Tail guuner

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Senior Airman
May 12, 2005
Hey guys if you were a tail gunner which of these weapons would you prefer, 4 .30 caliber machine guns or 2 .50 caliber machine guns? explain.
I suppose the four .30s could give slightly better coverage, but getting the extra hits probably isn't worth much if you don't do much damage when you do get hits.

Four .50s would be better ;)
I disagree Twitch - While they may not have been as effective as 2X.5's, they still ripped the tit off many enemy NF's....they could put a fair concentration of lead [of varying compositions] into a coupla square feet of target.
Great Britain had a shortage of armaments approaching the start of WWII, and .5's were hard to get. That's why Hurricanes Spits had 8 - 12 x .303's that definately clawed many Luftwaffe aircraft down in the BoB....While they didn't make much impression on armour-plating, they still tore at everything else that was vulnerable. I'm sure every serving member of the British Armed Forces would've loved heavier calibre, but the .303's sufficed, especially in concert with 20mm cannons in fighters. Any Luftwaffe fighter attacking a British bomber with 4x .303 squirting back would've been ducking, I'm sure I would've.......
They may have been short on armaments, but why then did they request all american-bought aircraft be fitted with .303s instead of the stock .50s?
Eight thirty calibers were OLD Battle of Britain-style armament thinking. Let's stick enough of them on a plane then spray and pray. Once cannons were on Spits for example the .303s were used for aiming purposes only. I have personally been told by Spit pilots how the .303s bounced off the German planes- and no, not just later FW 190A-8s either.

The question shouldn't be why the abundance of thirty caliber guns and ammo existed early on it should be why did 4- .303s make way for 2- .50s on Spits? Why did MG 17s get replaced by MG 13s?

By late 1943 early 1944 there was no place for pre-war rifle caliber weapons on front line aircraft in daylight use. At night you could get away with light armament or none at all ala the B-29s stripped of weapons during the firebomb raids.

Lumaluftwaffe may have been joking but he is right on the mark- where you can up-gun do it. 20mms are better than .50s which are better than .30s.

Simply because a high volume of concentrated .30 caliber fire will bring an enemy plane doesn't mean it is optimum. In combat short bursts are usually all that is is possible. The ordnance striking the enemy needs to take its toll in damage with as few rounds as possible. It is not easy or usually possible to train you weapons on an enemy for many seconds at a time until your BBs finally take effect.
just too bad if u get shot or he hits ur ammo box...
always the first thing to get shot, then he walks the fire down the wing to the engine

had those German 4x 20mm cannon remote controlled tail gunner experiments came ionto front-line servive... ouch
but even with all those guns, many B-17s and B-24s were lost to Sturmjagers
Well, if anything, the quad .303's DID put a lot of lead in the air, and it would have been unnerving for the German pilot to hear the rounds hitting his fighter.

At night, you almost have to get in close to your target to be able to aim effectively, so the .303's would still be dangerous.
and you dont have to be a sharpshooter to just aim at a large twin-engined fighter and score some hits at the engine
I was talking to an older guy the other day he was the Navigator on Halifaxes he was telling of being stalked and fired upon by twin engined german they deked into clouds and upon emerging from the cloud realized an a/c was above them the gunners opened up and hit the target and watched it burst into flame at this point they discovered it was a Lanc they had just shot down so the 303 could even bring down a lanc

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