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David Thompson
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December 17, 2008


alan b

"Dig That Uranium" could be a contender for best film title ever.

"And boy how their Geiger counters click when they meet those babes from the Badlands!"

Kellie Strøm

These are fun, but serious hobbyists want the real thing:


I suppose I should update the post to include the rather implausible atomic cannon:

“The first atomic cannon went into service in 1952, and was deactivated in 1963. A single 280mm shell was fired seven miles at the Nevada Test site on May 25, 1953 as part of the Grable Shot series. The shell detonated 500 feet in the air and yielded a 15 kiloton explosion.”

Film of the test firing can be viewed here:

James S

The atomic cannon footage is insane. Did they expect to have two armies 7 miles apart shooting these things?


Yes, the cannon has somewhat disturbing implications. Twenty were manufactured but the tactical limitations made the device redundant fairly quickly. I’m guessing the original idea was that the target wouldn’t have a cannon of its own.


Next time the left scoff at the idea of terrorists exploding a nuclear bomb on our soil, point out that we were firing these f*cking things from cannons over fifty years ago. I remember one socialist who was absolutely convinced that a nuclear bomb couldn't be exloded until it was travelling at a certain speed. I tried to point out that this was a safety feature added to missiles so that they wouldn't detonate in normal transit, and that safety features can be removed, but he just wouldn't have it.

carbon based lifeform

Holy shit. That's one scary cannon.


i just love the old atom bomb footage.
think that excerpt was taken from the Trinity and Beyond DVD, which every nuclear weapon junkie should own.



If you like that kind of thing, these may be of interest.

Soviet weapons tests:

Filmed effects of detonations:

James S

"A single 280mm shell was fired seven miles, yielding a 15 kiloton explosion."

How does that compare with Hiroshima?


“How does that compare with Hiroshima?”

“Little Boy,” which fell on Hiroshima, was similar in yield – between 13 and 18 kilotons, as opposed to more modern devices which reach 20 or so megatons. The Soviet “Tsar Bomba,” tested in 1961, had a yield of around 50 megatons, a fireball 8km across, a mushroom cloud 64km high and was felt 1000km away. Though its size made the device impractical for warfare purposes.

James S



thanks David..
cool bomb footage.
nice :)

Steve in San Diego

A miniature version: the M65 nuclear rifle.


Range: 3 miles. Yield: 0.01 kiloton. Utility: None.


Uh... two of your "nuclear weapons slide rules" are actually used for dose calculations for medical purposes. But the rest are quite fascinating. And the posters provide a good insight into the level of public understanding of nuclear energy.

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