Thursday, April 29, 2010

Remember when somebody told you that there are no obsolete weapons, only obsolete tactics?

M40A2 Recoilless Rifle in RVN.

Qualifying for a deep bow of thanks and flourish of the boonie hat, Threeper Jeff sends this, with the comments:

I saw this and thought of you and Absolved. I wonder if someone's been reading your chapters online and getting ideas ;-) . . . Sorry I couldn't make it to the rally in DC, but I have to say you did a great job there! Here's hoping your feet are healing quickly!


Second Life For An Old Friend

By Boquisucio on April 28, 2010

Last time I saw footage of an 106mm Recoilless Rifle being employed by our forces, was in Beirut 1983. As I understand, the M40A2/A4 was taken out of service shortly thereafter, and tucked into to bed in places like Anniston Army Depot. Well, after a Rip Van Winkle like slumber of 25-years, our old trusted friend has been tapped for a wakey-wakey in our efforts in Afghanistan.

The clip below is purportedly from FOB Naray, and it shows Spec. Ops. Operators having some trigger-time with the beastie.

NOTE: Mildly Salty language is employed in this clip, and not appropriate to play in button-down environments.

The old trusty 106mm, will certainly be an asset in providing direct fire perimeter protection to the FOB. Besides, I am certain that Crane, holds in its vast climate-controlled system of bunkers, plenty of HEAT-T and APERS-T rounds to go around for many years to come.

Could any readers out there, provide input on how we are using the "Reckless" now a days?


The video seems to show a stock M40A2 with fifty caliber spotting rifle on top. The Israelis have done an excellent job, I am told, with matching a state-of-the-art electronic sight to the weapon, doing away with the awkward (and dnagerous) spotting rifle arrangement. ("Here I am! Shoot me! Shoot me!")

There are some interesting comments about the 106 appended to the article.



Anonymous said...

How about the use of 81mm mortar rounds for precision munitions??

David T. McKee said...

How about making the jeep a remote control vehicle with video cameras? Everything you need is at Best Buy and Radio Shack.

Anonymous said...

I've often thought that the "bigger is better" mentality in the military was wrong. I think a lot of the guys on the ground would like to have an old 75 mm pack howitzer around for some real firepower rather than waiting for an air strike. And you can move it around in the hills there. Ditto with some smaller RR like the 75 mm and the 57 mm.

I also think that these smaller field pieces would be ideal for a militia (in the original sense of the word - one under the command of the state vs. these volunteer outfits under their own control) as they can be moved with POV's vs. needing a dedicated mover.

Yeah a 75 mm RR or mountain howitzer won't do a whole lot to a modern MBT but they will do wonders on anything else still. And the most important fact is the ammo is light enough that middle-aged guys with bad backs can (as was proven in WWI and WWII) hump, load, and fire for extended periods of time.

More importantly since this sort of unit would primarily be defensive this sort of weapon gives the defending unit a much longer beaten zone vs. a 40mm system like the Mk 19. So the 75 mm RR gives you a range of 7000 yards or so vs. 2000 roughly for the Mk 19 and the M1a1 on a m3a3 carriage gives you up to 9000 yards if memory serves.

Something to think about as you watch the avalanche crews in action this winter.

frosty2 said...

The 106 "reckless" is good but the 90mm is handier. I believe they drug those out for rumble in Panama.

Unknown said...

Talk about a walk down memory lane...I could be in that picture, though I don't remember being there. I do recall the 106 being an ass-kickin' piece. We really could reach out and touch someone with it. It's good for direct fire out as far as one can see a target. Light, fast to fire and transport. Could be mounted in the back of a 1/2 ton truck, hell, even a mini truck if need be. It sure left a signature for the bad guys when it fired though. That pic looks like it was taken on QL-1 on the central coast of RVN. 1st Squadron of the 9th,1st CAV DIV! Hooah!

J. Croft said...

Aside from the rifled barrel, this weapon ought to be able to be reproduced, although it's certainly not man-portable. Perhaps the Carl Gustav would be a better model?

Perhaps a finned round with angled fins to induce spin could be used in a smoothbore-that would eliminate the need for rifling AND the round spins itself. Would have to experiment...

There's a German anti-tank rocket called the Armbrust that uses a weighted fan that extends and branches out when its fired. Using that or maybe some kind of relatively harmless packing material could eliminate the back blast. Perhaps the packaging could be incorporated into the round itself which can then be extracted and replaced...

The .50 spotting rifle is retarded. Impossible to aim at a moving target! That weapon needs a proper sight.

Since the 106mm RR is being scooped up and shipped to Afghanistan, that means there won't be any here.

DC Wright said...

I LOVE the .50 cal spotting rifle. The message it sends is priceless: "If you don't like ME, you SURE ain't gonna like what's coming NEXT!!!"

DC Wright said...

Also the 106 recoilless mounted on either Ontos or the mechanical Mule was OUTSTANDING. Ontos was that great vehicle you loaded Sunday and fired the rest of the week!

Anonymous said...

my dad was a seabee qualified to operate the ONTOS..they had a few of them in Vietnam (like most things seabees have..dont ask where they got them from. you don't want to know)

good enough for anything short of a MBT..and it will give some of those a good run for their money too.

I understand the pakistanis still make them, and had a program to make a "ramjet round" for it. firing it gave the impulse needed to start the ramjet..and it would continue to accelerate until it ran out of fuel. I know they wanted to put a laser seeker on it later on. not sure what ever came of that.