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M4 does poorly in Army's own test
Seattle PI ^ | 4/20/08 | RICHARD LARDNER

Posted on 04/20/2008 11:54:38 AM PDT by Dawnsblood

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To: NVDave
that the M262 round (a 77gr bullet) has appeared to provide some ballistic performance for the M-16

M262 being hard to get, and M4gery being what many have, does anyone know a good recipie for reloading to M262 specs?

101 posted on 04/21/2008 11:13:02 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: chainsaw

As has been noted: the M4 didn’t perform that much worse, and the tests were of dubious value.

(Rumor has it one reason the XM8 hasn’t been approved is it’s tendency to _melt_ under not-unreasonable conditions.)


102 posted on 04/21/2008 11:16:09 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: ctdonath2

No, largely because the powder being used in military loadings won’t be available to you. You would have to start with the ballistics reported and the bullet used (the 77gr Sierra) and work your way up. M262 shot out of a 20” barrel (or an 18” barrel) shows 2,800 fps or more at the muzzle; SAAMI spec ammo tends to top out in the 2650 to 2700 fps range (depending on powder) for a 77gr pill. If you don’t hold a NFA license, you won’t be able to own a 14.5” barrel for a AR, so let’s not worry about that.

When loading to 2800+ fps is done with commercial powders you, the civilian, can obtain, you’ll see your primers flatten - indicating a hot load. Modern firearms should withstand the load, but they’d better be in spec on the headspace or you’ll start to see case failures. I’m not going to give a load that would replicate M262 velocities because I’m not going to assume any liability for failures of case, firearm or reloader. There are benchrest types out there who claim they can push a 77 or 80gr pill at nearly 3,000 fps, but I don’t think that sort of load would be at all wise, in either a bolt or semi-auto.

You can obtain a commercial loading of the 77gr Sierra bullet from Black Hills Ammunition, at a bit over 2,700 fps. Nosler is also shipping a 77gr round, at 2,600 fps.

Both of their products are of very high quality, so expect a high price accordingly.


103 posted on 04/21/2008 11:42:33 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: Pistolshot

That is a big question for me — were the M4’s the same as before or pulled out of production, or what?

The whole thing does cry out for a more uniform test, indeed. And perhaps they should standardize a test, rather than slap one together that is dictated by political pressures inside the DOD. This is another issue where the private sector should run the show. The test should be a “black box” as far as the DOD is concerned. A test which is run by a private sector lab, using weapons pulled at random from production, using issue ammunition, in standardized environments, much as is done for other gear, is what is needed.


104 posted on 04/21/2008 11:46:14 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: xsrdx

To elaborate:
The M16/M4 platform is, unlike most calibers, suffers dramatic changes in performance when assorted factors vary. Barrel length is significant, as is twist rate, bullet weight, expansion/fragmentation behavior, velocity, etc. Seems it works quite well when all these factors are tuned correctly as required for certain needs ... but use the wrong parameters under certain conditions, and of course it doesn’t work as desired.

Biggest problem I can tell is the insistence on using “green tip” rounds on soft targets using short barrels. Use Mk262 and it works fine; use a lighter round that won’t yaw/fragment, well duh performance is sub-optimal.


105 posted on 04/21/2008 12:02:23 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: Solitar
Seems one of the big problems with 6.5G is licensing: there's simply too much paperwork & fees involved to bother.
106 posted on 04/21/2008 12:04:45 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: NVDave
Agree. The US Army has a habit of fitting the results it wants to get out of the testing. Look what they did to the AR-10 when the M14 was being developed or comparing the M14 to the new radical AR system from Stoner.

In the end, the 6.8 SPC will be where the AR system evolves into. IMHO. It is an excellent cartridge, requiring only a bolt and magazine change to function in the AR system and awesome downrange ballistics.

Now if they had necked down the M1 Carbine to 6.5 in the begining we wouldn't be having these issues.

107 posted on 04/21/2008 12:16:24 PM PDT by Pistolshot (When you let what you are define who you are, you create racial divisiveness.)
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To: Gilbo_3

“Found” ammo loaded with C4 (or otherwise rigged) is not unheard of.


108 posted on 04/21/2008 12:22:57 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: ctdonath2
Biggest problem I can tell is the insistence on using “green tip” rounds on soft targets using short barrels.

