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Ouch! Bet that stung a little.

 And it's also made in South Korea, not China.  New tube and enhanced recoil buffers on the venerable US M114 155mm howitzer.


13 Comments

 Two inbores while I was at 5/11 at 29 Palms in late 1987/early 1988.  One on a 110 which burst at the end of the tube, another just forward of the chamber in an M109A3 which blew the tube about 100 meters.  Not fun.  
 
 While never involved in one personnally, did the AR15-6 investigations on two othem.  One a muzzle burst in an M110A2, the other an in-bore about 5 feet in front of the trunnions of an M110A2.  No one died or suffered long-last severe damage other than hearing loss.  Both crews, especially the second, got lucky.
 
In 1801, a British frigate at anchor in Portsmouth was exercising her long guns while the Captain and First Lieutenant dined in the Great Cabin. The First Lieutenant excused himself and stepped out on the gun deck to check on the exercise. An explosion of one of the guns dropped his body dead on the deck.  His head landed on the Captain's table.  This has been going on for a long time, thankfully very rarely.
 
 A lot of people think being a cannon cocker is risk free. If only they knew the truth. Such things can ruin your whole day+.
 
 The closest we had was a failure of a recoil system causing the gun to slam into battery so hard it buried the muzzle into the dirt. seems the company rebuilding them left metal shavings in the recoil system.
 
Any in bore explosion can be deadly.

Remember our eight deady Marines killed when their 60mm mortar round went off in bore over in Hawthorne a few weeks ago.
 
Would this be cause by a manufacturing defect in the tube or is just, essentially, age and "fair wear and tear" of the tube, or would it be something else entirely? I've seen steam tubes than had burst (4 inch tube, eg.), but I'd guess that would be pressure an order of magnitude lower, albeit of constant duration. 
 
Wait a minute--the round exploded in the gun tube? Yikes. (Never mind what I asked.) 
 
CCO - there could be lots of causes, but wear and tear is not likely. Those are relatively new tubes, as the South Koreans were trying to upgrade their existing howitzers essentially to gain range made possible by new projectiles and powders.

Possible causes include manufacturing defect, in tube, projectile, or propellant.  Fuze malfunction, improper fuzing (fuze not seated properly), obstruction in the barrel, etc.  
 
 I almost was a redleg, I studied at Mizzou 1961-63, was in Army ROTC, was an "A" student in MilSci (was the PMS COL. Donovan then?). I was selected for Advanced, but transferred my studies to Portland State here in OR in the Fall of '63. That ROTC unit turned out mostly Redleg 2Louies, IIRC.
 
Would be interesting to figure it out though a bit sad too sometimes.
 
 Dad was a Major on the faculty then.  He wasn't PMS until 72-75.
 
 Oh, I'm sure the investigating team got to the bottom of it.   It looks like it was at a test range, so depending on their crew-drill, there might not have been any seroius casualties.  If the Gunner and Assistant gunner were standing to their sights... there were casualties.