These powerful cannons on the USS Wisconsin were the last guns fired from a US battleship in war

The USS Wisconsin firing its 16

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The USS Wisconsin firing its 16″ guns sometime between 1988-1991.
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US Navy

The 16″/50 caliber Mark 7 guns aboard the USS Wisconsin were the last ones fired from a US battleship in support of American troops ashore.

And they are big – really big.

The guns are 16 inches in diameter, 800 inches long, and weigh about 292,000 pounds with the breech and yoke assembly, the curator of the USS Iowa Museum, Dave Way, told Business Insider.

They fired two basic rounds: 2,700 pound armor piecing rounds and 1,900 pound high capacity shore bombardment projectiles.

We recently had the chance to see these guns aboard the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA.

Check them out below:


Iowa-Class battleships served from World War II until the Gulf War and were equipped with nine 16″ guns.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

We saw these massive guns on the USS Wisconsin.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Even without firing, they look pretty powerful.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

The guns fired 1,900 and 2,700 pound projectiles at a rate of 2,500 feet per second and up to 24 miles away. The record, Way said, was 26.2 miles.

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USS Wisconsin firing its 16″ guns during the Korean War.
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US Navy

Here’s two of the 2,700 pound projectiles mounted on the Wisconsin.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

The guns were so powerful, Way said, that they recoiled four feet when fired, and the blast pressure would push the water out, creating the illusion that the ship was moving sideways.

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USS Iowa firing its 16″ guns in 1984.
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US Navy

Not to mention the huge fireball that shot out when they were fired.


Kaboom!


Watch them in action in the short video below.