US Cartridge, 165mm HEP, M123, M123A1
This cartridge is a chemical energy round designed for demolition. It is capable of damaging or destroying the type of structures (log walls, concrete bunkers, etc.) and equipment (abandoned vehicles etc.) encountered on a battlefield. It is also effective as an antipersonnel round.
The M123A1 projectile is made of drawn plate steel with a blunt ogive. A copper rotating band encircles the projectile just forward of the base. The projectile is cast loaded with a filler of approximately 35 pounds of Composition A3. A pressed felt washer and disk are positioned between the explosive charge and the base of the projectile to buffer the explosive from the shock of the setback, The base of the projectile is fitted with a base detonating fuze and sealed with a steel plug. It is threaded externally for attachment to the mouth of the cartridge case. The cartridge case contains the propelling charge and a bagged supplementary igniter charge of 220 grains of black powder, heat-sealed in a olyethylene liner, which provides an improved moisture barrier over that in the M123. An electric primer is fitted to the base of the cartridge case, The handle assembly attached to the base of the primer is fitted with a quick-release mechanism which permits its removal after the round is loaded into the weapon.
The M123 differs from the M123A1 in the following design aspects. The handle assembly requires 4 or 5 turns to release, in lieu of one quarter turn; the base plug is aluminum instead of steel, and the cartridge case is a three-piece welded design with a plastic liner. The projectile is loaded with a filler of Composition A3.
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Collaborative Ordnance Data Repository