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Great Guns

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If the bravo fellows who manncd the ressels ander Uncle Sam's flag during the late war had beeu told thcn thatthe (flins they i'iv DMBg wonUl in the near hitare be looked npon almoaJ as so many popgnns, the prediction" would havo boen ridieuled as are thé notion ofsonie "perpetual motion crank," and yet in the short apace of twenty yoars almost a revolution m naval annament has takeu place. Inventlons in tbis field have been nuiucrous, though most of the noist; over such tnatters has boen ntade in fpreigner. Krupp, the Germ:m. lias oome to be known throughout Ohr stendom tor the powerful weapons he has been turning out fronihis works. Yet, ín thia country, notwithstanding the fsot that there has been continued peace and no need of such things, immense strides in the eonstructiou of naval ordn&nce have been made. Durinjr and sinoe the war the armament of our naval vessels consiste! of two classes - "smooth-boros" and "rifles" - bothof which were loaded at the mírale. The "smooth-bores" fired projeotilea f ipherlo&l form, while the rille projeotilea were of cyliudrical shape, oiie end betng pointed. All of these catinons were made of cast iron, the riñes having banda of wrought iron shrunk over the cast iron bodies to strengthen theni. The "smooth-bores" ranged in caliber, or diameter of bore, frotn about six inehes to flfteen inches, theirprojeetiles varying f rom thirty-two pounds to 4öO pounils in weight, and their powder charges from six pounds to one hundred pounds. The tifteeninch smooth-bore with its battering charge of one hundred pounds of powder and solid shot weighing 4.0 pounds has a penetration of rateen inehes of iron at short range. The "smoothbore" guns of smaller caliber than tifteen inehps wore not considerad as "armor-piercing" guns, their pitqeptilea being spherical BheTlg filled with powder and titted with fuses to burn a certain number of seoonds, aceording to the range deaired, when the shells would explode and fragments be scattered ovit an extended área. The ritte guns used during the war varied in caliber from the tliree and one-half inches to six and one-half inches, their projeetiles from twenty pounds in weight to one hundred pounds, and their powder charges from two to ten pounds. Eflbrts were made for many yearg to firoduoe broeoh-loading rifle guns of urge caliber, but the mechanical difliculties of manufacture and failure to find a material strong enough to with;stand the destructivo pressurea of largo 'charges of powder were not overeóme 'until within the p:ist ten yeass. The Iguns being built for the ncw cruisere 'represent the most advanced types of their respective oaliben. They are made of forged steel and are of the built up pattern, or composed of a nnmber of pieees. There is lirst a tube which forma the bore and powder chamber; over the rear end of the tube and cxtetuliiiguearly one-half the length of it is shrunk :t jacket, and over both jacket and tube are shrunk strongthening hoops of a high grade of steel. The breech is closed by a plug on which a heavy screw thread is out; one half of this thread is removed, a corresponding thread is cut on the insido of the rear end of the jacket, one half of which is also removed. Tho circumferonce oí these threads is divided into six parts and eaoh altérnate part i.s removed, thus perniitting tho threaded part of the ireech plugto pass longitudinally along ¦the reuewed portion of the threaded part of the hole in the jacket, so by turning the plugone-sixth of a turn the threaded portions engage each other and tho plug is tiuia prevented from being forcod to tho rear, when the gun is fired. The calibers for the guns of the new cruisers aro of iive, six andeight inches, their projectiles weighing seventy, ono hundrod and two hundred and fifty pounds respectively, and their powder charges being one-'half the weightof the projoctile in each case. As these guns are made very long, thirty calibers, a much larger "charge of powder can be burned and a correspondingly greater velocity given to the projectile. Hy this means the guns become much more powerful. One of the new guns of eight inches caliber will penétrate at least sixteon inches of wrought iron. or more than can be pierced by the old nftceninch gun. The material, forged steel, for the five and six-inch guns is produced in the United States, but that for the larger guns is importe!, though it is espected that material for theelght-inch gun will soon be made here. Iu addition to #ie foregoinu; the Naval Ordnanee Bureau has now in course of construction steol gun.s of ten and ten and a half inchos OAUber, and has the plans ready fr gupsuu to sixteen inches oalibor, whioh will bobuilt when CongraM providei the money. The ten-inch guns are to tlirow a projeetíle of five Rtmdred pottnds wlth a powder charge of two liundrcd and tifty pounds, and will pieren more f han twonty inches of vs-ronn-ht iron, while the suteen -inch gun will nave a projectile weighing two thousand pounds and a powder chargo of one thousand poiinds, and will send [ts snot thxough thirty-two iaches of iron. The oQiccrs who have charge of the construction of the guni for tlic, new war iresselB art! inning Ilio most ski llful in the wholo line of thfl naw. Tlniv luie l„.,Mi selected becauM ol th profioiency they have attnlned in tliis branch ol their profession. The ördnmi oorpa of tlie armv has iüo made gret itride In the war of iraproved guns, but tlieir progr'" has nol kepi pace with iliat llial in the lüi-.V. -W'r-hnnl,,:, ' or. Cleveland ¦ arfi r. A Boston Co'irier reporter atked tho Buperintendenl f Behoab ih' othei day: "HOW il"1 II haui)MI t lint tlicif are so ttiany d I Bwnfl ammg the school Ufluwf" and ha repitaè; "Becaiwe school teachers aro as a mie, wnmen of M'iis1. and nosensibl8#onian will eiveup asixtv-dollar position for a fortydollar n);n.''


Ann Arbor Courier
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