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A matter of form...

previewd579ca76fc7a10549b2580ebbe2166367b3b1ef1.jpgWe see here a bunch of Joes out having some fun with their M224 60mm mortar.  They're firing pretty close in  - and it pretty much has to be training, since no seems too excited, which one rather expects they would be if there were bad guys in that close.  What struck me is the gunner's form - that thumb seems to be in a position waaay too close to the muzzle for my taste.  So, you younger folk - izzat really the way we're training people to handle the mortar?


How else would you expect them to keep their nails trimmed appropriately in a post-DADT military world?
 That iz just a bit close. Poor form, that.
His thumb's not the only thing that's close.

The observer is gonna discover he doesn't need binos to spot where the round impacts...
Hmm. No baseplate, no bipod, no sights. Now that is a man after my own heart!  I wonder if somebody would let me play with one of those. 

What are these "ballistic calculations" of which you speak?  I mean, "that looks about right" is good enough for mortars, innit?
Oh, c'mon, Unka Bill, the thing ain't _quite_  vertical, and they're, like, wearing helmets, and all...

And besides, how do you know it isn't an inert exercise round?
P.s. And further: The way everybody else is nonchalantly standing around makes me think that, either this was posed with a (somewhat) harmless inert round, or that those guys are all about 20 years old and aren't too concerned about getting killed.  There is a good reason why car-insurance companies charge you more if you are a male person who is less than 25 years old, and why the AF used to refuse to hire fighter pilots who were older than 25.
I mean, "that looks about right" is good enough for mortars, innit?

To quote our Resident Strathcona Guru, "Ubique"...

And besides, how do you know it isn't an inert exercise round?

Because the brown band on the storage and transport canisters sez it's *live*....

Or at least the propellant is. The warhead band is too indistinct to ID the color -- it *could* be a faded blue, meaning the warhead is inert.
Sorry to burst your bubble, JTG - but that young troop *is* using a baseplate.  The M8, vice the M7.
I'm not sure where they are. Maybe Boq knows. If that is a warshot, then I wonder why the extreme elevation. Are the Indians that close? Regardless, I doubt it goes 1,000 meters and Bill certainly is right about the observer not needing the Binocs.

If that isn't training, the boyz seem a just a bit too relaxed.
Well, the baseplate sure is hard to see in that pic, if it is indeed there.  I was basing my opinions on the casual young&cool postures of the sojers in the pic.

P.s. Obviously, the little pointy ball joint at the breech of the thing would drill right into the ground when you shot it, if there were nothing else to resist the recoil. I just can't see the baseplate in the pic. Maybe the dust has already drifted over it since they set the piece up.

All that aside, there is obviously no bipod and no sight, so, yeah, the piece has been laid by the "That looks about right" system. Hey, that's the way I'd do it!
P.s.  I got an honest 800 on the Physics achievement test part of the SAT when I was a senior in high school back in 1968.  I don't recall having done even one calculation.  I chose my answers according to my never-failing Newtonian intuition, and my sense of "That looks about right." 

So, yeah, I betcha I could get that kaboomy thing to fall on yer head with three shots or so, given a bit of practice beforehand. I'm like that other blogger, "Excels at Nothing." She shoots a matchlock, and don't need no steenking sights.