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  • Artillery question...

    Hi all,
    Once upon an FCA camp in Ft. Davis, I came upon an old box of Flame Tubes. They looked to me like rifle cartridges until I learned that they were used to ignite the bagged charges that fired the 6-inch guns. Is it still the case that artillery pieces of that size are fired by flame tubes?
    regards
    GttC

  • #2
    no we use charge casings that come in one piece i have never seen Flame tubes or 6-inch guns for that matter. all we have now are 81mm mortars 105mm light gun-howitzers and 25pdr Field guns that saw action in WW2(its the last year that we use them...yeah right, it has been for the last 3 years).
    The school of artillery told us it couldn't be done...
    They were wrong.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner
      Hi all,
      Once upon an FCA camp in Ft. Davis, I came upon an old box of Flame Tubes. They looked to me like rifle cartridges until I learned that they were used to ignite the bagged charges that fired the 6-inch guns. Is it still the case that artillery pieces of that size are fired by flame tubes?
      regards
      GttC
      No, though operational guns were used by the Americans up until Vietnam that used this system

      Nowadays guns are fired either by a striker (as with the 25 Pdr and L119) or electrically (as with the L118)

      In the case of the striker you have a primer (a very large version of those used in rifle and pistol rounds) that is part of an igniter that screws into the bottom of the cartridge casing. The striker hitting this primer causes the primer to ignite, which sets off a larger igniting charge in the igniter, which sets off the charge bags

      I'm not as sure about the electrical system, but basically an electrical charge is passed through the striker, which sets it off, after which the system works the same as for a striker

      The electrical system has it's disadvantages, in that the charge generator occasionally doesn't work when wet, and anyone handing cartridge casings is supposed to wear gloves to stop static electricity setting the charge bags off
      Barry
      Lt General
      Last edited by Barry; 28 May 2006, 23:47.

      Comment


      • #4
        i have heard of a flashbulb being used to set off the primer charge in electronically fired weapons (admitedly only at the oppertunities show where the EOD had some old IRA improvised stuff) it may be the same for the 105mm L118
        The school of artillery told us it couldn't be done...
        They were wrong.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes this system is still used, the AS90s that the Brits use has this system. The only difference is the cartrige is electrically fired instead of a percussion cap.
          Faugh A Ballagh

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          • #6
            There are two main types of separately loaded artillery ammunition.

            The older type is breech loaded (BL). Bags of propellant were pushed in behind the shell and the breech was tightly sealed using a breech block with an interrupted screw. This prevented the escape of propellant gasses, a problem known as "obturation". The flame tubes were used to ignite the bags of propellant. Many larger calibre guns such as 155mm and naval guns still use bags of propellant though ignition systems vary.

            The turn of the century saw the introduction of Quick Firing (QF) artillery. These guns used a brass cartridge to contain the propellant. When the gun is fired, the brass cartridge expands to seal the breech. As the breech block no longer has to provide a gas tight seal on the chamber, the design of the gun becomes much simpler and sliding breech blocks became the norm. (some modern 155s use sealed sliding blocks) As the primer is integral to the cartridge, flame tubes are not required and the whole reloading process becomes much faster.

            As previous posters have stated, all Irish artillery guns use QF ammunition. The primers in the 25pr and L119 cartridges are ignited by percussion. The primer in the L118 cartridge is ignited by an electric current.

            Although the terms BL and QF are widely found, the modern lingo now uses the terms AO (ammunition obturated) or BO (breech obturated) to distinguish between the two.
            Further information can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~nigelef/gunchars.htm under the section on breeches.
            Archimedes
            gunner at heart
            Last edited by Archimedes; 29 May 2006, 14:06.
            Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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            • #7
              Does the DF not still use the L118?
              "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

              Comment


              • #8
                yes they do but there are only 6 L118's as the ammo is too expensive most of the 105mm are L119 s

                While we are talking about artillery should the layer call for his 4&5 to go for the trails or just use the hand siginal for turning. I was taught to in my old sub unit but I have been told not to by another DC.
                MOB87
                Piss Taker
                Last edited by MOB87; 29 May 2006, 17:32.
                The school of artillery told us it couldn't be done...
                They were wrong.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't know what the official designation is, but those rifle-cartridge-like devices are used to ignite the propellant bags in the Challenger 2 tank. They're semi-automatically loaded from a ten-cartridge magazine, looks a lot like an FAL mag.

                  NTM
                  Driver, tracks, troops.... Drive and adjust!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MOB87
                    yes they do but there are only 6 L118's as the ammo is too expensive
                    You are correct about the L118 ammo being more expensive that the L119.
                    As for the number of L118s, that sounds like operational info but your figure is wrong.

                    Originally posted by MOB87
                    While we are talking about artillery should the layer call for his 4&5 to go for the trails or just use the hand siginal for turning. I was taught to in my old sub unit but I have been told not to by another DC.
                    Regarding the trail of the gun, it is normally moved by the DC as directed by hand-signals from the layer. Occasionally the DC may require assistance, typically during high angle fire. In this case the DC will decide himself who he details to help him but numbers 5 and 6 would probably be the choice.
                    Your confusion probably stems from the 120mm mortar where the layer would call "hand-spikes" for large switches. On this order, numbers 4 and 5 would take up positions to move the carriage.
                    Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      would make sense so my old sub unit was a heavy mortar battery.
                      I have never seen the DC step in to turn the gun its always the 4 & 5
                      The school of artillery told us it couldn't be done...
                      They were wrong.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by MOB87
                        yes they do but there are only 6 L118's as the ammo is too expensive



                        You are correct about the L118 ammo being more expensive that the L119.
                        As for the number of L118s, that sounds like operational info but your figure is wrong.
                        That information is in the public domain.
                        "Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm willing to yield my place to these best generals and I'll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper"
                        Gen. Robert E. Lee

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                        • #13
                          Hi there
                          Thanks for the gen,lads.Why would one round be more expensive than the other? Surely the shell is the same, with the difference occurring in the primer of the cartridge?
                          regards
                          GttC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner
                            Hi there
                            Thanks for the gen,lads.Why would one round be more expensive than the other? Surely the shell is the same, with the difference occurring in the primer of the cartridge?
                            regards
                            GttC
                            Artillery ammunition is not like normal rifle ammunition. It generally comes in 2 seperate pieces (shipped and stored seperately, for obvious reasons), the projectile, and the charge bags. Ammunition obturation requires a shell casing, which breech obturation does not. A shell casing, for those of you who don't know, looks like this (25 Pdr round and shell casing):



                            However, this is not what is responsible for the expense mentioned above. Certain types of ammunition is more expensive than others, due to advanced technology contained within, not producing as efficiently as is possible, etc. L118 ammunition is significantly more expensive than L119 ammunition (L119 ammo is NATO standard and is manufactured much more widely), which is why the DF have converted large numbers of L118s into L119s.

                            Kindly don't go posting the number of operational guns in the possession of the DF (especially not if these numbers are wrong, MOB87)

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                            • #15
                              Hi Barry
                              Is this related to differences betwen American-origin 105mm rounds (for use in the M101/102) and European/UK sourced rounds?
                              regards
                              GttC

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