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Armor/AFV: Modern - USA
Modern Armor, AFVs, and Support vehicles.
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M198 “PREDATOR” A Btry 3-162 FA – Yauco
thathaway3
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Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 02:26 AM UTC
BTW, just a minor observation: The powder bag on the trail appears to have the igniter pad up, but the tie straps appear to be secured at the middle of the base charge (1) and falling down on the trails. I would expect to see the charges the other way, with the igniter pad down so you can remove the excess charges not being used and in this orientation the straps which tie at the top would fall "down" since they are stitched at the bottom near the igniter pad.
youngtiger1
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Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 03:48 AM UTC
Glad to see this thread as it's a cool project. Stuart, you are doing nice work. Makes me want to get this kit.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 08:16 AM UTC
Thanks all for the kind words and encouragement! Your interest and insights of the trade are much appreciated. The discussion is great as it helps me improve and learn!

Tom's comments are right on the money where I have questions..."The left over increments not fired were taken to the rear of the piece and held over the head of the cannoneer until the piece was fired so that a visual check could be made (by subtraction) that the correct powder charge was being fired. Once the rounds left the tube, the excess charges were dropped into the pit." So the entire green bag set is at the gun and walked back to the rear until fired? I am confused on the dance steps.


Quoted Text

BTW, just a minor observation: The powder bag on the trail appears to have the igniter pad up, but the tie straps appear to be secured at the middle of the base charge (1) and falling down on the trails. I would expect to see the charges the other way, with the igniter pad down so you can remove the excess charges not being used and in this orientation the straps which tie at the top would fall "down" since they are stitched at the bottom near the igniter pad.



I have a demiled green bag and a white bag set off eBay. I have been playing with these "straps" or ribbons to understand what a powder charge sitting ready on the trail might look like. I assume that the #3 powder guy would leave the excess bag increments at the far left rear with the shipping tube? Then (from what I have heard) you tie off the ribbons tightly even on the base charge to compact it for loading. I assume there are loose ends, but I struggle with what that looks like sitting out? or held until loaded in the tube? Any reference photos are much appreciated. From what I have seen the bag is kinda floppy? I will have the #3 holding a base green charge back from the trail rather than in the way where my earlier photos place him. Is a "ready charge" sitting on the gun trail realistic? More details are always appreciated! Thanks again for looking in. All the best- Stuart
GazzaS
#424
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Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2016 - 12:25 PM UTC
Hi Stuart,
Back in the 80's and 90's safety was paramount. We never left powder laying on the trails. It was in number 1's hands after being delivered by the powder man who would then lift one side of the loading tray.

He would then insert the charge saying "Charge (for example) 5 greenbag, I see red", then close the breech, insert the primer, slide the firing mechanism into place and hook up the lanyard then wait for the fire command.

Three-rounds of fire-for-effect was more fun. But safety at Camp Lejeune would bore a man to tears.


Best Wishes,

Gaz

thathaway3
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Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2016 - 12:09 AM UTC
Same as in the 70s. The powder man would prepare the charges by untying the straps, remove the excess charges if less than the full number were required, (i.e. if the fire command called for GB charge 3, then increments 4 and 5 were removed) and then retie the straps over the top increment. When retied especially if more than two or three increments were removed,there may have been some excess straps left over, but usually they were either tied again or just tucked out of the way. Regardless, the finished product needed to be reasonably stable so you didn't need to use two hands to keep it together.

He would then convey the prepped charges to the number 1 cannoneer who would then insert them into the breech as mentioned. I'm not sure how it was handled if multiple rounds were to be fired, but as mentioned, we didn't want to have a bunch of powder charges inside the turret.

The excess increments would then be taken by the powder man from the ammo prep area to the rear of the piece, back to a powder pit dug into the ground, probably about 20-25 meters or so to the rear. He'd then stand there with the unused increments held up over his head so whoever was in charge of safety could see two charges in hand, thus three in the tube. Once the rounds were fired, they'd be dropped into the pit and he'd return to the ammo prep area. We always had projos and fuzes to one side, and powder bags on the other side. I can't remember which went on which side, but I do know that the SOP specified how it was to be done, and for sure every battery within the battalion did it the same way, and it may have even been that all 4 battalions within DivArty did it the same way. At that time, the Mech and Armor Divisions had 3 Direct Support Battalions with 3 six gun batteries of 155mm SP, and one General Support battalion with 3 four gun batteries of 8" SP.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016 - 12:16 AM UTC
Thank you Tom! Great words and insights.

Thanks to this eBay item, this is the understanding I have of what you are saying...holding this stuff over head...

amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016 - 12:22 AM UTC
Just got in the Verlinden M109 equipment kit...


