Canister/Case, ammunition query.

#1
Hello everyone,

(Not a wah, I'm just not yet serving an so prone to asking bone questions.)

I've been caught in a discussion with a geek who has an unnatural knowledge of the Napoleonic Wars, and (as you can tell from the time at posting) it went on for quite a while. One insoluble part of the discussion involved the apparently esoteric question of when Canister/Case Shot fell out of use.

He maintained that it fell out of use during the second world war, when the prevalence of thick armour made it not worth carrying Case Shot and the emphasis was placed on more multi-use (I daresay HESH would be the great current example) ammunition types, but I was pretty sure that it's still used both by Ch2 and Scimitar.

The problem is that a quick but focused set of Google, YouTube and Wikipedia searches haven't turned up anything to support my assertions.

So the questions here are:

i. Do we still have something like Case Shot? That is to say, any sort of thing which when fired from a gun turns it into a bloody great shotgun.

ii. Is this ammunition type carried by armoured vehicles on operations with enough regularity to say that Case Shot or similar is still in use.

I hope you can help, and no...no wah.

-I

Edit: If Mods decide that answers cause OPSEC type problems, then just delete.
 
#3
Hello Invictus_88,

I think there was a canister round used by the 76mm gunned Scorpion until quite recently.

tangosix.
 
#6
T6 is right, the last time the brits used canister was with the 76mm Armd Car. The ammunition went out of service in around '94.

Case shot is not a term associated with British Munitions (in the modern era anyway). It may have been used by other nations to refer to canister.
 
#7
Is the Challenger unable to use canister shot due to its rifled cannon?

My understanding of countries that have fielded the 120mm canister round is the US, Australia, Canada and Denmark. IMO many whould've thought that the coax-machine gun would be sufficient at clearing infantry.

http://www.defence.gov.au/news/armynews/editions/1145/topstories/story20b.htm
....
Canister is a non-explosive, muzzle action (no fuse) short-range anti-personnel munition designed to engage dismounted troop concentrations, light vehicles, and strong points.

In its secondary role, canister creates entry points in buildings for infantry, reduces wire obstacles and clears heavy foliage and vegetation. Canister is, in effect, a shotgun shell for a tank, releasing 1100 tungsten balls out to 700m. It is used by tank crew to engage targets in open and complex terrain.....
 
#8
winnfield said:
Is the Challenger unable to use canister shot due to its rifled cannon?

My understanding of countries that have fielded the 120mm canister round is the US, Australia, Canada and Denmark. IMO many whould've thought that the coax-machine gun would be sufficient at clearing infantry.

http://www.defence.gov.au/news/armynews/editions/1145/topstories/story20b.htm
....
Canister is a non-explosive, muzzle action (no fuse) short-range anti-personnel munition designed to engage dismounted troop concentrations, light vehicles, and strong points.

In its secondary role, canister creates entry points in buildings for infantry, reduces wire obstacles and clears heavy foliage and vegetation. Canister is, in effect, a shotgun shell for a tank, releasing 1100 tungsten balls out to 700m. It is used by tank crew to engage targets in open and complex terrain.....
IIRC 120mm canister was trailed in the 80s(?). I seem to remenber some sort downside to the use of it, but that's probably memory failure.
That said, I doubt there was a scenario we would envisage using it in at that time, as we would no longer expect to see the 'Human Wave' type attacks that were dissapated by the use of 105mm canister in the Korean War.
30mm canister has never, to my knowledge, existed. There is an HE round so there would be no point?
Add to that the size of the round(no useful payload) and a feed malfunction(thin projectile case) would would buggar up the weapon big style." Automatic, Go on" or whatever the cry is this week.
 
#9
Canister rounds existed in post war UK service for the following:

76mm AFV
105mm AFV
120 BAT

None of these rounds survived in general service past 1980, although there may have been odd pockets of stock held for special purposes.

The main reason for the removal of these items was down to the amount of damage done to the barrel. I seem to remember a canister round was around 10-20 EFCs. REME hated them and, I suspect kyboshed any chance of a 120 Tk version as they werethe equipment manager at the time...

I recall stories of 120 Chiefie canister, but there were none approved for service. Every Inf QM I ever met in the 70s & 80s asked me for 120 BAT Canister....
 
#10
HE117 said:
Canister rounds existed in post war UK service for the following:

76mm AFV
105mm AFV
120 BAT

None of these rounds survived in general service past 1980, although there may have been odd pockets of stock held for special purposes.

The main reason for the removal of these items was down to the amount of damage done to the barrel. I seem to remember a canister round was around 10-20 EFCs. REME hated them and, I suspect kyboshed any chance of a 120 Tk version as they werethe equipment manager at the time...

I recall stories of 120 Chiefie canister, but there were none approved for service. Every Inf QM I ever met in the 70s & 80s asked me for 120 BAT Canister....
Correct - it was made but never approved for General Issue. It did indeed knacker the EFC on anything it touched but ........... :twisted:
 
#11
Saw 120mm cannister being fired by a Chieftain at a ´Fire Power´Demo for mostly foreign officers and vip´s at Lulworth Cove in 1973,we (JLR´s) were sent down to look at the No:11 targets, there wasn´t a single target without 2 or 3 holes or simply ripped to shreads!