The insistence on 1:7 twist, combined with lowered velocity and 62gr steel core pill, leads to subpar terminal performance.

Given M855 and 1:7 twist, the short barrel is a poor choice.

Additionally, the short gas system reduces available power to cycle the action compared to mid or full length gas systems.

109 posted on 04/21/2008 12:28:13 PM PDT by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: Gilbo_3

It’s usually considered doctrine to not use ANYONE’s “found” munitions ‘cept for “last resort”.

Not unusual in competitions or other range activity to find loose rounds rolling around. It’s awfully tempting to use them, esp. considering price (you’re looking at $0.20-0.50 per round); a common warning entails you not knowing what is inside (risk of over/under-pressure, KaBoom or squib), who made it (you really wanna use Bubba’s handloads?), what happened to it (deep-seated => overpressure; damage => jam), what it’s made of (over-used shell, copper-wash vs. FMJ), etc. ...and that’s protocol involving “found” stuff left behind by people like you & on your side. How much worse coming across “found” stuff made to far lower standards, handled with far less care under far worse conditions, made for different platforms, and quite possibly sabatoged?


110 posted on 04/21/2008 12:29:48 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: NVDave
If you don’t hold a NFA license, you won’t be able to own a 14.5” barrel for a AR, so let’s not worry about that.

I have an 11.5" AR (Colt 6933 M4LE, as close to a true M4 as a civvie can get), that's why I'm interested. (Yes, it's NFA papers are in order.) I have a small & diminishing supply of Mk262 that it rather likes, hence my question.

You can obtain a commercial loading of the 77gr Sierra bullet from Black Hills Ammunition, at a bit over 2,700 fps.

Got a link handy?

111 posted on 04/21/2008 12:38:52 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: ctdonath2

a few times a years I get a truly optomistic idea...and just damn...lolol...all good points that have beaten me about the head, neck, and shoulders...lolol...


112 posted on 04/21/2008 1:28:43 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Gilbo_3

heh ... all that aside, I’ve all too often used “found” rounds. Stupid, but irresistable at times...


113 posted on 04/21/2008 1:31:56 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: Pistolshot
I guess my optimistic logical logistics was more geared to the rare type engagements where air and armour arent readily at hand...I guess even then [Somalia for ex] our guys still never 'ran out' completely...

As was mentioned above, just the thought of bubbas handloads give me the willies, not to mention babalous' stuff...

even I aint that cheap...

thanks much...

114 posted on 04/21/2008 1:35:36 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: ctdonath2
Here you go. Short barrel rifles are much cheaper than Full-auto, but still need the tax stamp.

http://www.autoweapons.com/products/sbr.html

115 posted on 04/21/2008 1:43:54 PM PDT by Pistolshot (When you let what you are define who you are, you create racial divisiveness.)
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To: NVDave
Yea, but answer me this: Why compromise your weapon to address what is a vehicle issue?

Because we will NOT be using one cartridge for the infantry/airmobile and another for the mechanized forces. And because having a weapon in the vehicle that is longer-ranged than our probable adversaries' weaponry is desirable.

Why not come back and say “We need vehicles that will withstand attack better” rather than create a morphodite rifle to “fix” this problem?

Because you begin with a *quick fix* to do what can immediately be done to cut down on your casualties [IE, up-armored HUMVEES and *bedspring armor* on Strykers, even though it breaks axles and tires have to be run over-inflated. Which results in more replacements being needed, which costs airlift. Eventually, better vehicles [MRAPs] come along, in a year or two or three. But they should probably be considered a *quick fix* for the present problem only; in the Spring/Winter thaws of central europe, they're a bigger headache waiting to happen. When tracks get stuck, wheels get stuck worse.

To this engineer, this problem isn’t “fixed” by changing the rifle.

Nope, not at all. But a change of rifle can very easily impact the tank, especially if a change of cartridge is also involved. And conversely, if the *all purpose* weapon is to replace a vehicle crewman's weapon [as the M4 carbine replaced the M3 and M3A1 SMGs carried by American tank crews since mid-WWII] then it's use in and from the vehicle also has to be considered.

