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A moment of Gunner Zen.

[This pic embiggens]

Flames blast from a D-30, 122 mm howitzer barrel after firing a round, as is typical with the Soviet-made weapon system. Afghan soldiers with the 4th Combat Support Kandak, 1st Brigade, 215th Corps, coordinated and executed their second live-fire artillery training exercise. Photo by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes

Given the fact that the D-30 is a pretty accurate weapon, they're either firing max charge, or haven't taken good care of their powder, because that's an awful lot of flash (meaning powder that didn't burn in the tube, providing oomph to the round) which would result in a pretty substantial probable error in range - though it looks more like they're shooting mid-range direct fire, to this eye that is admittedly *not* experienced with the D30, except as a target.

Good way to send off the old year, though.  Especially as this one kinda sucked.


That can't be a normal round, comm-bloc or not. I'd guess it was some sort of staged pyrotechnic, maybe even with a little mogas in the barrel. Look at the shock wave from below the piece. It's blowing dust clouds through the wheel disc openings!

Yeah, something fishy there.
Maybe they are finally getting rid of the last of the WWII era munitions.

A lot of Soviet weapons seem to generate impressive amounts of flash, at least in small arms.  I've seen people using eastern block ammo in an SKS and generating fireballs that were almost scorching the grass in front of them.  And Tokarevs that were almost as bad.  A few others that I don't remember the type of were the same.