Tank Turrent vs Rifle bullet question


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Rockrivr1
October 7, 2004, 01:21 PM
Ok, this is most likely a very dumb question, but one that I keep wondering about. A few weeks ago I was watching Saving Private Ryan and at the end the GI Sniper was in the church tower. While shooting BGs he saw in the scope that the Tank was aiming at him. Of course it fired and killed him and another GI that was up there.

When this part was played I remember wondering the first time I saw this, what would of happened if he fired a round into the turrent. I know, would of had to be an amazing shot, but what if he did. Then I though that maybe the round would be way to small to amount to anything, but what if it was a 50 cal round.

My question is basically this. If a 50 cal AP round or two went down a tank turrent and lodged against an unfired shell in the breach, when the shell was fire would the lodged rounds have any effect. Would it damage the turrent, cause the shell to take on a wierd spin out of the barrel or even cause the tank turrent to explode?

It probably would do nothing, but I'm wondering if it could. What do you think?

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Cosmoline
October 7, 2004, 01:28 PM
Unless it was an incendiary AP round, then I doubt it very much. Consider the force involved. A shell is going to hit its target with forces far, far greater than any small arm can match. And if the charge in the shell is triggered by this crushing, a mere dent by a bullet will do nothing to set it off. A bullet "lodged" in the bore would merely be a smudge of lead, and would have no significant impact on anything. It's softer than the shell and would just get smeared around. If it were steel core it might offer more resistance, but frankly the force of the shell is going to win that fight. At worst it would scratch the bore and indent the side of the shell.

It would have to hit the primer, or pierce the side of the shell and ignite the powder. And it could only do this if it was burning itself.

Tamara
October 7, 2004, 01:29 PM
Do you mean actually firing a round down the bore of the tank's main gun? If the shell loaded was HE, and not AP with a base charge, and if by some miracle of physics the .50 round hit it square on, it would probably detonate in the chamber, which would mean a bad day for the tank.

The odds of this actually happening are about as great as the odds of me winning the Powerball lottery, and I didn't buy a ticket. ;)

Better targets on an AFV for a rifle-armed sharpshooter are vision blocks, and the little bit of the tank's meaty filling that sometimes sticks out the hatch atop the turret. ;)

Henry Bowman
October 7, 2004, 01:46 PM
and the little bit of the tank's meaty filling that sometimes sticks out the hatch atop the turret.
Tam - You never cease to crack me up! Kind of like "that unpleasantness in Europe during the early 1940s."

NMshooter
October 7, 2004, 02:23 PM
The track pins make great targets too...

:)

Linux&Gun Guy
October 7, 2004, 03:43 PM
What if you shot down the turret while they had the breech open?

Tamara
October 7, 2004, 03:50 PM
Depending on what it hit inside, and at what angle it hit it, it'd either flatten out and fall to the floor, or spang about inside for a bit, making the turret basket an exciting place to be standing until it was spent.

mack69
October 7, 2004, 04:33 PM
Dang Tam..you certianly have a flare for words.....
Hmmm a 50 cal projectile spanging around the inside of a WWII tank exciting???

Rockrivr1
October 7, 2004, 04:36 PM
The answers are kinda what I thought. Didn't know for sure and I've always wondered.

Damn, now I have to figure another way to disable a tank when the world ends and I'm stuck in a dead end canyon with a home made tank breathing down my neck. :uhoh:

Tory
October 7, 2004, 05:03 PM
why not use the "sticky bomb" deployed in that same movie? A brick of C-4, gelignite, dynamite, ANFO, or the like should take the tracks out. For that matter, a sufficient quantity of Molotov cocktails might asphyxiate the engine and, possibly, the crew, depending upon the quality of the air filtration system and the quantity of fuel applied to the tank - or broiler, as the case may be...... :eek:

dustind
October 7, 2004, 05:25 PM
What about shooting the side of the barrel and causing the barrel to bulge inward? Is that possible?

Jeff Timm
October 7, 2004, 05:45 PM
Dustind asked, "What about shooting the side of the barrel and causing the barrel to bulge inward? Is that possible?"

Not likely mate. It would take a major caliber AP round from another tank cannon, or a direct hit on the barrel with a shaped charge. Those cannon barrels are TOUGH!

