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Time to bring back the anti tank rifle?


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With the advent of depleted uranium, is it possible to bring back a rifle with some decent anti armour capability? Could, for example, a sabot DU round (a SLAP DU) be developed for say a 50 cal Barrett rifle? It would not be able to penetrate modern MBT armour, but should take out any APC, IFV, and light armour vehicles.  It could be used in close quarter urban warfare firing from the roof tops into the top of a AFV. Less signature then a TOW or ATGW. or RPG. And not crew served either. And more portable then most rocket or missile anti tank systems.

Took this off the internet, not sure how accurate it is. Is it possible for a SLAP DU round to double these values?

"The Traditional .50 BMG Ball round can penetrate roughly 13mm of RHA at 1000 meters. However, more advanced versions of the .50 BMG round, such as the Saboted Light Armor Piercing (SLAP) rounds can penetrate up to 27mm of RHA at ~1000 meters."

 

 

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It still could not deal with modern IFVs. Compared to that penetration numbers 14.5mm BS-41 tungsten carbide cored round penetrated up the 45mm @ 100m, and that is still not enough today.

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Waste of time. SLAP has severe accuracy issues and very marginal behind armour effects even if it does penetrate. You dont want to be lugging .50s vertically. That is why nobody uses them as AT weapons. 

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The Barrett is being used as an anti-material rifle, typically with a zirconium incendiary element. But this is more against light vintage armor (old BRDMs, say) and unarmored cars or installations. In the anti-tank role, I see no chance of resurgence.

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I don't think you're going to justify carrying Barret's for anti-armor work: AFV are getting progressively better protected and there are weight and lethality issues, as others have pointed out.

On the other hand, if you are already carrying .50/12.7/14.5mm sniper rifles around for long range sniping (people and maybe technicals), then why not supply AP ammunition for a more multi-purpose weapon?  So I don't see them becoming more popular in the old ATR role, but maybe they will see some resurgence in anti-AFV use by snipers, unless the heavier rounds are replaced by rounds like the .338 Lapua / .375 SWISS P for long range work.

Edited by CaptLuke
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I suppose the main reason SLAP's not issued to snipers is that its accuracy isn't very good for sniping. M2 or M8 AP is already overkill for a Technical, and SLAP doesn't help you much against anything that is heavier armored than a BTR.

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Kinetic energy weapons for infantry is fucking stupid, the shit gets heavy and long really fast and the effects on target suck.  338 Lap is where' it's at for shooting people at long range, which is inside 2km, really 1.5km, you really need to be using supporting arms more, but here's where we are in clownworld.

I'd be much more interested in a 45-60mm smoothbore HE thrower using modern fuzing and a shaped charge.  Given a 12-16 oz throw weight from a 20lb or so weapon using a recoiling chassis type design, I don't see why you could not have a 20-30cm penetration HEAT and a nice PFF HE shell for the antimaterial/AFV mission with a 600-800m range.  A computerized sight with built in LRF and you're golden.  S/F....Ken M  

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8 hours ago, bojan said:

It still could not deal with modern IFVs. Compared to that penetration numbers 14.5mm BS-41 tungsten carbide cored round penetrated up the 45mm @ 100m, and that is still not enough today.

For IFVs like BMP, I think side armour is 19mm on the turret and hull. With a depleted uranium round instead of a tungsten carbide round, the penetration values should be better then 45mm at 100m. And even 45mm penetration would defeat a Bradley?

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DU does not increase penetration that much.

45mm is not enough for newer Bradleys, which are protected vs 14.5mm from the sides and have at lase 38mm of aluminium + 1" of steel, and it is spaced. Uparmor vs those small projectiles is generally easy as you can use multiple thin layers that will yaw and break small and fragile penetrator.

