Military Ordnance and Ammunition Collection Photos

With my normal workload greatly reduced during Covid I am working at trying to better organize my tens of thousands of digital images, in hopes that eventually I or someday perhaps my son will actually be able to find what is wanted, when it is wanted. Over the years I have been granted exceptional access to some really great ordnance collections, and the information is of no use if it only sits in my files. As I get time I’ll try and post some of the different pictures that may be of interest.

A few years back I was doing a quick run through the Rock Island area, and I knew that their museum has a firearms collection that is exceptional. I had not known prior that I was going to be there, so I had no opportunity to make advance arrangements. I was only in the area for part of a weekend and one work day, with a work full schedule, so there was not much time. As any avid researcher knows, the best stuff is not always the most popular stuff, and frequently the most interesting items are in storage. I visited the museum on the weekend and spoke with a museum employee, I was told that, as normal, only the head curator can approve visits into the storage area, and that the curator does not work the weekend.
The first thing Monday morning I made contact and was able to secure permission, the problem was time available. The curator was willing to give me full support, but due to my schedule I only had my lunchtime available. After dashing to the museum this gave me a little less than 30 minutes in the storage area. Sometimes you take what you can get.
First photos are some general pictures of the display area from the weekend visit.


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Wow, that looks really nice. Thanks for posting. Looking forward to see more.

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Thanks for sharing!

Jeff, great again!

The red is a 152mm Shillelagh dummy?

The 155mm was for the davy Crocket?

The black rocket is 2.36-inch?
And the green dummy (guess it is no subcal?) is 3.5-inch?

Alex, correct as far as I know. I had no time to look closely and they escorts knew nothing about their holdings. The 3.5 is kind of strange as the fins have the appearance of having a smaller diameter. Could be the camera angle, hard to tell.

There is M79 grenade launcher in one of the pics above. It has a weird inverted like stock. Was this design done to lessen the recoil? Never fired one so have no experience.

I believe so. Generally the more in-line with the barrel your point of contact (shoulder) is, the less the felt recoil.

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I think that’s it, other than the firearms photos from the main museum visit. Probably lots of great items hidden in the drawers, but 30 minutes was more than I had before. I’m glad for what I got.

Thanks for sharing! It’s a great idea…

The 2.36" bazooka rocket is odd. Looks like there is an added piece about 3" long extended past the normal circular shroud/fins. The added piece has a copper band, probably an experimental attempt to allow a spring loaded contact in the launcher to engage it to make electrical contact. The M1, M9 and M9A1 2.36" bazookas required a wire extending from the rear of the rocket to be attached to a clip on the launcher to complete the firing circuit. Electrical current was provided initially by a battery, and later by a magnto activated by the trigger movement.
The later 3.5" bazookas used the copper ring around the fin arrangement similar to that in the photo of the 2.36" rocket above.

Of particular interest to me is the 115mm launcher in picture 150 above. This weapon cartridge-fired 115mm rockets. They used a short howitzer type spiral wrapped steel case that was actually bolted to the base of the rocket. It was intended to be a chemical weapon, and few of them seem to have survived. In 1991 a number of them were accidentally uncovered during some construction work at Redstone Arsenal In Huntsville, AL. One unfired rocket still had the remnants of the cartridge case attached, unfortunately the rocket had been run over by the bulldozer and crushed, but the base and primer of the case could still be broken from the body and saved. I happened to be in a training course on Redstone at the time, one of the team responsible for testing and clearing the items of toxic materials and energetics pulled me out of class and helped me to recover two of them before they went to the scrapyard. Not long after I found a nice example to go with them, each of the three has a different base. I’ll dig and see if I can find a picture around here someplace.

Jeff, great images again!

I am not sure about this theory.
When centre of recoil is going right into the shoulder it should be 100% recoil. I think any gun allowing the muzzle to move up would cause less recoil as part of the energy is consumed by this movement in addition to the recoil.
Also I suspect that due to the very low velocity of the 40mm, a normal stock (not in line of barrel axis) would allow the muzzle to move upwards and could increase dispersion. To reduce this effect it would make sense to have the recoil axis in line with the barrel axis, this way no muzzle jumping would occur and dispersion would be lower.
Also recoil of a normal 40mm is not really worth to mention and let alone on the M79 which is comparatively heavy (to a H&K launcher for example).

Just my thoughts.
Maybe we have somebody here who has more insight?