If they ever open up Aberdeen Proving Ground Museam to the public again, you can see even WWII cannon barrels were heavy, tough stuff.

Best to sneak up on the crew when they stop and brew up some tea. Then strangle them with piano wire and two toggles.

Geoff
Who believes in killing tanks cheap...besides you can get real money for a tank in good condition!
:D

MaterDei
October 7, 2004, 05:50 PM
Those cannon barrels are TOUGH!

I'll second that! In fact they are so strong that they don't break even when The Hulk spins a tank around by it's barrel. That's a lot of weight. Truly amazing.

Delmar
October 7, 2004, 06:03 PM
Artillery barrels are made very tough. The first bunker buster bombs used in Gulf War I were made of surplus 8" cannon barrels, and will smash through several dozen feet of steel reinforced concrete.

tankertom
October 7, 2004, 06:11 PM
Gotta agree on the tank barrels being tough. I have seen one chop down a power pole just in front of me when the gunner wasn't paying attention on a road march. Falling wires got a bit sporty.

tt

ZeroX
October 7, 2004, 06:50 PM
I always hated that. The sniper was my favorite character. :(

roscoe
October 7, 2004, 11:03 PM
I must admit that I had the same thought - maybe every sniper should keep a few API rounds for shooting down the bore.

Or, you could do as Indiana Jones did and stuff a rock in the end of the barrel.

Redlg155
October 7, 2004, 11:11 PM
If you are a "sniper" then your best bet would be to take out the primary and secondary sighting systems for the main gun. Of course that still doesn't get you in the clear since he could "boresight" on you through the tube and make your day very bad.

However, there is no dishonor by making a hasty departure and relocating.

Good Shooting
Red

Delmar
October 8, 2004, 06:09 AM
I liked the sniper character myself, but he did violate the first rule. Shoot-move. Being a sniper is not good for long life. Nobody likes you in the first place, and the bad guys are going to devote a lot of attention towards you as you are bringing a lot of heat on them and they know it.

shep854
October 8, 2004, 08:43 AM
The real problem is, there's no escape from the writers; once they decide it's time for a character to go, he's toast.

MrMurphy
October 8, 2004, 08:52 AM
That was not a tank, it was an assault gun... a howitzer with an armored carriage on tracks.


Generally rifle fire that doesn't kill the commander or driver or ricochet down the hatch just makes an annoying "ping!" while the tank crew finds the shooter.


A sergeant I knew was shelled in Sandbox War #1 by 152mm artillery pieces, everyone dove inside and buttoned up. He said the "ping! Ping!" of shrapnel was a bit annoying, but otherwise, they were fine. A direct hit atop the tank is the only thing that would really hurt them.

MJRW
October 8, 2004, 09:48 AM
An aside. How did the misspelling of "turret" as "turrent" become so popular? I see "turret" spelled more often as "turrent" and I can't figure out why. How does the exact same misspelling happen when the word isn't even pronounced that way? I don't see it misspelled as "turet" or "turrett", it is always misspelled as "turrent." And the people continue to misspell it over and over again the same way. There has to be someone here who understands how this happens because it sure as hell isn't me.

Rockrivr1
October 8, 2004, 10:10 AM
Wellllllllll, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the best speller in the world. I think I seen it spelled that way once or twice and it just stuck.

Damned MicroSoft Spell Checker has ruined my mind!! :uhoh:

armoredman
October 8, 2004, 10:12 AM
Anyone remember what make of SP gun it was? If it was a Hetzer, than a PTRD 14.5mm anti tank rifle could penetrate the side armor close up. The Hetzer was a cheapie slap togther design that was surprisingly good, and actually used in two other countries after the war, but it has cheesy side and rear armor.
If it was a Stug, forget it.....taking out the gun commander would just ensure they hunt your rear down....
BTW, one WWII assault gun never to mess with - Sturmtiger. 380mm rocket mortar....

armoredman
October 8, 2004, 10:16 AM
Sturmtiger.

armoredman
October 8, 2004, 10:18 AM
Hetzer. 75mm main gun.

armoredman
October 8, 2004, 10:25 AM
Jadgpanzer.

armoredman
October 8, 2004, 10:29 AM
Stug III. Any of these look familiar?

