Gee, I hope they’re okay…

Tough to tell exactly what happened. Probably just a bad round? Or maybe incoming counter battery or a missile? Blast seems kind of small for incoming.

Moron dropped the round in upside-down? I have no clue about the fusing options available.


  1. That’s what happens when you use 40 year old munitions. There are several videos of this kind of thing out there. Most look to be the light to middle diameter older soviet mortars. I guess Allah’s will for that day was to blow up 2 more of his fanatics and give away 144 more virgins, huh?

    Sucks to be THAT guy.

  2. You have to clean the mortar tube after every 10 rounds or so. Usually you have a bore brush handy and after 10 rounds do a quick scrub of the tube to keep it free of carbon. Maybe they hadn’t done that in awhile.

    This should be shown to all US Army 11C.

  3. I wish I still had the clips. There’s a half a dozen other ones like this out there. I’m pretty sure most insurgents aren’t big on weapons maintenance. There’s one that I had, might have to look for it on you tube. Looks like it’s in an alley between a couple of buildings. Looks like exactly the same thing happens, only the “ready” ammo is stacked right near the tube, and it goes too.

  4. Go to you tube and search for terrorist dead by mortar round. Looks like a shorter tube, but same type of thing. I haven’t heard about a lot of homemade mortar tubes, so I’m guessing it’s the old soviet stuff. Tons of that laying around the middle east, literally. It was all waiting for the big game against the “great satan”, israel, and anybody else who’s version of allah was different.

  5. I was hoping for counter-battery (seems more fitting to me) but that looks like good old fashioned near-Eastern incompetence.

    And age doesn’t have a lot to do with it. Competence does. Our A-10s are (or at least were at the start of the invasion) firing 30mm HE ammunition made before Korea, and they aren’t blowing up in the sky (although the gun might be able to blow up and that plane keep flying.)

  6. Its more or less incompetence. They might be used to their AKs needing only a hammer and a wrench…or a hard fix, and maybe don’t realize somethings need a bit more maintenance.

    They were also at the spur of the moment. So maybe he did drop it upside down and didn’t notice.

  7. This clip is deeply satisfying on a couple of levels.

    1: When I was stationed outside Kandahar…..the local zealots to our NE/E were routinely firing rockets (yea, I know……this was a motar…same, same to me though)over our heads towards the airbase to our SW. As far as I know, they never caused any casualties at the airbase, and it was certainly on our minds any one of those rockets could have a fin fall off, or the motor cut off early; dropping it quite fatally on our heads. Anyway, the fact they didn’t kill any of us wasn’t for lack of intent or trying. Watching their spiritual Brothers get theirs in this fit of incompentance is just too satisfying.

    2: As an agnostic………’s wildly humorous to watch two guys praising God get……………..well……………harvested to his bousom for lack of a better term. 🙂 Guess he wanted to spend more time with ’em.

  8. Could this 43-year old Vietnam scenario be the culprit?

    One of the commanders of MACV-SOG General Jack Singlaub, created a plan to sabotage the significant number of ammunition cashes that SOG’s reconnaissance teams were locating along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

    Singlaub wished to instill fear and mistrust in the enemy, so that they would question the reliabilit of their equipment. Using different code names like “Project Eldest Son,” “Italian Green” or “Pole Bean”, SOG recon teams would insert special rounds filled with PETN, a highly explosive compound. When the
    unsuspecting VC or NVA would use the rounds; the resulting explosions would cause the bolt and receiver of the weapon to blow back through the enemy’s head. Both AK-47 rounds and 82mm mortar ammo were contaminated. The effectiveness of this operation was difficult to assess, because the victims’ of this ploy could hardly attest to how effective it was.

    Read more in a book titled: Good to Go

  9. Phelps, hate to pick at nits, note that I also said Soviet rounds. As in, old soviet rounds, which don’t usually involve quite the same type of quality controls. Mind you, Soviet(I’m not calling them russians, look at Putins actions) weapons are perfectly deadly when maintained and stored properly. AKs are about as simple as a good weapon can be. However, when you cache your mortar ammo under a bunch of sand, and don’t clean the tube, this is bound to happen.

  10. Russian ammo.

    Oh, and toejam … those PETN rounds fired just fine through test AKs, even the ones with oversized ball bearings under the bullet. And ‘sploding mortar rounds was just par for the course for Soviet munitions.

    The program was dropped for lack of determinable results.

  11. Phelps wrote:

    “Our A-10s are (or at least were at the start of the invasion) firing 30mm HE ammunition made before Korea”

    That would be a neat trick since the US didn’t have any 30x173mm cannon in inventory until the GAU-8 was developed for the A-10. The GAU-8 development program didn’t get underway until 1971.

    Now I might believe that there was ancient 40mm cannon ammo in inventory for the Bofors 40mm/L60 used in the AC-130.

  12. Shit happens. This isn’t the first captured footage I’ve seen of a rocket or mortar that has detonated on the firer. Most likely causes are poor quality fuzes assembled in an armed position (Soviet munitions are notorious for being single-safe designs), quality defect in the shell propelling charge, or fouled/damaged mortar tube.

    This has happened with US mortars before — I remember an investigation from a training incident that caused several casualties, but wasn’t directly involved so I don’t know the root cause of the failure.

    Reference GAU-8 ammo … the Air Force suspends that ammunition at 25 years of storage (unlike the Army, which doesn’t have shelf life criterion for ammo under 5 inches). L60 ammo is much older, as it doesn’t have the same shelf life.

  13. Oh, yeah, on that L60 ammo … the projos may be older, but they were remanufactured in the mid-90s to put on new dual-safe fuzes (after an incident where the old single-safe fuze exploded in the cannon on board an aircraft). Now the hundreds of thousands of rounds of 40mm AP manufactured in ’44 and ’45 still in the inventory are another story, but you never know when those things might come in handy 😉

    And the USAF is both making new 30mm PGU-13 HEI, and remanufacturing aged-out PGU-14 API, so there’s no danger of A10 guns falling silent.

  14. However, when you cache your mortar ammo under a bunch of sand, and don’t clean the tube, this is bound to happen.

    That’s what I mean — I would consider that incompetence rather than some sort of problem with the weapon itself.

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