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M50 Ontos picture location...
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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Russ_Buchan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:48 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

Ha, ha!

I don't know, thankfully, about the downrange effect personally, but way back in the late fifties, or even in the very early sixties, our High School rifle club was hosted very generously by Camp Pendleton in order to carry out our East VS West shootout.

Part of their hostly service was a most stunning display of the then-current USMC firepower, ranging from infantry assaults on fortified positions (nearly had me wetting my pants), through 105mm How Battery fire on trucks way downrange, "Time-On-Target"-technique bursts, where howitzers located at various distances from the target fired at such times as to bring all the rounds down on the target at the same time. They even went to the extreme of fuzing a series of rounds sequentially so as to graphically illustrate what the trajectory of a typical howitzer round was in practice., by serially tracing the black puffs in an arc from gun to target.

Right after the M48-based flame-thrower tank (do not get these folks mad) demo, came this stupid-looking little waddler that I recognized as Ontos, the Renwal model whose tubes I had had so much trouble aligning in those impatient days.

It took station to our right, from where we were in the bleachers, in front of a wall of those really-strong Carnation Milk cases, of steel and oak, that they used in those days, and without notice, fired off all six tubes at once.

We teenagers quaked in our boots, and did other things in other garments, I'm sure, and when we opened our eyes, there were no milk-cases left of the wall -- all were smoldering, twisted, still-rolling wreckage strewn way up-range in the backblast of six 106MM recoilless tubes.

The Ontos was not fit to be in front of (enemy) nor behind (friend). You had to be inside it to be comfy, and from what I hear on this site, it was not even comfy inside!

I salute all you Ontos guys on this site, and Dontos, who seeks to keep 'em alive.

Sincerely,
Russ
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:19 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

Russ

Thank you.

Humbly,
Don
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Jinx
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:38 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

- Dontos
Elevation 20 degrees
Depression 10 degrees



Thank you kindly for the info.

And w.r.t. the considerable backblast of the recoilless guns, was this ever used as a weapon in itself? Say, if the bad guys had come up behind you, and you couldn't swing the main armament around in time.....was this an option? I'm sure it wouldn't have been much fun for anyone within sight of the hind end of an Ontos when the guns were fired. I'm just curious as to whether anyone ever intentionally did that.
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David_Reasoner
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Location: South Central Kentucky
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:52 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

Don, I seem to recall reading a long time ago in Vietnam Tracks that use of the Ontos in escorting road convoys had to be curtailed following a couple of incidents involving accidental discharge of one of the 106mm rifles. Apparently the sear would vibrate loose during a prolonged road march or some such. Have you ever run across any mention of this or details of the incident(s)?

David
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TomT
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:55 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

The pictures of ONTOS were taken by me in 1982 at APG and are from my Web Site: battletanks.com These photos and all material on my site are copyrighted. Regards, Tom T
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Dontos
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Location: Vine Grove, KY
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:07 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

- David_Reasoner
.....use of the Ontos in escorting road convoys had to be curtailed following a couple of incidents involving accidental discharge of one of the 106mm rifles. Apparently the sear would vibrate loose during a prolonged road march or some such. Have you ever run across any mention of this or details of the incident(s)?


David
I am currently digging into that particular situation(s). I have found some mention in documents & command chronologys to searching for a solution in April 1967. However I don't have a truely clear picture covering the entire episode.

It did cause a lot of misunderstanding by 'old school' Marines of the time. Many of whom viewed the Ontos (and Armor as a whole) as 'Un-Marine Like'.

Optempo never lowered, it just caused some amazingly 'knee jerk' solutions.

Conducting patrols with tubes empty, dismounting the 106's and fabricated mounting M2 .50 cal in their place....

The most common 'common sense' action was to travel with the breeches 'unlocked' but loaded. This prevented firing unless the breeches were locked.

It turned out that a simple solution, replacing the firing pins and reenforcing crew level maint training regarding firing cable adjustments.

I still need to find specific references to events that were caused by the problem, but I don't think it was quite as wide spread as is emphisised.

Hope that sheds some light,
Don
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Dontos
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Location: Vine Grove, KY
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:19 pm
Post subject: Re: M50 Ontos picture location...

Here are a couple of 'legal' photos of the APG Ontos taken in the late 70's or early 80's.



Don
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