Tankcommander
October 8, 2004, 10:55 AM
A tank guntube is extremely tough. I saw a 50 cal round fired by accident on the gunnery range penetrate the bore evacuator,(that bulge about 1/2 way down the barrel) and not even mark the guntube. The range was less then 10 feet, the TC shot his own gun . As a matter of fact the bullet was nowhere to be found once we got the evacuator off.

As for a freak explosion if you hit an HE round in the chamber odds are even less, most don't arm until fired. Getting a bullet down the barrell into the tank very very slim, breech is usually closed unless its being loaded. In combat the gun would be loaded at all times and only opened to reload.

I think the Track in SPR was open topped possibly a Marder, type vehicle and I remember thinking it was an impossible shot since the gun coudn't elevate that high.

TC

Tim L
October 8, 2004, 02:11 PM
For anyone who is interested they reopened Aberdeen P.G. Museum last year and I haven't heard anything about it being closed again.

Tim

Wingshooter
October 8, 2004, 02:42 PM
If you want to see how strong the barrel is, look at the "What do you carry" thread. On page 4 there's a tank resting on the barrel. Impressed me.

Sorry, edit:

What do you use for home defense.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=104621&perpage=25&pagenumber=4

Vern Humphrey
October 8, 2004, 04:37 PM
Quote:
------------------------------
Do you mean actually firing a round down the bore of the tank's main gun? If the shell loaded was HE, and not AP with a base charge, and if by some miracle of physics the .50 round hit it square on, it would probably detonate in the chamber, which would mean a bad day for the tank.
--------------------------------

Explosive projectiles are bore safe -- there is no way to activate the fuze before it leaves the bore. And a mere hit with a bullet will not set off the filler.

moa
October 8, 2004, 04:56 PM
I thought the "sticky bomb" scene form Saving Private Ryan was rather ridiculous.

In the movie the had 2 and half inch bazookas. They could knock out a Tiger tank if the shot at the top deck armor, which is not particularly thick. They would have needed to fire from a building upper floor.

Of course, that would have ended a lot of the action scenes in the movie.

Bravo11
October 8, 2004, 04:57 PM
TankerTom,

That actually happened to me. I was driving and the TC wasn't watching too close. He should have taken the override and swung the tube to a safe position. There was no way the gunner could have seen the pole as he was looking parallel to the main gun and the telephone pole was perpendicular to it. Next thing I knew were lines down in the road and german civilians shouting something I couldn't quite translate.

Kobun
October 8, 2004, 05:22 PM
Blinding a tank and taking out communications, by shooting optics, visionblocks, antennas etc will make life difficult for the tank crew.

Warbow
October 8, 2004, 07:57 PM
This (http://www.sproe.com/s/sav-m43.html) says it was a Sav m/43.

Anyone have more information on it?

http://www.sproe.com/images/screenshots/tankdestroyer-02-large.jpg

Cosmoline
October 8, 2004, 08:31 PM
I thought the "sticky bomb" scene form Saving Private Ryan was rather ridiculous.


"Fritz! Vee are being shot at by zos Americaners and ze end of zat narrow roadway!"

"Yah, let us march blindly at slowspeed towards the position with the panzertank right next to us so zey can kill us and use ze schtikybombs.

"But vhy don't vee flank them, find zee hardpoints unt have ze panzertank destroy zem from back hier?"

"Because, Karl, zat kind of nonsense could end up killing Tom Hanks unt Matt Damon!"

"Ach! And Matt is so cute, too. Let's charge in und be killed as you suggest, Fritz."

beemerb
October 8, 2004, 09:14 PM
A cigar box charge taped to a 5 gal can of gas might ruin their day.(cigar box charge is a cigar box filled half full of C-4 and the other half with thermite) Make sure the thermite side is against the gas can.Lay it on top of the rear deck.

Watchman
October 8, 2004, 09:29 PM
Unless it was an incendiary AP round, then I doubt it very much. Consider the force involved. A shell is going to hit its target with forces far, far greater than any small arm can match. And if the charge in the shell is triggered by this crushing, a mere dent by a bullet will do nothing to set it off. A bullet "lodged" in the bore would merely be a smudge of lead, and would have no significant impact on anything. It's softer than the shell and would just get smeared around. If it were steel core it might offer more resistance, but frankly the force of the shell is going to win that fight.

