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i was going thew the a old issue of cheaper-than-dirt today and i keep running across the flechettes? So i was wondering has ANY BODY! ever heard of any of these things bing tried/fired? sucssefully!
is it true they were for shot guns and m203'sGI8
 

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The only ones I ever ran into were for the M79's. Heard they had them for the shotguns but never saw them, this was in the late sixties.
 

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40mm M79 / M203 grenade launcher, 90mm recoilless rifle, and 105mm howitzer

Both had a flechette round, AKA beehive, AKA APERS (anti-personnel)

Essentially a 1" nail with a four-finned rear end, they were packed into a bundle(s) and loaded into the cartridge.

40mm was muzzle action only. The 90mm and 105mm could be set for time, meaning you could have the cannister pop open at 700 meters, just before slamming into a column of bad guys...



In Cadence......
90 90 in the breeze,
Arms & legs nailed up to trees...
Napalm sticks to kids... yeah.

Don't reckon they sing that one anymore on the boulevard back at Camp Swampy GI9
 

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155 mm had a beehive round too

Doctrine in the 1980's was to use them to "dust off" other self-propelled howitzers in the battery area if it was overun by enemy infantry. We heard stories of it being used this way in Vietnam. We never fired one in training. I did see a 105 mm demo during a live fire demo one time. Looked like it would work.

There is a company that displays at the Indy 1500 gun show that does all kinds of neat stuff with 12ga rounds. Buck shot mixes, flares, ball and chain rounds etc. They have a flechette round. I don't know if they work.
 

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My uncle worked for Martins and brought a sample over to show me, when i was a kid. "Essentially a 1" nail with a four-finned rear end,.." is what I saw. They were loading them in air dropped ordnance AFAIK smallest military load was for the M79.

Good luck

Jerry
 

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They were also used in Vietnam for direct fire with Howitzers. I had several barrels that were experimental. M14 was one of them. Back in those days, (even today) the barrels would not bring big money because nobody had the rifle.
 

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The ones you typically see for sale are for the applications discussed above. Collector Grade Publications book SPIW: The Deadliest Weapon that Never Was covers the experimental small arms applications, but I'm pretty sure they used a different flechette design.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
WOW! is all i can say right now.GI8
never knew thier was so much on these lil-stickers? thanks guys i just learned something today.
 

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Didnt they have a less than stellar performance though?
The USAF played with them during Vietnam. They were dropped by the 10000's from B-52's at altitude. The spread from 20000ft and up was tremendous. They would not penetrate the ground far enough to endanger bunkers or tunnels, helmet strikes created dents and not much else. Terminal velocity/momentum did not cause fatalities.
Very ineffective relative to 500+lb bombs.

I overheard that they were dropped (discontinued) by all services over concern that they were a violation of some Geneva clause.
 

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Research, the only good game in town anymore......

Beehive is an anti-personnel round fired from an artillery gun. The round is packed with metal flechettes which are ejected from the shell during flight by a mechanical time fuze. It is so called because of the 'buzzing' sound the darts make when flying through the air. It is intended for use in direct fire against enemy troops.
The first round actually termed "beehive" was first fired in combat in 1966 and was thereafter used extensively in the Vietnam War, though the later development of the Killer Junior air burst technique provided an alternative to beehive in some situations. The primary beehive round for this purpose was the M546 anti-personnel tracer (APERS-T) shell which projected 8000 flechettes and was direct fired from a near horizontally leveled 105 mm howitzer. Beehive rounds were also created for recoilless anti-tank weapons including 90 mm, 106 mm, Ontoses and M48 tanks.
Subsequently it was reported that the USSR had developed similar rounds for 122 mm and 152 mm artillery for use in indirect fire.
Beehive rounds became less popular in the United States following Vietnam, with low-angle airburst techniques such as Killer Junior supplanting the use of beehive.

I saw a live fire demo at Ft. Sill in 1969, were a 105mm howitzer was used and when fired it just ripped up the side of this hill, with several targets were placed to show what happens.

While in Vietnam with the larger self-propelled artillery piece (175mm & 8") we would take the first powder charge (bag) and replace it with a 10 lbs. bag of 10 penny nails. Or load a 2nd set of powder charges and fire at point blank range (we called that "Crispy Critter's"). We would carry them on board while moving from firebase to firebase. I still have 10-12 flechettes I brought back from Vietnam. DI5
 
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We used them to clear out the snipers up in the trees hidden in the jungle canopies. Shotguns were VERY effective for this. Used by our scouts. Believe they were Remington 870's.
 

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" beehive"

One of the most noted uses of the flechette rounds was during the battle for LZ Bird by C/6/16 Field Artillery.My dad had been with B/1/30 during the battle for Bird but ended up with C/6/16 and left RVN as part of that battery.
The hardchargers 1/30 webpage did have the story of the battle but can't seem to find it now.
 

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Research, the only good game in town anymore......

I found it here IRON WORKER ... DI5

Steady stand at LZ Bird: a savage assault by North Vietnamese Army regulars was stopped by the combined efforts of artillerymen and infantrymen at LZ Bird in Binh Dinh Province on Dec. 27, 1966


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0LIY/is_10_91/ai_n6183852/

Go Artillery.....DI5
 

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My friends dad said they kept some flechette shotgun rounds with them in Vietnam to fire into the jungle if they encountered snipers. He never did talk about using them against the enemy but he did say that flechettes would tear the hell out of a pheasant.
 
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