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Rocket launcher found on the street by inmate during cleanup
Journal News ^ | Saturday, May 26, 2007 | Lauren Pack

Posted on 05/31/2007 11:31:54 AM PDT by InfraRed

HAMILTON — You never know what you'll find on a spring cleaning sweep, but sheriff's deputies were surprised to find something "explosive" May 5 while participating in the Hamilton citywide cleanup.

A used military rocket launcher, specifically a M72 light anti-tank weapon, covered by brush and leaning against a telephone pole, was spotted by a Butler County Jail inmate in the 500 block of South Third Street, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.

"It's pretty bizarre and scary to find something like this in your neighborhood," Jones said, noting the sheriff's office and inmates were responsible for collecting trash in the 4th and 5th Wards.

The sheriff said during his military training he shot similar weapons, known as LAW rockets, and was told to stomp on them after firing so they could not be reused by the enemy.

A portion of the rocket launcher found in Hamilton was missing, making it inoperable and of no danger, Jones said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives, M72 launchers with a training tube installed for firing smaller projectiles than the usual rocket fall under the same regulations as firearms. A used, inoperable tube, however is not federally regulated, an ATF official said Friday.

"Makes you wonder what they were using it for," Jones said.

Specialist Mike Grimes, commander of the sheriff's bomb unit, estimated the rocket launcher as circa 1970s, most likely used in the Vietnam war.

He said it is possible children were using it to shoot fireworks or someone ditched it because the person who took it as souvenir could be charged with receiving stolen property since it technically belongs to the U.S. military.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Ohio; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: launcher; m72; rocket
Apparently, this thing was found in Hamilton, Ohio on May 5 and was not reported until May 26. I searched for an FR thread about the discovery, but only found the following article from April in which ten of these M72 launchers were stolen in Australia. Only one of the ten were recovered at the time.

Bail denied over rocket launcher theft [M72 Alert]

1 posted on 05/31/2007 11:31:55 AM PDT by InfraRed
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To: InfraRed
A portion of the rocket launcher found in Hamilton was missing, making it inoperable and of no danger, Jones said.

Then how the heck can it be "scary" to you?

2 posted on 05/31/2007 11:34:00 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

It would be interesting to know which ‘part’ was missing. Perhaps the thing was disassembled for smuggling? This article makes it sound as though this is some dusty old war relic, but check out the article where 10 pieces of the same model launcher were stolen in Australia.


3 posted on 05/31/2007 11:39:14 AM PDT by InfraRed
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To: InfraRed
I’ve seen demilled rocket launchers for sale at gun shows in Vegas.

No big deal, it’s not possible to use them to launch a rocket.

Related headline: “Photo of handgun found in middle school, lockdown continues”.

4 posted on 05/31/2007 11:39:39 AM PDT by DBrow
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To: InfraRed

RECENTLY stolen...


5 posted on 05/31/2007 11:39:49 AM PDT by InfraRed
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To: InfraRed
"Makes you wonder what they were using it for," Jones said.

Makes us wonder what you are using your brain for.

6 posted on 05/31/2007 11:40:49 AM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: InfraRed

By the way, I posted hsatily.

I didn’t mean you Infrared, I meant “you Officer Jones”.

Sorry.


7 posted on 05/31/2007 11:42:56 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: DBrow
I’ve seen demilled rocket launchers for sale at gun shows in Vegas.
No big deal, it’s not possible to use them to launch a rocket.


They're completely legal and you can buy an AirSoft kit to convert them to CO2 propelled "rockets" for fun and games.
.
8 posted on 05/31/2007 11:50:55 AM PDT by radioman
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To: InfraRed

My Dad, who was in the Army, would bring things like this home for us all the time. It is just a tube basically.


9 posted on 05/31/2007 11:57:56 AM PDT by doodad
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To: doodad

Yep.

Just about as alarming as an empty bag of CheetOs.


10 posted on 05/31/2007 12:02:16 PM PDT by EEDUDE (The more I know, the less I understand...)
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To: InfraRed
It's pretty bizarre and scary to find something like this in your neighborhood,"

Unusual? Certainly. Bizarre? Maybe. But Scary? MEthinks that this sheriff is afraid of his own shadow.

11 posted on 05/31/2007 12:07:03 PM PDT by wbill
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To: InfraRed; Squantos; sit-rep
and was told to stomp on them after firing so they could not be reused by the enemy.

Hmm, I missed that bit of training in basic. Anyone else told to stomp used ordnance to prevent re-use? Maybe by a one-legged instructor?

12 posted on 05/31/2007 12:09:24 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: InfraRed

So that’s where I left it.


13 posted on 05/31/2007 12:12:50 PM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: DBrow
I've seen demilled rocket launchers for sale at gun shows in Vegas.

I have also seen many demilled launch tubes.

However, there are several aspects of these two reports which made this discovery interesting to me...

