO.



Just currious, are you suposed to clean out the barrels of these massive Navy guns after you shoot them. Every time I get back from the range, I always clean the heck out of my guns. Must be a real pain to swab the inside of a 5 to 16 inch deck gun barrel (s)? Maybe they shoot a massive, dense cotton swab threw it like a jacked-up airgun cleaning pellet?

Or maybe this guy crawls inside with a can of solvent :-)

I was told this is the breech end of a MK5 gun from the North Dakota?


Me, I was a missiles guy, so I never HAD to mess with maintenance on the guns. But they used a large ramrod with a bristle and then a greased swab and then a clean swab. Took 3 or 4 of the gunners to push it through and pull it out (from the muzzle). The breech area was very confined and surrounded by all the loading gear and safety barriers. I’m sure somebody had to crawl in there every once in a while to clean things up. After cleaning, a rubber expanison plug was inserted in the to keep salt water and critters out . Read somewhere that the barrels were only good for about 1000 rounds.


Thanks for the info Rick! Any cool missile pics?


Sad but true, this is all I have. And this was a major no-no at the time. For info purposes, I’m laying on a RIM 67A(N). The magazine doors are open on the MK 10 Mod 0 (Ser. No. 7). 40 rounds in 2, 20 round magazines.[/img]

This was taken over 30 years ago. Still used electronics with tubes and relays back then, although the missiles were a little more advanced. This is only the forward end(sustainer), the booster is out of the picture, just “south” of my feet,


Been gone and just got back home and catching up on the Forum.

Re: the line throwing guns, what I used was a cut down 45-70 trapdoor. The barrel was cut off to about 11 inches. Attached to the end of the barrel with a clamp was a round “can” that held a spool of line. The line was tied to a brass rod that had an eyelet in the end. When the the line was recovered it was taken down to the ships armory where we had a re-winding gizmo. You tied one end of the line onto the gizmao and cranked a handle. This rewound the line onto a wooden spool for re-use.

About 20 years ago I bought one of the line throwing guns, rewinder, spools, rods, and cartridges - the whole works. Tried to get ATF&E to register it and you would have thought I was a terrorist. They wanted proof of when and why it had been cut down. After about 6 months of haggling with them I sold it to another collector for his amusement.

Re: cleaning the big guns. The barrels on the 5 inch mounts had to be cleaned from the inside since the guns set up high off the deck and there was no way to get access to the muzzle. The cleaning rod was jointed, each piece being about 4 feet long. Two Gunners Mates would ram one piece into the barrel, screw on another, ram again, etc etc until the brush came out the muzzle. The the process was reversed. Not much fun but what else was there to do between lunch and supper?



Ahh, thats how they did it! Great info Ray! It has been making my mind ponder! :-) Great missile pic Rick!