Tag Archives: guns

Load HEAT- Anna Torv

I can’t tell you how many times over the years people have suggested the Fringe star for LH. We’ve got a fairly rabid bunch of sci-fi fans as readers. And finally, here she is.

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Filed under Load Heat

120mm for Air Defense

When you mention a 120mm gun today, virtually everyone thinks of the main gun of the M1 Abrams family of tanks. And rightly so. It’s an impressive weapon. But did you know that from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s there were more than a few 120mm guns guarding the US?

The US Army began World War II with the M3 3” gun as its primary heavy antiaircraft gun. The M3 was itself a slightly improved version of the M1918 fielded for World War II, and was clearly facing obsolescence. It lacked the ability to reach the high altitudes routinely used by enemy bombers, and didn’t throw a very powerful shell.

Soon the excellent M1 90mm anti-aircraft gun replaced it.

But as good as the M1 90mm gun was, it still lacked the range and altitude needed. Toward the end of the war, the Army finally fielded the massive M1 120mm heavy anti-aircraft gun. While a few batteries were sent to the Pacific before the war ended, it doesn’t appear any actually engaged Japanese aircraft.


The beginning of the Cold War raised the spectre of Soviet bombers laying waste to American cities with nuclear weapons. Accordingly, a very high priority was given to air defense of the continental US. The Air Force fielded many squadrons of fighters. And pending the development of guided missiles, the Army placed batteries of 90mm and 12omm guns to protect our cities.

A typical 120mm battery had four guns. The guns were automatically directed by the M10 director system, which in turn used information from the SCR-584 radar, or a similar gun laying radar and the M4 gun computer.


Batteries also protected sensitive sites such as the Panama Canal.


By the mid-1950s, the M1’s ability to destroy high speed bomber targets was marginal. As rapidly as possible, gun batteries were replaced by Nike Ajax guided missile batteries.  Today, the M1 is but a faint memory.


Filed under 120mm

Load HEAT-Sofia Vergara

We try not to duplicate entries on Load HEAT, but there are only so many ladies out there, and further, this lady was in the news recently. Radical feminists hate when any woman is beautiful. Unless they’re being crude. @drawandstrike noted this double standard between the adulation Beyonce received and the scorn they heaped upon Sofia Vergara.

Sofia 2 (1)

Sofia 2 (1)



Sofia 2 (2)

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Load HEAT- Colbie Caillat

If you want to make it in the music business, all it takes is hard work, dedication, and a daddy who is a record producer.

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Load HEAT- Padma Lakshmi

Roamy gently reminded me I never got around to featuring this tasty morsel.


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Load HEAT- Tiffani Theissen

I get complaints all the time that I only like skinny wimmens. Uh, no. I have trouble finding Hollywood types that aren’t rail thin. There’s a difference.

And good ol’ TAT has embraced her curvyness, so she gets to be featured this week.

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More Splodey

I don’t feel like writing today.

The US Navy in the early 1990s was greatly concerned with small boat swarming attacks on US surface ships, and looked at ways to counter them. A couple of different weapons were used. First, ships in areas likely to face such swarm attacks (that is, in the Persian Gulf) were quickly equipped with .50cal machine gun mounts. But the .50cal is not terribly accurate, nor particularly lethal.

A more advanced approach was to modify the 20mm Phalanx Close In Weapon System giving it the capability to engage not just missiles, but also surface targets. 

A third option was to bolt on mounts of automatic cannons. In the end, that’s what happened, with the 25mm M242 Bushmaster cannon on the Mk38 mount.

Photo: Gunner's Mate Seaman Daniel A. Wright fires an Mk-38 machine gun

Mk38 Mod 1 Mount for M242 25mm gun.

For years, the mounts were swapped in and out as ships entered and departed the 5th Fleet Area of Operations. Originally little more than a pedestal mount, todays Mk38Mod2 mount is a remotely operated, stabilized mount with day and night capability.


Mk38 Mod 2 Mount

Part of the decision making process (but only part) of what gun to mount included studies of the terminal effects of the various cannon rounds and ammunitions available. And that’s were this video comes in.


Damn shame to see the MkIII PB getting shot up. It would have been nice to see that up for surplus sale.


Filed under guns, navy