Here is a U.S. Navy recruiting poster from World War Two.

Is this poster accurate, or is there some "creative license" going on here for the sake of getting people to sign up?

What I'm referring to is the ammunition this sailor is handling.

It APPEARS to be 5 inch ammunition.

I was under the impression that 5 inch ammo is semi-fixed ammo...projectile loaded separately from the cartridge case.

Did they have fixed 5 inch ammo in WW2 and what model/caliber naval rifles wound have been loaded with single rounds?

Does anyone know?



 Originally Posted By: Seascamp;139871
There was Ďopení 5 inch mounts, meaning no armor on any side and that may have had a hand operated breach block and some husky gunner loading, but even a 5 inch projectile wasnít a light weight; 60 lbs plus, and usually needed a hydraulic ram to seat the projectile up in the breach. Post WWII there was experimental stuff going on with fixed 8-inch ammo and auto loading turrets such as on the Cruiser Newport News but, alas, turret 2 went sky high during a fire mission in VN and enthusiasm for the rapid fire 8-inch turrets kind of went away.
As to the come-on poster, looks like a dramatization and not realistic ammo for the time. Not shown is what the Sailor is doing with the fixed ammo. A turret gun or deck mount of WWII, 5 inch and up, would have some kind of loading ramp and hydraulic projectile seating mechanism. 3 inch and lower is where fixed ammo and the ability to hand load would be found. Maybe the Sailor is a munchkin and is handling a 3/50 round. Those werenít so heavy but still not altogether light either; I guess about 10-20 lbs or so. But at the rate a twin 3/50 fired, the loaders had to be quick movers, able to handle a real work out, plus nimble footed enough to dodge the hot shell casings that came a popping out the breach.


P.S. Navy gunfire doesn't look like the poster representation at all. Ya get the ring of fire out the 5 inchers and a ball of fire out the 8 or 16 inchers. I talking big ball of fire.

 Originally Posted By: 82Rigger;139872

Thanks for the info.

The 5 inch ammo has been a confusing issue for me. Several times, in my reading about the USS Arizona and the Arizona Memorial, there have been references to "rounds of 5 inch ammunition" being found scattered on and around the Arizona and recovered years after Pearl Harbor.

Me being a former competition rifle shooter, a "round" of ammunition is "everything needed to make a shot" i.e. projectile, propellant, case (if required), primer.
So, when I read these articles I was picturing in my mind COMPLETE 5 inch "cartridges", like in the poster above.

Thanks again!


 Originally Posted By: Gunner Carvo;139876
We refer to "rounds" as the whole thing usually. It can also mean just the projectile. That's probably what they meant in the article.

As far as the fixed ammo in the poster, the casing has been elongated by the artist, but it's 3"/50 ammo. We still have cartridges with wooden projectiles for decorative purposes at different Gunner's Mate schools.

 Originally Posted By: locksly;139880
I think it is the 5"/25 open mmount naval gun. There are some links to the 5"/25 and 3"/50 guns .

picture of 5/38 open gun mount on WW-II destroyer
picture of 3 Inch 50 Caliber MK21 Deck Gun

And here are some moore pics.

United States of America 5"/25 Ammunition Type Fixed
5"/25 (12.7 cm) Marks 10, 11, 13 and 17 Ammunition Type All except the Mark 17: Fixed Weight of Complete Round about 80 lbs. (36.3 kg)
Mark 17: Separate
Ship Class Used On Nevada (BB-36), Pennsylvania (BB-38), New Mexico (BB-40), Tennessee (BB-43), Colorado (BB-45), Northampton (CA-26), New Orleans (CA-32), Portland (CA-33) and Brooklyn (CL-40) classes
Submarines in the 1940s

 Originally Posted By: revwardoc;139883
Check out the helmets the gunners are wearing. Those are WWI era or VERY early WWII.

 Originally Posted By: 82Rigger;139887
Found the following info on Arizona's armament.

In 1941 USS Arizona supported:

Twelve 14"/45

Eighteen 5"/25 AA

Two 21" torpedo tubes were removed sometime after 1917.

Eight 3"/50 guns were removed sometime after 1921 and replaced with 5"/25 AA.

Looks like on Dec 7th she had no 3 inch guns, and her 5 inch guns were 25 caliber.


 Originally Posted By: Seascamp;139891
Brass 5 inch propellant casings were/are as common as pig tracks around quarterdecks, lounges, etc. and usually used as a stand for some purpose like an ash tray; really, and something for the compartment cleaners to use their ample supply of Brasso on. The USN is obsessive-compulsive about any green on the brass and goes ballistic if such a sacrilege is found, oh yikes.
Anyway, never saw a necked-down 5-inch propellant casing, ever. Did see lots of the 3/50 casings with deco-mahogany projectiles as already noted. This is fairly usual quarterdeck dress-up stuff, along with a Detachment Marine if the ship is of sufficient size or ran the type commanderís pennant on the halyards. And of course the standing instruction was donít Brasso the Detachment Marines, first.


artists they think differently the casing has been elongated by the artist and I guess necked-down 5-inch propellant casing or 3"/50 only the artist knows .
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;"The greatest pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much, and power over nothing" - Herodotus