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View Full Version : How Does A Sabot Round Work?



MKtexan
03-29-2005, 05:52 PM
I heard that it goes straight through a tank and sucks out the crew from the tank through the small hole it creates and leaves the tank in tact.

Seraphim
03-29-2005, 05:56 PM
I heard that it goes straight through a tank and sucks out the crew from the tank through the small hole it creates and leaves the tank in tact.

It also has an effect on gravity that leaves everything around the tank to be turned upside down.

ronin2172
03-29-2005, 06:01 PM
I heard that it goes straight through a tank and sucks out the crew from the tank through the small hole it creates and leaves the tank in tact.
i hope u r joking! rofl

MKtexan
03-29-2005, 06:02 PM
I heard that it goes straight through a tank and sucks out the crew from the tank through the small hole it creates and leaves the tank in tact.

It also has an effect on gravity that leaves everything around the tank to be turned upside down.

thanks for your sarcasm, i did not ask for it. Hey, im only telling you people what i was told by an active Army tanker, who is now my recruiter, i dont know anything about it, it did not come here to have people be jerks, i came here to ask a question. so post nicely, or leave.

Frank Discussion
03-29-2005, 06:05 PM
I heard that it goes straight through a tank and sucks out the crew from the tank through the small hole it creates and leaves the tank in tact.

A SABOT round is a kinetic energy round, essentially it is a spike fired at extremely high velocity that is usually made of tungsten or depleted uranium.

The velocity at which these rounds are fired enable them to burrow their way through armor. The armor that is displaced enters the crew compartment as molten spall, which usually results in a catastrophic kill.

I've heard the story about tank crews being sucked out of the exit hole as well, and I consider this to be the tanker myth of an urban legend. As a former 19K I had the opportunity to examine several Iraqi armored vehicles hit by APFSDS rounds, and the damage to the tank via secondary explosions usually resulted in the turret being blown completely away from the vehicle. The vehicles were anything but intact.

Some additional information available for you here:

http://www.army-technology.com/contractors/ammunition/apfsds.htm

Seraphim
03-29-2005, 06:06 PM
I heard that it goes straight through a tank and sucks out the crew from the tank through the small hole it creates and leaves the tank in tact.

It also has an effect on gravity that leaves everything around the tank to be turned upside down.

thanks for your sarcasm, i did not ask for it. Hey, im only telling you people what i was told by an active Army tanker, who is now my recruiter, i dont know anything about it, it did not come here to have people be jerks, i came here to ask a question. so post nicely, or leave.

Ok please dont tell your mom on us...

http://science.howstuffworks.com/m1-tank3.htm

Durandal
03-29-2005, 06:07 PM
*chuckle*

No, a sabot round is not magical.

A sabot round is a dart (in the case of a tank round) surrounded by a "boot" or collar. After the round leaves the barrel of the tank gun, the boot sections fall away as the dart flies, fast than the speed of sound, towards its target.

The goal of the round is to supply enough energy at a VERY small point, allowing it to penetrate.

I have discussed the physics behind it with a person that designs tank guns and used to procure them for the military (He was responsible for getting the German 120mm gun into the M1 MBT). The way he described it, if I remember correctly, is that the enrgy tranfer of the kinetic round is such that the round does not actually punch through, per se, but atomizes both the penetrating potion of the dart and the armor. What is left usually just rattles around at a great velocity inside the tank sometimes causing a catastrophic failure (fuel or ammunition cook off) or destroying equipment and occupants...or both (obviously).

The goal is to have a penetrator that is denser than the material you are shooting it into or the kinetic energy bleeds off to quickly and does not achieve penetration.

Thus, for instance, a lead penetrator would simple pancake, for the most part, against most modern MBTs. That is why tungsten and depleted uranium is used. DU is the cheapest and most dense material we use in Army, but its a ***** to mill.

The British came up with the best way to TRY to defeat this. Its called Chobam. A mixed armor package of different metals, causing the round the bleed energy more quickly on softer metals then impacting against a more dense layer.

I may have missed some points, but in a nut shell...there ya go.