If I thought the next shot would be my last, Id at least try it. I'm in a tower and I see the gun swinging on me...

What could it hurt ? What have you got to lose ?

:scrutiny:

Tamara
October 8, 2004, 11:10 PM
And a mere hit with a bullet will not set off the filler.

That's not what the cats who use .50 APIT for EOD jobs say, but to be fair, I posited a purely hypothetical straight-down-the-bore-and-dead-center-on-the-fuze shot. ;)

PAshooter
October 8, 2004, 11:21 PM
If they ever open up Aberdeen Proving Ground Museam to the public again, you can see even WWII cannon barrels were heavy, tough stuff.

Jeff:

Are you sure it's not open? According to APG's web page the general public can visit by obtaining a day pass... been meaning to get over that way one of these days... went there a number of years ago, but a return visit would be an interesting excursion.

JPL
October 9, 2004, 03:09 PM
There's was a verified incident during WW II in which a Stuart knocked out a Tiger by firing down on it with its 37mm gun.

Hand_Rifle_Guy
October 9, 2004, 05:13 PM
Visiting their site makes me want to live there. Too many righteous heavy-duty tracked vehicles to be believed, plus a bunch of bonusids of various sorts.

They've got a huge selection representing most every different vehicle used in the War. Aberdeen'd get captured samples to evaluate for strategic purposes, and they just kept 'em. (Hooray!)

Most of 'em have been out in the weather for years, but now the museum's raising money to build barns for their giant parking-lot full of armored artillery. The worst thing I found was an account of how they let a bunch of stuff go to be used on military target ranges. Makes me wonder how many now-unique un-replaceable historical war machines got eaten by bored military beauracrats during the 50's and 60's, as they looked at the Aberdeen parking lot as a lot of old scrap.

//www.ordmusfound.org/OrdMusWebbanner.jpg (http://www.ordmusfound.org/index.htm)

MrMurphy
October 9, 2004, 05:24 PM
A 37mm AP or HE round going down a tube from the business end towards the cannon shell is not the same as a .30-06 rifle round.

El Cid
October 9, 2004, 05:33 PM
My dad was with Patton's Third Army. He brought back a book on the history of the ACORN DIVISION in Europe. I remember reading in it, during a fight one soldier ran upstairs so he could shoot down the barrel of a German tank to explode a shell in the bore. The rifle he used was the standard M-1 Garand.

JPL
October 9, 2004, 09:50 PM
"A 37mm AP or HE round going down a tube from the business end towards the cannon shell is not the same as a .30-06 rifle round."

And I didn't do a very good job of explaining what the Stuart tank did... :o

It was above the Tiger and knocked it out by penetrating the thing deck plates on the top of the hull, NOT by doing the "hole in one" shot.

Sorry about that!

Jim K
October 9, 2004, 10:12 PM
I think a lot of people have a vast overestimate of the capability of small arms armor piercing bullets and a vast underestimate of the hardness and thickness of tank armor.

Just FWIW, AP bullets like the .30 and .50 do not actually penetrate armor like they penetrate wood or sheet metal. When a bullet is fired, it has a certain amount of energy, the same energy you see in ballistics tables. When a bullet strikes a steel plate, that energy is instantly converted into heat. The heat melts a part of the plate, creating a shallow hole and raising "splashes" of steel that freeze instantly, looking like those strobe photos of a milk drop. The AP core remains intact and drives through that molten steel (if the plate is thin enough) and does damage behind the plate. In thicker and hardened plate, it can create a shallow "dimple", if it has any effect at all.

But no WWII or later tank armor is thin enough to be penetrated by any AP bullet using that principle. Tank and artillery anti-tank shells use the shaped charge principle, as do weapons like the RPG and "Bazooka". AP rifle and MG ammo was issued in combat in WWII not to stop tanks but to shoot through the sides of trucks and other light vehicles as well as thin cover of other kinds. In most cases, those did not offer enough resistance to even cause the AP to function; the heavier bullet simply gave better range and penetration in the normal manner.

