Saturday, January 21, 2006

An Expert Slips

The right side of Blogostan has been atwitter this week about a photo in the New York Times that mis-identified a piece of ordnance in Pakistan. Powerline cited it, and the American Thinker has gotten in a pissing contest with the Times I over it. They report:

"Ned Barnett is an expert on military technology, and frequently serves as a contributor to The History Channel on mil-tech issues. He has plenty of experience researching military ordnance.

"He told me: “Based on my extensive experience in researching military technology, I can verify that this is a 152mm or 155mm artillery shell – unfired – and by the looks of it, fairly old. It also looks like it has a fuse in it, suggesting that the guys in the photo are either ditch-water dumb or have a death-wish."

He has missed the boat on the "unfired" part. The shell has obviously been fired. Note the grooves on the rotating band near the base of the shell The rotating band engages the rifiling grooves in the gun barrel and cause the shell to rotate during flight. If unfired, there would be no grooves on the shell's rotating band.

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