The Israelis found that out when they replaced the 20,000 Uzi SMGs carried by their tank crews with M16 rifles cut down to M4 specifications. Two years later, they found a third of them destroyed or damaged to near the point of uselessness, and set about giving their tankers 20,000 new shorty *Micro Galils* [Glilon or Gilatz Galil Tzalafim, in Israeli tanker speak] And soon, I suspect, they'll be getting 20,000 more new weapons....

116 posted on 04/21/2008 1:54:29 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: Pistolshot

Got mine: http://donath.org/M4LE_Omni.JPG


117 posted on 04/21/2008 2:20:25 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: archy
But either a breakthrough in propellant technology, probably caseless, …

As I recall, around 1980, the Marines were pushing hard for a rifle upgrade. They were offered two options: continue with the M16 and minor changes (sights?) and wait 10 or 15 years for the next generation of rifle which would include caseless ammo, or get nothing. They took what they could get.

I’m sure someone closer to the process will be along to fill in the blanks.

BTW – At the beginning of WW II, those .45-70 single shots were still in National Guard armories. Your great-grandkids will be training with M4s some day.

118 posted on 04/21/2008 3:21:07 PM PDT by kitchen (Any day without a fair tax thread is a good day.)
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To: ctdonath2
Image hosted by Photobucket.com FN, in Belgium... 8^)
119 posted on 04/21/2008 3:33:41 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: Dawnsblood
My son, an infantryman now fighting in Iraq, has been involved in "house to house" "Room to room" fighting. I asked him which weapon he would prefer for such fighting: M-4 or Ak-47. He said the AK because at close range where accuracy is not an issue (assuming one can hit a man sized target across a living room) shot for shot, burst for burst, the AK takes the target down more reliably and more quickly.

The troops seem mostly satisfied with the AR. Once we had the cleaning issue resolved in Vietnam, I found the M-16a1 to be quite a nice weapon. We cleaned them with gasoline and lubed them with that LSA stuff and they worked fine.

120 posted on 04/21/2008 3:48:34 PM PDT by oneolcop
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To: oneolcop

“The troops seem mostly satisfied with the AR. Once we had the cleaning issue resolved in Vietnam, I found the M-16a1 to be quite a nice weapon. We cleaned them with gasoline and lubed them with that LSA stuff and they worked fine.”

****

I was in the service years ago (USMC). The M16A1 usually jammed if sand got into the chamber via the ejection port. The ejection port doesn’t always stay closed when one is crawling through muck and mire. Dirt or wet sand can collect at the breech and a cartridge will not usually seat properly in the breech. Thus, the bolt face/extractor cannot lock onto the base of the cartridge and extract it. One is then forced to pull the charging handle rearward and lock the bolt back, remove the magazine, and insert one’s finger into the ejection port and wiggle out the ill-fitting cartridge—all because of some wet sand.

This would not be a problem on a rifle range, but if one is crawling to or firing from a position and the enemy is almost on top of one’s AO, one cannot say to a potential enemy “Please wait a minute while I remove my jammed cartridge!”


121 posted on 04/21/2008 5:19:24 PM PDT by kiriath_jearim
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To: Gilbo_3; archy

Valid points yet if we can capture their ammo we probably have captured their weapons as well. If we are in such a pickle that our logistical support is lost then a common caliber need is IMO and experience a moot point. We be in deep doo doo if we have to revert too their ammo........:o)

Battlefield pickups considered beware the materials left intentionally by ones enemy. Free ammo in good condition may be just that......or maybeeeeee not......:o)


122 posted on 04/21/2008 5:33:54 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.©)
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To: ctdonath2

For the Sierra 77gr Matchking loaded by Black Hills:

http://www.black-hills.com/rfactorynew.htm

Click on “.223” then look down in the lower right of the listed loads and you’ll see the civilian version of the M262. NB that this appears to be loaded to SAAMI maximum specs, not the M262 muzzle velocities.

For the Nosler round:

http://www.nosler.com/index.php?p=11&b=3&s=147

Scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll see their version.


123 posted on 04/21/2008 11:02:34 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: Pistolshot

Pardon my ignorance, but what was the M1 Carbine necked down to 6.5 capable of? That’s a new one by me. Never heard of it before.