As to shooting down the barrel of a tank cannon, the shell would not be bothered a bit by a small caliber projectile wedged in the bore. The bullet would be simply "ironed" into the bore. Some types of fuses might be touched off by a bullet, causing a bore premature, but the odds are so high as to be ridiculous.

Jim

Delmar
October 10, 2004, 01:27 AM
For those of us here in the midwest, if you want to see a pretty good display of military vehicles, go to the 45th Infantry museum on Oklahoma City. Pretty awesome!

artherd
October 10, 2004, 01:40 AM
And a mere hit with a bullet will not set off the filler.

Um, Actually, I think a hit on the explosive 'filler' in an HE shell might just go off if it was hit with a high powered rifle round.

RDX, Symtex, etc I am pretty sure are in the range to detonate with the PSI levels created by HP rifle rounds. C4 possibly as well (which is just RDX powder in plastic or wax resins IIRC.)

Tannerite of course, as we all know, will indeed deontate when hit directly with a HP rifle :)


Now, would there be enough metal in the tip of the shell such that the energy from a rifle hit would be dissapated before it reached any explosive filler? I just don't know.

But I don't wanna be anywhere near the tank that tests this out!

Tamara
October 10, 2004, 08:47 AM
Tank and artillery anti-tank shells use the shaped charge principle, as do weapons like the RPG and "Bazooka".

Most AP ammo for tank guns in WWII was plain ol' AP, APC, or APCBC, sometimes with a base charge, just like most tank ammo today is usually of the KE long-rod penetrator variety. HEAT rounds were less common for tank main gun use in WWII outside of certain applications in AFV's with shorter main gun tubes and larger calibers, like the L24 German gun found on StG's and early Pz IV variants.

JPL
October 10, 2004, 02:48 PM
"But no WWII or later tank armor is thin enough to be penetrated by any AP bullet using that principle."

Japanese and Italian "tanks" had notoriously thin armor that could be, under the right circumstances, penetrated by heavy machine gun fire or anti-tank rifles.

The Soviets had little trouble at all with the Japanese tanks that they faced in Manchuria.

The PTRD and PTRS (I think that's correct) 14.5mm anti-tank rifles made mincemeat out of them out to 300 meters or so.


"Um, Actually, I think a hit on the explosive 'filler' in an HE shell might just go off if it was hit with a high powered rifle round."

You're forgetting that the shell that's being fired has to withstand the shock of being fired, which is likely a LOT more violent.

Delmar
October 11, 2004, 04:09 AM
Italian "tanks"

:neener:

Lucky
August 14, 2005, 06:42 PM
I'm so glad to find this thread, I ALWAYS thought the same thing! I've got a rifle, I'm looking down the bore of a 75mm tube, what the heck why not? Aim for the top rim to account for sight offset, and say a little prayer, which that sniper already had covered!

And what might happen, if lucky, would be that you could in fact damage the fuze! If the round does not blow up in the chamber, then perhaps the fuze will be damaged so it will not blow up on impact, and it will blow a hole in the stone structure. You'd have bits of flying rock stuck in you, and you'd be super deaf from muzzle blast, but if you could still see you'd have a chance to get out of the tower before they reloaded. Maybe. Ok so you'd be dead from muzzle blast. Good point.


As for the quoted post, I believe that nothing actually melts on impact. OK I have heard of tankers in WW2 who got burned by little bits of molten lead from MG fire that hit their glacis and flew in the vision port, but that's all. When a bullet hits a steel plate I don't think the metal melts, it just flows like it was melted. But it's not melted. Like when you put a really heavy weight on the end of a steel pole, it will bend like it's melted at that one point, but it's not actually melted - it just flows. Plastic deformation iirc, when the elongation to break is exceeded.

So when a bullet hits and metal is forced outwards around it, making a crater, it's just pure brute force making metal flow like toothpaste. And when shaped charges hit armour they do the same thing, just at 10,000m/s instead of 1000m/s.

http://club.guns.ru/images/barnaul/fig11.jpg
"Jim Keenan
I think a lot of people have a vast overestimate of the capability of small arms armor piercing bullets and a vast underestimate of the hardness and thickness of tank armor.

