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"Grenade in a tank barrel?" Topic

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2,506 hits since 1 Dec 2013
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Comments or corrections?

Dr Mathias Fezian01 Dec 2013 11:53 p.m. PST

Could a person destroy a tank by throwing a grenade into the barrel of the main gun?

For sake of argument, let's assume the grenade actually can travel all the way to the breech without bouncing too much and stopping halfway down. Also, let's presume the breech is open.

I need to know if I should be ranting :)

britishlinescarlet2 Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 12:03 a.m. PST

Union Jack Jackson did it in one of my Commando comics… must be possible!

Mr Pumblechook Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 12:42 a.m. PST

If you can get the grenade inside the tank it's going to be no fun at all for anyone inside it… the chunky salsa effect.

If the grenade goes off inside the barrel, some of the blast and fragments are going to wind up inside the turret compartment. How effective is anybody's guess.

TNE230002 Dec 2013 12:51 a.m. PST
Streitax Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 5:55 a.m. PST

I'd say the first time was actually the tank firing its main gun. The second time caught them reloading, I think.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 5:57 a.m. PST

TNE, that's neat, however, the 105mm of the M-60A1 is narrower than the 125mm of the T-72. On the other hand, the 105mm, I am pretty sure, is the same or similar to the Leopard I's. At least from what I can remember from the US Army SFC who was an exchange instructor in our gunnery school and my own visits on M-60A3s in the late 80s. That means the semi-automatic breach slams OPEN after EVERY shot. If we didn't travel with a round up the spout, then we left the breach open to be able to load a round immediately.

On TNE's video, it's really worthwhile looking at, but I think it's a demo/for training/morale purposes; the tank seems strangely unresponsive and all the videos I've watched in fascination seem to show the Syrians tankers providing textbook support of each other. Also, I'm not sure why a grenade might "blow off the breach" maybe they mean the autoloader mechanism, which the M-60 and Leopard (and Centurion) didn't have?

I think I know why Dr Mathias asked this question wink and it didn't seem odd to me especially with only one or two folks with any kind of crew training.

Though afterward I did try to think the width thing though (after my wife yelled at me to shut up laugh while we were watching a TV show when I wondered about the availability of lubricants and parts to keep an MBT going years after a nuclear disaster or comet sort of thing). 105mm bore width is a bit over 4" in diameter; from what I can remember in grenade training, there's what I called a ping pong ball (itsey bitsy thing meant to be thrown far) and a larger "medium sized" one that I think would probably be small enough to bang down a 105 barrel.

GeoffQRF Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 7:30 a.m. PST

I'm not sure why a grenade might "blow off the breach"

I wasn't sure about that either.

If it was closed any explosive force would travel back up the barrel (otherwise firing a shell in it could be a really bad idea!).

There isn't really that much in the way of an explosive charge in a grenade. I suppose an explosion inside the barrel might damage it sufficiently as to not be useable. It's more to do with bits of itself flying about to do the damage:


If the breech was open, and you managed to get it to roll all the way down without getting stuck, drop out the bottom and onto the breech or floor of the tank, those bits of metal (or ball bearings on the Israeli example above) will tend to ping around inside, which won't do human beings much good. Certainly a tank without crew is effectively out of action :-)

From teh video, the first explosion does look like a firing of the main gun, not something going off inside the barrel. The second one seems to have cooked off the charges inside the turret, so just possibly it was lucky enough to get down the barrel, fall through an open breech and have sufficient spark to ingite something inside.

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 7:33 a.m. PST

If it's a thermite grenade, you can at least render the tank unfit for combat.

GeoffQRF Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 7:42 a.m. PST

"A classic military use for thermite is disabling artillery pieces, and it has been used for this purpose since World War 2; such as at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy. Thermite can permanently disable artillery pieces without the use of explosive charges, and therefore thermite can be used when silence is necessary to an operation. This can be done by inserting one or more armed thermite grenades into the breech and then quickly closing it; this welds the breech shut and makes loading the weapon impossible. Alternatively, a thermite grenade discharged inside the barrel of the gun will foul the barrel, making the weapon very dangerous to fire; thermite can also be used to weld the traversing and elevation mechanism of the weapon, making it impossible to aim properly."

Possible that the second explosion was as the result of them trying to fire a damaged main gun?

Dr Mathias Fezian02 Dec 2013 9:03 a.m. PST

Interesting, thanks for the answers. The linked video is really something. Crazy world we live in.

zippyfusenet Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 9:44 a.m. PST

It was all that 'Allahu Akbar'ing that got the job done.

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 10:17 a.m. PST

only if the breach is open or its a thermite weapon.

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Dec 2013 11:38 a.m. PST

It would almost certainly work for Sgt. Rock. Probably the only thing easy in Easy Co.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2013 12:16 a.m. PST

I saw it done on TV last night so it has to be true.
Otherwise it wouldn't be on TV, right?
They can't show things that are not true can they?


Gearhead Inactive Member31 Dec 2013 8:36 a.m. PST

That tank crew was remarkably obliging..

Last Hussar30 Jan 2014 4:27 p.m. PST

If you left the handle on, and the grenade was the right size to go do with out the handle coming off, when you opened the breach it would be nasty, but I think you'd have to very lucky for the handle to stay on

TNE230021 Aug 2015 2:00 p.m. PST

took me this long to find it

rolling a grenade down may not work
but it was a concern

YouTube link
skip to 50 seconds

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