37 mm "bunker buster" mountain gun

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by stoatman, May 21, 2008.

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  1. Just what the boys are looking for

  2. Just another waste of time effort and money

  1. A friend of mine is about to build a modernised prototype 37 mm mountain gun based on a pre-First World War Skoda design, intended to fulfil a bunker busting/very light Artillery role, essentially bridging the gap between the grenade machine gun/UGL and the current (miss) use Of Javelin. He would like some feedback particularly from guys that have been to the Afghan as to whether such a thing would be desirable.

    It would be man packable or vehicle mount, much in the way of the 50 Browning machine gun, with approximately the following specs:

    Barrel length: 27 inches
    Breech: single shot falling block
    Calibre: 37 mm
    Projectile Weight: 550 g
    Muzzle velocity: about 1500 fps
    Rate of fire: 15 rpm practical maximum
    Maximum effective range: about 3000 m
    Sighting: telescopic sight
    Weight: including Mount, somewhat less than an M2 Browning
    Crew: ideally 2, but can certainly be operated by one man.

    The overall idea is to be able to deliver a light but effective shell with great accuracy out to 2-3000 m to destroy bunkers, emplacements in buildings, light vehicles, and so on.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Considering the weight of shot, size of barrrel etc, what you are talking about is a upscale to a Raden cannon.

    Don't think that this is an act of war and if you honestly think it is man packable....!
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    There are a few 37 and 25mm guns kicking round in france awaiting restoration, might be cheaper?
  4. 3ks from a 27" barrel...? Not that sure about your specs there Stoaty.. 8O

    You really need to start this process with the projectile. This will define terminal effects and the gun characteristics.

    Is your mate proposing to use an existing round or dreaming up a new one? Designing a new gun for an existing round is feasable. Designing and manufacturing new ammo is not for the faint hearted nor those working on a limited budget.

    If it were me, I would look at the 40mm CMT round and look to produce a lightweight/demounted version of the gun as a "sanger cannon"..
  5. Cheap seats: this will be smaller and lighter than the M2!

    he117: he is planning on essentially using a very lightly modified version of the original Skoda 37 mm cartridge, which was effective to about 2000 m pre-First World War with a small black powder charge from a 16 inch barrel. Trajectory was obviously quite loopy. I will suggest the 40 mm CMT to him as an option. "Sanger cannon" was certainly what he had in mind.

    Mr Deputy: no idea for the cost of the rounds, but significantly less than a javelin ;)
  6. I believe there were several single-shot falling block type anti-material weapons developed in the former Yugoslavia during the 90s, firing 20mm cannon shells, to knock out the optics on Serb M-84 tanks, called the RT-20 I believe, maybe one of them badboys scaled up to 37mm/40mm?
  7. he117: just done the maths, elevation required to do 3000 m is under 7.5°. Seems reasonable. Ballistic coefficient of 1, by the way
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Why not wheel out a wombat, it will certainly be more fun!
  9. Or the SA Denel NTW-20 ?
  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Pics or a linky please! I'm sure every old git remembers BATs. :oops:
  11. Stoaty, I am not a gunner, but have always had an interest in guns and it seems to me that you are being a bit optimistic to get 3km range from a 27" barrel. If it is to take that size of round, then the barrel will have to be quite heavy, meaning that the gun will have to be stripped down to transport. Also, consider recoil effects with a large round - a gun is no good if it leaps out of the ground on firing and injures the crew!

    There is a lot of information about on 'screw guns' which were extensively used by many armies for mountain warfare (148 Commando Bty has 2 on display outside their HQ, but I don't know what type). The standard howitzer for the Royal Artillery before the Light Gun was the Italian 105mm Pack Howitzer and there was a story doing the rounds when I was with 29 of them manpacking one upcountry in Borneo to engage Indonesian positions, but I never saw the story verified anywhere.
  12. As a weapon designer, I make a good concrete technician, but is all this weight really going to be worth carrying to put less than half a Kgs HE on target? Couldn't you do better with mortars or a recoiless rifle or some such? I just recall that single 37mm HE rounds fired by boxhead or spam tanks (PZ38t/M3 Stewart) in the early parts of WW2 weren't seen as very effective, a 75mm round was seen as the minimum effective size for long range HE...
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    It would have to be cheap light and push a round through walls that then would have more effect than 51mm (I nearly typed 2") or 40mm UGL/GMG on the targets behind the cover, otherwise its very expensive. Perhaps the 40mm telescoping ammo for an updated warrior type vehicle? Is that then getting too heavy?
    Perhaps its just me but one round at a time doesnt seem enough, even the french had 25mm auto cannon before the end of WW1. Man portable, crew of 3 and ran out of ammo faster than a fast thing on a fast day!