Just FWIW, AP bullets like the .30 and .50 do not actually penetrate armor like they penetrate wood or sheet metal. When a bullet is fired, it has a certain amount of energy, the same energy you see in ballistics tables. When a bullet strikes a steel plate, that energy is instantly converted into heat. The heat melts a part of the plate, creating a shallow hole and raising "splashes" of steel that freeze instantly, looking like those strobe photos of a milk drop. The AP core remains intact and drives through that molten steel (if the plate is thin enough) and does damage behind the plate. In thicker and hardened plate, it can create a shallow "dimple", if it has any effect at all.

But no WWII or later tank armor is thin enough to be penetrated by any AP bullet using that principle. Tank and artillery anti-tank shells use the shaped charge principle, as do weapons like the RPG and "Bazooka". AP rifle and MG ammo was issued in combat in WWII not to stop tanks but to shoot through the sides of trucks and other light vehicles as well as thin cover of other kinds. In most cases, those did not offer enough resistance to even cause the AP to function; the heavier bullet simply gave better range and penetration in the normal manner.

As to shooting down the barrel of a tank cannon, the shell would not be bothered a bit by a small caliber projectile wedged in the bore. The bullet would be simply "ironed" into the bore. Some types of fuses might be touched off by a bullet, causing a bore premature, but the odds are so high as to be ridiculous.

Jim"

Cosmoline
August 14, 2005, 08:12 PM
Indeed, you'd probably be better off throwing rocks and debris into the barrel. Or even mud. A wad of mud lodged in the barrel could cause serious problems.

Too Many Choices!?
August 14, 2005, 08:54 PM
Would the,"bang fuse and toss" method of arming and "firing" the untubed mortor rounds be able to take out the tracks on that tank like the "sticky bombs"? How bout if you got close enough to,"stuff one down the pipe"? :uhoh: :evil:

PS: Armor rocks and tanks are the bomb!!lol

Tman
August 14, 2005, 09:50 PM
This sounds like a job for the "Mythbusters". ;) :D

4v50 Gary
August 14, 2005, 10:10 PM
The sniper was engaged against a Marder (or facsimile thereof). Unlike the movie, the real Marder was open topped and the sniper should have been able to engage the gunners. Even if it was a field expedient closed top model, at that distance, a 50 could penetrate the roof. The Hetzer was a real Hetzer and the replica Tiger was based on the chasis of a T-34/85.

BTW, only the very early WW II tanks could be penetrated by a .50 cal M-2. This would include the Pzkw II and some of the British cruiser tanks. By 1943, most of these tanks were out of service and tank armor became heavier. Still, there were the open top tank destroyers (SU-76, Marders, Nashorn, M-10, M-36) or SPGs (Wespe, M-7 Priests, British Saxon, Hummel) but these normally didn't engage in close in fighting.

p35
August 14, 2005, 10:27 PM
I've heard that the big issue with those "sticky bombs" was that they would stick to the thrower if he was at all careless, and couldn't be pulled loose. Some records for stripping pants off were broken as a result of bumping them on a leg!

Lucky
August 14, 2005, 10:35 PM
With the renewed acceptance of Anti-tank rifles, now called anti-materiel rifles, will armoured vehicle design be affected?

For instance the Tiger had 100mm armour at the front and 80mm all-around, and even MkIVs and MkIIIs had added side armour to defeat ATRs. Today tanks like the Abrams have armour thin areas of 20mm.

And a popular story is how a Marine sniper with the Barret light 50 destroyed attacking BMP column in Iraq using AP or SLAP ammo.

Gifted
August 14, 2005, 10:42 PM
Explosive projectiles are bore safe -- there is no way to activate the fuze before it leaves the bore. And a mere hit with a bullet will not set off the filler. The first purpose of the .50 Barretts was to be used by EOD crews to remote detonate unexploded ordinance. The bullet would have enough energy to set off the explosive chare. As I recall, they also use M14s to do some munitions, which means that the .30-06 might have enough. Don't know about a tank shell, but a thin walled bomb would be game.

The SLAP rounds developed for the M2 I think would take just about any of the WW2 tanks, at least the early ones. They have a significant amount of penetration.

