Tank Gunnery

We’ve talked a bit about the M-1 Abrams tank before, and in some of our posts, we’ve discussed gunnery qualifications for Bradley crews.

Tank gunnery qualification is almost identical in structure to Bradley qualification. This video shows some crews firing the day qualification in Germany. After they finish this, they’ll go back and do it again at night.

During the actaul qualification, each run is videotaped, and the radio and intercom are recorded to assist in grading the crews. Crews are scored on accuracy, speed, and technique-such as issuing the proper fire commands and proper driving technique.


The targets are mostly plywood, designed to fall after being hit. Since the rounds only leave a small hole, they can be used again and again. Many times, when it looks like a  round has hit behind the target, it really has gone through the target, and is scored as a hit. Just look for the target falling.

6 thoughts on “Tank Gunnery”

  1. Try TTVIII in a M60 A1. Same tasks, no LRF, no thermal, old school IR night sight, degraded mode was firing at night using the gunners telescope. Ahh, that was the day……gunner, battlesight, 3 tanks, right tank first!!!!!

  2. Heh, you oldtimey guys had it rough. But you could pee through the belly hatch.

    FWIW, I lost turret drive on my Brad halfway through a BTVIII at night. Still managed to pass, even cranking like a madman.

  3. Did I mention that you also had to use the manual traverse and elevation on that 3 tank engagement? To sweeten the pot, long range stationary tank degraded mode, night, from the defense, using 4.2″ mortar illum, 2 rounds HEP allowed, using range card data.

  4. Nope, too tough for me, but on BTXII, my PL screwed up the call for illum and the flares were way the hell off and the casings were falling amongst us. Can’t believe the safety observer didn’t catch that. It wasn’t outside the fan, but was off my like a klick.

  5. I will give M60 Gunnery a nod, but the TTVIII standards do not compare to what crews must do today. No more “hose’em Lenny”… Tanks gunnery is also based on a score…. Not T/P/U… That will change soon, as the the new manual is out in circulation. I will say this… I never used a beehive round; but the CAN round has made a hell of a’ inpact here in Iraq during my current tour… See you guys downrange!

  6. Tankboy, hHaving been through both M60A1 and M1 gunnery, I can honestly say that that is one of the most misinformed statements I have ever seen about M60 gunnery.

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