One report --about the ten M72 launchers which were stolen between July 2002 and February 2003-- claims they were sold to known terrorist colaborators for $5,000 each. Maybe as much as $10,000 to $12,000. Only one of the ten were recovered.

This new report --about the single tube found in Ohio-- claims "the person who took it as souvenir could be charged with receiving stolen property since it technically belongs to the U.S. military." That doesn't really sound like a demilled souvenir you would find at a gun show.

Does anyone around here know for certain the empty souvenir tubes are remnants of the same model mentioned in these reports? Is anybody certain the M72 (a single use weapon) can't be disassembled and later re-assembled?

14 posted on 05/31/2007 12:19:52 PM PDT by InfraRed
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To: BenLurkin

Yeah, the portion that was missing was THE ROCKET. The article says it was a used tube.

Just an empty shell. The equivalent of finding an artillery round’s casing.

Oh no! A expended round! We need more gun control!


15 posted on 05/31/2007 12:23:21 PM PDT by bolobaby
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To: InfraRed

The article says it was used. The M-72 is a single use launcher. Once it is fired once, the launcher is trash.


16 posted on 05/31/2007 12:25:26 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: InfraRed
Is anybody certain the M72 (a single use weapon) can't be disassembled and later re-assembled?

My understanding is that you only have to replace the bit of wire that was scorched by the rocket's flame. Don't know how true that is, though.

17 posted on 05/31/2007 12:28:52 PM PDT by null and void ("Wherever liberty has sprouted around the world, we find American blood at its roots.")
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To: untrained skeptic

It probably is the one Dirty Harry used to blow up the guard tower at Alcatraz Island.


18 posted on 05/31/2007 12:31:56 PM PDT by reagandemo (The battle is near are you ready for the sacrifice?)
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To: InfraRed

scared of a tube?

good thing he’s not a plumber, he’d crap his pants when shopping for pipe...


19 posted on 05/31/2007 12:33:29 PM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: bolobaby; untrained skeptic
The article says it was a used tube.

No, the article says, "A portion of the rocket launcher found in Hamilton was missing, making it inoperable and of no danger".

That's not necessarily the same thing as "used". Sure, the missing part is the rocket. However, just because the rocket is missing does not necessarily mean the rocket has been expended.

I'm asking if there is anyone on this forum with a working knowledge of the M72 specifically, and knows for certain that the rocket cannot be removed and later re-installed in the tube.

I detest infringements on the 2nd more than most, but I do not follow your logic that this is a push for more gun control.

20 posted on 05/31/2007 12:36:17 PM PDT by InfraRed
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To: null and void
My understanding is that you only have to replace the bit of wire that was scorched by the rocket's flame.

So, if the rocket had not actually been fired, you could probably drop the rocket back into the tube and have a functional weapon without even having to replace a scorched wire?

21 posted on 05/31/2007 12:39:04 PM PDT by InfraRed
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To: untrained skeptic

Yes, the LAW is considered and issued as a round of ammunition. Once fired it is useless and may be discarded.

Incidentally, the LAW has regained popularity during the Iraq war. It is still cheaper and lighter than newer weapons and works well against what the enemy is equipped with.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2005/03/marines-fought-the-law-and-the-law-won/index.php


22 posted on 05/31/2007 12:39:19 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: Fido969

They make great potato mortars.


23 posted on 05/31/2007 12:39:57 PM PDT by paulcissa (The first requirement of Liberalism is to stand on your head and tell the world they're upside down)
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To: InfraRed

You can’t rely on what the media says, though. These are in high demand right now, so I doubt they are being de-militarized and sold. Most likely, it has been fired.


24 posted on 05/31/2007 12:42:44 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: InfraRed

M72 LAW rocket launcher in extended (ready to fire) position and the M72 HEAT rocket / grenade in in-flight configuration, with tail fins extended


25 posted on 05/31/2007 12:48:58 PM PDT by henbane
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To: Larry Lucido
Hmm, I missed that bit of training in basic. Anyone else told to stomp used ordnance to prevent re-use? Maybe by a one-legged instructor?

It's no longer ordnance. The ordnance left the tube when it was fired. It's basically akin to stomping on fired brass, not on live rounds.

26 posted on 05/31/2007 12:51:19 PM PDT by Terabitten (Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets - E-Frat '94. Unity and Pride!)
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To: InfraRed

I would wager that the “part” that was missing was the entire projectile. Otherwise it’s just a tube. But it sure is scary to the MSM!


27 posted on 05/31/2007 12:52:24 PM PDT by Sender ("America is at that awkward stage..." - Claire Wolfe)
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To: InfraRed

I’m sure that a knowledgeable person could reuse a launch tube if they had a functional missile, but that missile is the part that’s impossible to get.


