I didn’t want to address this but it keeps coming up and people keep getting it wrong so I guess I’ll have to.
|16" Battleship AP Shell Cutaway|
|16" Battleship HC (HE) Shell Diagram - note the shell wall thickness of 3+ inches|
We see, then, that the missile’s overall weight is consumed by fuel, guidance mechanisms, electronics, telemetry, sensors, fins and deployment mechanisms, and fuzes. A naval shell has nothing inside it other than a fairly simplistic fuze and, of course, the explosive chemical. All the naval shell's non-explosive weight goes into the wall thickness. Thus, a battleship’s 2000 lb weight is 154 lb of explosive filler and 1846 lb of wall. That’s a lot of containment! In contrast, the missile "wall" is nothing more than a sheet metal container.
Bombs lie in between shells and missiles and vary widely. Some have heavy walls, though not generally approaching naval shells, and some do not.
|Mk 82 Bomb Cutaway - note the reduced wall thickness compared to a naval shell|
Body Wall of 0.5" to 1": Bursting Charge x 5 = Effective Explosive Weight
Body Wall of 0.25" to 0.5": Bursting Charge x 2.5 = Effective Explosive Weight
Body Wall of <0.25": Bursting Charge = Effective Explosive Weight
[a]The reader offered this disclaimer: “All figures are just from my memory, mind you, and shouldn't be taken as decisive fact (nor should any rule of thumb), but it is illustrative of the general idea.”
The High Capacity (HC) [16”] shell can create a crater 50 feet wide and 20 feet deep (15 x 6 m). During her deployment off Vietnam, USS New Jersey (BB-62) occasionally fired a single HC round into the jungle and so created a helicopter landing zone 200 yards (180 m) in diameter and defoliated trees for 300 yards (270 m) beyond that.
“The crater from a 500-lb. bomb with impact fuze (e.g., MK 82) is typically 30 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep (this obviously varies greatly with the terrain)” (Doleman Jr., Edgar C., 1984. Tools of War. Boston Publishing Company, Boston) ; note: this quote is unverified by me but the book exists and there is no reason to doubt it
A conventional 155mm artillery high explosive (HE) shell often produce a crater about 1.2–1.5 meters deep and 4–5 meters wide (4). The M114 howitzer of WWII used an HE shell with around 15 lb of explosive. The modern 155 mm M795 shell has around 24 lbs of explosive.
A 16-inch (406 mm) shell fired from an Iowa class battleship created a crater about 6 meters deep and 15 meters wide (4)
Published: 27th International Pyrotechnics Seminar, July 2000