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As someone who really enjoyed the AC-130 sections of gameplay in the Call of Duty games, I’ve always wondered exactly what goes on inside that airplane. It seems like such a small place for such big guns. Thanks to someone with a video camera, now we civvies know. [h/t  this guy]

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  1. I think it’s interesting that the mid-range gun isn’t auto loaded (the one they’re loading 5-round clips into.)

    It sort of makes sense on the large gun, from the little I know, I’ve heard that autoloaders in tanks are slower and less reliable than a well trained crew, so that would probably translate to all larger guns/cannons

    • If memory serves the “mid sized gun” is a Bofors 40MM cannon, a lot like what they used on ships as AA during WWII. You see lots of clips of guys in ships reloading twin bofors 40MM’s just like that from WWII.

  2. If that wasn’t a clip from a training mission some guys on the ground in Afghanistan or Iraq had a real bad day…

  3. What is awesome about AC-130 Spectre / Spooky besides it’s firepower is it’s ability to hold on the target. That combined with modern night vision scopes means ground targets can run, but they can NOT hide. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

  4. Only in America would some guy get the chrome-plated-balls of an idea to take a M101 105MM howitzer and stick it in a plane to shoot at the ground, because indirect fire was played out.

  5. You can see the real thing at WPAFB Museum in the Annex. Walk right up next to it and peer in the plane. Same for the SR71 prototype close to it.

  6. I am pretty certain that was an AC-130U.

    The originalAC-130A gunships had 4 20mm vulcans and 4 30 caliber miniguns. Later the 30’s were removed and the two aft 20’s were replaced by the 40MM bofors cannon just like the ones you saw when the Navy was shooting at the kamikaze’s in WWII. The AC-130H added the 105 in place of the aft 40mm. Both the 105 and the 40 were on trainable platforms that followed where the sensor looked. The U model upgraded lots of stuff, removing the forward 20’s and replacing them with one 25mm chain gun and mounting it on a trainable platform as well. On the U model two guns can track and fire on separate targets at the same time assuming both are in the basic geometry of the aircraft’s orbit.

    My first assignment out of pilot training was in the AC-130A at Korat RTAFB. If you go to the AF Museum at Dayton, there are two A model gunships there, one inside and nicely restored and one on the ramp (or it was when I was there last), both of which I flew. Shooting the “forty” was a hoot and you could drive nails with one. You could put both 20’s online at the same time and fire away, but that ate ammo up in a hurry (2400 rounds/min X 2).

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