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A few M60 tidbits from guys who were there


Maj.Hans
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As I said elsewhere, I asked an acquaintance of mine about turning off the stabilizer while loading the main gun and shooting "on the move".

His answer was that they did not turn off the stabilizer when shooting on the move, but that they also did not shoot on the move while traveling very fast and the system was not capable of providing accurate main gun fire at high speeds.  He says that compared to the M60s (He was on both A1 and A3) the Abrams tanks would be "flying" while still firing accurately.

 

I posed the following question in an open forum frequented by former and current military:

Was it normal or common practice for the loader to disable the stabilization in order to load the main gun when the vehicle was firing on the move?
 

Responses:

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M60a1 rise passive here. No, and if asked if someone could do that crap, or if someone tried to do that, my answer would have been "practice harder Marine".

 

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Hell no. He better have a damn good reason why my gunner was pulled off target and a moving breech damn sure isn't one. I never saw or even heard of someone missing a reload because of breech movement. Now, if he was going to get up in the coax for some reason, yes, but that was a safety issue and that didn't happen in the middle of slinging main gun rounds. 19E(K)

 

So although turning off the stab to load the main gun is incorrect, it appears that it should be shut off if the loader is going up to unjam the coax.  I assume that eSim could model the loader being injured by unsafe elevation of the main gun during a Coax unjam in the same way we simulate an injury in the CV90 during a coax reload?

 

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I am a retired SFC (E-7) Master Gunner on the M60A3. D8 Is the ASI (Additional Skill Identifier) My MOS (Military occupational Specialty) was 19E40H D8 until we transition to the M1 and changed it to 19K.
I was Platoon Sgt most of my career in Tank Platoons.

 

The stab shut off switch was only used in an emergency, we always loaded with stab on. As the system was very "Buggy" and was prone to "Taking off" and the turret would spin out of control from time to time.

SOP was the loader and TC to have a hand near each switch while the gunner first turns the system on....just in Case.

I asked this last guy to confirm about the stab cut off:

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The Stab shut off would shut the stab off only. The gunner would have to restart the system. It was not turned off while shooting on the move.

 

 

That last quote brings up an interesting point, however.  He has mentioned that "buggy" thing a few times in the past about turning the stab on and having the turret go completely crazy.  Perhaps an enhanced realism feature of Pro PE could be that very rarely the M60A3 will react to switching the stab back on (after repairing stabilizer damage or some such) by spinning you out of control until somebody smacks "V" to turn it off? O.o

 

 

About storing APDS rounds after the introduction of APFSDS:

 

Quote

If I recall the three rd ready rack on the turret floor was not long enough for the long 735 Rds.

I have asked him a follow up question about storing HEAT/HEP/WP rounds in that location.  What I recalled from a prior conversation was that three of the stowage slots in the hull were too short to fit anything other than APDS, but I want to double check on that and find out exactly what can and can't go there.  When I heard it the first time (from another individual I believe) I do distinctly remember that the individual who mentioned it said that his unit carried a small number of APDS on board the tank in that location due to the inability to fit other ammo there, and intended to use them as a last resort, firing with the battle-sight setting or the GAS as the computer did not have the ballistic info for those rounds.  I'm not currently clear if that was because HEAT/HEP/WP did not fit, or they fit but his unit did not choose to store them there.

Edited by Maj.Hans
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I understand you are on the mission to get this changed, but we need something more substantial. Can you at least post the link to the forum  where this is discussed so we can read it?

 

Its not like we care one way or another about whether it should behave this way or not, its just that the vehicle manual pointed this out as a practice, and it has been modeled. Before we go in and undo work, we need to see the actual testimony. We simply have to be completely sure first.

 

Also you have to understand that the M60A1 and M60A3 are two totally different animals when it comes to stabilization. The comment about them not being able to fire while on the move is most certainly from an M60A1 crewman - the M60A3's stabilization was completely upgraded to allow it AFAICR. If there are enough people saying that they didn't use the stab-off switch while firing on the move in the M60A3, then we will deactivate it. After all, the loader doesn't use EL UNCPL on the M1s because we trained not to use it, so its not modeled because if he did use it in real life then he would quickly on the receiving end of a boot missile.

