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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    4.2 inch mortar shell

    At least that's what I'm pretty sure it is. I've looked at it before at a local antique shop but looked at it closer today. No fuse. It's an HE in pretty nice condition. Has a plastic insert in the fuse hole. Assumed it was a shell but thought the size was weird. Pretty sure it was 60's dated. Asking $100, 10% off at the moment so $90. Probably have a fuse that will fit it but not the correct type. M52 type

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    Pics!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I'd take it in a heartbeat if it was around because you just don't see 4.2s. They were a REAL mortar. Yes, pics if you can. If not them maybe an internet search and show us a representative.

    Is it THIS one? https://www.gunauction.com/buy/9526922
    Regards, Jim

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    Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I'd take it in a heartbeat if it was around because you just don't see 4.2s. They were a REAL mortar...
    AMEN! Their only problem was the minimum range. Since they were spin stabilized you needed enough charge to be sure they would stabilize. Four M106 mortar tracks and an M577 for the FDC made up the battalion heavy mortar section in a tank battalion until the 120mm mortar took its place. I loved them in Viet Nam. As long as we could see the gun target line we could have them shoot. Not like artillery where you had often to wait for air clearance from the air force.

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    Senior Member bombdoc's Avatar
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    The 4.2 mortar is interesting.. It was originally procured for laying down chemical, either smoke or gas. Both UKicon and US had them, although the UK one was a more conventional smoothbore with a tail fin. The US went for a rifled mortar with some interesting features. A problem with mortars is the issue of windage.. this is the difference between the diameter of the projectile and the diameter of the bore. A mortar must have sufficient windage to allow the air to pass the bomb to allow it to drop down the barrel with enough speed to hit the firing pin in the base. Too much windage however leads to side slap and loss of accuracy and range. This is hard enough with a smoothbore mortar, with a rifled mortar, which has to catch the rifling on the way up it is a real nightmare!

    Modern smoothbore mortar bombs have a macralon obturating ring lying in a tapered groove in the bomb shoulder which is loose when loaded, but which expands when the bomb fires. The rifled mortar has a cup shapes gas check on the base which both engages the rifling and expands to seal the bore on the way up. As pressures and forces in a mortar is much less than in a howitzer, the gas check is pre-engraved with the rifling grooves.

    The second difference between smoothbore and rifles mortars is the means of giving the bomb stability. In a smoothbore bomb, the stability comes from the fins which hang out the back of the bomb. The fins create more drag than the bomb body and keeps the bomb aligned in flight. A tail is not needed on a rifled mortar shell as the stability comes from gyroscopic spin. The problem is however that the rifled mortar needs somewhere to put the cartridge. In the smoothbore bomb this sits in and around the tail, but the rifled bomb does not have a tail, so an additional primer carrier is added to the end of the bomb to carry the primer and the primary cartridge. Additonal charges are then tied around this carrier but get burned up on firing. Once the primer carrier has done its job, it is redundant and is allowed to detach so that no further drag is caused with the shell.

    The final trick that the 4.2 mortar has is the ability to switch between lanyard and impact firing. The striker in the base of the mortar can be set either out, when a bomb will fire when it reaches the base of the tube, or in when the striker is fired by lanyard after the bomb is loaded..

    My final observation is that the yellow squares on the bomb shown are weight zone marking to allow the crew to group together bombs of similar weight and increase accuracy (..or not!)

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    You talked me into it. Turns out it was 15% off so I was at $90 out the door with taxes.

    It has no paint markings on it, just stamped. I did take some photos after I cleaned it up a little. It does have some spotty rust that was harder to see inside but still in decent shape. As expected I do have fuses that will fit, at least three, four it I clean up the threads on the one. It's dated 69.

    Now I'm thinking about that 105mm shell again.

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    Lettering too large to get in one photo, the two photos show the same line.











    Fuse actually looks like one I've seen on some other photos so might be correct. I don't remember where I picked it up but I didn't pay much for it. The other two that fit it are solid bunker busting tips, not actual fuses. They look good but doubt they were used on these. The fourth fuse was actually fired so it has some damage on the thread areas. It's all aluminum similar to the one in the photo.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Fuze looks correct, it'll be marked too. The bomb does have the correct paint scheme...though spotty. Nice find, wish I had seen it.

    Now, the 105 howitzer round... I can ask them about a deal on the case, the shop owes me.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    My case is an M14icon case from 1944. So while old, it should still work.

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    I'm thinking if the 105mm shell is still there this weekend I may get it. I saw them priced at $300 on an online site. Seems ridiculous but if accurate the offered price is a good deal at $200. If I do get it, I might be interested in a more appropriate date casing as mine is WWII. Have to get it first. The guy may not want to load and unload it again, he said it came from his own collection. Flea market so not a stand.

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