It has what looks like a propellant charge (with Live Resin PASGT helmet for scale)...



amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016 - 12:27 AM UTC
I assume this is a Green Bag charge as here...




amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016 - 12:31 AM UTC
Thanks and credit to "mr-raygun" for his offering on eBay



His description...

Complete M3A1 'green bag' set for 155mm field guns & howitzers. This was the short range propellant charge. New Old Stock, never-loaded bags made at the Indiana Ammunition Plant in 1987 and recently found in a warehouse. Have been loaded with INERT plastic dummy propellant grains. Weight 11 lb. Medium Priority box at $13.45 or FEDEX on 11lb. from zip 40204.
INERT.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 03:22 AM UTC
Hello! Long time. Short trips to the workshop due to work schedule. Scratch built a gear box based on info kindly provided by Gary Shively. End handles and latches are left over PE. Still needs more paint and weathering.





Thanks for looking in.
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 03:30 AM UTC
Working on the crew a little more. Set up the ATC in a squat to be holding a clipboard. Much painting ahead and a Live Resin helmet.





amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 03:34 AM UTC
Eight of the ten in various stages of camo decal and base paint. The fun part painting helmets, faces, and details ahead!


GazzaS
#424
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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 09:27 AM UTC
Stuart,
Your figures look really great!

Gaz
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 - 12:38 PM UTC
Thank you Gary. I feel like the figures are at least within sight of completion now that all have heads and arms! I am amazed at the quality of Hornet heads and Live Resin products. Nice to work with.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 02:36 PM UTC

Quoted Text

See where the guy is pulling the lanyard? That is the correct place to stand. If you stand in the middle, directly behind the breech firing a combat charge, that thing will come back and kill you. I think in that picture they'd be firing a small green bag charge. In combat I've seen that barrel recoil about 7-feet.

I think the most amazing thing about the M198 was that four guys could lift those trails high enough to hook it onto the pintle of a 5-ton.

Looking good!

Gary



I came thru prior to the 198, and our recoil was 60 inches with a charge seven white bag. There was a charge eight, but only saw it laying on a table at Sill from a distance. Charge one green bag was about 12 inches, give or take a couple inches. Never saw a loading tray, except at Sill. I figure that somewhere, there is a barn filled trays and no ones knows what or why about them! With the old gun it puts too many kids between the trails, and that's a bad thing.
gary

trickymissfit
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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 03:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Stuart,
Most of the fuzes we used were either the simple yellow-gold-colored impact fuzes, or the black capped VT fuse. We got trained with the others, but never seemed to use them. I can't remember all of their numbers or nomenclatures...that was a long time ago.

Gary



we had a plastic time fuse (M119?) that sent out somekind of a radio signal that was an aerial burst only affair. The time ring was used to clear mountains. Otherwise they would cause it go off early. Only used them two or three times, and there was nothing good about them. Add to this the fact you can't punch it out if there is a cease fire after loading! It happened to us in March 68.
gary
trickymissfit
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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 03:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Or this?



we kept a screw drive handy for the slot on the side of the fuse, seems like it was a quarter turn, but might have been a half turn.
Add to this a big yes; that round will go off from one rain drop. it happened to me while I was out on an LP (about three hundred yards outside the wire). Three HE rounds went off about a hundred yards in front of me. All the while I was cussing the rain!
gary
trickymissfit
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Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 03:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Stuart,
We used two sections of rod for ramming. We rarely shot at very high elevations, because once you get past 45 degrees, you are trying to shoot closer than your maximum range. To do this, instead, smaller powder charges are used.

It's a very well designed piece of gear the m-198. Heavy, but well-balanced. Easy to use and clean.... And accurate!

Those weld decals do look pretty good. Keep it up!

Gary



the dreaded high angle fire! I did it twice, and that was twice too much. They came up with an idea of digging a pit to clear the breech during recoil (we were shoot charge one green bag and maybe a charge three if needed). Ground was like concrete, and somebody said to just jack the gun up higher than normal. So we took the gun up about 18" higher than normal. We were shooting about twelve to thirteen hundred yards out on the Hiep Duc Ridge, and knew a charge one was all that was needed to hit the ridge top. So we shot a charge five out toward Laos (nothing between us and the border). That seated the spades good and solid, and then we started jacking up the gun. I will confess that on the first round everybody cleared outta the way, but the gunner. Twelve minutes after midnight on the 26th of December we lit them up, and must have hit a big ammo dump as secondaries went off for almost five minutes. Reason for high angle was to get to the back side of the ridge line
gary

P.S. SF came and picked up every supplemental charge we had left over for their own devious deeds!
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Friday, October 23, 2020 - 12:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hi Stuart,
We used two sections of rod for ramming. We rarely shot at very high elevations, because once you get past 45 degrees, you are trying to shoot closer than your maximum range. To do this, instead, smaller powder charges are used.