The last “new thing” I saw with the M1 Carbine round was a pistol chambered in M1 Carbine. One *heck* of a muzzle flash on an indoor range. Woof. Other than that, nothing terribly notable.

I used to have a M1 Carbine. Traded it in on a .17 HMR. The .17 HMR is a squirrel killing machine for this (now ex) farmer. There’s been nothing quite so well suited for the application (farmer killing rodents) as the .17 HMR. It has completely taken over from the .22LR rifles the job of killing ground squirrels on hay farms in Nevada in a few short years. The .17 HMR was the first product where I felt moved to write a “thank you” letter to the CEO of the company that created it, ie, Hornady. Wonderful product for what it does (kill squirrels and jackrabbits), IMO.

Love my .17 HMR, as you can tell.

The M1 Carbine? Never used the thing. Never was that accurate. Wondered why we (the US) ever made the thing. What as the point again? To replace a pistol? For me, a 1911 in .45 ACP always seemed to dispatch coyotes better than a M1 Carbine.


124 posted on 04/21/2008 11:09:57 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave
The M1 carbine has had a number of wildcats tried for the case. It has been necked down to 224 and 5.7. Had the military not been so married to the .30 caliber club, the carbine might have turned out to be a much more efficient round than it was.

It was also the first attempt to replace the handgun in the rear echelon areas, and wound up in the front lines. Using a short-stroke inertia system for operation, it was reliable, it was the cartridge itself that was lacking. Limited range and ineffective as a stopper, had the military had any forward thinkers, it would have been a good base to create a necked down cartridge along the 6.5-6.8X39-45 dimensions.

We might possibly have been further down the ammo development road than we are now. But, the US army has it's own way of doing things, much to the detriment of the ground pounder.

125 posted on 04/22/2008 5:53:31 AM PDT by Pistolshot (When you let what you are define who you are, you create racial divisiveness.)
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To: NVDave

Good links; thanks!


126 posted on 04/22/2008 6:15:17 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: archy
You think I could get a bargain basement deal on that 'flood damaged' vehicle ???

Could it defend at all from that position ???

127 posted on 04/22/2008 6:15:48 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Gilbo_3
You think I could get a bargain basement deal on that 'flood damaged' vehicle ???

Oh no. That one's not all that bad, it'll take about two VTR *tow trucks* or three other tanks to pull it out IF the tracks will still spin, which it looks like it's wet enough that they will. I've seen tanks in MUCH worse than that.

Could it defend at all from that position ???

Sure. The main gun and gunners sight and rangefinder still work, the turret still rotates and the coax and AA machineguns and NODs are all functional, except for the driver's 'scope and, probably, vision blocks. The radios are intact, so they've got a dandy position for calling in supporting artillery or air cover if needed. They've just lost their mobility for a while, and if they prep it right before assistance arrives, can be out of there in 15-20 minutes.

128 posted on 04/23/2008 9:33:23 AM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy
WOWser...having buried pickup much less deep I could only imagine the chain/cable/winch strength needed to pull that guy out, although tracks are aggressive...

my main concern was recoil/crew endangerment from the big gun in such a situation, but true to form, GI tankers are resourceful and will overcome...

I guess in a sick scenario, cept for the mobility, that is the ultimate in 'hull down' position ???

129 posted on 04/23/2008 9:58:43 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: kitchen
But either a breakthrough in propellant technology, probably caseless, …

As I recall, around 1980, the Marines were pushing hard for a rifle upgrade.

That was the JSSAAP program, of which I was a part as an Dept. of the Army civilian Ordnance employee, then as a Navy civilian armorer and consultant to the navy's contribution to project engineering efforts. The M9 pistol came out of it, as did the all-services adoption of the M240 as a tank and armored vehicle weapon, replacing the dreadful M73/M219, and eventually, the ground forces M60 machineguns. The Marines got the heavier barrel and adjustable sights they wanted on their upgraded M16A2 rifle, and the Army got a replacement for the .45 caliber M3/M3A1 submachineguns that had been carried in tanks since WWII, now that the 9mm M9 Beretta pistols were to be standardized. A couple of 9mm SMGS were considered around 1985, including a neat little version of the Uzi made by Ruger, and the then-common H&K MP5, but the Army got a cut-down version of the M16A2 to be called the M4 Carbine instead.

