120 MM ammo

We’ve mentioned before, in the very early days of the blog, the difference between HEAT rounds and Sabot.  The M256 120mm main gun of the M1A2 Abrams tank uses semi-combustible ammunition.

Here’s a cutaway image of a HEAT round.


And here’s the base stubs left after firing, taken from inside the turret of an M1.


You need a couple of inches of length on the stub in order to provide a good seal at the breechblock of the gun.

5 thoughts on “120 MM ammo”

  1. This is an off topic and possibly stupid question but: why does the solider in second photo have buckles on his boots.

  2. I like the “smell it?” note on the picture. Tank training ammunition has ether in the case that results in a totally unique smell in the ready rack. Real tankers love it and would buy the scent in a cologne if they could. Few sights and smells like hitting the knee switch and looking in on a ready rack full of ammo.

    1. We didn’t have to hit a switch to get to the ready rack in a “60.” I well remember the ammonia smell of propellant gases in the turret. It could get overpowering when you put a bunch of rounds downrange.

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