We featured Alan and his mother-freaking gorgeous 20mm Oerlikon in an article back in 2013 and now we have video of it spitting 60 (hand-crafted) cigar-size rounds downrange.
Back in 1934 the Swiss based company of Oerlikon Contraves (Oerlikon being the name of the town the factory was located in and contra-aves being Latin for “against birds”) dusted off a World War I design by German arms engineer Reinhold Becker and super-sized it to be able to smoke low-flying aircraft. This gun, typically just referred to as the 20mm Oerlikon, became perhaps one of the most effective single-man operated antiaircraft artillery cannons of World War II. And firing a 20x110RB round about three times as heavy as the .50 BMG it’s easy to see why.
Alan is lucky enough to own a transferable Oerlikon which we showed pictures of in a previous article. He revisited the gun, shown in the video above at the eastern Ohio machinegun shoot, with us this week.
“It’s a big low throaty boom-boom-boom and bounces me a round a little,” he said when asked how it felt to take the 20 mike mike for a ride.
And the ammo? You can’t just go down to the local big box and pick some up. This stuff hasn’t been factory manufactured in generations. This leaves Alan to roll his own.
“I have to make it from modern 20mm x 102 cases,” he said. “I use my log splitter and a weldment to hold dies to form the cases. It’s a long process, but in the end I get 20x110RB brass and reload those.”
Seems to work pretty good.