Silent-Snail
August 14, 2005, 10:47 PM
I always thought that it was a Tiger that took out Pvt. Jackson.

In no way should the people of Mythbusters be let within Fifty miles of this idea. :banghead:

Jim K
August 14, 2005, 11:25 PM
Hi, Lucky,

Thanks for quoting me, but the fact is that what I said is true. Bullets do melt on impact with a steel plate and the part of the steel in direct contact also melts. Anyone who has done any shooting at steel (not recommended in built up areas because of the danger of richchets) has seen the "splash" pattern I mentioned.

As for shaped charges, they obviously do not work by "brute force". The projectile from a 4" rocket launcher is not moving fast at all; it can be easily followed by the eye, and any thin steel plate could easily stop it. I think you need to read up a bit on shaped charges and how they work.

As to a rifleman against a tank, it seems to have escaped notice that tanks are made to be impervious to rifle bullets. I doubt very much that a shell in the barrel could be set off by a rifle bullet, even if the bullet hit the fuse, so I suspect shooting into the gun barrel will result in nothing except a bullet nicely ironed into the barrel of the gun as the round comes out on its way to blow the sniper into eternity.

If faced with buttoned up armor, a man with only a rifle and rifle ammo has two choices: 1) hunker down and hope to God he doesn't see you or, 2) run like hell and hope the guy on the coax can't shoot.

Jim

Lucky
August 15, 2005, 12:05 AM
I think you're right that lead can melt on impact, because I read about tankers in WW2 that got lead burns from bullets hitting their glacis and bits of molten lead flying in through the vision ports.

But I think the mechanism that craters the steel plate is brute force, not heat. It's like gold, it's a solid, but you can crater it if you bite it with your teeth. And for HEAT jets, I'm pretty thoroughly versed for a duffer. I even learned a previously unknown and rather new discovery that there are actually 2 parts to a jet! there is the very fast slim part, which flies first, then the much slower fatter slug that follows it. It looks like pulling apart a chunk of bubble gum, sort of. The property that damages, aiui, is erosion. The solid metal is flowing like a liquid does, and it erodes the armour just like a garden hose will dig a hole in dirt.


Also I question the whole SPR movie, because aiui that guy wasn't a sniper at all. Everything he does fits the description of a designated marksman, to a T.

Gifted
August 15, 2005, 01:55 AM
As for shaped charges, they obviously do not work by "brute force". The projectile from a 4" rocket launcher is not moving fast at all; it can be easily followed by the eye, and any thin steel plate could easily stop it. I think you need to read up a bit on shaped charges and how they work. There's really two ways to use a shaped charge. First is direct, and the second is a self-forging fragment(SSF). The first acts much like a cutting torch: the high pressure jet of hot gas burns it's way through the armor. They will usually put a copper disk in there, which helps in some way I'm not familiar with. The SFF uses a slightly different aproach. A thick disk of metal is put in front of the explosives. When it's detonated, the disk is formed by the explosion into a projectile that is moving at the rate the explosives drive it, generally over 5,000 ft/sec; much faster than any current gun can do. This penetrates like a normal projectile. This is used in the TOW 2 missiles and anti-tank cluster bombs, IIRC, and a SSF can be detonated farther away and still work than a HEAT charge, as it relies on the projectile, rather than the stream of gas that quickly dissipates.

When you consider the pressures involved, you can make metal move like liquid, while not actually melting it. Someone else will have to give that physics lesson. :neener:

LoneStranger
August 15, 2005, 02:35 AM
I find myself in my normal state of affairs, confused.

I continuously read about making sure that your bore is clean so as to not restrict the projectile on the way through which would lead to high bore pressures.

Now I read that a bullet in the barrel will not cause any problems for the people firing a cannon.

Somehow, Somewhere I get the feeling some people are not telling the truth. Is it those who claim that an obstruction in the barrel is dangerous or those that claim it is of no consequence?

If the bullet was to lodge between the barrel and projectile it might do a fair job of plugging the barrel. Experience with using pennies wedged between rail and locomotive wheels to stop wheels from turning comes to mind. No, silly, I'm not talking about moving locomotives cause then mass comes into play.

I leave those who will willingly tell me that they claim to know more than I to respond.