Ichhabe
03-29-2005, 06:12 PM
The sabot or projectile is either made of Wolframcarbide or depleted uranium. The projectile is so heavy that when it hits the tank, its weight create kinetic enery that creates an enormous amount of heat. The tip starts to melt and by this it melts through the steel like a warm knife through butter.
This means that when it has melted its way in to the tank you know have a rapid increase of the room temperature inside the vehicle. Maybe as high as 2000 Celsius. This usualy do the trick of setting off the ammo inside the vehicle.
I am not so sure if it can penetrate through the whole tank and do the stuff you said, personally I think it is some kind of a myth. But of course, I would not put my hand on the Bible about it.
If the tank doesnt blow up, the inside of the tank will anyway not look in mint condition due to the heat created inside.
Hope this helped.

DeltaWhisky58
03-29-2005, 06:38 PM
I think we're missing the point here. What you have talked about so far are specialist anti-tank rounds which happen to be sabot-type rounds.

A sabot projectile, is actually a sub-calibre projectile of any sort which can be fired through a larger-calibre bore gun by means of a surrounding sabot or bore adaptor made of wood/plastic/metal which brings the sub-calibre projectile up to that gun's actual bore diameter


sabot noun a wooden clog, or a shoe with a wooden sole, as formerly worn by the French peasantry.

There are for example sabot rounds for 12g shotguns - an alternative type of slugs to Brenekke for example. There used to be (may still be) commercially produced (Remington or Winchester) rounds for .308 and .30-06 hunting rifles which fire a .224 calibre bullet by means of a plastic sabot. Sabot rounds for artillery guns have been with us since the Napoleonic era. There are even sabot projectiles available for .22 airguns!

So, all of the tank rounds you talk of are sabot projectiles, but by the method of firing rather than projectile type. Most of these are actually kintic energy warheads.

Ichhabe
03-29-2005, 06:45 PM
Dear DeltaWhisky58. He asked about how a Sabot round to use on a tank worked. Not the flechette ammo for shotguns. :D

American Patriot
03-29-2005, 07:59 PM
In GW1, supposedly one APFSDS went thru two T-62's and killed both of them p-)

Ichhabe
03-29-2005, 08:02 PM
In GW1, supposedly one APFSDS went thru two T-62's and killed both of them p-)

rofl Pictures, or it never happened. rofl

Turbo
03-29-2005, 08:05 PM
i heard another myth of the same sort, that the gun on the A-10 did the same thing when the were testing it they put a goat in a big metal box and shot it a few times then they found the goat or the what was left of it out side the box of course i have no proof that it really happend

HoboWithAK
03-29-2005, 09:01 PM
If you were to cut through the hull of a tank with a Sabot round, it's going to create heat. What happens when you heat things up? Ever tried to warm up spaghetti or lasagna in the microwave without covering it? That's right, pressure happens. If you melt the armor on a tank to the point where the molton penetrator slop pushes through, it's going to make a lot of heat inside. It's very possible that loose objects, such as pieces of equipment or body parts, will be sucked out of the open holes due to the pressure increases. I've always thought that was a myth, but i'm not in the tanking business, and I don't care to find out myself.

Uncle Sam
03-29-2005, 09:25 PM
Just reiterating what a few others have mentioned...

http://img235.exs.cx/img235/1629/sabotroundhit9fx.jpg

http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/du_ii/images/fig04.gif

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/apfsds.jpg

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/120MMRDS.JPG

Sabot

Sabot rounds work like a basic arrow. They don't have any explosive power; they penetrate armor with shear momentum. The heart of the sabot round is the penetrator -- a narrow metal rod (typically depleted uranium) with a pointed nose on one end and stabilizing fins on the other. Before the round is fired, the rear part of the penetrator is attached to a propellant case, and the front part is attached to the sabot structure. The sabot's purpose is to keep the narrow penetrator centered in the wide gun barrel.

On firing, the propellant casing remains in the chamber, and the expanding gas pushes the sabot and attached penetrator down the barrel. The sabot is attached to the penetrator with relatively flimsy plastic, so it falls away as soon as the round leaves the cannon. The heavy penetrator flies through the air at high speed toward its target tank. Because of its narrow shape, the penetrator focuses its full force into a very small area, plowing straight through heavy armor. As the penetrator enters the tank, heated fragments of metal fly off in all directions, hitting anybody and anything inside.