It's a very well designed piece of gear the m-198. Heavy, but well-balanced. Easy to use and clean.... And accurate!

Those weld decals do look pretty good. Keep it up!

Gary



the dreaded high angle fire! I did it twice, and that was twice too much. They came up with an idea of digging a pit to clear the breech during recoil (we were shoot charge one green bag and maybe a charge three if needed). Ground was like concrete, and somebody said to just jack the gun up higher than normal. So we took the gun up about 18" higher than normal. We were shooting about twelve to thirteen hundred yards out on the Hiep Duc Ridge, and knew a charge one was all that was needed to hit the ridge top. So we shot a charge five out toward Laos (nothing between us and the border). That seated the spades good and solid, and then we started jacking up the gun. I will confess that on the first round everybody cleared outta the way, but the gunner. Twelve minutes after midnight on the 26th of December we lit them up, and must have hit a big ammo dump as secondaries went off for almost five minutes. Reason for high angle was to get to the back side of the ridge line
gary

P.S. SF came and picked up every supplemental charge we had left over for their own devious deeds!



Gary Thank you! These are great stories filled with details that few have experienced. I really appreciate you sharing. Your comments motivate me to continue this and learn more.
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
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Posted: Friday, October 23, 2020 - 10:28 AM UTC
someone commented about seeing the red flash pad o the face of a charge one. Never heard the I see red ever, but if the section chief has a clue he'll be watching what the loader is doing. I loaded 80% of the rounds we shot, because I like to load. I hated the breech, but did that job when Randy's shoulder gave out. The chief's job is more or less to get in the way of things, but also make sure everybody is doing it right. I was on three gun crews that didn't have a chief, and really proved you didn't need one. I tend to disagree, as somebody has to hand you powder over the trail. I've been on gun crews that had three and whoever got caught standing around for help (even Top and the XO at times). There is (or was) a flat plate fuse wrench, that had the one end for setting time on the dial. The other end was for tightening the fuse (never used that end). In my unit, it resided in the hip pocket of the guy loading. My last chief wasn't capable of setting the dial! (he was relieved!)

You are missing the swab! We used a bomb fuse case that had a couple inches of water in it (not too much water). The rod was an old pick handle with a sand bag wrapped around it. A swab that's too wet will make this gas smell that makes vomit smell good. Seen more than one kid puke. All you do is run it up the breech and maybe twist it a half turn. Then pull it out and wipe the mushroom head on the door. Kinda important as it is a safety issue; although I shot all thru the first four months of my tour without ever using a swab!

On a 155 battery the guns are often spread in a lazy W formation when possible. Sometimes the other guns seem like they are right on top of you, and other time much more spread out. We shot a lot of zone sweeps (picture a box with nine targets [three across and three down]). One round actually means shooting nine rounds as fast as you can function. Shot a lot of two an three round sweeps, but mostly one round. Did shoot a six rounder with the 101st once, and I got 45 rounds before I gave out. What happens is the noise gets so bad that you can't hear anything. It all then goes by hand signs with the loader, gunner, and AG. The AG and loader are key here, and must learn to work as one. The gunner just raises his right hand. By the way, we could put nine rounds in the air before the first one impacted at eight and a half miles. the AG is key here, and I was as slow as molasses.

Lastly is the left over powder. A lot of units had barrels close by each gun. We didn't, because fuel drums were not to be found in the bush. We'd throw it outside the pit wall, and the ammo section would pick it up in due time. Later SF picked that up too. That means you don't have to burn powder, and once again a safety issue. I suspect all modern guns use some kinda barrel. In the dark ages we were not exactly safe all the time.
gary
amoz02t
#192
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Posted: Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 08:17 AM UTC
This build is continuing on the new forums. You can continue to follow along

https://forums.kitmaker.net/t/m198-predator-a-btry-3-162-fa-yauco/1027
165thspc
#521
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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 02:31 AM UTC
35,000+ hits on this thread but we are just gonna stop this discussion in its' tracks and move on!
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 04:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

35,000+ hits on this thread but we are just gonna stop this discussion in its' tracks and move on!



No, the original poster has already continued it with a new thread on the new forum, with a link back to this one.

New forum post.
165thspc
#521
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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 04:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

35,000+ hits on this thread but we are just gonna stop this discussion in its' tracks and move on!



No, the original poster has already continued it with a new thread on the new forum, with a link back to this one.

New forum post.




And Robbin and Jim can't/won't tell us how long that will be functional.
165thspc
#521
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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 04:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

35,000+ hits on this thread but we are just gonna stop this discussion in its' tracks and move on!



No, the original poster has already continued it with a new thread on the new forum, with a link back to this one.

New forum post.




And Robbin and Jim can't/won't tell us how long that link will be functional.

Or just how this future "Archive" will be accessed.