Convergence of fighter guns.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Magister, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Magister

    Magister Member

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    I am curious about the range at which the wing mounted machine guns on American fighters were set to converge. Did all the guns converge at the same point or did some converge at a closer or farther point?

    Also, were they all set to converge on the same flat, level plane consistent with the gun mounts themselves or did some fire higher or lower at the convergence point?
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I believe it was 300 yards convergence
     
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    That was the standard although some pilots prefered to have the guns converge closer (normally around 200-250 yards).
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    correct...
     
  5. Magister

    Magister Member

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    Of course it would depend on where the strikes were (as would be the case with a 20mm) but does anyone know on average, how many strikes were reqired of .50 cal. rounds to bring an axis fighter down?
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    One if you hit the pilot! ;)

    Are you talking a Zero or a FW-190, Oscar or MC-200? I don't think any one ever kept statistics by rounds....
     
  7. Magister

    Magister Member

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    There was data (rough) developed as to the average number of 20mm and 30mm hits it took to bring down a heavy allied bomber. I was just wondering if anyone had heard any similar rough data concerning the .50 against any axis fighters.
     
  8. V-1710

    V-1710 Member

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    I have too heard anywhere between 250 and 300 yds., depending on the pilot's preference. One of the advantages of the P-38...........
     
  9. loomaluftwaffe

    loomaluftwaffe Active Member

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    concentrated firepower, unlike most allied fighters.

    i know 1-2 bursts will bring down a ki-43 or a zero
     
  10. Lunatic

    Lunatic Banned

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    Normally guns were set to converge at 800 feet. They were usually also set to converge into a "box", i.e. for 6 guns, 2 would be aimed dead on, two a little higher, and two a little higher still.

    With convergence set at 800 feet, the "kill zone" ranges from about 400 feet to about 1200 feet. At these ranges, the left and right streams are half or less there wing spacing apart. At closer ranges, you don't need so many hits, and at longer ranges, scoring at all was difficult.

    Some pilots did set the convergence closer, but not many - there was little utility in it. More pilots had it set longer, mostly when they were expecting to strafe ground targets. For strafing, convergences of 1500-2000 feet, or infinity (ie no convergence) were often used.

    When the K-14 gunsight came out, convergences were generally increased to about 1000-1200 feet.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  11. wmaxt

    wmaxt Active Member

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    I've heard about 250yrds. the P-47 frequently had two one set of four at 250 and the other set of four at 350yrds. Ring's P.R. O. Doc's research Page http://prodocs.netfirms.com/ has a diagram.

    The P-38 had all guns in the nose and had kills that were reportedly at 1,000yrds.

    wmaxt
     
  12. Lunatic

    Lunatic Banned

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    Yes, the P-47 did often use two convergence settings. The 6 wing gun planes generally did not.

    There are documented cases of the P-47 (and probably P-51's) scoring kills at 800+ yards. When the K-14 came into action, effective range increased. Often the enemy thought he was out of range and got walluped.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  13. wmaxt

    wmaxt Active Member

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    The pilots who got hits at extream ranges were exceptional shots with the P-38 and even more so with converging guns of a P-47/P-51 where you only got a couple of guns on the target. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of the .50 gun.

    wmaxt
     
  14. Dogwalker

    Dogwalker Member

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    I read that convergence for P51 was usually set at 300 yards, and 2 degrees above.

    DogW
     
  15. Lunatic

    Lunatic Banned

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    After the computing gunsights came out, some squadrons set their convergences out at over 400 yards. This was later in the war and they were doing more strafing - longer convergence is better for strafing where you want to start firing at 1000 yards or even more.

    Somewhere I have a documented case of a P-47 pilot scoring two kills from 800+ yards in the same sortie. In both cases the target did not even try to evade until it was too late, the pilot thinking he was safe. The range when using the K-14 gunsight is displayed as the ranging knob is twisted to put the ring on the target.

    Against a non evading target the K-14 was totally devestating, allowing almost a sure kill even at quite long range. If the pipper was on the target and the ring was set to the proper wingspan and fitted to the target you practically could not miss.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
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