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From: pcallah@ibm.net (pcallah@ibm.net)
Subject: Re: APFDS Question
Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated
View: Complete Thread (11 articles) | Original Format
Date: 1997/02/25
From pcallah@ibm.net

> > >If the tungsten/DU dart is so deadly, why have a 120mm gun at all? Why not just develop a cannon which shoots just the dart, and eliminate the nasty
> > >huge carriage you must have for the big gun?     Actually a good question.  Battle tank pentrators are heavy, runnning 20 
to 40 pounds.  The muzzle velocity is as high as possible - the
Rheinmetall gun on the M1 is about 6,000 feet per second, as I remember.  That 
is why a sabot is used. The barrel is like a cylinder, and the projectile like 
a piston; the more pressure, the larger the piston diameter, and the lighter 
the piston the faster the piston accelerates.  To get higher velocity the 
propellants are not nitrocellulose.  Very high pressures are used - over 
100,000 psi - with   corresponding  high temperatures.  The barrels are only 
good for 200 to 500 full charge rounds before  requiring replacement.
     These are very fierce huge guns.  I suspect that the depleted uranium
penetrators would penetrate yards of rolled homogeneous hardened steel armor. 
At a wild guess, maybe 30 feet of concrete.
     The Bradley has a cannon with modern AP rounds.  My understanding
is that quite a few Iraqi tanks were destroyed by these cannons at
several hundred yards.  Perhaps one of the more knowledgeable
participants will respond with details.

 Paul Callahan

 I have no access to classified information of any sort.  I am purely
 an amateur.

Thanks for your kind note, form letter or no. I'm enjoying your newsgroup.