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Office machines I have loved...

This is actually a great shot of a 155mm breech - to the point that you can see the "swiss groove" in the powder chamber. That would be the cut-out portion in the powder chamber that helps keep the powder charge in the chamber when the gun is being loaded.  Not to mention the interrupted-thread of the breech, the details of the DeBange-style obturator, etc.  The round is rammed either mechanically or by hand using a rammer staff, so that it is pushed through the forcing cone far enough that the rotating band engages the rifling.  That gizmo just to the left of the tray is the hydraulic rammer.  It flips over into the tray and hydraulically forces the projectile projectile into the breech.  One of the signature sounds of an M109 unit is the sound of the pump that pressurizes the hydraulic system.

Mind you, it can get a little crowded in there when it's busy...  like this gun was during the 2004 fighting in Fallujah.

An M-109A6 howitzer from Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, sends a round down range during combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 6, 2004. 
The gun chief is verifying the fuze setting before allowing the cannoneer to ram the round home.


I can hear the skreeeek of the round being pushed up that rusty ramp from here...
/snark off/
Looks Photoshopped to me.  I would like to see the Hi-Rez version of that picture.

What's all that rust on the feed tray thingy, Hummm?  3-82 FA, my DS artillery support in Vietnam, good bunch of gun bunnies, they never dropped a round on our heads unlike their counterparts in the GS 155 battalion or our own 4.2 platoon.
Neffi - I'm sure the bronze from the rotating band lubed the 'jo sufficiently to reduce the noise of subsequent rounds.

I knew that was gonna get snarked, I just didn't realize it was gonna get snarked right out the gate!

Mark - you caught me.  That's actually the breech of an Egyptian Hakim rifle.
Ah yea Neffi ... looks like extra points for rust. I never saw one like that.
The pic was actually taken in Germany.  Apparently, artillery is so passé these days we don't use it very much...
Back in the day at Pinder, some of us could open the breach with one hand.  And we seemed to always use a rammer staff and elbow grease instead of the noisy and slow hydraulic rammer.
I knew it!  One just can't trust you Media types any more!
So if John is Willie Nelson does that make Bill Julio Iglesias?

And when do we get a YouTube of this with 155 mike mike's in the background, and dancing uh....artillery pieces?

Will we get to call it Swan Muzzle Brake?

Oh, come on, BloodSpite!  You surely know that artillery can't dance.  That's a TANKER thing!
You've obviously never seen The Fire(Mission)bird -- especially as performed by this troupe...
Oh, John, talk nerdy to me! Please!

Tell us what the original greasy DuBange pad smells like! Did they use mutton fat, or what?

So THAT is how they plan to end DADT?

Did somebody say... Dancing Howitzers?

Wait for it...
P.s.  My favorite USN piece, the 5"-51, is also a bag gun, and an high-velocity flat-shooting one, to boot (3200 ft/sec). US Marines used them to good effect at Wake Island.  As far as I know, there are only four of them left, all aboard USS Texas.
P.p.s.  Maggie will just lurve the pics of sailors shooting the 5"-51 at the Naval Historical Center, because they mostly are not wearing shirts.
That looks like a smiley-face, looking up the breech of that piece.  
A clean tube is a happy tube.  LOL