Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/860

This page needs to be proofread.


Shooting Shells of a Hundred Tons

It will destroy half a city at one shot and an entire city with three shells

By Charles Beecher Bunnell

��THE English are said to be using 2 1 -inch guns which fire 4,000-pound projectiles capable of burying themselves in the ground a depth of thirty-five feet at a distance of ten miles. But they are mere pop-guns compared with the gun that I have designed. My gun will fire a shot one hundred miles. One of these weap- ons placed at Port- land, Maine, would protect her entire coast from Mt. Des- ert to the Massa- chusetts line. An- other such gun at Newport, Rhode Is- land, would protect the entire Massachu- setts, Rhode Island and Connecticut coasts as far as Bridgeport. A third gun at Lakewood, New Jersey, would reach from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Cape May, covering as well the entire State of New Jersey.

And if we go farther and plant these big guns as thick as lighthouses, all the vulner- able points on the Atlantic seaboard would be placed under instant gun fire. That's quicker than sending out ships or troops, although this gun will not do away with either. For instance, thirty seconds after Boston was attacked, the guns at Newport would be shelling the enemy's fleet, who could not locate the attack or reply to it. From Lakewood, New Jersey, the harbor of New York would be under absolute con- trol; so would Philadelphia, Cape May, and the Delaware River. The whole State of New Jersey would be in its protective range. The moral effect of such a powerful and deadly weapon should not be under- estimated. The artillery of few, if any,

���Elevation of the big gun is controlled by a left-hand wheel operating three dials — a degree dial, a second dial and a minute dial — while point of compass is controlled by a right-hand wheel with three other dials geared similarly

��ships can match it, for two reasons: the cost of a ship to carry such a gun would be impover- ishing, and there is no way of locating satisfactorily an un- seen object one hun- dred miles away.

The explosion of the shell sixty feet from an ordinary ship would swamp it and thereby prevent firing of the ship's guns. The concus- sion alone would de- stroy the crew and leave the men dead without mutilation. I have shown the accompanying pic- ture to ordinance of- ficers. "Anyone who laughs at that de- sign is foolish, in view of what's hap- pening every day," said one man who is on Major General Wood's staff. Other Staff Officers said: "I'm very much inter- ested in that gun." — "That gun will shoot a hundred miles." — "Do you realize what that range means to us?" — "That's what we want, big guns and lots of them." — "Go ahead and God bless you."

The rifle is 375 feet long and weighs 39,277 tons without mountings. It has a bore of 60 inches. It throws a shell 26.5 feet long weighing 100 tons a distance of 70 miles at 20 degrees elevation or 100 miles at 45 degrees.

The weight of the shell fired by this gun is always uniform no matter what form of explosive is employed. Its nose is ellips- oidal for the reason that a round shot goes to the left and down, while the conical shot goes to the right and up of any gun's axis. The nose of my shell is the mean between these two extremes.

��844

�� �