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!