Talk:16"-45 caliber MK 6 naval gun

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 Definition Main gun of the U.S. North Carolina and South Dakota-class battleships [d] [e]
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Why on Earth is this called 45 caliber? To me, that's a pistol caliber, .45 inches. It cannot be 45 cm, either; that's closer to 18 inches.

Anyway, do we need this article, even as a lemma? Or should we just have one article on 16 inch naval guns, or even just one on heavy naval guns with 16: included? Sandy Harris 05:59, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

See Cannon. There are two ordnance uses of the word "caliber". The primary usage is the bore diameter, but, for artillery, the convention is that the caliber is the length of the barrel in diameters: this gun has a barrel that is 45*16" long, as opposed to the MK 7, which was 16"-50 caliber. The longer the barrel, the higher the muzzle velocity for the same propellant charge.
With respect to pistols, the length is often a parameter, but stated in less obscure terms. Among .38 caliber police revolvers, the easily concealable 2" barrel length gives approximately the accuracy of throwing the pistol, but it can be lethal at point-blank range. 4" and 6" barrels give increased muzzle velocity and accuracy; a target pistol may have an 8" or longer barrel. The barrels, however, aren't simply interchangeable; the longer lengths also increase firing chamber pressure and may require a more rugged design. Also, since the balance is quite different, the sights and grip are apt to vary.
Also, the longer the caliber, the heavier the barrel, which was, in the case of U.S. battleship design, a major tradeoff on which I will elaborate. It's not completely absurd to say barrel length can be as important to gunnery design as is key length to cryptography. If you look at the 5"-38 caliber gun, 5"-54 caliber gun and 5"-62 caliber gun, you will find they are quite substantially different weapons in other respects. I see just as much need to have separate articles on these historically significant naval weapons as I do for different crypto algorithms, or, for that matter, crypto devices. A TACLANE is different from a FASTLANE in intended application and other factors, even though they share many characteristics. How much argument was raised over 56- vs. 64-bit DES, and then triple DES? Howard C. Berkowitz 07:46, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
I did check naval gun without finding an explanation. Perhaps that needs a link to caliber which does explain the usage. Cannon did not occur to me. Sandy Harris 00:38, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough -- Naval guns and gunnery needs a rewrite; it just tries to cover too much. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:53, 15 August 2010 (UTC)