28 posted on 05/31/2007 12:54:32 PM PDT by Sender ("America is at that awkward stage..." - Claire Wolfe)
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To: InfraRed
"It's pretty bizarre and scary to find something like this in your neighborhood," Jones said

Jones is a freakin coward if a plastic tube is scary.

Maybe we should start building PVC MLRS platforms and see who has a coronary from that?

29 posted on 05/31/2007 1:00:28 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Killing all of your enemies without mercy is the only sure way of sleeping soundly at night.)
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To: Larry Lucido
Hmm, I missed that bit of training in basic. Anyone else told to stomp used ordnance to prevent re-use? Maybe by a one-legged instructor?

They told us to crush the AT-4 tube in boot camp because a discarded on could be used to create a fougasse or a one shot mortar by an insurgent group.

30 posted on 05/31/2007 1:02:08 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Killing all of your enemies without mercy is the only sure way of sleeping soundly at night.)
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To: henbane
Thanks for that photo! It seems the rocket is nearly the same length as the tube, so it would not make much sense to separate the two for smuggling purposes...

The launch tubes are eye-catching from a distance, and I was initially thinking a terrorist might have separated the rockets from the tubes for transport. With the eye-catching part being inert, it would be fairly safe to move the weapons into position and mate them up to smaller, less conspicuous rockets when needed. However, the rockets themselves aren't terribly inconspicuous, so that train of thought is now derailed.

31 posted on 05/31/2007 1:05:52 PM PDT by InfraRed
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To: InfraRed

you can buy used LAW tubes at most bigger surplus stores. It’s harmless


32 posted on 05/31/2007 1:07:21 PM PDT by Armedanddangerous (Master of Sinanju (emeritus))
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To: InfraRed
It says it was used in the second sentence of the article.

A used military rocket launcher, specifically a M72 light anti-tank weapon, covered by brush and leaning against a telephone pole, was spotted by a Butler County Jail inmate in the 500 block of South Third Street, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.

It does later go on to say that a piece was missing rendering it inoperable, but within the context of it being a used, single use launcher, I don't think that means it was simply disassembled. That is of course assuming that by used, they mean expended as opposed to simply having been taken out of the box.

This is only about 40 miles from me. I'll have to ask my friends in law enforcement about it and see if they heard anything about it. Or at least if they heard anything that they can tell me, which aren't always the same thing.

33 posted on 05/31/2007 1:43:39 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: untrained skeptic; bolobaby

Wow. I read through that article at least twice (well, I thought I had) and didn’t notice the word ‘used’. I even searched for ‘used’ in my browser before posting my correction. Please excuse my inability to read! It appears that the launcher was, indeed, used.


34 posted on 05/31/2007 2:08:41 PM PDT by InfraRed
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To: InfraRed

That sounds about right to me. I expect someone who actuallkinws will be along shortly...


35 posted on 05/31/2007 2:24:40 PM PDT by null and void ("Wherever liberty has sprouted around the world, we find American blood at its roots.")
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To: Larry Lucido

lol...


36 posted on 05/31/2007 3:12:16 PM PDT by sit-rep ( http://trulineint.com/latestposts.asp)
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To: Terabitten

I knew that. :-)

But I was picturing the Bugs Bunny scene where he is testing for dud bombs by banging them with a hammer (though of course those would really be ordnance).


37 posted on 05/31/2007 4:06:43 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Duncan Hunter 2008 (or Fred Thompson if he ever makes up his mind))
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To: InfraRed

“”Makes you wonder what they were using it for,” Jones said.”

Probably the same thing the VC used them for.

Booby traps.


38 posted on 05/31/2007 4:09:07 PM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (Famously frisky)
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To: ltc8k6
Yes, the LAW is considered and issued as a round of ammunition. Once fired it is useless and may be discarded.

Or sold to a stupid wanna-be terrorist.

39 posted on 05/31/2007 4:10:51 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: Leatherneck_MT
“”Makes you wonder what they were using it for,” Jones said.”

Beercan carrier?

40 posted on 05/31/2007 4:15:25 PM PDT by kaboom
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To: InfraRed
A used, inoperable tube, however is not federally regulated, an ATF official said Friday.

Of course, until they catch you with one.

41 posted on 05/31/2007 4:24:18 PM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat lead.)
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To: Doomonyou

“Of course, until they catch you with one.”

If they came to your house and found a hunting rifle, 20 shells, and this used tube, the MSM would breathlessly report about a man who was caught with “an arsenal.”


42 posted on 06/01/2007 6:26:18 AM PDT by bolobaby
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To: InfraRed
If it were anything useful the inmate would have probably tried to figure a way to smuggle it back into the prison.

Although given it's size, I'm betting that the typical method for that sort of thing was quickly ruled out.

43 posted on 06/01/2007 6:57:50 AM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: InfraRed

“If I had a rocket launcher...some sonofabitch would die.”


44 posted on 06/01/2007 7:03:19 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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