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M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)
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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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:42 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)

- Dontos

120mm HEAT(M830:HEAT-MP-T) 53.4 lbs
120mm SABOT(M829A1: APFSDS-T) 46.22 lbs

As referenced from 'M1 Abrams at War' by Michael Green

Thank you kindly. They both use a combustible cartridge case, don't they? And the same for any other round - including training - fired from this gun?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:21 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)

OK..for you non-Marine tankers, the M103 had two loaders, one (number one loader) grabed the projo, the other (number two loader ..that was me most of the time!!)) held the case and removed the bakelite cover, no.1 loaded the projo in the case mouth, No 2 loader then rammed the 65lbs case/charge and 51 lbs AP projo home, the No 2 lolader had to watch for "air bounce" which was when the case came lose from the projo (a bad thing in combat) the crew then broke out the ram staft and "Bell rammer head" while the case was remove and the projo was jammed lose form the gun tube throat and caught before it hit the deck (another bad thing in combat)
.......The M58 120mm gun AP round (APBC-T M358) would punch a hole through 221 mm of armor plate @ 30deg. at a range of 1,000 yds. or 196mm at 2,000 yds, when everything worked right this tank was at the time the "Queen of the battle field" however she never fired a shot in anger so we'll never know!
.......Yes the FV200 or Conqueror used the same main gun, the conqueror used a mechanical spent case ejector.
You'll find one of each (M103A2 and Conqueror) sitting in the Littlefield museum, the M103 is suffering from the most common of it's ailments for this vehicle, bad seals in the elevation cylinder and is being held in postion by a 4x4 between the turret roof and the gun breech. Surprised
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:24 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)

This the only picture I've seen showing a assembled 120mm round, and nope it's not me.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:08 am
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)

Poor old M103 was the victim of technology. I believe the long tube 90mm gun on the T-95 MBT prototype fired what may have been the first proper APFSDS round. A 40mm diameter subcaliber dart that outperformed the M103's massive 50 pound shot. That was followed by the 40mm diameter steel dart fired from the Russian T-62's 115mm gun, which also outperformed the big gun. Though the 120mm rifled gun was exponentially more accurate at long range than the darts the writing was on the wall for the M103.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:15 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)

The M103 was a victim of the U.S. Army lackof being farsighted and DOD being cheap, what could they have done with the M103 as a starting point, the Brits solved the over sized shells problems for their 120mm tank guns, GD had a 1,000 + hp diesel engine and the transmission had been developed and was in production (XT 1400)..what could have been if the Army would have stopped crapping a round with the always under gunned M60...ya, ya I know someone is going to bring up the M60 armed with the 152mm..you remember them and!!! poof they were gone. The T95, the prototype tank that was fitted with just about every main gun armerment under development and never made it to production.
M1A1 120mm gun, 67 tons.
M103 120mm gun, 62.5 tons
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:10 pm
Post subject: Re: M103 Tank Ammo (120mm)

"...and never made it to production."

I've often thought the Sheridan's running gear looked suspiciously T-95-like. And The wedge-shape M60A1 turret was a continuation of one of the T-95 turret designs. And Russian espionage probably took T-95's 90mm smooth bore gun technology for their 115mm smooth bore. And Russian T64 composite armor probably benefitted from T-95 composite armor studies. It looks like a good percentage of T-95 survived after all!

M103 was such a monster because it needed to be big to carry around that big gun. The gun needed to be that big in order to K.O. the IS-3 with that whopping big AP shell. Once they found out how to kill the IS-3 with missiles and subcaliber hypervelicity AP rounds the big AP shell - and the big gun - and the monster tank that carried it became redundant. The big gun heavy tank (M1A2) was resurrected only after new armor techologies had made missiles and smaller-caliber hypervelicty rounds an iffy proposition. How the world turns.
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