Loading the 16" Guns


The gun captain is in charge of the loading operation of the gun. On his left arm he has a base sleeve and on top of that he has a sleeve which is made of a soft cotton fabric. After firing he opens the breech plug and looks through the bore of the gun for residual fragments that may be burning. He wipes the mushroom with his left arm to clean any residual from it.

He then signals the spanner operator to span the cradle and after the projectile is rammed he and the cradle operator spread the powder bags in the spanning tray and put the last 3 powder bags on the spanning tray.

The gun captain then signals the rammer operator to ram the powder bags. The gun captain watches the powder bags being rammed and signals the rammer operator to stop when the rear bag in the right place which is not more than 6 inches forward of the mushroom head on the breech plug when closed.

If you will notice the gun captain examines the last powder bag to see if it is in the right position and he may pull that bag slightly to the rear to make sure it is in the right place to fire.

If the rear of the rear powder bag is more than 6 inches from the mushroom head the ignition pad may not detonate and the gun will misfire.

In the event the gun misfires the gun captain after obtaining permission from the turret captain can immediately open the firing lock and remove the old lock combination primer and replace it with a new lock combination primer. If after trying several times the gun fails to fire you must wait 30 minutes before opening the breech plug.

3 minute video


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