Bad for the hobby all around

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rondo
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by rondo » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:19 pm

Forgive me but when I read that article, my thought was, and still is, why would anyone be firing live hot rounds from an antique tank. I did know these gentlemen and my heart goes out. And I know others in the hobby who fire live rounds from Hellcat and antique artillery. But I was in armor when I was a young enlisted man. And I learned that armor can kill and maim. Your own armor is the most dangerous. Your tank doesn't care who you are and will kill you 2 dozen different ways in potential accidents alone.
Why fire live rounds from an antique gun?? for the excitement, for the bragging, the you tube video, why risk it? I'd fire a blank smoke round or something like that if I had an antique gun, and that's it. These are not toys.
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by YLG80 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:35 am

If it's done for a video shoot, a 'reduced load' makes just as much "Bang" and shoves the projectile as far as the camera will be able to film just fine.
No need to try and meet the original specs, especially without a 20+ foot lanyard.
I completely agree.
Do you know if the results of the investigation will be published?

The cause of that horrible accident could also be due to a defective round.
When I was working in that sector, it happened in the Belgian army with a defective 105mm round shell.
The cannon operator was killed.
There was a defect in the 105 shell brass.
Due to a defect in the raw material, there was a crack created in the brass during the shell stamping process.
It should have been rejected during the manufacturing at the X-ray inspection station.
But for some reason it wasn't.
The round exploded in the barrel breech.

This can be detected during the investigation and it would excuse Preston and his assistant.
I'm questioning myself on why they would have loaded the propellant themselves.
That's curious. Is that a common practice in the US?

Too bad indeed, that they did not unload some propellant.
According to that document, Preston has overloaded the round and reworked the cannon breech.
https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate ... ed-in-tank.

It's hard to believe that specialists, including the FBI, were unable to determine the cause of that explosion.
Yves
[Note: from the photo it looks like the round was a 76mm M62A1.]
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Wolfman » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:12 am

There is a lot about this incident we don't know.
I grew up on a target range with my father and my brother is a licensed gunsmith and I like to Trap Shoot. We all do our own reloading. Best know what you are doing.
Flash back. Had a guy on the local trap range that was a real clown. Never knew what he might do. He showed up one day with some 12 gauge reloaded shells that he had put black powder in. He used the same amount of black powder in the shells as the " Red Dot" he normally used. Gonna scare everybody with the big bang and smoke.
Fortunately he survived. Destroyed his " Model 12" and the doctor was able to sew up his cheek and he didn't lose his eye.
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W. Winget
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by W. Winget » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:40 am

In the US, you seldom find live loaded rounds available from military sources or manufactures, they get fired, or are required to be demilitarized by removal of the powder, projectile and possibly destruction of some of the components, so reloading expended cases is a normal function. This usually implies that the cases have been fired at least once in their lifetimes, something seldom done by military, as they obtain newly manufactured rounds VS reloading anything.

So no stress test of cases or X-raying occurs, the purchaser inspects it, checks for obvious signs of corrosion and any dents which may impact reloading, then removes the previous ignition system (electric or percussion) and the ignitor tube, restores that or uses another method of ignition adapted to the case, then adds a powder charge as appropriate for the round being fired and what the desired round is required for (i.e. round determines powder charge based on weight and performance desired)

Regarding the investigation, it was an accident, and FBI would not necessarily become involved as it's not a Federal Crime, they may offer support to local police in examining evidence, as well as ATF being involved only if it was a criminal act or violated their regulations.

It's not like the military investigating an accident with current weapons systems where we would try to determine fault to prevent possible future injury or destruction of property with hundreds of systems fielded in service. It's a "one off" accident that happened away from military/Federal/ATF responsibility or control, even if the DD (Destructive Device) is "registered" to ATF, they regulate/ enforce it' existence and ownership, not necessarily investigate it's use (unless requested by a Govt agency perhaps).

