Cal.45 Gun Line Throwing


#1

Is there someone ho know’s more about this rifle and jus.
And of it is a scears tin?
every help’s is welcome…
regards
Gyrojet


#2

Fairly common round and can for U.S> military (Navy) use.
The gun most often used during WW2 and exclusively afterwards was a single shot Harrington & Richardson shotgun design, but with a much thicker barrel bored for a .45 caliber rod projectile and chambered for .45-70. A Destroyer carried two or three, and larger ships such as oilers may have carried more.
These were used aboard ship to fire a brass rod projectile (weighing about 1-16 ounces) with a light weight “shot line” attached to the end. Max range about 200 yards or so, but generally used at 50 yards. The shot line would be fired above the target ship (instead of sticking into a boat or crewmember!) and then the shotline would be used to pull across a heavier messenger line, and then a much heavier line or wire rope to transfer cargo or fuel hoses.
By the 1960s the rod type projectiles were replaced with a less lethal design having a longer rod and a plastic head with a rubber cushion (sort of like a small plastic soda bottle) so that the projectile was buoyant, and could also be rigged with a light for night use.
In the 1980s the .45-70 line throwing guns were retired and the M14 rifles were used with a cup type launcher and a rubber projectile.
Prior to WW2, .45-70 line throwing guns had included converted


#3

Gyro

John pretty well summed it up.

As a Gunners Mate USN, I had the priviledge of actually using line throwing guns. On the ship I was on we had both the H&R shotguns and cut down Trapdoor rifles.

The line was on a big spool inside a special cannister (similar to a 3 pound coffee can) that was either hand held by another Gunners Mate or clamped to the bottom of the barrel. After the line was retrieved we had a special gizmo that re-wound it onto a spool for use again and again.

The cartridges also came in conventional 20-round cardboard boxes.

The guns kicked like hell and were not a lot of fun to shoot.

As John said, the complete kits are still made today.

Ray


#4

Jon & Ray
Thank you both to explainin my question
thanks guy’s
Gyrojet


#5

gyro

If you will seach the Internet you can probably find some of the modern day line throwing kits that are still made. They are not a lot different than what was used with the cartridges that you have.

As John said, the idea was to shoot the projectile OVER the top of the nearby ship. But there was always that occasional deranged sailor, most likely a Boatswains Mate or Snipe, who delighted in bouncing one off a bulkhead just to see the guys scatter. Needless to say, others took note of the ship’s name and when the occasion arose to send a line across to them the shot may have gone a little low. But only because the ship rolled, it was a defective cartridge, or the sun got in my eyes. Those were the good old days.

Ray


#6

John listed the Winchester Model 1885 as one of the firearms converted for line throwing use. I don’t recall ever reading that this rifle used, but I do know that the Winchester Model 1886 was one that saw some use. [EDIT NOTE: John meant to type 1886, not 1885!! John]

I’ve included a picture of a box of these cartridges made by the Western Cartridge Co during WW2, as well one showing sectioned examples of the WW2 Mark I cartridge and the M32 cartridge that replaced the Mark I in the 1950s. The Mark I was loaded with black powder; while the M 32 was a smokless load, with two additional wads to take up the empty space in the case.


#7

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]gyro

If you will seach the Internet you can probably find some of the modern day line throwing kits that are still made. They are not a lot different than what was used with the cartridges that you have.

As John said, the idea was to shoot the projectile OVER the top of the nearby ship. But there was always that occasional deranged sailor, most likely a Boatswains Mate or Snipe, who delighted in bouncing one off a bulkhead just to see the guys scatter. Needless to say, others took note of the ship’s name and when the occasion arose to send a line across to them the shot may have gone a little low. But only because the ship rolled, it was a defective cartridge, or the sun got in my eyes. Those were the good old days.

Ray[/quote]

During the days when a steel rod was fired from a Lee Enfield rifle by an H Mark 2 Line Throwing cartridge there were a few serious accidents/incidents. The nylon line tangled on one shot and snatched at the rod which changed direction and struck a seaman on the chin, passing through his jawbone and throat, fatally. I was present when a low shot struck the bulkhead, penetrated, and rattled around the wheelhouse, fortunately without hitting any of the three men in there. You don’t fool around with these things. After we switched to the 7.62mm L1A1 (FAL) rifle and a soft projectile the line throwing accidents decreased.

gravelbelly


#8

gravel

You are right, of course. It’s not something to be made fun of. But when you’re 18 years old, you’re invincible and nothing could possibly go wrong. I myself never tried such a fool stunt but I saw more than one other sailor do it, not with malice, but just to see what would happen. I would guess that todays soldiers and sailors are just as mischevious as we were in our days. Maybe more so since they are indoctrinated with so much violence in their early years.

Ray


#9

I think equally interesting are the “critters” that were fired out of the barrel with the line attached to it. My favorite has the soft rubber nose with a strobe flashlight in the end…let along the various brass “rods” that were the “business end” of what was tossed. I will try to post some photos in a day or so, but my cartridge room is in disarray as it is awaiting new carpet, etc…I have at least 4 variants.


#10

Ray…Snipe Bashing again !!..Next time you come down to the engine room…(that’s down below decks, in case you have forgotten)… to “borrow” some diesel fuel to help clean up those guns…I’m gonna say NO !!!..Randy


#11

Randy

That was a mis-type. I meant to say Airdale.

All of us black shoe guys have to stick together.

:) :) :)

Ray


#12

Ray,
Take it easy on the brown shoes also, dammitall!!!


#13

Guy

That was a mis-type too. :) :) I suppose I’ll hear from all the Boatswains Mates next - except that most of them cannot read or write. :) :)

Randy

Your post brought back old memories. Little things that I had forgotten. I remember taking a 5-gallon bucket and climbing down into the dark bowels of the ship to beg for diesel oil. To a Gunners Mate, diesel oil was like water to a fish.

Ray


#14

Back in the dark ages, when I collected .45-70’s, I acquired a small group of .45-70 line-throwing guns, kits, and blank cartridges. One of my complete kits, now long gone, came from a company that’s still in business today. If you want an entire, boxed, line-throwing-gun kit with everything included, or if you just want some variations of the blank cartridges (low, medium, high-power) or rod projectiles including the lighted one, go to navalcompany.com. The Naval Company, Inc., In Doylestown, PA goes way back. They are USCG-approved, and were very friendly to me when I bought my stuff. I even got a couple of items from the “dusty back room.”


#15

Mel - we had one of these kits, complete with lots of extra rods, a couple of extra spools, etc., at our store. The owners kept it rather than sell it. We reckoned it was Post WWII, and perhaps post-Korean War, and probably for the merchant marine, even though the wood box it was all stored in was painted “Navy Grey.” It was based on a cut down Trapdoor Springfield Rifle. Nifty item. I tried to buy it from the store when I had my U.S. Infantry Rifle collection, simply because I liked it and already had eight trapdoor rifles (wished I had kept just one of them). But, the boss wanted to keep it. Don’t blame him, it was nifty! It was from the “Naval Company.” I forget how we figured the age - may have been based on something as simple as a phone number with a numerical prefix, or a Zip Code, or something like that on the label. I simply forget. My initial take was that it was military and old - perhaps WWI, but someone else in the store discovered that it couldn’t be that old for one reason or another.

John M.