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From: Gordon Rottman <email@example.com> Subject: Re: REPLY: Aircraft Guns (2) Date: March 30, 2010 5:35:20 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Generally, weapons below 15mm (.59-caliber) are considered small arms and thus in the area of automatic weapons are generally classified as machine guns while larger caliber automatic weapons are considered automatic guns, automatic cannons, or machine cannons. The terms are interchangeable. There are exceptions of course. Germany in WWII rated the 13mm (which fired HE rounds) a MG and the 15mm, 20mm, and 30mm aircraft guns as machine cannons. Gordon Rottman Original Message: 1st Reply From: Rudnicki, Edward J Mr CIV USA AMC <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: REPLY: Aircraft Guns Date: March 30, 2010 10:32:26 AM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: Kirchubel, Robert F <email@example.com> > I did not realize that firing solid/exploding shells was the distinguishing >feature between aircraft machine guns and cannons? I thought it was more a >question of caliber, w/ 20mm usually being the dividing line. Speaking only >from my own experiences on tanks, 105mm, 120mm, etc. guns can still fire >solid, non-exploding rounds (in this case, usually discarding sabot). In WW2 several nations used explosive projectiles in aircraft guns smaller than 20mm, and of course guns of 20mm and greater fired armor piercing solid projectiles. But from the POV of US aircraft armament, this was a pretty solid distinguishing feature, with .50BMG guns firing non-exploding projectiles and 20mm guns primarily firing explosive projectiles. A good introduction to the subject is Anthony Williams' and Emmanuel Gustin's three volume "Flying Guns" series, covering aircraft armament of the Great War era, the WW2 era, and the modern era. Rather useful bibliographies of both primary and secondary sources in all three. FWIW, Ed Rudnicki 2nd Reply From: Jakob Whitfield <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: QUERY: Aircraft Guns Date: March 30, 2010 1:43:18 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Reply-To: email@example.com Anthony Williams and Emmanuel Gustin's series of books are the go-to source on aircraft guns, although I don't know whether they consider air-ground performance in any detail. Williams's website can be found athttp://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/miltech.htm; Gustin's page on fighter armament can be found at http://users.telenet.be/Emmanuel.Gustin/fgun/fgun-in.html It seems that at least some of the US reluctance to make the switch to aircraft cannon was driven by the problems experienced in the US manufacture of the Hispano-Suiza weapons; see Williams' discussion at:http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/CannonMGs.htm Hope this helps, Jakob Whitfield PhD Student, University of Manchester ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----