M865 TPCSDS-T 120mm Cartridge


The “lengths” are represented in ordinate dimensions starting at the base as datum and going left to right. (Saves clicks!) I’m not sure what Jason means for dimension #3 vs. #8 but it all adds up to #9 the way it’s shown! Here is the same thing with independent dimensions for length…

Don’t tell Jason, but I’m just helping out so that he’ll consider letting me do some kick-butt graphics (nice high end stuff) for his next Journal article on the subject.


Dave, you are right, #3 and #8 are the same. Totally redundant, I must have been mental :-) I really need to work on Part 2, 120MM US Tank ammo for the Journal.


Not sure how you plan on attaching your aft cap to your wood case reproduction but In case this helps I took a picture for you on how a real (& fiberglass) CCC case is attached. Note the retention spring clip that sandwiches the case to the aft cap. Again, hope this helps.


Guys…I don’t want to throw a wrench in this project….but a couple years ago, IAA member Robert Hawkinson has several inert 120 combustible cases (w/ and w/o bases) at the SLICS show….I bought one…very reasonable and factory inert material…cream colored….so I think these cases (inert display cases) can be “had”

I admire the project, the resourcefulness and team work…but have been watching this develop over the weeks…and figured to mention it before the lathe starts turning

just my 2 cents


I’d totally go with the real deal if possible for sure. The trick is finding the exact case for the M865 as each mod M865 not to mention each 120mm CCC round uses a different shape. I would think, just guessing, that if Robert Hawkinson, does have some, there would be a good chance it is correct as a many more TP M865 rounds are made then the other types of 120mm rounds. Mr. Hawkinson definitely has some of the best of the best, big time! I remember using a lath in high school wood shop classes and it was not easy. I’d prefer the real thing if possible or the fiberglass replica.


You guys are out of this world!

I have my dimensions. I’m off to the shop - tomorrow.

Excellent cutaway shoing how the CCC is attached to the base. I had no idea after all these years of looking at these base stubs… Well, you learn something new every day!


Here is the result. I hope my first attempt at posting photos works.

Material is clear white pine with a Minwax Puritan Pine stain and semi-gloss “rattle can” varnish.

I used a “bird’s mouth” router bit with my router table to create twelve staves for an open ended cylinder. I screwed 3 / 4” plywood to the base and attached a faceplate to the headstock. I cut a disk the same outside diameter as the inside of the cylinder and then fastened another larger disk to that one. A centered indent allowed me to use my live center on the tailstock. I turned it round, shaped the shoulder, and used a stainless steel wire to burn the seam. The lower diameter slip fits into the cartridge base. The projo just rests on the mouth. Total time – maybe 5 hours. I don’t really keep track of my time in the shop.

You may notice that the bottom “band” on the projo is “odd looking”. My sabot is in two pieces with the original “band” only holding two of the three pieces together. I discovered a drive belt for the roller on a Kenmore vacuum will hold all of the pieces together without looking that bad. Those extra “black lines” on the top of the sabot? A couple of large o-rings to hold the top together.

My next question concerns the finish. I have some naval training rounds of oak, so I kind of like the look of wood – although there is not a wood training round for the 120 mm (to my knowledge). On the other hand, I am a woodworker and is will be nice to say “Yeah, I made that part.” On the other other hand (It is easier to work on the lathe, if you have three hands.) I think the silver/aluminum look of the real cases looks good, too.

What does everybody here think? Leave it wood – or paint it silver.



Quality work! It is indeed a one-of a kind piece. I’d paint 3/4 of the circumfrence silver and leave the rest plain wood. You can display the silver side for authenticity’s sake, but turn it around to show your work…


Wow! Wood, definitely. I want one.

wow…I stand humbled by your skills and the outcome…leave it wood…maybe the only one in the world !



Great job! Very impressive skills there.

Would be a shame to try and make that beauty look like something it’s not. It has a very unique “retro-look” to it that immediately made me think of the wood body training dummies of earlier years. Glad to see your project as a success. Wait 'till Jason sees that!


WOW! WOW! WOW! And one more freak’in WOW! You blew me away! Your skills are off the charts. That is a work of art. You are the Picaso of wood working. If I were you, I would leave it as is. It would almost be sacrilegious to paint that. If you ever locate a real CCC case down the road, I will help you get another M865 Aft cap and unfired projectile with sabot. Until then, I would leave yours the way it is, a real stunner that shows extreme craftsmanship. Definitely a one of a kind, super sweet, ridiculously cool M865 TPCSDS-T!

Sincerely Amazed!

PS: Now, can you make a oval cutaway window in it to show of the ported cone stabilizer??? :-) Haha! Just kidding, I would never risk damaging that work of art.


The “Ayes” have it.

I will leave the case in natural wood finish and not paint it.

I really appreciate all of the nice comments and help with this project!

Next question.

I have an M-865E2 projectile with a cartridge I made on my wood lathe. What I need is the measurements for an M-1 Abrams tank. I want to build one in my woodworking shop (full size) for this cartridge - unless somebody can tell me where I can obtain a “real” tank. :>)

Just kidding! Thanks, again guys.

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You should buy one of those “Fatboy” M1A1 Abrams vinyl wall stickers that is life size to put behind that round :) Haha! Again, amazing job!


I say do the M1 in wood as well. No steppin’ for a stepper.

any body got any of this powder for this 120mm or any 30mm and larger powder ???

shadygrady–At SLICS there was someone (I can’t remember who) that was selling samples of all sizes of artillery powder. He even had an Inert Powder Bag for the 16 inch gun. Perhaps someone else remembers who it was.I remember he was an EOD person and that is how he gets the powder.

Sorry to resurrect and old forum, but I was wondering if anyone still has the dimensions for the 120mm round. I can’t load the pictures. If anyone is still on this forum and can help it would be great. I am trying to spin a round for my base plate as well.


Edit: All images fixed.