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Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:03 pm
Post subject: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

Just found this surfin' around...

Thought about Thread with discussed this, awhile ago....

A 105 mm. recoilless rifle fired for avalanche control. This fixed installation is at Alta, Utah.





Don
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:10 pm
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

The Ascout, it is said, is VERY familiar with Alta and these installations. Mostly they use propane and other explosive methods now, for lack of ammo, but he recalls when they did use the 106 a lot, since he's been skiing there for, oh, about 25 years:

www.com-central.net/in...pic&t=6183


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Last edited by JG300-Ascout on Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:25 pm
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

Not about Avalanche...

But does the track on this Taiwanese M733 Look familiar???

(...hint: Lingle Track?...)



Don
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:53 pm
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

www.alaskarails.org/sn...JC-gun.jpg

"An avalanche on January 31, 1998 took out 200 feet of track, over turned three coal cars and closed the route for several days. To help manage the heavy snow accumulation from the hills and mountains above, the Alaska Railroad uses a 105mm recoilless rifle. Before the snow accumulates into an unmanageable menace, workers fire a round at an overhang or drift and knock it down.

From Frank Dewey, Alaska Railroad locomotive engineer (12/22/99): "In 1998 the (2) ARRC 106mm recoilless rifles were retired and replaced with an ex-US Army 105mm howitzer with Hy-rail gear mounted on the original gun carriage. The reason was that the "Korean War" vintage weapon had run out of ammunition. Supplied to many third world nations the 106mm stockpiles were used up by Viet Nam and numerous other wars. In 1990 the ARRC paid for the last 3000 rounds to be refurbished for avalanche control.

"The howitzer and ammunition is kept at Tunnel Section House at MP51, between Slide Zone 49 and Slide Zone 53. It is safe there as the only way to get there is by rail or helicopter. Tests were conducted by the ARRC and the US Army/National Guard with a 105mm howitzer mounted on a 50 ft. flatcar, caboose and with a military gun crew to operate it. Now you know that there is a prototype for those HO Scale ROCO guns!

"Originally, the gun was a home made "thing" that used either propane or acetylene gas for propellant. You might say "the mother of all potato guns" to lob an explosive package into the slide chute. Not exactly long range or accurate. It was replaced with a 75mm recoilless, but ammo stocks were already low and the more powerful 106 was soon available.

"Sometimes the ARR will use helicopters to bomb the slide areas."

www.alaskarails.org/AR...hting.html


And avalanche history at ALTA with lots of pics of guns....how about Recoiless Rifles on PICKUP TRUCKS?! Mr. Green

And a French 75mm howitzer!!!!!!

...and a 4.2 inch mortar (Where is Jeff Button?!)

www.avalanche.org/~moo...20Alta.htm


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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:47 pm
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

Even MORE wonderful 75mm howitzer and RR shots from ALTA with some history:

www.avalanche.org/~moo...tories.htm


This is an "avalauncher", which is what has basically replaced the RR's and conventional guns, when hand thrown bombs won't do. Propane-powered, this one is at Snowbird, which is just next door to and ajoins Alta up Little Cottonwood Canyon:

www.dpowder.com/dpowdr...cherSB.gif

BTW, Don, the link in the previous post on the Alta history features several pics with E.R. LaChapelle in them, the author of the study where you likely found the pic you posted of the 105RR (as is the first link in this post). A legendary figure around Alta.

www.avalanche.org/~moo...asting.htm

Alta was originally a mining camp and is one of the oldest ski areas in the U.S. Still on U.S. Forest Service land, it's not "privately owned" and is rigorously controlled and in a very avalanche prone area...even getting there...as my wife can now attest...we had to take the bypass last month even to get there...the pass was closed for a stretch for two days.

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:17 pm
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

Atigun Pass, Alaska, northernmost highway pass in the state.
105mm


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SFC_Jeff_Button
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:50 am
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

"And avalanche history at ALTA with lots of pics of guns....how about Recliless Rifles on PICKUP TRUCKS?!

And a French 75mm howitzer!!!!!!

...and a 4.2 inch mortar (Where is Jeff Button?!)"

Here is Jeff Button!
I do suppose a mortar could be used, the bigger the better due to range requirements and size of the explosion. Here's how the following mortars would size up for this job range wise;

60mm M224 3500meters
81mm M29A1 4790meters
81mm M252 5600meters
107mm M30 6840meters
120mm M120 7200meters

That would be a cool (in more ways than one)way to make a living after retirement and still get to use your favorite weapon system.

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:02 am
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

Hi Jeff!

Usually, the range involved is not great, seldom more than a few hundred meters, maybe as much as a thousand in the case of a ski resort....mainly further than the ski patrol can throw or safely carry the two pound plastic bombs that are typically used to precipitate an avalanche. Accuracy is not at a premium either, it's more about concussion effect. I'd guess that keeping duds at a minimum and unsuitable warheads had more to do with the choice of systems in the end, plus a lack of ammo for the recoiless systems, which were low maintenence and you didn't have to worry about what charge to use and all them little baggies as with mortars. (Not to mention how much easier "direct fire" is to master for mere mortals).

The "avalaunchers" don't have that problem...just dial up some propane, stick in the bomb, and say "boom". It's basically like the ceremonial retreat gun that used to be over the cannon on the Sherman at Ft. Knox or like a big spud gun...it just launches the plastic bomb off into the snow further than the ski patrol can throw...simpler and safer, but not as cool to us. Sad

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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:35 pm
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

There is a standing artillery task at Roger's Pass in the Canadian Rockies. The gunners fire 105mm howitzers, not RCLs, at snowbanks high up on the mountains to start preemptive avalanches. Better to have a little snowslide than a really big one.

(Language question - Would a prepreemptive action therefore be an emptive action or is that one after the fact?)
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:40 am
Post subject: Re: Recoilless Rifles & Avalanche Control

Dontos, Looks like M114 track to me.

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