Any Lessons Learned here are only passed down through word of mouth and social media, the ATF /Military will not publish a 'Safety of Use' message on outdated weapons operational procedures and safety, they may discuss the incident in their news letter to licensed owners possibly.

Our hundreds of Civil War artillery collectors in the U.S. utilize (for the most part) safety guidelines established by the North South Skirmish Association (NSSA), but they are not regulatory, and an average guy can buy black powder for reloading rifle/shotguns shells, a salute gun or muzzle loading cannon,(Pipe with welded on trunnions they made in their own garage :shock: ) some cannon fuse (not a friction primers like they should use) and pack a gun full of powder all day long and risk killing themselves and their spectators without any license or common sense, it happens, and I could search You Tube and find examples posted within 2 minutes, likely titled "Hold My Beer and Watch This" .

Passing a Law as several States surely have done prohibiting Fireworks, Explosives, Firing of artillery without license, etc. are out there as well I'm sure, but Laws do not stop people from doing things, count the murders, stabbings, DUI's, speeding, etc. etc. all legislated away by feel good politicians to no avail.

Demonstrations can be done safely, obviously something was not taken into consideration in this case, finding that broken link in the 'safety chain' may never come about for others to learn from.
V/R W. Winget
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Wolfman » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:06 am

Excellent point of view, LTC.
You, I and a lot of others on here have held up our right hand and took an oath to defend and protect the United States of America and it's citizens.
Got to love them but they can be really dumb at times.
Try to educate them and hope they are listening.
All we can do is keep trying.
Keep up the good work !
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by YLG80 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:37 am

It's a "one off" accident that happened away from military/Federal/ATF responsibility or control, even if the DD (Destructive Device) is "registered" to ATF, they regulate/ enforce it' existence and ownership, not necessarily investigate it's use (unless requested by a Govt agency perhaps).
According to me, on top of the 2 lives lost, it's not an anecdotic accident and it did not happen with a toy.
It's likely the consequence of a sum of errors made by different persons.
That's enough to know the truth and take the corrective actions in the military collectors community as a whole, or the hobby all around.
What would happen if such a chain of errors happened during a warbirds aerial meeting with thousandsof people watching.

If you consider that an unauthorized guy was (over) loading a round with received powder from an authorized guy who was not authorized to delegate his power to load ammos, there is something to learn from that case.

As mentioned above in this post, even if the investigators are not publishing the real conclusions, the problem will be with the insurance companies
They will increase their premium so that you will not be able to play anymore with these cannons in the future.
And likely with small arms as well.
The end result will be that you, in the US, will no longer see any stunting live demos with that legendary military equipment.

That's sad because, if you look at the previous M18 Hellcat demos made by Preston (videos), it appears that they were respecting the protocol.
They had only one round at a time, and each round was presented by the ammo propellant loader.
Each shot was producing so much smoke that it was likely an old propellant.

If what that anonymous guy said after the accident is true, that's a reason to exactly know what happened:
The folks were loading their own ammo, the only “correct” component being the M26 cartridge cases.
They did not use long enough primer flash tubes. [note from ylg80: that was a major change made during WWII when using smokeless powder]
M30 smokeless propellant, triple-based, smaller grain size, was used vice large-grained M1 single-base propellant.
Navy projectiles, having longer and larger-diameter driving bands as opposed to Army, were being used.
Cases were loaded with 1/2 lb. black powder dumped in base of case, cardboard wad, then 3.5 lbs of M30 propellant.

