120 mm dummy tpcsds cartridge

I have acquired three dummy 120 MM cartridges used in the M1A1 Abrams tank. Each is marked DUMMY CRTG 120MM TPCSDS - T M865 DVC-T-17 107 on one side of the sabot. The other side of the sabot is marked TSC FT. KNOX. TPCSDS is Target Practice Cone Stabilized Discharging Sabot. The cartridges are solid one piece synthetic materiel construction except for the base which is from a fired cartridge. I believe they are used for practice loading and unloading on the M1A1 Abrams tank and are the same weight as the live cartridge 41.9 pounds. I’ve never seen another one. Are these rare on the civilian market.



I know of 2 others in collections, so maybe not rare but not overly common.


Lucky you! What I would give for one ;-)


Here is a picture of the base.
IMG_0068 copy

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These fort knox training round dummies are common, more common in 105mm than in 120mm because 105mm are not in use anymore. I have 3 120mm myself, which I’m going to sell as well.


105 mm is still in use in the Stryker M1128 “Mobile Gun System”. It is an autoloading system however.


From what I was told, the 105mm M1128 is being phased out, for newer advance versions, like the 30mm and ATGM versions.

Here is an example of the 105mm round:
105mm Tank Round- APFSDS-T
DVC# T-17-105

Full size and weight replica of the M456 High Explosive Anti Tank- Tracer (HEAT-T) cartridge used in M60 and M1 Abrams tanks with 105mm guns. This device can be used for tank crew gunnery loader training or in training simulators.

TSC = U.S. Army Training Support Center, which are located at many bases. The handle a wide variety of training material, ranging from dummy items like these, to resin/rubber copies of small arms, dummy improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance (imitating stuff from many different countries), and complex items like helicopter flight simulators and vehicle emergency egress trainers (similar to aviation “Dilber dunkers”) to simple stuff like costumes for role players for civilian or hostile persons in training exercises.

Complete catalogs of their various materials are hard to find, mainly accessible only to military personnel, so I cannot help with a list of all items. Most of the items are identified by a training device number like the DVC#T-7-105 and DVC#T-17-107 above.

Some are from commercial sources, while others such as the 105mm and 120mm dummy rounds above are locally made and will have a device number and place it was made.

These dummy items are often called “rubber ducks.” From the child’s Sesame Street song “Rubber Duckie, you’re my friend” in the 1960s after recruits were given the training support center made dummy M16 rifles in boot camp for drill use.

They also made rubber duck M16, M14 and M14 rifles and M9 pistols, plus AK-47, Dragunov, RPD rifles and RPG grenade launchers.

These are the bottom with markings, side, and top photos of one of the 120 mm aft caps in my collection. Upon firing, the cartridge casing is consumed leaving only the aft cap to be ejected.IMG_1014

In my original post I neglected to state the -T in TPCSDS-T is Tracer. Here is a photo of my 120MM target practice penetrator with stabilizing cone and three piece sabot which I used zip ties to hold the sabot together. Present are the two original plastic strips that would have held the sabot together but have a single cut, I believe, had been done for disassembly for training education. This penetrator can be identified as being for target practice due to the holes, or flutes, in the cone. These holes allow gases to escape during firing resulting in a lesser velocity which, without the holes, would be a muzzle velocity of a mile a second. The rubber seal seen at the base of the sabot prevents gas bypass as the penetrator travels the length of the M1A1 Abrams tank smooth bore barrel. This bottom of the cone stabilizer is threaded for the tracer assembly. The target practice penetrator is made of steel as opposed to depleted uranium used in the standard 120 mm cartridge.IMG_0136

You got something wrong. No gas will escape at all as nothing can bypass the sabots as you also described the obturator preventing this. Let alone that the tail cone is not full caliber anyways and is surrounded by propellant.
The cone + holes is to increase drag and reduce the effecive danger zone + making ricochets less dangerous (as a side effect).


I apologize for my comment regarding the holes in the stabilizing cone and agree with your comments.

No need to apologize.
We are all here to learn.

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I agree. I’ve owned the penetrator since 1996 and I don’t know how I came to the conclusion I posted about the holes. My penetrator is perfect, no demilling. I would like to start a cartridge trivia question thread but I can only think of maybe 3 or 4 cartridge trivia questions. Do you think others will contribute to keep the thread alive?

It all depends on the questions you have and the images you will provide for discussion.

But you also may want to look up all info already available here in the forum and check on the manufacturers websites and also get all the available TMs (digital ones usually around for free in the web).
Once you are into this your questions will be endless.

And last but not least we have Jason (username APFSDS) who is much into all these pointy things.
I am sure he can answer many of your potential questions.

Really nice addition to your collection! Like discussed above, these are not super rare, but hardly common. I have seen over 10 of these, M865 Ft. Knox durable dummies in my days come up for sale. Many more 105 examples exist. Its a beautiful specimen. NICE SCORE!


DONE :-)

LOL Hope that you are great in these nutty times, John! All well here. Bunkered down with all the critters :-)

Hi everyone!

Clermont, that’s a nice looking round. My small collection has only one 120mm Dummy, an M830A1. I’ve seen very few M830 Dummies for sale, and cannot recall seeing any M865 Dummies, or other dummy rounds in that caliber. I’m curious, is there an M1028 Dummy Canister?

Of course, I want one of each, but only because I have one of the set. :D

Mine looks a little bent, which could be why it ended up in a military surplus store. The Air/Ground switch does move between positions. I’ll try to post photos…