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Subdeacon Joe

Big Guns

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After a battleship had fired its guns enough, the barrel would be worn down so much that accuracy and muzzle velocity was no longer acceptable. The barrels would be removed from the battleship and sent back to the factory for relining.

With a vast network of rails linking the naval yards along the east coast with foundries such as Bethlehem Steel, the Pennsylvania Railroad was ideally located to service the US Navy. They became one of the primary movers of naval guns including battleship guns.

However, transporting a barrel weighing over 100 tons and over 50' in length is no easy feat. The Pennsylvania Railroad developed specialized equipment specifically for transporting large naval guns. The most common was the F22 flat car. However, it still took three cars to transport each barrel. The barrel would be supported by two cars while the long barrel would protrude over a third.

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