Skip to comments.Technical question regarding Kerry's M-79 grenade launcher (vanity)
Posted on 08/09/2004 6:28:23 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
In Unfit for Command, chapter 3, it is said that Kerry got one wound because he fired an M-79 grenade that was mis-aimed, and exploded prematurely, causing a small fragment to "wound" him.
An acquaintance says that the story is not credible because such grenades are timed to be inert if they strike to close to the shooter.
May I assume that the impact was beyond the threshold distance, but that there is always the risk of a bit of shrapnel from a near-ish impact?
I don't know, the gunner's mate said it hit a rock, and other Swiftboaters said it was a common wound (that they all got stung once or twice).
Notice in the book it doesn't give an exact range, so you can't really tell. Shrapnel sure can fly.
They explode on impact
Rotation of the grenade armed it after about 15 meters and the shrapnel tarveled at about 1500 meters/s.
They explode on impact if they have time to arm.
Yup, I got "stung" by a M-79 grenade frags(shrapnel)once.
I was on a Swift Boat. I fired at a "hotch" about 4 yards
away as we ran up a canal providing covering fire. The frag hit the nylon cover of my vest just below the protective material. That little frag was red hot and hurt like hell. I thought at first that I was dead! Time frame of my two trips on Swift Boats from the An Thoi Nest -- Three weeks before Kerry got there. I left about 1 Nov 68.
Had a lethal radius of approximately 5 meters, fragments traveled at "1542" meters/sec, so yeah you could hit some rocks 50 feet away and get some "non-lethal" fragments back.
That only takes 15 yards they have a lethal range of 5 to 7 yards. 300 pcs. schrapnel traveling at 1500 ft per second.
If you were 25 to 30 yards maybe even farther it would be easy to get one piece of schrapnel.
Sure. You could be a lot farther away than 30 meters and still catch some shrapnel.
I was wondering what the air speed velocity of unladen rice is.
Thanks, thought so.
Puffed, parboiled or raw?
Thank you for your service!!! Welcome home!
Swiftboat Vets for Truth book is coming out tomorrow:
"..My recollection is that the spin-setback arming sequence distance for all M-79 rounds was 33 meters..."
I did see a small Vietnamese child who was playing catch with a M-79 round get blown up by it. It was the one with the darts in it. She looked like hamburger.
Sorry to tell you that but I thought it was somewhat relevant to the discussion.
I fired an M-79 a couple of times in training. Has a kick like a shotgun. One target was a building frame made up of steel pipes about 25 yards away, firing from a prone position. The idea is to get it in "window" and not hit a pipe. It was a live round, but it is not really very hard to hit the window. The other one was a long range shot, about 400 yards, the max range, fired from a standing position. The round looks like a small, fast, dark golf ball hit exceptionally well as it recedes into the distance.
I read the sKerry story, he was riding as an observer on this mission and he "picked up" the M-79 and fired it, although the crew said they were not under fire. He's such a klutz, judging from his baseball tossing and general carriage I'm sort of surprised he didn't hurt himself from the recoil. Might have done, but knew that wouldn't fly for a purple heart.
I believe someone told me a long time back. that there are two types of projectiles. One
for use out in the field with a long arm time. And one for short close in door to door
fighting with a very short arm time. But I dont remember for sure.
15 Meters is what I read, but that isn't very far for the power of the impace of one of these shells.
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