Chrontius
August 15, 2005, 02:53 AM
Copper jackets are used on a shaped charge to enhance their performance.

Just as a rifle blank will shatter a melon at six feet, but do very little at sixty, the copper enhances the performance of a shaped charge. It does not actually melt thermally, but the phase charts are based on temperature *and pressure* so it may very well be a jet of liquid copper which causes an unsurvivable entropy increase in armor plating. The armor plating may in fact melt due to the pressure, but this will be based (almost) entirely on pressure, with no way of increasing the temperature of enough metal by several thousand degrees.

armoredman
August 15, 2005, 10:32 AM
May I interject about ATRs? The PTRD and PTRS anti-tank rifles of WWII fame could penetrate 30mm of armor up to 400 meters, and sometimes farther. There is a verified case of a Soviet ATR disabling a Tiger by smashing the vision blocks and wounding the TC. Until the Panzer V, AKA Tiger was feildied, all German tanks had to be careful of thier flanks against ATRs. On the flip side, there was a great deal less inside the tank as today, and ATR rounds were known to penetrate both sides, hitting nothing on the way through...."just passing through, don't mind me!"
The German 7.92mm ATR was a differant design, with a small tungstun bullet driven to insane velocities by a huge case, with the oddest thing - a tear gas capsule behind the bullet that was supposed to disperse inside the target. Often, the capsule fell of the round, and hindered the Germans assaulting a disabled AFV. OOps.
Cannon barrels are tough - there was an early war case where Panzer IIs had to disable a KV2 heavy tank by shooting the barrel, and it took several hits to do so. That's a hard target!
I still want a WWII tank, though....there was a Hetzer for sale in OPhio a few years ago, with C&R eligible 75mm gun....yes, it IS C&R, though still NFA....

Dead
August 15, 2005, 10:49 AM
dustind,

I have seen German Tanks for WWII that have a 76mm AP round hit the barrel (and dent it pretty nice). It was only a glancing shot, but it didnt too all that much damage. Even the rounds the hit the sides, and frontal armor didnt do much but put a little hole about the size of your fist. Mind you this was on a Tiger II tank destroyer that has about 10in of frontal armor, with 128mm (I think) main gun. Those 76mm AP rounds might as well have been a BB gun, and about just as effective.

armoredman
August 15, 2005, 11:16 AM
That's the Jagdtiger, with 128mm main gun. Quite the killer, very heavy armor, and I believe the largest AFV ever fielded. http://www.jagdtiger.de/index2.htm

Sam Adams
August 15, 2005, 01:25 PM
I would take Marshall Tito's advice: he was once asked how his men, armed with antique rifles, could possibly take on the Wehrmacht and its new tanks. His response: "Well, when the German soldiers inside their new tanks have to come outside to take a piss, then my men, with their antique rifles, will kill them."

Of course, this doesn't much help a sniper in a tower with a main gun swinging his way, but it is a good way of saying that the smartest thing is not to get one's self in that position in the first place.

bosshoff
August 15, 2005, 03:13 PM
In the First gulf War (Desert Shield/Storm) a Marine friend of mine squared off with three Iraqi tanks hiding near the plumes of a burning oil rig. They only had one anti-tank rocket, TOW? They blew the turret off of one of the tanks, and the other two backed off. They were planning to wait until the advancing tank got to within 20 feet or so, before they would get out of their trench/foxhole hiding area. They were told the T-72, or T-52, or T-something had a blind spot up close. They planned to get on top of the rear of the tank, and pull the lever for the internal fire extinguisher, which I guess flooded the tank with nitrogen. They would then shoot anyone who came out of the hatch. It was very cool in that the Marines had prepared and done their homework on all the capabilities of the various tanks and weapons they would face.

Battlespace
August 15, 2005, 03:45 PM
If you all want to see a museum with "real" tanks go on down to Ft Knox. http://www.generalpatton.org/

The Patton Museum might surprise you.

Hardware
August 15, 2005, 10:20 PM
FYI, the trick with knocking out the setback pins on the 60mm mortar rounds was actually used in combat by Army Technical Sergeant Beauford T. Anderson during the battle for Okinawa.

http://www.medalofhonor.com/BeaufordAnderson.htm

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