 

The difference however is that the M60A3 has ammunition all along the side of the gun that the loader loads from, going off the manual, we put two and two together that this ammo arrangement might be dangerous with the breaching moving up and down in close proximity (perhaps we misunderstood though). :S

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On this topic, my 1986 edition of FM 17-12-3 (Tank Combat Tables M60A3) doesn't mention the stabilization system beyond implying it's crap when moving faster than 34kph/20mph, so I doubt the stab shutoff was actually used beyond emergencies.  That being said, I think the current implementation makes sense.  Stab stays on while moving at realistic tactical speeds for the M60 platform and is shutoff when moving beyond that.  So, if you want to dash across that danger zone, dash, and if you want to engage on the move, slow down.  

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6 hours ago, Volcano said:

I understand you are on the mission to get this changed, but we need something more substantial. Can you at least post the link to the forum  where this is discussed so we can read it?

 

Its not like we care one way or another about whether it should behave this way or not, its just that the vehicle manual pointed this out as a practice, and it has been modeled. Before we go in and undo work, we need to see the actual testimony. We simply have to be completely sure first.

 

Also you have to understand that the M60A1 and M60A3 are two totally different animals when it comes to stabilization. The comment about them not being able to fire while on the move is most certainly from an M60A1 crewman - the M60A3's stabilization was completely upgraded to allow it AFAICR. If there are enough people saying that they didn't use the stab-off switch while firing on the move in the M60A3, then we will deactivate it. After all, the loader doesn't use EL UNCPL on the M1s because we trained not to use it, so its not modeled because if he did use it in real life then he would quickly on the receiving end of a boot missile.

 

The difference however is that the M60A3 has ammunition all along the side of the gun that the loader loads from, going off the manual, we put two and two together that this ammo arrangement might be dangerous with the breaching moving up and down in close proximity (perhaps we misunderstood though). :S

 

https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1904031_Attention_all_former_M60A3__and_maybe_M60A1__gunners_loaders__and_commanders_.html

 

Those are the comments I got publicly.  User "Harv24" and I have had some additional conversation about the M60 in greater detail via PMs, he's the retired SFC (E-7) Master Gunner on the M60A3.

 

Perhaps you didn't misunderstand so much as you think.  Perhaps the loader did use that switch, when loading from the racks close to the gun, but not when loading from the racks in the back of the turret?

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On 8/31/2016 at 5:07 AM, Maj.Hans said:

That last quote brings up an interesting point, however.  He has mentioned that "buggy" thing a few times in the past about turning the stab on and having the turret go completely crazy.  Perhaps an enhanced realism feature of Pro PE could be that very rarely the M60A3 will react to switching the stab back on (after repairing stabilizer damage or some such) by spinning you out of control until somebody smacks "V" to turn it off? O.o

 

 

something similar happends on T-72 if you turn off the engine but leave stab on. the turret goes completely crazy, spinning in all sorts of weird directions. 

this has to do with the engine providing stable power to the hydraulic pump, and when the pump is off, tank gets energy from unstable batteries instead.

was this only on his tank, or were other M60A3 affected by this? 

could be it was their tank was faulty, and not others.

Edited by dejawolf
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42 minutes ago, dejawolf said:

 

something similar happends on T-72 if you turn off the engine but leave stab on. the turret goes completely crazy, spinning in all sorts of weird directions. 

was this only on his tank, or were other M60A3 affected by this? 

could be it was their tank was faulty, and not others.

 

The only other person I spoke to about this was mostly on A1 series tanks, and says that although he never saw it happen nor did he ever hear of it happening to anyone in his unit, it was SOP for the TC to be waiting to smack the switch to shut it off, and for everyone to be well clear of pinch points when switching the system on.

 

I did a little googling and came up with this:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5gZtAI0cHLcJ:www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php%3Fshowtopic%3D31116+&cd=34&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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A2 came with Stab as standard, but everybody cringed anytime it was engaged (as it was so unpredictable). Dwight's experience may differ from mine as we were a test unit. I've seen the turret go around and around out of control (with a round in chamber!) which had all manner of rank and civilian dignitaries heading from the bleachers to the ditches. It was considered a low point in the demonstration.