The very dangerous load caused an extreme overpressure in the chamber shattering the breechblock and cracking the breech ring, sending hot gas and fragments into the occupied turret.
The target was a 4 inches thick steel plate which leads me to suspect that they overloaded the rounds on purpose for the movie, ignoring the basic safety rules.
Yves.
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Wolfman » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:33 am

Finally got back to read your last post, Yves. The anonymous statement.
1/2 pound of Black Powder under the regular powder charge !! :shock: ????????
Makes me wonder if the film director was looking for more effect. And lots of it !!
Like fuel in an L-134 cylinder that has just fired, you don't want the fuel to explode but burn at an even rate during the piston travel down the cylinder on the power stroke.
Likewise, the powder in a weapon does not explode but burn and expand evenly, as the round moves out the barrel, keeping a steady pressure on the round until it leaves the barrel. You definitely do not want the powder to just "explode" !! Ask the guy with the Model 12.
This whole sad episode may be starting to unfold. Take 2. Fire for more effect. ????? The later being a personnel opinion.
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Old Dodge Guy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:18 am

The folks were loading their own ammo, the only “correct” component being the M26 cartridge cases.
They did not use long enough primer flash tubes. [note from ylg80: that was a major change made during WWII when using smokeless powder]
M30 smokeless propellant, triple-based, smaller grain size, was used vice large-grained M1 single-base propellant.
Navy projectiles, having longer and larger-diameter driving bands as opposed to Army, were being used.
Cases were loaded with 1/2 lb. black powder dumped in base of case, cardboard wad, then 3.5 lbs of M30 propellant.

Where did this quote come from,I missed that post?

With this story and the "Deadly Ducks" this summer, I have already heard some of the "usual suspects" discussing out loud that no one should possess or use any "old military vehicles".
What does anyone need a tank for. That 70 year old large truck is unsafe and should be banned. Etc.

Yep, bad for the hobby.

Those folks ARE out there, and many hold power.
Still crazy after all these years.
The OD bug bit me in 1970......and I have never been the same

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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by YLG80 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:48 am

It was published on that website:
http://weaponsman.com/?p=27364
I cannot remove that event from my mind.

There are several inconsistencies in the publications here and there.
Preston was trying to shoot shells through 4-inch steel targets that mimicked materials used in tanks in World War II.
is not consistent with:
Hegele said he told Preston to use lead bullets, which are historically appropriate, and not steel, which aren’t.

I've yet to see lead bullets penetrating a 4 inches thick steel plate.
They were perhaps firing different shots for different shootings.

The first sentence is consistent with what the Museum of Heritage was requesting.
The Heritage museum had wanted slow-motion footage of shells penetrating steel armor to be used in informational kiosks at the museum.
That goal given by the Museum is likely the origin of the catastrophic event.
Preston was feeling he was "forced" to show results to the video shooting team and the Museum.
To be sure to penetrate the 4 inches steel plate, he has increased the propellant load beyond any reasonable limit, perhaps thinking that the powder was old.

Normally it's never allowed to fire an overloaded projectile from within a tank. That's a must.
You must use a remote command.

Preston and his assistant are the victims of the results to be obtained with the slow motion video for the Museum.
Someone should have decided to stop that stupid experience in a non professional environment.

When we were shooting high speed films of steel penetration, it was always in a professionnal environment on the company proving ground with a military procedure even if we were in a civilian company.

But that's only the opinion of someone in Europe.

It's really sad to loose sympathetic guys who were sharing their passion.
Yves
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by YLG80 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:58 am

Wolfman wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:33 am
Makes me wonder if the film director was looking for more effect. And lots of it !!
I share your opinion.
The root cause comes from people looking for more stunting effect... and nobody to calm down the game and say "No".
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Old Dodge Guy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:49 pm

Thank you YLG80 for that link.
It helps add more information.
Still crazy after all these years.
The OD bug bit me in 1970......and I have never been the same

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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Wolfman » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:04 am

Personnel preference.
You will not convince me to ban tanks from private ownership because of this unfortunate accident. O.D.G.
The people involved did it. Not the tank. It is just a piece of iron.
Nuff said !!
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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Old Dodge Guy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Perhaps a point of clarification. I am not advocating the abolishing our right to own tanks or any other vehicle.

It is OTHER people, with power to prohibit our ownership, that are advocating the abolishment.

Think DMV and state legislators.
Still crazy after all these years.
The OD bug bit me in 1970......and I have never been the same

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Re: Bad for the hobby all around

Post by Wolfman » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:21 am

Got it. :wink:
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