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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a guy up the road a couple of miles from me, who has a rather large collection of militaria. His dad was a Marine, and has passed, but he did the collecting and restoring. Many of these pieces are used in parades, or for specialized photo shoots, and even get used as movie props.

He had this one out in the driveway today, cleaning it up for an upcoming photo shoot . It's a Vietnam-era M40A2 Recoilless Rifle, mounted on a M38 Jeep. It is still functional, and he fired it for me while I was there. It doesn't have the huge fireball, of course, just fires a primer round through it, but it sounded like a super-loud 12 gauge shotgun. The rifle has its M8 12.7x77 spotting rifle on top, which is also still functional.
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The gun is a breech-loader, and has a vented breech for the propellant gases to exit. It isn't a rocket, but uses a ventilated cartridge. You can see a shell partially in the picture above under the tripod. The rear legs of the tripod fit in the back corners of the jeep body and clamp in place. The front leg of the tripod fits between the seats and has a wheel on it. Supposedly, four men can lift the tripod in place, and then place the 11-foot barrel in place. The gun can also be operated out of the vehicle, just sitting on the tripod. Forgotten Weapons has a great video, link below.

The owner of this rig has a small tracked weapons carrier, another Jeep with a M2 on a pylon mount, and a Power Wagon ambulance, and a wall full of small arms that have been demilitarized and are used for props. He's also got another M2 with a scope hanging on the wall, fully functional in single shot
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(2) 106mm M40 Recoilless Rifle, History and Firing - YouTube

(2) A Gun For Aiming: M8C .50 Caliber Spotting Rifle - YouTube
 

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Recoiless can be fun. I had a chance , in training , to fire a few spotter rounds. Never did shoot the real load.
 

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I was trained on the M40A1 in Small Arms Repair school back in '73, and worked on a few of them during my first assignment on the DMZ in Korea. That brings back a lot of memories!
 

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Be careful with “practice rounds”. While at Camp Shelby in the in the early 80’s I think another company was practicing in the company area with practice rounds. The practice rounds fire like real rounds with a non explosive projectile. I think it either killed 2 or 3 by the back blast and the projectile landed in the parking lot in Hattiesburg of Forrest General Hospital after skidding across same and hit a car door. Bad practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice Huffy!
Beat me to it. I was about to ask what the story was on that. Like if it was an Air Force piece
Squad car replacement after budgetary cutbacks. There is a motorcycle in there, too, looks like something Chuck Norris would use in A Force of One

:p
 

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What was the small recoilless that was fired from the shoulder, I think it was 57mm. A good friend of mine said he fired a few rounds in one while he was in the Army.

eQ
 

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Was the name “recoilless” like calling a person 600lbs tiny?
It refers to the fact that the weapon does not recoil when the weapon is fired. Enough such that it can be mounted on small mounts and vehicles. The propelling force on the projectile is countered by the rearward blast that is forced out through venturis in the rear of the barrel/chamber.

My Dad first mentioned them to me for some reason years ago.
 

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Check this out...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recoilless_rifle
They can kill you if your standing behind it when it goes off, They had a RR that fired a atomic round called "The Davy Crocket"! Supposedly the blast zone was bigger then it could shoot so it was fired by remote control or a timer IIRC.

eQ
 
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