 

A response to that:

Quote

It was SOP that anytime STAB was engaged the gunner or TC had to announce it so that anyone outside would be ready if anything untowards happened. I never saw a stab malf. I don't remember using it much in other than coax engagements. It didn't really impress me.

 

 

So right now I don't really know if it was just one A3 that had that problem or all of them.

 

ETA: If you wanted to, you could simply not worry about modeling this at all and call it a "random failure" that ProPE wasn't going to try simulating.

I still contend based on the evidence provided earlier that the M60A3 should not be kicking the stabilizer off when firing on the move.  However, I concede that firing on the move at faster than "SLOW" speed is probably not realistic.

Edited by Maj.Hans
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  • 4 months later...
On 8/30/2016 at 10:07 PM, Maj.Hans said:

I am a retired SFC (E-7) Master Gunner on the M60A3. D8 Is the ASI (Additional Skill Identifier) My MOS (Military occupational Specialty) was 19E40H D8 until we transition to the M1 and changed it to 19K.
I was Platoon Sgt most of my career in Tank Platoons.

 

The stab shut off switch was only used in an emergency, we always loaded with stab on. As the system was very "Buggy" and was prone to "Taking off" and the turret would spin out of control from time to time.

SOP was the loader and TC to have a hand near each switch while the gunner first turns the system on....just in Case.

 

I was a tank gunner on M60A3 TTS in Taiwan (Yep, we're still using these old tanks.) I can confirm this quote is correct.

 

The problem with the current "v" button on-and-off feature is that it is impractical on a real M60A3 TTS. As pointed out by some other quotes, the TC and loader can only access the CUT-OFF button; in other words, this button can only turn OFF the stabilization. Only the gunner can turn it on back to work, and to do so he needs to pull the stabilization switch off first then switch back to ON position again since the power is cut by the cut-off button.

 

The reason of adding these two cut-off buttons for the TC and loader is indeed a safety measure. We were told in the armor school that the stabilization sometimes could go wild and make the turret spin. The standard procedure is that the gunner to call out turning on the stabilization, and either the TC or the loader puts a finger on the cut-off button in case of spinning turret. Then the gunner needs to observer two pieces of equipment carefully, one is the turret azimuth indicator and the other is the inclinometer attached on the breech guard; these two should not drift too much. If one of them is drifting more then recommended, then the gunner should use the knobs on the stabilization control box to tune the corresponding axis until the drifting is within the recommended range. Once the stabilization is confirmed stable, the TC and loader can take their fingers away from that cut-off buttons.

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2 hours ago, lavictoireestlavie said:

I have a question: Is the turret ring armor modelled properly on the M60A3 TTS ?    The turret ring area does not seem to have a LOS thickness of 254 mm but 80-125 mm:

m60.jpg

 

I am no expert on the M60, and I could be wrong (someone correct me if so), but I believe your diagram is from the M60(A0), and that the A1 was increased in protection in the hull (and turret), which carried over to the A2, and A3.

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1 hour ago, Volcano said:

 

I am no expert on the M60, and I could be wrong (someone correct me if so), but I believe your diagram is from the M60(A0), and that the A1 was increased in protection in the hull (and turret), which carried over to the A2, and A3.

 

Actually, ignore that, I might be confused as to what you are referring to. ;)

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10 hours ago, Lansfa said:

 

I was a tank gunner on M60A3 TTS in Taiwan (Yep, we're still using these old tanks.) I can confirm this quote is correct.

 

The problem with the current "v" button on-and-off feature is that it is impractical on a real M60A3 TTS. As pointed out by some other quotes, the TC and loader can only access the CUT-OFF button; in other words, this button can only turn OFF the stabilization. Only the gunner can turn it on back to work, and to do so he needs to pull the stabilization switch off first then switch back to ON position again since the power is cut by the cut-off button.

 

The reason of adding these two cut-off buttons for the TC and loader is indeed a safety measure. We were told in the armor school that the stabilization sometimes could go wild and make the turret spin. The standard procedure is that the gunner to call out turning on the stabilization, and either the TC or the loader puts a finger on the cut-off button in case of spinning turret. Then the gunner needs to observer two pieces of equipment carefully, one is the turret azimuth indicator and the other is the inclinometer attached on the breech guard; these two should not drift too much. If one of them is drifting more then recommended, then the gunner should use the knobs on the stabilization control box to tune the corresponding axis until the drifting is within the recommended range. Once the stabilization is confirmed stable, the TC and loader can take their fingers away from that cut-off buttons.