HEAT

HEAT rounds use explosive firepower, rather than momentum, to penetrate armor. At its nose, the round has an extended impact sensor. When the impact sensor collides with a target, it ignites an explosive, which melts surrounding copper. A shape charge liner concentrates the molten metal and hot gases into a narrow blast that cuts through the armor.

Link (http://science.howstuffworks.com/m1-tank3.htm)

Frank Discussion
03-29-2005, 10:09 PM
In GW1, supposedly one APFSDS went thru two T-62's and killed both of them p-)

This story is substantiated on the link I posted, a single round penetrated to Iraqi T-72's.

GazB
03-30-2005, 01:36 AM
The descriptions above are better than I can bother to type out what a Sabot round is. Regarding you actual question, no the sabot round does not kill with pressure. It kills by directly crashing through people, fuel or ammo and also by high speed fragments of the Sabot as well as the armour it has just pushed aside to get in to the vehicle also ricochetting and hitting things at very high speed. Secondary explosions are what do the real damage. There is also the fact that DU has a pyrotechnic effect at high temperatures. It acts like an incendiary round and generates large amounts of very hot fragements when it hits steel targets. Tungsten does to but to a much lesser degree. This incendiary effect aides in starting fires which might result in detonating fuel or ammo.

DeltaWhisky58
03-30-2005, 04:35 AM
Dear DeltaWhisky58. He asked about how a Sabot round to use on a tank worked. Not the flechette ammo for shotguns. :D

I am not talking about flechette rounds for shotguns either - there are also conventional hardened lead sabot projectiles for shotguns which I wouldf have thought you would have known!

The point I was making is that the term Sabot round does not refer specifically to an kinetic energy AT round fired from a tank's main gun, it can be and is any projectile which is sub-calibre and encased in a casing which falls away after firing fired from any weapon.

Everything which has been said about tank sabot rounds is probably correct, but so is the point which I have made which you seem to misundestand.

What he should have asked about is how does a kinetic energy sabot round work in a tank's main armament?

I am not concerned with the KE rounds as such, but the correct use of the term sabot.

Ichhabe
03-30-2005, 05:13 AM
DeltaWhisky58, I throw in my "Sorry, English is my second language so I might have misunderstood both him and your intentions"-card. Your turn. :oops: ;)

DeltaWhisky58
03-30-2005, 05:31 AM
DeltaWhisky58, I throw in my "Sorry, English is my second language so I might have misunderstood both him and your intentions"-card. Your turn. :oops: ;)

No need sir! - we understand each other.

By the way.........my Norwegian has to be 1000% worse than your English! ;)

Durandal
03-30-2005, 10:19 AM
What he should have asked about is how does a kinetic energy sabot round work in a tank's main armament?

I am not concerned with the KE rounds as such, but the correct use of the term sabot.

Come on, there has to be other things to do in a day than nit pick like this.

It is understood that he was asking about the tank round by the context of the question.

DeltaWhisky58
03-30-2005, 10:36 AM
What he should have asked about is how does a kinetic energy sabot round work in a tank's main armament?

I am not concerned with the KE rounds as such, but the correct use of the term sabot.

Come on, there has to be other things to do in a day than nit pick like this.

It is understood that he was asking about the tank round by the context of the question.

Not nit picking as Ichabe and I have already agreed - just making a valid point! rofl

AirZone
03-30-2005, 02:55 PM
Sucks to be a tanker...ouch... :|

Beinlausen
03-30-2005, 03:35 PM
if this is the case about getting sucked out, what would happen?

a sabot doesnt make a really big hole, so would the final result be spaghettisauce or the unlikelyness of nothing hapening to the body.

Jippo
03-30-2005, 03:42 PM
Sucks to be a tanker...ouch... :|

Tank blows up, you don't feel a thing. Be a grunt and get a shrapnel in your groins and have no balls for the rest of your life. Both versions suck but I sure know which sucks less for me.

Btw. there are sabots also for smaller calibers e.g. 7.62mm (aka .30cal). Sabot means (like so many already said, I just use different words) a sub-caliber round. A bullet (or a dart like object as in APFSDS) that is cased in a vehicle that actually guides it through the barrel (which can be a smoothbore or rifled one). When the round exits the barrel the sabot (i.e. "sabot" actually means the vehicle) is discarded, air resistance simply rips it off the projectile. With Sabot you get higher muzzle velocity than with full caliber rounds. Higher MV means higher kinetic energy which translates directly in capacity to penetrate.