Edited by bojan
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60mm, different warheads available, ~1.3kg firing grip and sight that you attach to the tube with rocket. 3.5kg rocket with tube, out of which ~1.2kg is warhead.

https://modernfirearms.net/en/grenade-launchers/russia-grenade-launchers/bur-eng/

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Rockets have too much firing signature, and ideally I'm looking for something you can carry 12rds or more, so there's a little more sustainment.  An M107 plus ammo is 40lbs, and a cast iron bitch to carry, I'm looking for smaller and lighter than that.  S/F....Ken M

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A 2 lbs folding quad will lift a 16 oz warhead and put it exactly where you want it with a materials cost of less than $350 USD (if you don't care about thermals) minus warhead, 8km range, 30 mph speed and 12-20 minute loiter / search to kill. Anything over 400 feet transit and people on the ground aren't going to hear or see it unless it's in terminal dive on their heads, or through their window, and can of course target the top of AFVs.  Half a dozen of these would end up being 20 lbs. You can easily carry 12 with a smaller setup if the warhead is smaller (on par with 40x53 / 8.7oz projectile).  I don't imagine it would be terribly difficult to integrate a basic laser seeker as a backup in a heavy EW environment, though you'd be limited to LOS
 

 

Edited by Burncycle360
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Conceptually good, but 40mm old tech is pretty shit.  hi-lo launch is OK, but the fuze is shit, the fragmentation is shit, it's just all around crap.

The drone explosive thing has merit, but not the same thing.  Both would be good.  S/F....Ken M

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On 7/5/2021 at 1:13 PM, bojan said:

It still could not deal with modern IFVs. Compared to that penetration numbers 14.5mm BS-41 tungsten carbide cored round penetrated up the 45mm @ 100m, and that is still not enough today.

Yeah, .50cal was pretty anemic even by the standards of WW2 anti-tank rifles...

You'd need something like 20mm, and then the weapon gets pretty heavy and unmanageable, and will hardly have small firing signature anymore.

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7 hours ago, EchoFiveMike said:

Conceptually good, but 40mm old tech is pretty shit.  hi-lo launch is OK, but the fuze is shit, the fragmentation is shit, it's just all around crap.

The drone explosive thing has merit, but not the same thing.  Both would be good.  S/F....Ken M

The Chinese FRAG rounds seem to be quite useful, via using a large number of tungsten balls for fragmentation effect.

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To go long you need a aeroballistic projo. So you don't want a lot of diameter. You don't want repeating if you are schlepping it. If you need to send many, that is a crew served. You do want recoil mitigation in the action. How do you do this in a single shot? API. Pretty much the solutions suggest themselves.

How do you sight it? Not with a weapon mounted sight. You put the sight on your head/helmet and take all the shock loads off. The weapon has extreme fidelity near-field to give a very consistent and repeatable indexing with the sight. 

 

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9 hours ago, KV7 said:

The Chinese FRAG rounds seem to be quite useful, via using a large number of tungsten balls for fragmentation effect.

That would be the PFF I mentioned earlier, Pre Formed Fragments, although steel is far cheaper and sufficient relative to tungsten for this use.  

3 hours ago, Simon Tan said:

To go long you need a aeroballistic projo. So you don't want a lot of diameter. You don't want repeating if you are schlepping it. If you need to send many, that is a crew served. You do want recoil mitigation in the action. How do you do this in a single shot? API. Pretty much the solutions suggest themselves.

How do you sight it? Not with a weapon mounted sight. You put the sight on your head/helmet and take all the shock loads off. The weapon has extreme fidelity near-field to give a very consistent and repeatable indexing with the sight. 

 

But you want diameter for shaped charge penetration.  The 55mm S-5 rocket has a shaped charge which penetrates 25cm, which seems sufficient to hold most AFV save MBT's at risk.  6xCD penetration seems feasible, with a 48-50mm cone in an aluminum casing.  Agree on single shot, sorta agree on crew served, something like a 2 man AR or rocket team, not a full 3-4 man GPMG team  

Sighting arrangement could be chassis mounted to remove much of the shock loads, remoted sighting to a HUD is doable with your basic commercial 640x480 thermal, although you could easily drop down a level and still have plenty of resolution.  

59 minutes ago, KV7 said:

LG5 utilises API which allows for a muzzle velocity of 320 m/s and tolerable recoil.

The envelope I envision is 100-120m/s for 600-900m range, with a fin stab smooth bore projectile circa 10-12oz.  Range and ToF are sufficient, you want mass on target.  For long range unicorn stuff you field something like upscale Pike, a rocket boosted guided weapon.  S/F....Ken M

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