 

In light of this damning evidence, which has been delivered time after time, I request that the current "loader is an idiot and turns stab off" so-called "feature" be eliminated once and for all.

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Gentlemen, maybe manual will help,

 

Quote

The loader's emergency stabilization shutoff switch is similar to the commander's shutoff switch. It allows the loader to turn off the main gun stabilization system. The switch is normal ly used when servicing the machine gun or during the loading operation when the tank is moving and the stabilization system is operating. During stabilization system operation, the main gun remains relatively on target regardless of vehicle motion, which creates hazardous gun mo tion when servicing the machine gun or main gun. Depressing the switch places the turret hydraulic system in the normal power mode and puts the stabilization system on standby. Stabilization system operation must be restored by the gunner.

from Organizational maintenance manual : tank, combat, full tracked : 105-mm gun, M60A3 (2350-00-148-6548) and (2350-01-061-2306) TTS turret  Site 239.

 

Regards

Edited by Andres87
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6 hours ago, Maj.Hans said:

Doesn't seem to be something that was obeyed then, and oddly enough the hazardous gun motion has disappeared on the M1 Abrams?

Oh no, but as with a long chain of armor crewmen before us we CDATs chose to bypass safety and ignore the "elevation un-couple" switch.

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2 hours ago, MAJ_Fubar said:

Oh no, but as with a long chain of armor crewmen before us we CDATs chose to bypass safety and ignore the "elevation un-couple" switch.

 

Then I have to say what I've said so many times before...

 

It's time for E-Sim to either stop having the loader slap the "Stab Kill" button to reload, or amputate the finger that he's using to do it.

 

The M60A3 hardly moves fast enough at "top speed" to qualify as a "vehicle" let alone one capable of "moving" so....Yhea...

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I played a few scenarios using the M60A3 tank. After the last update is fine, AI loader will stop turning off stabilization to load the gun if the vehicle is moving at slow speed.

 

Like Wiki say:

 

"The M60A3's stabilization system allows the tank to effectively engage point and area targets at speeds between 16 an 34 kilometers per hour (10 to 20 mph)"

"When firing on the move, if the vehicle is traveling faster than 20 kph ["slow" speed on a route] then the loader will disable the stabilization system while loading the gun. Once the gun is loaded, the gunner can re-enable stabilization by pressing the V key (simulating flipping the STAB switch on the Control Selector Assembly to ON)"

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I was a driver and loader in the M60A3TTS and a gunner on the M1IP.

in the 60 I never turned off the stabilizer to load at anytime. And we never went faster then 5 MPH on the stab run in gunnery. The stabilizer was really not that good and worked best from short halts. What you have to understand is in the 60 the cannon was still mounted to the floor of the turret. And was heavily effected by the motion of the tank. In the M1 the cannon is mounted to the gun mantel in the turret and that made it free floating, much better on the move. But the 60 was better from a stationary position.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/29/2017 at 4:23 AM, Andres87 said:

I played a few scenarios using the M60A3 tank. After the last update is fine, AI loader will stop turning off stabilization to load the gun if the vehicle is moving at slow speed.

 

Like Wiki say:

 

"The M60A3's stabilization system allows the tank to effectively engage point and area targets at speeds between 16 an 34 kilometers per hour (10 to 20 mph)"

"When firing on the move, if the vehicle is traveling faster than 20 kph ["slow" speed on a route] then the loader will disable the stabilization system while loading the gun. Once the gun is loaded, the gunner can re-enable stabilization by pressing the V key (simulating flipping the STAB switch on the Control Selector Assembly to ON)"

 

I'd still like to see them model the accuracy problems of the stab at speed instead of simply turning it off.  Really this hampers your ability to observe fall of shot or to maintain a track on a target when you're moving and shooting at 'Top Speed', but turning it off AFTER you fire doesn't seem to make the actual shots less accurate...

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