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griff66

ferret armour

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I think originally specified to withstand .30-06 and .303

 

However during production the armour thinkness was increased to withstand more.

 

My ferret has been uparmoured during it's service life, by adding extra applique armour to the hull and turret. maybe to withstand .303 armour piercing??

 

(The pigs and saracens were very heavily uparmoured during service, I think to withstand .303 AP) I'm sure Clive knows more details.

 

Matt

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Wow, I would have thought it would easily stop .303 or 7.62.

Lord B, you surprise me that a .50 cal would go straight through.........what would it take to stop a round that big?

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Wow, I would have thought it would easily stop .303 or 7.62.

Lord B, you surprise me that a .50 cal would go straight through.........what would it take to stop a round that big?

 

Most Wheeled AFV's by thier nature, do not have thick Armour. This would hinder performance on cross country driving. Being wheeled it would have a tendancy to sink in softer ground. Recce Vehicles Armour as a general principle, is thick enough at 15mm to stop most small arms fire & shrapnel fragments.

.50" Cal Browning is a HEAVY Machine Gun & a VERY potent round! I know, I used to manufacture & test fire them on a VERY regular basis. At 800-900 Meters down on Lydd Ranges in Kent. We used to fire at 432's 434'2 & Saracens. At lunch break, we would walk down to the impact area & look at out handywork. I can tell you now, they were riddled with holes! So much so, that after 4 months of this, we were informed that we could not test fire our guns against these targets as they were destroying them so the Army didnt have a lot left to shooot at!

We have (& still do have) a dedicated range allocated to 'The Company' & used SOLEY for .50" Cal testing.

The Ammo we used was EX Brit Army stock. It was OBSERVING Ammo, IE: Copper jacket,Steel core & a Magnesium tip. This meant that when the Projectile hit something 'Solid'. There was a bright flash.

These rounds were developed for Tanks in the ranging gun role. You fired a burst, if on Target, you saw a few flashes, switched to main armamant & 'Let one go'! Of course this is now superceeded by laser rangefinders Etc.

We bought a Million rounds from the M.O.D @ a 1p a Round. All in link & boxed up in containers of 200 rounds. It had stood outside for years in an Ammo Dump 'Somewhere' in Europe & was deteriorating on the outside of the containers. Inside, no problem, it was as fresh looking as the day it was made!

However, the Ammo itself had deteriorated a bit. When we fired it off in bursts, there was sporadic expolsions from the guns muzzle which at first was a bit disconcerting! It was discovered that the magnesium had 'settled' just enough to allow the AP cores to move forward during firing inside the copper 'envelope'. This made it 'explode' when exiting the barrel. The resultant flash & bang made us jump at first! But, after investigation, we carried on & got used to it. After firing & cleaning up the firing point. There was a huge black semi-circle in front of the barrel muzzle area & LOADS of copper fragments scattered all around. this was the 'shrapnel' from the exploding envelopes / jackets after it had 'gone off'!

I picked up a couple of the AP cores from the impact area that had gone right through the Armour. I used them in the workshop as centre punches! To this day, they have never gone blunt & ever needed sharpening. Brilliant steel! :D

Mike.

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Thanks for sharing what kinds of things really did/do go on in military life and work at the work shops and else where behind the scenes.

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yeah light armour is fairly thin........... the main problem is when the bullet goes through one side and ricchets on the inside.

 

The angle on the arrmour helps to some extent.

 

I still remember hunting bunnies with a 303-25 and I shot at one and hit the railway track instead. Left a good 10mm chunk out of it. Quite a hilarious night as our hunting party (read ute load of semi drunk teens) told me to switch to my smaller gun ' they thinking it was a .22.

 

I was actually an M1 carbine :D

 

anyway back to armour and bullets the newer 5.56 SS109 rounds with the tungsten core has far greater penetration than a 7.62

Edited by fesm_ndt
had 100 instead of 10

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griff66

on a ferret what calibre of round were they designed to stop?

 

 

most British light AFVs designed in the late 1940s and 50s were built to be proof against .303inch A.P (not a great AP round) at all ranges and near miss from 25pdr fragments.

 

Personaly I think this is optimistic, although the 16mm max of a ferret is a better quality plate than similar thickness plate of WW2 manufacture, it must be noted that 30.06 AP would pierce 16mm at 100m 50% of the time. however the armour would defeat standard ball (.303,.30,7.62mm and 8mm) at point blank and 50call ball at nominal battle ranges.

 

A contemporary 50cal AP would piece even the thickest surface on a Ferret 16mm -the M2 round could pierce 19mm at 500m- modern 50cal AP can do better.

 

Steve

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The Ammo we used was EX Brit Army stock. It was OBSERVING Ammo, IE: Copper jacket,Steel core & a Magnesium tip. This meant that when the Projectile hit something 'Solid'. There was a bright flash.

These rounds were developed for Tanks in the ranging gun role. You fired a burst, if on Target, you saw a few flashes, switched to main armamant & 'Let one go'! Of course this is now superceeded by laser rangefinders Etc.

Indeed. By the mid-70s the Five Oh was obsolete as an infantry weapon and its only use was as a ranging gun on Chieftain, to be superseded (in the early 80s?) by Barr & Stroud laser rangefinders. The reason they used the Five Oh was because its trajectory closely matched that of the main armament (and indeed I understand that the propellant contents were tweaked to better match, so that ranging ammo was subtly different from infantry ammo. Not least because ranging ammo was all trace, whereas infantry ammo was four ball one trace. The 7.62 link of the Scorpion's coaxial GPMG was a compromise because it was both a ranging gun and an anti-infantry weapon, so it was limked as one ball one trace to satisfy the Geneva Convention whilst still being fit for ranging). It also had the range to range out further toward ranges achievable by the 120mm.

 

When it all kicked off in the sandpits, I was more than a little surprised to find this obsolete weapon back in service a generation after it had been laid to rest.

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Back on topic.

 

The Mark 2 Ferret was uparmoured in the factory as Mark 2/3. Earlier Ferrets were retrofitted to the same spec and designated Mark 2/4.

 

I am sure at some point in my career I found myself in a Mark 2/4 (so it must have been in UNFICYP cos I'd not have noticed the difference in NI when I was New In Green) that had square driver's side windows (indicating the first tranche of Ferrets off the production line).

 

I stand to be corrected. If anyone can show me a Mark 2/4 with square windows, I'll know I didn't dream it.

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Just out of interest, and maybe not so easy to answer.......

 

my ferret has the regular appliqué armour at the front of turret and hull, but also has reinforcing gussets at the wheel stations and also extra metal welded on the belly.

i am guessing this is a retrofit as the bins appear to have been bashed on the inside to enable the gussets to fit. There is also one bolt missing on each wheel station, which I have been told was done to create a weak spot in case of mine damage.

 

so, what mark is the ferret? Is it just an up armoured 2/3, or is it a 2/4? It came off the line in 1959, so not a particularity early one.

 

cheers

 

mick

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Mick,

 

What do the 2 rear hatches look like? Post a photo.

 

Chris

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Hi Chris,

 

I can take a photo tomorrow, but they are the regular hatches, not the flat plate type if that's what you are after?

 

mick

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Hi Mick,

 

If it was a 2/4 they would be flat, so looks like a 2/3 to me... Is that a fixed fire extinguisher system? That would make it a 2/3M.

 

Chris

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Hi chris

thanks for that, I could not work it out from the descriptions of each mark, but that makes sense. Yes it's a fixed system so good to know the exact mark.

 

cheers mick

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