The 16″/50 caliber guns were on the Iowa-class
battleships from 1943 until 1992. The 3-gun turrets
had a 16 inch bore and the guns were 66.6 feet
long. They fired shells that weighed 1,900 to 2,700
pounds up to 24 miles at a speed of up to 2,690
feet per second while taking around 40 seconds to
get to the target.
They were called 3-gun instead of triple because
each barrel could be elevated and fired
independently of the others. They could be elevated
from -5 degrees to +45 degrees at a rate of 12
degrees per second. The turrets could rotate 300
degrees at a rate of 4 degrees per second. Said
turrets alone cost $1.4 million and that did not
include the price of the guns.
These guns were used in WW II, the Korean War, the
Vietnam War, the Lebanese Civil War, and the Gulf
War. Although they can fire the shell up 24 miles
when you are at sea the horizon is only 14 miles
away from the main deck and 16 miles from the
If you want to know more, and have about 10
minutes to spare, here is a WW II training film
on Battleship Main Guns.
Don’t like videos? You can read all about the
The 5″/54s are something to see but these guns
Comments are always welcome.