Big Bullet Eye Candy

Eye candy for you big bullet collectors.

Steel must get heavier when it ages because this one is a lot heavier than it was 60 years ago. ;)

I agree, age is certainly a key factor here :)

‘Eye Candy’ indeed, Ray! Very nice.

Ray, I assume this is a 5in/L54 projo. Do you have the case for it ?? Bill


Yes and yes. The MK 16 slow-fire gun was installed in the MK 39 mount of the Midway Class carriers. They were phased out, giving way to the RF guns, and entirely removed when the carriers were “modernized” in the 1950s and 1960s. The MK 16 was never again used on any US line warships, AFAIK.


Very nice, Ray

It’s a beauty, no doubt! Awesome Ray!


Ray, were all the cases steel ?? The way the case is ejected from the gun, I would be surprised if any brass cases would have survived in any reasonable condition. Bill


The USN AA cases were brass until the 1950s when the changeover to steel began. I think the change was in response to more than simply brass being more prone to damage when used in the RF guns. Fired cases from slow-fire guns are seldom damaged and even if they could not be re-loaded they could be recycled.


Thanks, Ray. I have never seen a brass one. I bet they were recycled. Bill

AFAIK, all brass cases were re-loaded or the metal recycled. After firing, we would gather up the fired cases and store them in their original shipping tubes. When back in port, they would be off loaded and sent to the nearest arsenal. When gathering them, a few may have been accidently kicked overboard, or traded to the the non-Gunners Mate types for cigarettes or pogey bait.

There are (is) both a 5"/38 and 8"/55 brass case on Gun Broker, as we speak.

Ray, the “VT” stencil on the shell, does it refer to the fuse? I seem to remember in VN the artillery missions sometimes used a VT fuse which was some sort of proximity fuse for air bursts. How did these work?

Yes, VT means Variable Time or Proximity. When projectiles are brought aboard ship, the fuze is covered with a metal protecting cap. To help ID the projectile from a distance, the letters VT are stenciled just below the cap.

VT fuzes are nothing more than a miniature radio transmitter and receiver. When fired, an internal battery is activated which then powers the transmitter. When (if) the signal reaches a target, it bounces back and the receiver initiates the bursting charge.

VT fuzes changed the entire concept of anti aircraft fire toward the end of WWII. Without them, it was becoming near impossible to hit the fast moving aircraft with the slow fire guns. They also permitted the development of rapid fire guns.

Todays VT fuzes are much more sophisticated than those early ones of the 1940s and 1950s. They do things that would have been unimaginable back then.

Here’s a sectioned VT fuze showing the guts.

Really neat. Thanks, just what I wanted to know!