Why don´t they just delay the opening of the round so it can´t damage the barrel,I don´t think the Taliban would poke their heads up so often if they knew you had a ´daisy-cutter´in the breech.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#12
Are using anything in either sandpit that has a bore big enough to make use of giant shotgun cartridges worthwhile?
 
#13
midnight said:
Saw 120mm cannister being fired by a Chieftain at a ´Fire Power´Demo for mostly foreign officers and vip´s at Lulworth Cove in 1973,we (JLR´s) were sent down to look at the No:11 targets, there wasn´t a single target without 2 or 3 holes or simply ripped to shreads!

Why don´t they just delay the opening of the round so it can´t damage the barrel,I don´t think the Taliban would poke their heads up so often if they knew you had a ´daisy-cutter´in the breech.
I very much doubt this :roll: I suspect if it did happen it was a 105 Cent...!

You can't control the opening of a true canister round, It is just a tin full of chopped metal lumps. You could I suppose, make a form of fuzed shrapnel but this would defeat the point of the exercise...

Ugly - UK have CH2 in Iraq - not in 'Stan - Canadians have Leopard 1 (a good source of nice cart cases)
 
#14
We definitely had canister rounds for the 76mm Scorpion in Belize but that was in 1981-82. We had the pleasure of 'reconfiguiring' Baldy Beacon ranges and the front end of one of the wagons when we fired off our entire 'war' stock of ammo due to ATO refusing to let us rebox it after a crash out during Belize independence. The canister 'removed' all the extra bins we had bolted to the lip on the front where the flotation screen should have been! I can vouch for it being a damn good way to trim yer hedge!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#15
Sounds like a round of last resort for waves of gooks in the wire! Didnt the Sheridan have one in 155mm for just that in RVN?
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#16
On my Scorpion Gunnery Course in 1976 we were told that the 76mm Canister round was a Godsend for Saladin crews in far-flung places because it chewed up mass hoardes of Chinese troops from horizon to horizon more effectively than a GPMG whose barrel would melt. (I have to say that looking at the dates of the Saladin's production run, it cannot have been Korea as my memory has always told me.)

The Canister round was banned under a Geneva Convention, but these conventions could not be applied retrospectively, so existing stocks could be used up (as could flamethrowers: I well remember passing a flamethrower range next to the grenade range at Hohne on one occasion about 1980. The Germans have always loved flamethrowers).

Every range period we had a demonstration of the effects of a single canister round. It usually involved a large hessian screen covered in balloons. I well remember one year a pigeon flew into the zone at just the wrong moment. Barely a feather left at the end.

IIRC they always chose a Scorpion whose barrel life was expired because the canister round trashed it anyway.
 
#17
An EOD trial was carried out in summer 1973 at Ballykinler Ranges to see if we could you the 76 mm Armd Car canister round against van bombs. The problem was that while you could use a shotgun against a bomb in a car, which is relatively small, in terms of internal volume and therefore you could be quite certain of hitting the target vans were a different matter. The large internal volume of the cargo space meant that a bomb could be anywhere in a lot of space! So we took a number of vans and fitted them with a variety of dummy bombs. After much expenditure of ammunition and a really chuffed Saladin crew, who must have fired more rounds through their main armament than they had for years, we had to call it a failure. While canister is good against dismounted infantry it did not provide the concentration of disruptive power that was needed to counteract the bomber. But it was a cracking 2-3 days.
 
#18
The US had a nasty little round known as beehive, available in 105 for howitzers, 152mm (6 inch) for Sheridan. Rather than fragments or shot, it had tightly packed flechettes and the effects were reportedly deeply unpleasant for the targets and the people who had to clean up the targets.

The modern 30mm airburst rounds provide cannister effects at a range of your choosing.
 
#19
Thaddeus said:
An EOD trial was carried out in summer 1973 at Ballykinler Ranges to see if we could you the 76 mm Armd Car canister round against van bombs. The problem was that while you could use a shotgun against a bomb in a car, which is relatively small, in terms of internal volume and therefore you could be quite certain of hitting the target vans were a different matter. The large internal volume of the cargo space meant that a bomb could be anywhere in a lot of space! So we took a number of vans and fitted them with a variety of dummy bombs. After much expenditure of ammunition and a really chuffed Saladin crew, who must have fired more rounds through their main armament than they had for years, we had to call it a failure. While canister is good against dismounted infantry it did not provide the concentration of disruptive power that was needed to counteract the bomber. But it was a cracking 2-3 days.
I bet it was! Get in!
 
#20
So; yes in modern times, but not since the 1980s in the British Army, and no clear wish for its reinstatement as a part of the RAC arsenal.

Still, some pretty impressive reports of their effectiveness!
 

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