Thursday, June 26, 2014

Last Call For Don't Know Howitzer, Don't Know Whenitzer

This is either a completely ridiculous story about gun nuts treating a howitzer as a friggin' toy and lobbing a shell into somebody's house 3 miles away, or a case of custom critical courier delivery methods gone horribly wrong.

An Oklahoma home was damaged last weekend by a howitzer artillery shell fired from a gun range three miles away. 
The artillery shell – which is 14.5 inches long and 3.5 inches across – crashed through an exterior wall, hit the ceiling, and damaged another wall while homeowner Gene Kelley and his wife were in another room, reported KOAM-TV
“It’s unbelievable,” Kelley said. “Unless you were here to see it or see the pictures I’ve got, you would not believe how huge this thing is.”

No one was hurt, but Kelley said the damage could have been worse if the shell had not hit a tree limb and then the ground before striking his Wyandotte house.

Unless you're a Mythbuster and doing a myth on howitzers or something, why are you allowed to fire one of these when it can go, I dunno, three miles (and could have gone a lot further?)  Were people warned or anything beforehand?

The shell was fired from a 105mm howitzer at the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show, but the gun range owner insists the historic weapon was safely fired by professionals in a downward projection. 
“It was not on a level plane, but on a downward trend, pointed downhill in the bottom of a valley,” said Mike Friend, Owner of Fast Machine Gun Shoot. “For that thing to rise and go far northwest of the range, it’s just unheard of.”

Max range on a 105mm howitzer is what, 6-7 miles or thereabouts?  So yeah, did this guy warn anyone in the area?  This seems like totally reasonable behavior and not weapon fetishist stuff or anything, you know?

I appreciate the skill and training that it takes to operate a field gun like this, but if you put a shell in a dude's living room in a freak accident, there's a problem somewhere.  Get a bigger range or something next time, guys.  Or better yet, leave the 105mm boom-boom at home.

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