Saturday, March 1, 2008

A shotgun on the grand scale

I've always liked shotguns as a hunting and defensive tool. They deliver a lot of power in a reasonably controllable instrument.

It seems the US armed forces have applied the principle to a devastating round for their M1 Abrams tanks: the XM1028 120mm Canister Tank Cartridge. Depending on which source you read, it contains "over 1,000" or "1,100" or "1,150 (est.)" 10mm. tungsten balls. These are fired from the smoothbore main gun of the M1 tank, leaving the container and spreading out as soon as they exit the muzzle. The complete round and a cross-section view of its container of metal balls are shown below.

The round is designed to be effective against "soft" targets (read: people, unarmored vehicles, etc.) at 500 to 700 meters. It's intended to take out enemies hiding behind inadequate cover, clear opponents climbing on friendly armored vehicles (sweeping them off like a broom - the balls won't penetrate the armor, so the crew inside will be safe), or bring down light structures through massive damage to the walls and roof.

Judging from the following video, I'd say it should do all those things just fine!

Hmmm . . . I think there are a few duck-hunters in my neck of the woods who'd be pleased to try this out on the local wildfowl!



Assrot said...

Hmmm... I wonder what the pattern is on that at say 100 yards. Seems to me it would be very useful for short to medium range but 700 meters sounds like a stretch to me. The pellets are probably a damn mile apart by the time they get to 700 meters.

I'd say that's pretty useless beyond about 200 to 300 meters. You might take out 1 or 2 soft targets but hell, you could do that with a 10 gauge with 3-1/2" magnum shells.

I call bullshit on this weapon. It looks cool but it is about as useful as tits on a boar hog.



Anonymous said...

That thing is a heck of a lot bigger than a ten gauge. Due to the sheer size of the load, it'll have a usable pattern waaaay out there.

Anonymous said...

One of the handier purposes to which can rounds are put is to sweep parasites off armor; one type of the old M60 canister rounds used little fleshettes (can't remember how many) and another used round ball (can't remember if they were lead or steel - steel I think). If the straightlegs start climbing on the tracks, a can round would get 'em off with no damage to the track, save a few chips in the paint and some unavoidable stains and smears.

Anonymous said...

The term "fine red mist" comes to mind regarding those on the receiving end.