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September 16th, 2013

Loading for a 16″ Naval Gun? Try these Really Big Powder Sticks…

Story by Boyd Allen
While many top competitive shooters trickle their stick powder charges to a kernel or two, that would be impractical when loading charges for giant naval guns. You may be surprised, but the shells fired by the U.S. Navy’s massive 14″ and 16″ naval guns were also propelled by stick-type extruded powders. You couldn’t trickle these ‘kernels’ though — a single stick or ‘grain’ can be over 2″ long. Take a look…

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

In connection with a Benchrest Central discussion that drifted to the subject of powders used in large naval guns, I heard from Joe McNeil, whose father was involved in manufacturing those very propellants as a DuPont employee. Joe writes:

“My Dad worked for the DuPont company for over 40 years. Every time the nation went to war he was assigned to the gun powder plants which DuPont ran for the government for $1.00 per year! His last assignment was at the Indiana Ordnance Plant in Jefferson, Indiana from 1952 through 1958. He had a display case made of all of the different powders made at the plant and left it to me. That’s why I have a grain of 16″ gun powder. He took me out to the Jefferson proving grounds once when they tested the powder in a 16″ gun. We watched from a half-mile away but it left a lasting impression when they fired that gun. They actually had a set of rings they fired through to test the performance of the powder and shell. This was a truly fond memory of my Dad and his work.”

Here are some pictures of the gun powder “grains” made during the Korean War at the Indiana Ordnance Works where Joe McNeil’s father worked.

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

Above is the display case with the different powders manufactured at the DuPont plant. They include: 37 MM/AA, 75MM Pack Howitzer, 50 Cal. 5010, 20 MM 4831, 30 Cal. 4895, 76 MM, 3″, 5″, 90 MM, 4.7″, 240MM, 8″, 280 MM, 175 MM, 155 MM Howitzer, 155 MM Gun M.P., 8″ Gun M.P., 12″, 14, 16″. There are different-sized ‘grains’ for specific rounds.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
June 13th, 2009

Bronze Archer Attracts Top Military Shooters

One of the more distinctive trophies awarded each year at Camp Perry, the DuPont Trophy is a European bronze casting which depicts a medieval military bowman with arrow drawn, ready for its flight. The trophy was donated to the NRA in 1923 by the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company.

Each year, the DuPont Trophy is awarded at the Camp Perry National High Power Championships to the top Aggregate score of the Members’ Trophy, Scott Trophy, Coast Artillery Trophy, Army Cup, Navy Cup, Coast Guard Trophy, Marine Corps Cup, Air Force Cup, Crescent Cup, Appreciation Cup, Cavalry Cup, and Crowell Trophy Matches. Collectively, these matches represent a total of 240 shots.

Last year, the winner was then-Specialist Tyrell L. Cooper of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). Ty Cooper won with a score of 2362-101X. Cooper, who was recently promoted to Sergeant, started shooting High Power at the ripe old age of 14 and stands ready to face past champions like McMahon, Hooper, Watson and Demille.

Listed below are the DuPoint Trophy winners for the past decade, along with their winning scores:

1998 SSgt Grant L. Singley, USA 2372-112X
1999 SSgt Julia L. Watson, USMC 2361-110X
2000 MSgt Harry D. Harrison, USMCR 2369-101X
2001 SFC Grant L. Singley, USA 2371-109X
2002 SFC Kevin McMahon, USA 2333-90X
2003 CWO Dennis Demille, USMC 2372-102X
2004 James C. Fox, 2366-80X
2005 GySgt Julia L. Watson, USMCR 2366-93X
2006 SFC Lance S. Hopper, USA 2366-114X
2007 Nick O. Till *1764-73X
2008 SPC Tyrell L. Cooper, USA 2362-101X

* Aggregate shortened due to weather

Permalink Competition, News 1 Comment »