Soviet fireball gun ammo


#1

Target balls ? Fishing net floats ? Incendiary projectiles ? Hard to imagine that the last is true but it is.

Unique infantry weapons of WW2 are rare. Most countries ended up with similar projectile throwing weapons BUT this one is unique !

I had seen a Soviet news reel from Stalingrad several times over the years which showed what appeared to be some sort of Bazooka weapon being fired.
I had never been able to ID it.

This week with excellent guidance from genkideskan I found it.

This Soviet 120mm incendiary fireball thrower was used in several variations.

Examining the film frame by frame it appears that the ball is ignited in being fired. Does anyone know how to describe this ammunition , types and functions ?


#2

The weapon is designated “AZh-2” “AMPOULE LAUNCHER” from 1942. The spherical projectile exists also with a mechanical fuze. The glass and simple sheet metal type is not ignited when fired but breaks open on impact (WP-fuel filler). There are also various finned HEAT projectiles documented for this launcher. It is no bazooka type since it is not recoilless at all. The caliber is 125mm and not 120mm. The effective range was 200-300m. The ammo would go as “grenade” I assume.

It was also not unique since the brits had something almost identical:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northover_Projector

Here an image from the trial report.


#3

Thank you. I am interested in any information about these. I have seen at least 4 types. In the news reel the gunner takes up the weapon and another one which looks like a bazooka with a shield in front. Have a look.


#4

[quote=“EOD”]The weapon is designated “AZh-2” “AMPOULE LAUNCHER” from 1942. The spherical projectile exists also with a mechanical fuze. The glass and simple sheet metal type is not ignited when fired but breaks open on impact (WP-fuel filler). There are also various finned HEAT projectiles documented for this launcher. It is no bazooka type since it is not recoilless at all. The caliber is 125mm and not 120mm. The effective range was 200-300m. The ammo would go as “grenade” I assume.

It was also not unique since the brits had something almost identical:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northover_Projector

Here an image from the trial report.

[/quote]

Yes I am familiar with that bottle thrower. The Soviets used a bottle thrower as well.

Please show me another weapon from another country which threw a glass fireball AND LOADED FROM THE MUZZLE.


#5

The Russians fired bottles from rifle discharger cups.


#6

The Northover is a breech loading bottle thrower. This weapon is a muzzle loading glass ball thrower.


#7

Do you know if a special blank was used ?


#8

No


#9

Do you know if a special blank was used ?[/quote]

No, they had special pliers to remove projectiles from regular cartidges and star crimp the cases afterwards.


#10

[quote=“DrSchmittCSAEOD”][

Please show me another weapon from another country which threw a glass fireball AND LOADED FROM THE MUZZLE.[/quote]

Once you edited your previous posting:
Nobody did, even not the Russians.


#11

My city to the north of Stalingrad on 160 kilometres. In my city before war there was a factory for glasswares production. During war this factory made such spheres. To me spoke that these spheres dropped from plane U-2 (Russian biplane). We sometimes find such spheres. If them to break their contents strongly burns


#12

[quote=“EOD”][quote=“DrSchmittCSAEOD”][

Please show me another weapon from another country which threw a glass fireball AND LOADED FROM THE MUZZLE.[/quote]

Once you edited your previous posting:
Nobody did, even not the Russians.[/quote]

I certainly hope that you are joking.

if you look at the photo above on my post you will see that the ball is being loaded into the muzzle. The blank is loaded in the rear.

There are 4 maybe 5 variations of this weapon. I will post them when I get to it. See this in the meantime.

Ампуломет состоял из ствола с патронником, затвора-задвижки, стреляющего приспособления, прицельных приспособлений и лафета с вилкой. Ствол - труба, свернутая из листового 2-мм железа. Прицельные приспособления включали мушку и откидную стойку прицела. Ствол цапфами крепился в вилке лафета - треноги, деревянной колоды или рамы на лыжах. Снарядом служила жестяная ампула АЖ-2 или стеклянный шар с 1 л смеси “KC”, выстреливаемый холостым охотничьим патроном 12-го калибра. Заряжание производили два человека - первый номер расчета вставлял с казны вышибной патрон, второй вкладывал в ствол с дульной части саму ампулу.
Ампулометы были очень простыми и дешевыми “огнеметными мортирами”, ими вооружались специальные ампулометные взводы - Боевой устав пехоты 1942 г. упоминает ампуломет в качестве штатного огневого средства пехоты. В бою ампуломет часто служил ядром группы истребителей танков. Применение его в обороне в целом оправдывало себя, попытки же применения в наступлении приводили к большим потерям расчетов из-за малой дальности стрельбы. Правда, они не без успеха использовались штурмовыми группами в городских боях - в частности, в Сталинграде. В конце 1942 г. ампулометы были сняты с вооружения.

ТТХ ампуломёта
Масса ампуломета - 10 кг
Масса лафета - от 5 до 18 кг
Прицельная дальность стрельбы - 100-120 м
Максимальная - 240-250 м основным и до 400 м с дополнительным зарядом
Расчет - 3 человека
Скорострельность - 6-8 выстр/мин
Боекомплект - 10 ампул и 12 вышибных патронов.

THIS IS THE MOST COMMON TYPE. I CALL IT TYPE 1 DUE TO THAT FACT. THIS WAS DESIGNED A AS DEFENSIVE WEAPON. THE OTHERS ARE MORE EASILY PORTABLE FOR USE OFFENSIVELY.

YES , IT MUZZLE LOADED. HAVE A LOOK AT THE FILM CLIP.


#13

No

[/quote]

This particular version opens from the rear to load the propelling blanks. Removing that firing fixture to load the projectile doesn’t seem very practical.
If you have the rest of this document please show how this is done.

ALL OTHER VERSIONS ARE MUZZLE LOADERS.

PLEASE SHOW MORE ABOUT THIS ONE.

There was a larger one found in Finland recently.


#14

Have a look at the film clip:

reibert.info/forum/showthread.php?p=1193613


#15

And then there is this;

ENJOY !

forum.bestway.com.ua/showthread.php?t=3726


#16

[quote=“DrSchmittCSAEOD”][
Removing that firing fixture to load the projectile doesn’t seem very practical.

ALL OTHER VERSIONS ARE MUZZLE LOADERS.
[/quote]

That “fixture” is a tail section of a HEAT grenade which got loaded.

Having a second gunner it might be faster to load the balls from the muzzle.

The drawing you show is far from precise as it looks very schematic and your images do not allow an interpretation so far. Get us better ones please.


#17

ENJOY!

Here are some links

forum.bestway.com.ua/showthread.php?t=3726

bazuev.spb.ru/Len_oru_amp.htm

talks.guns.ru/forum/36/159.html

talks.guns.ru/forummessage/216/607937.html

onegeezer.livejournal.com/

fun-online.sk/forum/viewtopi … b9a9a8dbfe


#18

My main question is ; what is that thing which looks like a BAZOOKA in the newsreel ? The gunner uses and carries the gun without the defensive mount. This is the type 2 ( portable configuration) in my scheme. So, what is the other thing which is longer and appears to have a blast shield.


#19

I have a question about the original Soviet cutaway view of this projectile on the very top of this subject. It says that the inside of the sphere is filled with “self-something-changing” fuel. I cannot make out that “something”. Could someone with better vision and knowledge of Russian explain?


#20

Never mind, I answered my own question, it is “self-igniting mixture”. John, you are correct, it is a muzzleloader, it says clearly that it needs 2 men to fire: one to insert a 12 g blank, another to put the ampule into the muzzle.