Friday ‘splodey: Live fire 13-inch mortars

It is my fantasy that some unknown, old rich uncle out there passes away and leaves a sizable fortune in a Swiss bank.  When that happens, I’ll go to Paulson Brothers and ask for “one of each.”

Until then, here are some videos, from the 1990s, of a live fire of a Paulson Brothers reproduction 13-inch mortar:

In the earlier post I mentioned problems with friction primers.  Again, not that they weren’t used, but the gunner had to be particular where he stood lest the primer pull out when the lanyard was pulled.  Post-war, several measures came into practice to improve the primer seating. But I cannot tell from the video if those were used with this live fire.

One firing appears to be with an uncharged shell.  Others seem to be with a live shell exploding near or at the ground.  You do get a sense of the “hang time” of a mortar round.  Reminds me of the “shot over” – “shot out” – “splash over” – “splash out” radio dialogs from my time in service.

Notice the flames and sparks spewing everywhere in the night fire.   That’s sure to make the neighbors a bit nervous!

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

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