For Some of you Youngsters

#1
In case you are unfamiliar with this weapons system used by the USMC, I present a picture I just found in my sea bag of the famous/infamous ONTOS:

 
#7
Here's the summary:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/M50_Ontos

Cold war answer (?) to the 1000s of Soviet tanks--pity the poor loader who had to exit the vehicle (only good against .50 cal. anyway) to reload. Based on the idea of "shoot and SCOOT!"
 
G

goatrutar

Guest
#9
All 6 going off at once must've been fun...
Did they have the 653 GM motors in them as well? Not the quietest of motors.
 
#10
All 6 going off at once must've been fun...
Did they have the 653 GM motors in them as well? Not the quietest of motors.
The back blast of All 6 at once was a thing to behold. The earlier variant had a GMC 6 cyl. And later had m-150 Chrysler V-8. The problem in Vietnam was vulnerability to IEDs largely due to thin floor and petrol instead of diesel like the Army's ill-fated M-113 APC. It did not take long for crews to jury rig extensions to the drive controls and all would ride on top with sandbags for "seat cushions!"
 
#11
What was the intended use of the weapon, iirc the VC didn't have much armour, though of course the NVA did, but did that put in much of an appearance before the US pulled out?
Or was there an anti personnel round available?
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#14
That's awesome! It's like some kid has built his ideal remote control toy, and made it bigger.

I bet it would be fun to play in. I also think that the novelty would wear off bloody quickly. It doesn't look very comfortable.
 
G

goatrutar

Guest
#15
The back blast of All 6 at once was a thing to behold. The earlier variant had a GMC 6 cyl. And later had m-150 Chrysler V-8. The problem in Vietnam was vulnerability to IEDs largely due to thin floor and petrol instead of diesel like the Army's ill-fated M-113 APC. It did not take long for crews to jury rig extensions to the drive controls and all would ride on top with sandbags for "seat cushions!"
Yeah I remember the buckets (M113) had a petrol motor. I think the Oz models were diesel from the word go. They got up rated to 275hp later down the track. They went like a raped ape.
 
G

goatrutar

Guest
#16
That's awesome! It's like some kid has built his ideal remote control toy, and made it bigger.

I bet it would be fun to play in. I also think that the novelty would wear off bloody quickly. It doesn't look very comfortable.
You'd be deaf as a post after the first couple of salvos.
 
#17
What was the intended use of the weapon, iirc the VC didn't have much armour, though of course the NVA did, but did that put in much of an appearance before the US pulled out?
Or was there an anti personnel round available?
The ONTOS was used in Vietnam mainly as an anti-personnel weapon, preferably against bunkers etc. it also had a defensive role in perimeter security firing the M581 flechette round.

The ONTOS was not widely used later in the war when the NVA deployed the PT 76 amphib light tank. One should also remember the USMC was primarily deployed in the northernmost provinces just south of the DMZ where the primary enemy after the first 3 years was regular troops of the NVA, supported by the irregular VC.
 
#18
That's awesome! It's like some kid has built his ideal remote control toy, and made it bigger.

I bet it would be fun to play in. I also think that the novelty would wear off bloody quickly. It doesn't look very comfortable.
Crew comfort was last on the design list.
 
#19
The ONTOS was used in Vietnam mainly as an anti-personnel weapon, preferably against bunkers etc. it also had a defensive role in perimeter security firing the M581 flechette round.

The ONTOS was not widely used later in the war when the NVA deployed the PT 76 amphib light tank. One should also remember the USMC was primarily deployed in the northernmost provinces just south of the DMZ where the primary enemy after the first 3 years was regular troops of the NVA, supported by the irregular VC.
Good God....six barrels of 106mm flechette...that's awesome.
 
#20
Good God....six barrels of 106mm flechette...that's awesome.
The M40 recoilless rifle is also the source of the wives" tale that under the law of war the .50 cal cannot be used against enemy personnel but only materiel targets. (I would hazard a guess this lore still persists even today in spite of the field and technical manuals for the M2 (affectionately called the "Ma Deuce") HMG specifically state the .50 is among other things, an anti-personnel weapon.

The reason is the M8C spotting rifle just as in the UK WOMBAT) was .50 cal (but ironically a special spotting round and not BMG) and doctrine for the M40 106 RR was, as a primarily anti-armor crew-served weapon, was to avoid engaging enemy infantry so as not to unnecessarily disclose the weapon's location. Of course once it fires, not to mention 6 at a time, the position is impossible to miss by the enemy due to the back last.

As an aside, the predecessor version of the M40, the M27 is used by civilian road crews in Alaska to trigger "controlled" avalanches that threaten highway traffic.
 

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