They were offered two options: continue with the M16 and minor changes (sights?) and wait 10 or 15 years for the next generation of rifle which would include caseless ammo, or get nothing. They took what they could get.

Sights, a grip improved for operation with gloves or mittens, 3-shot burst instead of full-auto, a better handguard [M16A1 handguards subjected to bayonet fighting preactice invariably crack and split along the bottom] and longer buttstock, and other hopeful improvements, major and minor. One alternative considered was a Product Improved H&K G3 about two pounds lighter than the German Army-issue version. Which the Germans dropped, along with their G11 caseless *spacegun* program when the wall fell and they had to re-equip all those former East German NVA troops.

I’m sure someone closer to the process will be along to fill in the blanks.

I was close enough to some of the JSSAAP projects to know that there's probably no one person whoi knows all the details of everything that was going on, and a couple of other pretty significant other *projects* were going on at the same time...as well as other ordnance programs and NATO equipment standardization replacement programs. I make no claim to be an *expert* but I'm a *reasonably Knowledgeable Individual.* [RKI]

BTW – At the beginning of WW II, those .45-70 single shots were still in National Guard armories. Your great-grandkids will be training with M4s some day.

During the early days of WWII, many defense industries [including railroad bridges and tunnels and local airfields] had Office of Civil Defense guards organized and posted, and my granddad was a supervisor of one such detail, run out of his *essential War Industry*- the local milk creamery and ice house. The guards were in fact equipped with pre-WWI Trapdoor Springfields with three rounds each, with many, including my granddad, using personally-owned wrifles or shotguns instead. In his case, that was his .44 lever-action Winchester Model 1873 repeater with his .38 revolver being lent to his supervisor, which helpful act got grandda the second-in-charge job. Later they got M1917 bolt action rifles with ammunition headstamped 1918, and four .45 caliber Reising M50 submachineguns for the guards on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Wabash River turnbridge.

After the war had ended, granddad found out that the metal stamping equipment used in the plant to press out foil milkbottle caps had been diverted to subcontracting, used to make metal tubes for torpedo detonators, then components for the Mark 53 proximity fuze, a secret development at the time said to be second only to the Manhattan Project in terms of bringing technological advantage to the Allies in World War II. The *silly* guard force efforts hadn't been quite so silly after all....

130 posted on 04/23/2008 10:23:56 AM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: Gilbo_3
WOWser...having buried pickup much less deep I could only imagine the chain/cable/winch strength needed to pull that guy out, although tracks are aggressive...

A towbar is preferred to cables, but cables are indeed carried for recovery ops. They're pretty hefty, around 1½-inch in diameter, about like these on the back of this Australian Leopard tank

The M88A2 Herky recovery vehicle, aka the *VTR,* has a turbine engine rated at a bit over 1000 HP, pretty close to what a late XX-Century railroad switch engine had for power, Herk details here: M88A2 Hercules VTR

my main concern was recoil/crew endangerment from the big gun in such a situation, but true to form, GI tankers are resourceful and will overcome...

Muzzle blast is pretty sporty with the main gun tube just a foot or two off the ground. If inclined to do any shootin' while stuck like that, I think I'd tend to do it buttoned up.

I guess in a sick scenario, cept for the mobility, that is the ultimate in 'hull down' position ???

Naw, that's just *Hull Defilade.* Turret Defilade has the tank in the goo clear up to the gun mantlet, and then there is a good chance there's no turret rotation possible, or at least advisable. There's also the condition known as *Cupola Defilade* in which the mudplane is even with the turret roof. Those take a little longer to get out, and are generally the result of hitting a bog with an active spring underneath it, in which case waiting to figure out what to do resolves the problem, but results in lots of unpleasant paperwork.


131 posted on 04/23/2008 10:47:36 AM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: archy

Cooooool info archy, thanks for the feedback...


132 posted on 04/23/2008 1:20:03 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Nailbiter
Same Designer?


133 posted on 04/23/2008 9:13:26 PM PDT by IncPen (The liberal's reward is self-disgust)
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To: archy
Thanks archy. Great information and an enjoyable bit of history.
134 posted on 04/23/2008 10:01:26 PM PDT by kitchen (Any day without a fair tax thread is a good day.)
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