Sabot doesn't create vacuum sucking up crew, but some overpressure instead. Also Sabot doesn't blow up tanks, it just causes extremely hot pieces of shrapnel (pieces of the projectile and armor) flying inside the tank. These pieces then ignite e.g. ammo which 'brews up' the tank.


-jippo

Durandal
03-30-2005, 05:54 PM
Also Sabot doesn't blow up tanks...These pieces then ignite e.g. ammo which 'brews up' the tank.

Sounds like blowing up to me.

HEAT rounds do not blow up tanks either but can have a similar effect.

Semantics...

Jippo
03-31-2005, 01:41 AM
Also Sabot doesn't blow up tanks...These pieces then ignite e.g. ammo which 'brews up' the tank.

Sounds like blowing up to me.

HEAT rounds do not blow up tanks either but can have a similar effect.

Semantics...

No not semantics, secondary explosions. It is still very different matter. If you shoot a tank without any ammunition and fuel with APFSDS, you will get a simple flash on the side, a neat 5cm hole on the side but no explosion what so ever. And HEAT works in the same way as well - penetrating mass is really small and effect inside a tank comparatively limited: catastrophic destruction requires secondary explosions.


-jippo

Durandal
03-31-2005, 08:50 AM
No not semantics, secondary explosions. It is still very different matter. If you shoot a tank without any ammunition and fuel with APFSDS, you will get a simple flash on the side, a neat 5cm hole on the side but no explosion what so ever. And HEAT works in the same way as well - penetrating mass is really small and effect inside a tank comparatively limited: catastrophic destruction requires secondary explosions.

And sometimes, when you shoot a tank filled with fuel and ammo, it does not explode.

Regardless of the reasons WHY a tank it explodes, it explodes. The direct cause is another tank SHOOTING it. Just because it takes a brief millisecond for the vehicle to pop its turret from ammo storage cooking off matters little.

We have no conventional weapon in our arsenal that will transfer ENOUGH energy for the vehicle to, literally, explode.

Jippo
03-31-2005, 09:38 AM
Yes, well that is all right and true unless we are not talkin about a direct hit with 500kg aerial bomb. I was just trying to explain the method of damage of APFSDS round which doesn't explode, create suction, or anything else extra-ordinary. It just simply put punches through and the pieces of armor and round cause damage inside. And the violence of the destruction is dependant especially on what is inside, not because of the unexplainable quality of a DU rod. People seem to mystify that a bit too much (refer to: crew men sucked through armor, etc.).


-jippo

hank
03-31-2005, 01:55 PM
I understood that SABOT was the French word for "boot" or "shoe" and that it described that portion of the round that comes of, allowing the sub-caliber penetrator to continue on to the target.

Sorry, can't provide a link I got it from a book on WW2 armor. Brits had a APFSD (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) round for the 17 pounder AT gun used in the Sherman/Firefly.

If some one else has already posted this, please accept my apologies for the doubling-up.

hank

dghost
03-31-2005, 09:17 PM
We have no conventional weapon in our arsenal that will transfer ENOUGH energy for the vehicle to, literally, explode.

ooooh. i wanna see something strike it with enough force to literally cause the molocules in the tank to break down into component elements. that would be one hell of an explosion.

oh, and while it ma suck to get your balls blown off by schrapnel, you at least get to go home and enjoy a beer afterwards. it's better than having your last moments spent engulfed in a fireball, burning away the flame retardant material that is prolonging your life.

Jippo
04-01-2005, 01:37 AM
it's better than having your last moments spent engulfed in a fireball, burning away the flame retardant material that is prolonging your life.


Matter of opinion. I was trained with T-72, so in case of penetration it is a matter of hundreds of a second. :) You're right about the beer though. :)


-jippo

Tony Williams
04-03-2005, 03:31 AM
DU has more destructive behind-armour effects than tungsten alloy because it is pyrophoric (spark producing). It is therefore more likely to ignite fires within the tank.

The effectiveness of any projectile does of course depend on what it hits. The T-72 is not particularly well-protected by the standards of a modern Western tank, so a 120mm APFSDS would zip through it with no difficulty.

Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website (http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk) and discussion
forum (http://forums.delphiforums.com/autogun/messages/)